My dad had two stories: growing up on a farm in Nebraska and fighting on Okinawa during the war. They convinced me to stay off the farm and out of the Marines.
The closest I got to farming was picking tomatoes as a kid in Hayward before they paved it over for Silicon Valley. So when I saw The Bee's test on farming machines (Thanksgiving Day Opinions), I took it.
Out of 10 photos, I almost got two correct. I said number one and seven were tractors, and as luck would have it, the word tractor was mentioned somewhere in their description.
The self-propelled bush shredder looked familiar. Mount an M-60 machine gun on top, and it would look just like the tank I drove in the Army.
When I saw the forage harvester with its five horizontal spinning discs six inches above the ground, my shins ached. I didn't know what to think of the V60 sweeper. It was wide, low and looked inescapable. I pictured a wide-eyed driver behind the windshield mouthing the words "You can run baby, but you can't hide."
The last machine, yet the most interesting, was the turkey loader. The description said it moves turkeys to the coops but did not say how. Not being a farmer, I had no choice but to Google it.
At first I was under the misconception that the turkeys were sucked into one end, blasted through the tub and shot out the other end once again proving it is better to be the farmer than the farmee. However, after reading several ads on Google about the turkey loader being a "humane" way of transporting them, I concluded it wasn't all that bad.
Actually, the turkey loader and the jetway, the tunnel thing passengers walk through to get onto an airplane, are suspiciously similar in appearance and function. Both are humane, yet far from pleasant. All I can say is if I had a choice between going into a jetway or the Marines, I'd take the Marines.
Howsden, retired from law enforcement, was a visiting editor with The Bee in the first quarter this year. Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org