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Boots of Italian leather

Agriculture.com Staff 02/01/2006 @ 10:32am

Women are odd.

It's possible that's not entirely true; I'm an open-minded guy. It could be that women make perfect sense and I'm the one who's odd.

Yeah, right.

Here's the deal. Sunday afternoon we were just home from church and I was shoveling some broken ice off the sidewalk before I went in the house - mainly because I planned to spend some serious time in sweatpants, lying in front of the TV to watch shows that offered no inspirational, educational, or uplifting messages. With any luck, I'd be able to drop my IQ 20 points in one afternoon and I didn’t want any undone chores adding a slight film of guilt to my pleasure. My wife was standing nearby, chatting and watching me work.

Okay, that may be a deceptive statement. The reason my wife was standing there chatting was because she'd chopped up all the ice, thereby making it possible for me to shovel it off the sidewalk. So, in all fairness, it wasn't because she was lazy, but because she'd finished her work.

Just then our rooster crowed. Due to the near continuous darkness in Minnesota in January, our chickens had stopped laying. This was a concern, because while six chickens yielding about four eggs a day are not a high-profit item in the first place, six chickens eating purchased chicken feed and yielding zero eggs is considerably less profitable. Still not at the bottom of the list of business enterprises on this farm (shall we talk about the cat food issue?), but it bugged me enough that I scabbed together about 200 feet of extension cord so I could power a light bulb. It worked. The chickens basked in the artificial light and started cranking out eggs.

It's still a bit of a novelty here - eggs from chickens in January. It's a little like finding small treasures - albeit treasures spotted with chicken poop - so I thought I'd offer my wife the opportunity to have a little fun.

"You should go check the chickens," I said.

"I'm not dressed for it." she said.

"Why not? You're wearing boots," I said.

"These are Italian leather!" she said.

"They have chickens in Italy." I said. "Someone must check on them. Do all the chicken farmers in Italy wear plastic flip-flops to check their chickens?"

She looked at me like I was crazy.

"Besides," I said, "what's the big deal about Italian cows? You bought the shoes off the clearance rack. You didn't even know they were Italian leather."

Every word was the truth, yet she still had that look on her face.

I don't get it. I've been wearing leather boots all my life. Of course, most of them have speed laces and steel toes, but they're boots none the less and they've always been the perfect footwear for chicken coops and the like. I just don't think women have enough flexibility in their wardrobes. For example, shoes. Listen closely, people - black shoes, brown shoes, sneakers. That's enough. We only have two feet. But I know women who own, five, maybe six pairs of shoes. How crazy is that?

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