Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Modern Mariner

Story #49, In which Doug detassels corn in the year of the floating hog.

To hear the story, jump up on the detasseling machine.






To read the story, come to the seed corn field (this one using a 2x6 male to female pattern)




This week in The Prattler, An Open Letter to Dennis Hastert A Note to soccer fans: Dennis Hastert is Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress

Oh, and Happy Independence Day to our Icelandic friends, Minka, Mo'a and, I think, Terry. Oh, and may three hours be glorious today for my 1/8 Icelandic Soul Sistah!

40 comments:

puppytoes said...

i, for one, await with bated breath. (no, that's not lamaze breathing you hear... no babies on the way in this household!)

take your time... your tales are always worth the wait!

Minka said...

Oh, good God! Get a move on, will ye?!

ariel said...

well said, Puppytoes!

Minka said...

I am looking into artificial insemination as we speak...

ariel said...

do you already have a donor?

Minka said...

yeah...number 130008 sounds really good. But I don´t know how I feel about writers yet ;) They are really slow and if his swimmers are anything like them, I am not having great hopes :)

ariel said...

swimmers!!! ROTFL!!!

ariel said...

Doug, it's not the futb├│l but the North Atlantic Ocean but thanks anyway.

O Ceallaigh said...

Geez, Minka. As if we were paying the poor dog, or something. The writing, not the, um, swimming. arg.

"bated", puppytoes? Y'know, I think that's the first time I've seen that used correctly since Reagan was President. You get a prize. Which does not involve infants.

ariel said...

I've known corn is detasseled but have never known why, and funny enough I've never asked. thank you for the explanation and for the story too.

Sar said...

Yay another Doug story - about damn time too. Don't get me wrong, I love the tributes, but the adventures of Doug are entertaining too.

Two things surprised me in this story. First, how is it that Mister I Heart Danger was the one rescuing another from a precarious situation? And second, Female and Male corn? Who knew!

Happy Saturday my friends. :)

Doug said...

Thanks, Puppytoes. I hope that applies to the ones I told tired.

Minka, you're a tough master.

Hahaha, Minka and Ariel. You guys are funny, but, *clears throat* there's an artiste at work, if you don't mind.

Thank you, O Ceallaigh. Kids can be so mean and they don't get sweeter. I've seen the phrase "bated breath" on blogs, by the way, but it's always spelled "baited." Puppytoes may be the first to get it right since Reagan was President.

In truth, Ariel, after hybrid vigor was discovered, there were seed corn evangelists wandering the midwest converting the peasants. I'm proud to have spread the word to Budapest.

Logophile said...

YAY!
Another story of the wildly mispent youth of our beloved host.

O Ceallaigh said...

PRODUCTIVITY, n. The art of being productive. PRODUCTIVE: Efficient with respect to product. PRODUCT: A facilitator. CONDUCT: An obstructionist. DUCT: A conduit. DUCT TAPE: The conduit for making the repairs that are necessary to maintain one's productivity.

Cool tale Doug. But are you sure government wouldn't have had you out there detasselling and mowing the hay too?

Kyahgirl said...

I had no idea about the detassling of corn and enjoyed hearing another adventure in the Doug file.

The feeling you experienced while watching your tracks in the crop is the same thing that makes logo and I love our lawn tractors and the susbsequent patterns we make!

I get the same satisfaction from painting with a roller. But shhh, don't tell Ron, he's been waiting for me to paint the hallway for about 18 months!

Kyahgirl said...

p.s. Doug, the link to the Prattler story in the post doesn't work. Its looking for a server at theprattler.netl. :-)

Doug said...

Ooops, Sar, we cross-commented. Thanks. You can tell the difference by the shoes.

Logo, thanks.

Nice break down, O Ceallaigh, and no.

Kyahgirl, it'll be our little secret. And thanks, the problem should be fixed now.

Y'all have a good weekend. Time to go misspend some middle age.

O Ceallaigh said...

CONDUCTIVITY, n. Resistance is futile.

[runs]

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Good story. I didn't know about the detasseling stuff. How could a farmer be so optimistic as to think of a flood as a herbicide? Nice.

SquareGirl said...

Good story...I knew nothing about the detassling, but you reminded me that my first genetics teacherr in college told us her research was on the genetics and breeding of corn...she would talk about corn all the time, color, dominant gene, recessive genes, etc., etc., I always thought it odd that she studied corn, but apparently this is more common than I would've everr thought. Huh.

And happy Independance day!

cooper said...

That whole detasseling thing sounds quite sexy in a corny way..................;(

mireille said...

