Kyle straightened up, leaned on his hoe, and peered at the cloudless sky.
“When in the hell are we gonna get any rain,” Kyle half-asked and half-exclaimed.
“That’s why we don’t get any,” said his brother “Wrench” who was hoeing the next row of cantaloupes which were starting to show stress from the dry weather.
“What’s why we don’t get any rain?”
“‘Cause you’re always cussin’ out here and God don’t like it.”
Wrench issued this statement, not in an attempt to make a theological point, but in an attempt to irritate his brother. Wrench succeeded.
“You know what I don’t like, Wrench? Having a @#$%*&^ moron for a brother.”
Kyle and Wrench and Jason, their other brother who was at the moment minding the roadside store in which they sold their cantaloupes, melons, corn, tomatoes, and other produce, had a love for each other born from planting, hoeing, and harvesting for over 30 seasons together. So strong was their bond that they would happily die for each other; that is if they weren’t trying to kill each other first. Their pranks, dares, and arguments that were settled in a variety of sometimes creative, and often physical means was just their way of showing affection.
Kyle and Wrench finished their hoeing and headed to the store, anxious to sit in the air-conditioning and check the latest weather forecast.
“There were thunderheads to our west,” Jason informed them when they entered, “but they broke up comin’ over the mountain.”
“You know why it don’t rain here; ‘cause Kyle’s always cussin’ that’s why and God ain’t gonna let it rain until Kyle becomes a better person.”
Sensing Kyle’s irritation, Jason promptly agreed with Wrench. “That’s right, Kyle, you cuss too *&^@#$% much.” This bit of irony was lost on Wrench, however, for he had already become absorbed in reassembling a carburetor, the parts of which were spread across a table at the rear of the one-room store. There was not a piece of equipment on the farm that Wrench couldn’t fix, hence the nickname for the brother originally christened, “Donovan James Braddock.”
The Weather Channel which ran endlessly on a small television in the corner was promising a 30% chance of rain the next day and Kyle took some solace in this prediction. Of the three brothers, it was he who had gone to college and received his agricultural degree which made him the de facto CEO of Braddock Produce and thereby the Worrier-in-Chief as well.
“Shut up and listen!” Kyle exhorted his brothers when The Weather Channel promised an updated forecast. “I know they’re gonna say the chance of rain tomorrow is 100 @#$%*&^ per cent!”
Instead, however, The Weather Channel’s forecast had reduced the likelihood of rain to 10%.
“Way to go, Kyle. Now they took out the 30% chance of rain for tomorrow and we’re down to nothin’. It’s all your cussin’ that’s causin’ this drought.”
Kyle, who was now hotter than the sheet metal roof on the wagon shed didn’t say a word. He simply rose, took some wrenches and pliers from the table where the carburetor lay half- assembled, and walked out.
“Where in the hell is he goin’?” Wrench asked, but Jason could only shrug.
Soon, however, they heard a loud commotion coming from Wrench’s yard, which was next to the store. They ran over only to find Wrench’s wife, Katie, on the back porch doubled over with laughter and Kyle on his hands and knees, hurling one invective after another down the uncapped well.
“What are you doin’?!”
“I’m dryin’ up your well water you–” and here I will pause and allow the reader to use his or her imagination as to what words Kyle directed towards his brother and which ones went down the well. Regardless of their direction, each was enunciated with such inflection and enthusiasm as to make a sailor on leave applaud. Or blush.
“There!” said Kyle, shouting one last anatomically impossible command down the well. “Now your well’s dry, too. Katie, you can come take a shower at our house tonight, but not this idiot!”
“Kyle, everybody knows that cussin’ don’t dry up ground water, only rain clouds. Why–”
But Wrench didn’t have time to finish his thought. He recognized a certain look in Kyle’s eye, a look that he first saw as a small boy and which signaled the kind of danger that can only emanate from a big brother, which is why Wrench took off running down past the barn with Kyle only slightly behind.
You wouldn’t think that two men who had spent the afternoon hoeing long rows of cantaloupes under a searing sun could run that far or that fast, but those two did. One of them was laughing all the way while the one in hot pursuit left a blue streak in his wake. It was just another day at the Braddock farm.
The road is long, with many a winding turn.
$%^&** good, Austin.
Thanks, David. You must be a fan of the Hollies!
See You Saturday! DBS
As am I! And for those who don’t know, David and I will be autographing copies of our respective books at the Winchester Book Gallery, this Saturday from 11:00-1:00. Come out and say hello!
I know that rain is a very serious and haphazard occurence for farmers. I feel their pain!
Farming requires patience, intelligence, and common sense. A sense of humor helps a great deal as well!
Hey I know these guys!
Best wishes to the boys back on the farm and i look forward to seeing them soon.
Yeah, you do! They really don’t chase much of anything these days. You know the one about the old bull and the young bull . . .
Are you sure these guys aren’t related to some of our MYF cohorts at Loch Raven? Sounds like they fit right in, especially like the kid who wanted to jump out the window, and we opened it for him!
Well, the “youth” part of the equation is stretching things, but it’s the same kind of fun.
Know that your respective book signings will be a success on Saturday, and keep me posted when you do the Keys Nickname piece in seamshead. Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to meet David sometime as well. See you in June or July, maybe both.
Thanks, Don. We’ve actually talked about doing a signing at the Keys game, so you never know!