Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mistakes I Have Made - Part 3

I firmly believe that we can learn from both our Successes and our Mistakes. We must always keep moving forward. If you stop you will be over run by the Sheeple. You must also remember who Murphy is and all of his laws. Rule #17: Always Be Careful Who You Loan Your Tools To."

Several weekends after the big Grass Fire I decided that I might as well take advantage of the naked ground and begin to get the Garden Plan into shape. With this in mind I had stopped at one of the many "You Rent Em - You Break Em - You Buy Em" places on my way out of town and rented their biggest 8hp Front Tine Tiller with wheels and a big 2' pointed tang behind the tines that dug into the ground to help churn up the soil. Had not heard of a rear tine tiller at this time. Got a good deal on the weekend rate - Pick up on Friday eve and return on Sunday eve at a 1 day rate,

I was up and at the break of dawn and after a quick Breakfast I began to unload the tiller down at the garden site. Just as I got it out of the PU bed my neighbor to the East drives up to the fence in his ATV and a can of beer. He is another Ole Timer not quite WW II vintage but old enough for me to show him some respect. He asked about the fire several weeks past and we chat a little before I allow as how I need to get to work tilling this garden and that this was the first time I ever used a tiller.

He right away tells me how last weekend he did his garden with a tiller just like the one I had rented and allowed as how it only took several hours. He also told me that it "worked a whole lot better once he took off the wheels". I looked over the tiller and sure enough the wheels were removable but I was not too sure about this plan to remove them. He then climbs over the fence and says "let me give you a hand and show you how it works".

We fiddle with it for a while and finally get the wheels off. He then says "I'll show you how it works then you can give it a Shot". Again, he was an Ole Timer and just might know a thing or two, Sooo I let him have at it. I had already test started it so I gave it a jerk, It started, He grabbed hold of the handle bars revved the engine and engaged the tines.

That was when Murphy joined in the game - The tiller took three giant leaps and a couple of smaller ones before it reached the fence with the Ole Timer still hanging on for dear life. Before I could get to him and cut it off it had chewed into the tines about a 10' section of goat wire and barbed wire.

When things finally stopped he said "Dammit that was a hell of a ride, this must be more powerful than the one I used" He then calmly walked through the hole in the fence, got on his ATV and disappeared over the rise toward his barn. I was left with a "Bird Nest" from hell that I am sure that Murphy was real proud of.

The only tool I had with me that would cut wire was a pair if Lineman Pliers. I got them out of the truck and began to cut the tiller out of the fence. 30 -40 minutes later just as I pulled the tiller loose from the last piece of wire still attached to the fence, here comes my neighbor with a spool of barbed wire and a section of Goat wire. He hopped off his ATV and says "Mind giving a hand patching this here gap". (Sure - Why Not).

It took until lunch to get the "Gap Patched". He then climbed over the fence and was last seen going over the rise toward his barn. It was several months before we spoke again and no mention was made of the tiller incident. I guessed that was the way of things in the country.

I still had the Bird Nest from hell to deal with. It took me the rest of the day and most of Sunday to get the tiller squared away. The most difficult part was making the 2' tang on the rear straight again. I even washed the tiller before I took it back to town looking no worse for the fence war.

Again, I hope that we learned another of Murphy's Rules and that ya'll were able to see the error of my ways. (I certainly did) See ya'll again on "Mistakes Part 4".



Wretha said...

Darn! Looks like you took some extra classes in the school of hard knocks!

Glad you can look back on it with a sense of humor.


Belwether said...


I have learned to live life with Mr. "Murphy" lurking about looking to cause trouble.


Mayberry said...

Heh heh. Old Timer doesn't always equal "wise".

Belwether said...


How True, How True, especially in this case.


BobS said...


Sorry, I am laughing in sympathy. Murphy has it in for me also.....


Best regards,


Belwether said...

Bob S:

It's nice to know that I am not alone in the " Murphyt Wars".