Ever since I was a boy, I wanted to be a farmer – plaid shirt, suspenders, big red tractor, the whole nine yards. Nature, though, had other plans: seasonal allergies. I can’t even look at a canola field without tearing up, and Durham wheat, forget it. Instant clogged nose. If you happen by me when I’m exercising, you might catch me between my hill sprints, either puffing on my inhaler or flushing my retinas with Systane Ultra. I can only do one of those three things at once, for obvious reasons. Being polinatorially challenged as I am, I’ve had to shelve the plaid shirts, the suspenders, and any hope of being a high-level wheat farmer until now.
Enter the Farming Simulator 19. The safest way for the environmentally sensitive to experience the full spectrum of the outdoors in glorious 4K HDR on the Google Stadia. I’m so allergic I won’t even run the game locally. I’m gonna stream it, where all those flowers, grasses, and vegetables are stuck on the other side of a hermetically sealed fiber optic cable. No sneezing, no itchy/watery eyes. Better than Claritin. Non-drowsy, and the only thing you have to swallow is the upscaling.
Plaid shirt, check. Red Tractor, check. Boy are we ready to get dirt under our fingernails, wheat in our fields, sow some oats, feed some pigs, and tumble some weeds, or whatever it is that farmers do in their spare time.
I plowed my fields, had the planter shunt the wheat into the dirt, and everything was going off without a hitch until my one of my farmhands did this:
How he managed to park the tractor on top of one of my hay bales or to make it support the weight, is beyond me. I wanted to ask him, but he fled the scene. I still had to pay the man, despite him only finishing half the job and mishandling my tractor.
It took some finagling to get the tractor from its perch:
If there’s one thing you should never do, it’s get between a farmer and his tractor. Unless you are hay, apparently.
It rained. Glorious million dollar rain. Non-stop hydration for all of my crops. The only thing I had left to do, other than wait for the crops to grow is to pick up my fertilizer machine from the store. On the way there, driving my swanky new red tractor, I made sure to run over every single speed limit sign, because if there’s no speed limit sign, you can’t get pulled over for speeding.
Here’s my new piece of machinery:
But you should pay special attention to the plaid shirt, and the sunglasses. Damn, we make farming look good! One-Hundred percent pure masculinity. Red tractor. Fertilizer. Time to sow some oats.
My great grandpappy used to tell me that something changes in a man when he picks up the steering wheel to a red tractor. They even make road signs just for you:
Stay frosty yellow-sign farmer man. May your fields be fertile and your growing season long.
We ran into a minor headache with the fertilizer machine. One of my fields needed lime, so I purchased some from the store, only to learn that, in order to pick it up, I need a tractor with a front loader and an attachment that lets me lift shipping pallets. After buying the front loader and the pallet lifter, all I needed to do was figure out how to attach those two things to the front of my tractor.
Sixteen hours later, I was on my way back to the farm, lime pallet perched high above the road. I turned my headlights off just for that extra sense of danger.
Find part two of this series at: Fields of Gold