Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 2-20-12 |

Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 2-20-12

I know it’s still a long time until spring, but apparently the robins don’t know much about the calendar because a big bunch of robins flew through Damphewmore Acres this morning. They spent about a half-hour in our yard, then flew off to the north. I think they may be in for a lot more cold weather than their instinct was telling them.


These days it’s hard for a farmer or rancher to find good help. The corollary to that statement is that if you work as hired help, it’s tough to find a good boss to work for.

A friend of mine has spent a substantial portion of his life hiring his labor out to mostly grain and hay farmers. He’s had a lot of jobs, working for a lot of bosses – long enuf that he recently sent me a list of things he’d found out about being a hired farm hand. 

They include: The more guff you put up with, the more guff you are going to get. When the boss talks about improving efficiency for a farm operation, be assured he is never talking about himself. If at first you don’t make the boss happy, try again – then quit. There will always be beer cans rolling around on the floorboard of your pickup whenever the boss asks for a ride somewhere.

And, Mother told me there would be days like this, but she never told me there would be so many. You will never be as good in your boss’s eyes as the guy he hired just ahead of you. There is never enough time to do a job right the first time, but there’s always plenty of time to do it over. If you are good, you will be assigned all the hardest work, but if you’re really good, you’ll figure a way to get out of it.

And, you are always out of the tractor cab whenever the boss drives by to check up on you. If it wasn’t for the last minutes of the day, nothing would get done on the boss’s farm. The boss’s son always thinks he has more authority to direct your activities than he really does. Always keep you own set of hand-tools. Even when things are going well, the boss will always look worried. 

And, you will always get praise for the work you least like doing. Machines that aren’t running right will work perfectly when the boss calls out the repairman. Once a job is fouled up, anything you do to improve it only makes it worse. Vacations and holidays are never a problem because you never get any.


On the same subject of hired help that doesn’t work out for the boss, consider this story. A farmer liked to give the teenage boys in the county seat a chance to make some extra money is the summer helping him put up hay.

The first young fellow said he wuz conscientious about driving expensive farm machinery, so the boss assigned him to operate the swather. The farmer gave him directions to a hillside alfalfa field and instructed him to “cut the top half of that field.”

Sure, enuf. You guessed it. Later that morning when the farmer went out to see how his new hire was doing, he found the lad very conscientiously controlling the header height so the swather cut off just the top half of the alfalfa plants.

To me, it sounded like a lack of communications rather than a case of poor help.


Ol’ Nevah and I just returned from visiting “snowbird” friends of ours who spend the worst of winter at Tucson, Ariz.

While we were there, we played “cow pasture pool” at a nice golf course. One morning we had a threesome and were standing on the first tee with a lone golfer waiting to tee off behind us. We thought about asking the young fellow to join us and make a foursome, but we were afraid he might be too good a golfer to join our group of “duffers.” So, we were polite and let him tee off ahead of us.

We watched as his tee shot wuz long and right down the middle of the fairway. “Uh-oh,” we thought. But then we watched him hit his second shot and he topped the ball and it rolled 50 yards down the fairway. “Well, maybe his first shot was lucky,” we thought. But then, his third shot lit 5-feet from the cup for what looked like an easy par. But, his first putt went 10-feet past the cup, but then he sunk the 10-footer for bogey.

The lone golfer had a wait on the second tee and we caught up with him and asked him to join our group. He agreed to join us, but I just had to ask about his erratic play on the first hole.

The golfer grinned real big and said, “I was just practicing for the couple’s tournament my wife and I are playing tomorrow.”


After any vacation, regardless of how much fun it’s been, it’s good to get home again. So, I’ll close this column with a few words of wisdom about home. Some anonymous wit said, “A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.”

Have a good ‘un.

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