Monday, November 1, 2010

Shaking the nuts out of the family tree...

I intended to write about all the crazy people in my family. The realization that the topic was boring was enough to stop me. So I decided to go with the flow. The first topic I would like to address is a bad analogy that has been kicking around for too long. I am sure you have often heard things being compared with onions. "You never really know with ______, it is like an onion. You think you know what is going on, but then you discover another layer."

It seems that when this person cuts up an onion the fact that it is an onion all the way through is a surprise. You are probably smart enough to realize, that onions do not have seeds or pits, and thus are made entirely out of onion. So when an otherwise competent person is "surprised" to find another layer of onion, I find it seem incredible. It is only likely if you have never cut open an onion. If this were case the whole thing might be amazing. Almost everything is at least mildly interesting for a little while! I would personally think the fact that the onion can make you cry is more stupefying than the ever smaller layers of onion. I think the old cannibal saying is better, "onions are like people, they can make you cry, but they taste great chopped up in a stew." Another better analogy is this. "________ is like the layers of the earth. Just when you think you are digging through basalt, all of a sudden you see some schist!" At least with the soil, you actually do not know what is down there, unlike an onion. All you will ever find inside a layer of onion, is a smaller onion. Nothing more. Sorry to ruin this saying. It had to be done.

Speaking of onions, I was once nearly killed by an Elephant Garlic. Though it is actually different, it is similar enough to warrant the telling of the tale. It was in 2006. I was working at the Fall City Farm, in Fall City WA. I was in love, the world was beautiful. On this particular day I was on duty to harvest elephant garlic with Mel "People Skills" Parker, and our boss Rob. Mel got the nickname "People Skills" not because he had great people skills, but that is another story.

We were out in the west field, about a quarter mile from the farmhouse and barn. We were 75 yards through a belt of trees and brambles to the banks of the Snoqualmie river. Of course since we were here for work it was better to focus on the job at hand instead of the cool river. Why torture yourself?

Essentially what "People Skills" and I were doing was following behind the tractor and pulling up the bulbs after he cut them. This was done by a blade that was attached to the back of the tractor. It would sink down beneath the bulbs and loosen them to be pulled. We had to follow closely because sometimes we had to add weight to the cutting blade by standing on it. I am sure this practice is not suggested, but with certain soil you have to do what it takes. For those that don't know by the way, elephant garlic are large and have long stems. It is actually not a true garlic, but is actually in the leek genus, though that is not a key element of the story.

"People Skills" and I had picked about half the bulbs we needed when the unexpected happened. "People Skills" tried to pull up one of the plants, but it stuck in the ground for just a moment. This created enough tension that when it broke loose it swung right around and hit me in the eye. During the split second where I was staggering blind, Rob decided to back up the tractor. I actually heard the sound of the gear shift before I could tell what was going on. I jumped out of the way in the nick of time. Rob was not watching for garlic blinded farmhands, and I was just trying to see. It took a few minutes to get back to work, I am not really sure Rob ever knew what really went on. But we did finish the job.

I ended up surviving obviously, I don't even think I got a black eye. You might have come up with a moral of the story. I have not. Unless it is to avoid close relationships with someone who earned the nickname "People Skills!"

1 comment:

  1. He's Mr. Shy.. I know what that's like.. Not everybodies the same,everybody struggles differently.. Thank Goodness :)