Stepping into a Cadillac is easier than falling into a truck bed
By PETTUS L. READ
Tennessee Farm Bureau
For some reason, accidents and strange happenings seem to follow me. No matter where I may go or what I may do, something totally weird occurring out of the ordinary will be a part of my day’s activities. For that particular reason, I am naming myself the official poster child for Agricultural Safety Awareness Week, being celebrated March 2-8. This is as good a place as any to remind farm and ranch families and other rural residents about the many dangers on the farm.
I could be classified as an accident looking for a place to happen. For example, just this past week I fell into the back of a brand new pickup truck without really trying. No, it was not out of the back of a pickup truck as you would normally think, but instead, into the back of a pickup truck as I first said. And, yes, I was perfectly sober, thank you.
Over in West Tennessee, I was photographing the presentation of a brand new Dodge Ram pickup truck to John and Mary Margaret Chester from Weakley County. They were this year’s national Excellence In Agriculture Award winners presented by the American Farm Bureau at the national convention in New Orleans back in January. The Chesters had beat out other young farmers from across the nation to win the top prize of the new truck and it was delivered to them at the Taylor dealership in Martin the other day. It was a big event with folks coming from all around to congratulate the young couple on their win and take a look at that bright red $42,000 truck parked in the showroom. The mayor was there, along with the president of the state Farm Bureau and a host of other dignitaries too numerous to mention.
After all the speeches were given and the keys to the truck presented, the idea of having an overview of the crowd who attended captured in a photo was suggested. The only way to do this was for me to get up in the bed of a huge 4X4 truck parked nearby and shoot a shot of the people around the truck from there.
As someone lined all the folks up around the Chester’s truck, I attempted to climb into the back of the other truck to take the picture. I use the term “attempted” because that is just what I did. My legs are built to step into the back of an Eldorado Cadillac, not a Dodge Ram that is at least four feet off the ground at the height of the bumper.
Seeing how high the bumper was and how low my physical build is I prepared to climb. I made it to the top of the bumper with straining only a few items, but as I stepped into the liner covered bed of the truck, my climbing was over. I rolled from one end of the bed to the other and never touched the same part of my body on the flooring a single time. After coming to a stop up against the cab of the truck I found myself pointed up to the ceiling in a knot that resembled a nail-bent puzzle found at Cracker Barrel.
Of course, I did the manly thing of jumping up and pretending not to be hurt. I used the terminology that all us men use when we go to the doctor and they ask us how we are doing. You know, the one that comes out of mouth even if we have just lost a leg. The term “fine” has been used by man since Adam and will remain the same until a wife makes us tell the truth.
However, I did hurt and that fall left one more mark. That night and next day I spent most of my time reclined and heavily used the Tylenol™. We have a jacuzzi and it was suggested that could help, but I don’t use that thing very much. I’m a shower person and don’t believe in baths. Webster defines the jacuzzi as a recreational bathing tub or pool. You know, something like the creek used to be in the summer time. Besides, I don’t like soaking in my own dirty water. Do baths really get you clean if you have to sit in the same water that contains whatever you just washed off?
So you see why I could be a poster child for Agricultural Safety Awareness Week. Safety on the farm is important. Farming can be a very rewarding occupation, but it is dangerous work if you do not set the goal of making farms safer for farmers and employees, with special emphasis on children.
This year’s theme is “Growing Our Most Important Crop.” During Agricultural Safety Awareness Week and throughout the year, teach your children and grandchildren to be cautious around the farm, so we can continue “growing our most important crop.”
Pettus L. Read, director of communications for Tennessee Farm Bureau, may be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com
Published in The Messenger 3.4.08