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No, that was not the funny story.
Okay...So the other evening, I had to run into the Big City to get a few supplies. Literally, this was earlier in the week, but I couldn't tell you what I was going after. This heat is taking it's toll on my brain, as well as my body. I would say that it was rush hour, somewhere around 5:30, and I am certain that my definition of rush hour is completely different than most. We don't see much stop and go traffic out here, but the number of cars on the roads coming into town increases. Before anyone starts cussing me, you should know that I have served my time on the heavily congested roads of the Big, Big City. Many years ago, I spent two hours a day on a pretty serious commute. It's different out here, though. There are times when local farmers are moving equipment, and you will get stuck behind a tractor that is blocking the road, doing about 30mph. You can be patient and move along at a snail's pace, or you can do what the Man in Charge does, and hit the ditch and go around.
He can't help it.
He spends his life in search of the open road.
Sorry. I'm rambling.
It's the heat, I say.
Back to the story...on my trip into the Big City, I came to a major intersection in our little town, I stopped at the stop sign. Yes, I said stop sign. We don't have a single traffic light in town, all though they are working on one. I was waiting for traffic to clear so that I could cross and continue on my way, when I noticed a truck pulling a stock trailer. He turned, heading in the same direction that I was heading. The odd ball thing was that as he turned, I noticed that the back of his trailer was open.
It had a sliding door.
And while that was odd because most guys don't haul trailers with the door open, it became obvious that this was extremely odd, because this trailer was loaded down with Boer Goats. If you don't know what a Boer goat is, click on this link for a picture:
Adult Boer Goat
If you just clicked that link, can you imagine those cute, little, confused faces looking at you as you're cruising down the road? Well, I couldn't believe it. There were a few more cars that had to clear before I could cross and pull in behind him, and all sorts of things were running through my mind.
"Surely he knows his trailer is open."
"Maybe he knows his goats won't jump out?"
"How long has he been driving this way?"
"How many people have followed him down the road, while goats stared back at them?"
"How many people thought that was cute?"
Once traffic cleared, I crossed and tried to catch up to him. A car from a side street had pulled in between us, and I thought surely, they will try to flag him down. No Luck! That car turned off onto another side street, and here I am, right behind him.
I sped up to close the gap, all the while hoping that one of the goats didn't make a leap for freedom. We were headed out of town, and as I mentioned, the rest of town was trying to get back in. We were on a Farm to Market road, which is one lane each way. The traffic headed at us was pretty heavy, but we were all still doing about 60mph. I couldn't get up along side of him because of the oncoming cars, so I started doing the only things that I could think of. I started flashing my head lights on and off, and waving my arms like crazy. I am sure that I was trying to get his attention verbally, but why? I don't know. There is no telling what I was saying.
The driver of the truck, either couldn't see me, or thought that I was a lunatic. Probably just some city driver wanting to pass him. On the other hand, all of the people headed home from their long day at work were another story entirely. They were staring right at me as they passed, and even at 60mph, you can get a good look at a person's expression. Especially if they see something really weird happening. So, now add laughing hysterically to all of my crazy antics. There should be no doubt that I was looking pretty stupid, but I kept at it.
What else was I supposed to do?
There is a huge Interstate that runs from Laredo, Texas to Duluth, Minnesota, and it is heavily traveled, even in our neck-of-the-woods. On this random day in the Universe, here we are...Me, just out for a little shopping, and crazy guy with his trailer wide open. We are headed directly to this Interstate, and all I could think was, "If this guy gets on that road, with this open trailer, there is going to be some carnage." It will at least be of the goat variety, and very possibly of the human variety if it causes an accident.
I think you can get the visual.
At the risk of tarnishing my upstanding reputation in this town, I kept up my crazy behavior, in hopes that he would see me. After what seemed like half the town had passed me on their way home, traffic opened up enough that I was able to hit the gas, and speed up alongside him. Now, I am certain that if he had seen any of my previous behavior, he was probably concerned for his safety at this point. Once I was parallel with him, I slowed down to his speed, and rolled down my window. Either he had serious tunnel vision, or he was ignoring me, because it seemed like minutes before he looked over at me. Now you have to picture it. I am yelling that his trailer door is open, but all he sees are my facial expressions because he can't here a word I am saying. I am waving my arms at him. I am holding my position in the oncoming lane of traffic, staying even with him. I am motioning frantically towards the back of the trailer. When I say it seemed like minutes, it very well may have been a significant period of time. Then, he takes a good look at me and his expression changes. He has a blank look for a moment. Then I see it click!
He hits the brakes and starts to immediately pull over onto the side of the road. I also hit my brakes and fall in right behind him. At this point, all I am thinking is how freaked out those goats have to be by now. What are they going to do when he stops? Jump and run? There was a nice break in traffic, but I knew it wouldn't last. Again, all I see is possible carnage. I pulled in right behind him, and as he stopped, I eased up on his bumper. Well, he must have been thinking the same thing, because he put it in park and then he and another guy jumped out and ran to the back.
The first thing he does is slam the trailer door shut and bolt it. Then I see him looking through the slats on the trailer, and he's counting...
One, two, three, four!
Then he looks at me with a big grin on his face, holds up four fingers, and mouths...
"They are all there!"
He and the other guy jump back in the truck and we all take off. Cars are heading our way and we need to clear the road. Well, I am still laughing at the evening's events. I mean, come on! Does this stuff happen to anybody else? I can only imagine what the conversation is in the truck ahead of me. Sure enough, we get to said Interstate, and he gets on headed in the same direction that I am going. Still trying to shake the image of what could have been from my mind, I swing into the left lane to go about my business. As I pass by, I am certain that the same "What ifs?" are going through his mind because he is waving and smiling like a lunatic as I drive by.