Petersen: The day my chore coat died |

Petersen: The day my chore coat died

It officially turned fall on Sept. 22, the same day that my chore coat died. It survived all winter, spring and summer through calving, lambing, farrowing, machine repair, weather assaults and numerous challenges from recalcitrant or downright hostile critters.

But it has turned up its denim toes (do jackets have toes?), given up, bit the dirt, bought the farm and otherwise has simply fallen apart, literally.

Trying to shrug into it on the first day of fall, the pitiful garment lost an arm. That appendage had been hanging on by the proverbial thread. I faced doing chores in a one-armed chore coat. Giant safety pins temporarily fixed the tragedy, but really there was no way to resuscitate it to a useable condition. I had to dispose of it. I cremated my worn out, decrepit chore coat in the burn barrel. I thought about keeping the ashes in a memorial urn, but decided that might be overdoing it.


“Oh, the collar’s raggy, the lining’s tatty, it’s ripped all over and sure looks shabby.”

Tune: The Hearse Song

Did you ever think as your chore coat frays

That sooner or later, t’will be its last day

When its pockets got shredded on a vicious wire fence

When you ran from a bull that made you quite tense

When you calved the heifers and slimed the coat

It’s all icky now and it smells like a goat

And then both sleeves burned in a branding fire

Then got run over by a pickup’s tire

Oh, the collar’s raggy, the lining’s tatty

It’s ripped all over, and sure looks shabby

And it’s got no buttons, just some safety pins

To keep it closed against wint’ry wind

And its once bright color is now all faded

The poor thing’s now dilapidated

And it makes you sad, puts tears in your eye

The day has come, you must say goodbye

So you take it out and you lower it down

Into the burn barrel there on the ground

And you add some fuel from a gasoline can

Then strike a sulphur with right or left hand

And the flames blaze up, and the chore coat moans

The cloth curls up and it seems to groan

And so goes the last of that ratty garment

Leaves safety pins like the claws on varmints

Now there’s nothing left but a pile of ash

The residue looks like nasty trash

So, you scoop it up, and you toss it away

And think of a new coat you’ll buy today.❖