I’m writing a book so penning this blog is a strategic distraction. I’ve also become a dad 23.2 days ago (May, Baby May!!), so I’m doing this between farting and burping a newborn, which is more fun that I thought. An infant at arms-reach makes you think in football sized feedback loops, from one sound to the next, estimating minutes on each boob, logging stats, finding the nappy cream.
Why write about orange things? Why not write orange things is what you should be saying. But ok, it’s because my hands are gummy after eating three oranges in quick, sticky succession. I was not allowed to touch the baby again after getting so much juice on my hands, arms and beard, so I’ve retreated to the laptop. The letter aaaa sticks (there it goes) because the pinky, being at the end of the drip-line, covets the most juice. For sheer synergy, my orange beard full of juicy orange pulp is also something I like the sound of. And I once owned an orange turtle neck skivvy that my friends made fun of, so I kept wearing it, enjoying the attention (it was likely the only time my fashion, other than hygiene related faux pas, have been so closely observed).
Helen calculated our chance of having an orange child, based on the off chance she is a carrier of the recessive orange trait, which pegged us with a 2.1% chance. As I look over to the bassinet now I see a tinge of brown. There is a slim change that cranking up Helens carrot and pumpkin intake will tinge the milk, then colour our child, which I’ll try, but rejoicing over an orange baby is looking slim. I’ll have to settle for perfectly healthy, very pretty, with a dimple on her left cheek.
Mostly, seriously, I love orange things because of my tractor: a 1990, 35 horsepower, Kubota, orange, frontend loader. Yes, the pin stripes above the engine guards are no longer paint (instead a strip of black gaffer-tape), and a few of the edge points have been rubbed down to the bare metal, thus not orange at all (although starting to rust, which is a dark and brooding kind of orange), but it’s a fine piece of equipment, coated in the finest Tractor paint you can imagine.
This is what I like about my tractor. It sounds great. It really does. Throaty and strong and consistent and repeatable, the kind of sound you forget about because you think it’ll go on for the rest of your life, which I imagine it would. It’s comfortable. Not because it’s all that nice to sit on, but because the drivers chair represents a throne of potential. My brother in law has an orange tractor also, and I know he feels the same way. Farmers, famously, devote much of their love and attention to tractors, given all this potential. Happy wife, happy life is more like happy tractor, happy farmer. What it lacks in rhyming it makes up for in yield, lack of greasy hands, and time on your back, changing a busted steering arm for the 2nd time that week.
I’m sure May is gonna love tractor work. Kids loovve tractors, preferring a tractor ride over clean water or clothing most days of the week (or hate them with much the same passion). I’m sure May will love tractor work, although even if she doesn’t I’ll put it down to colic.
That’s it. I was recently told that 500 words is about what people can read now in one burst of attention. Seems about right. I’m off to put the kettle on.
(Tractor family is Rowy, Sass, Edi and Vivi livin’ the dream)