This was good. You really got the stoic quality of Iowan (and Kansan) farmers, as they look for the rainbow in the flooded field. Hope you're enjoying middle-age, Big Guy. xoxo

puppytoes said...

i, for one, thoroughly enjoyed this story... and found it well worth the (longish) wait! in a past life i was married to a farmer in central california (don't tell joel)--he grew cotton and corn, but i had never heard of "detassling" until today. therefore, not only was i entertained, i was *educated*!

as for "bated": i can't decide if i should pride myself in the correct use/spelling of the word, or be embarrassed (think i'll choose the former... because i can!)

and, Doug, middle aged? really? hate to break it to ya, but i'm not sure you qualify just yet! yesterday i came across a quote which should make and "aspiring" middle-aged man (such as yourself) feel better...(or not):

"Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age." ~Victor Hugo

Jenna Howard said...

i didn't know corn could be detasseled. Heck, i didn't even know they had tassels. I feel so educated by Doug's misspent youth.

hard to type with a 4 year old on your lap demanding to see "the movie again."

ariel said...

and anyway, a man is not man under 40. :)

Mutha said...

And at long last..my detasseling questions answered! You are something else there, Doug. I benefit, yet again, from all the lives you've lived.

Productivity: One carrot set to dangle just beyond a tread mill. Never back, always forward.

Sar said...

Doug - Well shit, who knew I only had 2 years left before I'm middle aged. I better hurry up sow my wild oats while I still can. And btw, you're not middle aged, your an old fart!

puppytoes said...

by the way, i forgot to tell you how much i enjoyed the *title* of this missive! good one.

Miz BoheMia said...

Well, by some definitions middle aged is considered to be between the ages of 40 and 60... I guess that after 60 you are just plain old then! ;-P Loverboy turns 40 this year and does not seem to think me funny nor adorable with regards to my definition of middle aged... Of course, I full expect that definition to change the closer I get to 40 (WHY GOD WHY!?!?!?!)

Productivity... something I want nothing to do with... NOTHING! I would much rather sleep... I aspire to acquire enough riches to simply sit on my sweet, bohemian behind and do nothing! NADA I SAY! I am tired dammit!

And wahey... Doug and MINKA YOU ARE INCLUDED IN THIS TOO! Does my actually having Icelandic blood and an Icelandic maiden last name mean nothing to you! To think my own siblings forgot me! FORGOT ME I SAY!

Harumphetty Humph FO' SHO'!

Miz BoheMia said...

Ooooooweeee! Fo' Sho'! And you even know the fraction to a tee! *swoon*

Purrr!

Gracias hermano!

Minka said...

productivity? Did I hear you say one line of male corn and four lines of the female corn? TYPICAL!!! Not even crop is faithful! But it sure enhances reproduction, so I´ll let it slide :)

Doug said...

Hurray, O Ceallaigh! Very funny, number 1.

Bob's a mutant, TLP. Most farmers work halftime and bemoan their sorry lots the rest of the time, decrying the weather when it's fair and the markets when it rains.

Squaregirl, corn genetics is a gargantuan industry. Soy, too. You should have heard the chatter when they developed a round-up resistant breed of Soya. Curing cancer would have been a disappointment.

Ha, Cooper! When I got back to Atlanta that fall, my room-mate from the year before, a Spelman student, called me a "corn-pimp."

Mireille, you must have known different farmers than I have. Most are politicians without people skills.

Puppytoes, I certainly meant a compliment. I did not know that about you. You only detassel seed corn, and I don't think much of that is grown in the Central Valley.

"Sarcasm is the warmth of misanthropy. Silence is the coldness of fellowship"-Willie Bear

Jenna, they're different tassels than you wear.

You're right, Ariel. I'm a dog for 18 more months.

Treadmill is a great metaphor.

Thank you, Sar. May God bless you and preserve you in your youth. And hurry.

Thanks, Puppytoes. It made me smile, too. The sorry thing started life as "Seeds"

Miz B, I'm sure you keep him young. Need a hand up?

Minka "Not even crop is faithful" should be on my wall or gravestone or somewhere important.

karma said...

no one can take my tassels away from me!

ariel said...

1 to 4 must be an international pattern, in the Islam one man can have four wives.

SquareGirl said...

Interesting. I had no idea. Jut thought my professor really liked corn.

And speaking of corn, did you get a chance Doug (or anyone for that matter) to see "this is not a cornfield" when they had it up in downtown L.A.? It was quite surreal to be waling in a cornfiled (or not a cornfield) and look up to see downtowns buildings and smog.

pia said...

Doug-first to MizB--like Cooper's mother's statement that middle age begins at 60

Doug is there any strange job that you have not had?

Doug said...

Karma, oh never mind ;-)

Ariel, it's what the creator intended.

Sounds icky, Squaregirl. And Magritty.

Cab driver, Pia.

karma said...

i'll just continue to be the albatross you carry around your neck, darling. is that bad?

mahwaizk: my ways are kinky

Doug said...

Not bad at all, just so's you let go of the rope when you're flying.

tsduff said...

I enjoyed reading the art of detasseling... a new one on me. The chatter afterward is almost as good as the story!

BTW - thanks for the honorable mention in the same sentence as Icelandic friends... I am a pure foreigner, having Danish roots, but only claiming the Icelandic heritage that rubs off my Icelandic Sweetie :-D I wouldn't mind being adopted by an Icelander :-)