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Goodbye, 2005

Agriculture.com Staff 01/05/2006 @ 2:43pm

The time has come once again when we tend to write the wrong dates on our checks. This is due to the fact that the Earth, obeying an immutable law of physics, has passed an unseen milepost on its invisible path around that glowing gob of superhot gas at the center of our solar system.

As we can see from the above scientific analysis, the word "resolution" pretty much makes no sense whatsoever. Which is good, because New Year's resolutions generally make no sense, being promises made privately to ourselves only to be quickly and privately broken.

It's hard to know where you're going if you don't know where you've been. Since we've just switched calendars, now is as good as time as any to pause and look back on a few personal highlights of the recently deceased year.

One of my biggest highlights of 2005 was the "three giants" tour the wife and I took in the South, the titanic trio being Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, and Elvis Presley.

We made a day trip to Springfield, Illinois, where we visited the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The museum was first class, featuring everything from a video that seemed to be a Disney production to items the Lincolns actually used. My favorite was one of Abe's stovepipe hats, a spot on its brim worn from hanging onto it on windy days.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the museum was a hall which was plastered with derogatory political cartoons. We'd had no idea that Lincoln had been so reviled by so many.

We also visited Lincoln's tomb, a masterpiece of stone and bronze. Most affecting was the large bronze bust of Abe at the entrance of the tomb, his nose bright and shiny from the innumerable hands that have rubbed it for luck. Abe's was about the prettiest grave we have ever visited.

Thelma and Louise, aka the Bangor Sisters, pause from their demolition derby preparations to pose for a photo.

No less exciting than any of that was the demolition derby held one day last fall in a neighbor's corn field.

Our son Chris bought a decrepit Town Car for the derby. I took it for a spin. It was the first Lincoln I had ever driven, and was one I could actually afford. I think it set Chris back a whopping $50.

I strolled around a bit before the derby to check out the competition. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that we had a pair of female demo-derby participants!

At least I thought they were female. They had furry legs and five o'clock shadows, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I thought, "Whoa! We need to import some new genes into the area! Our women are getting UGH-LY!"

Then, one of the Bangor Sisters -- I think it was Thelma -- turned to pose for a photo. She suffered a wardrobe malfunction and a day-glo pink tennis ball slipped out of her frock, clearly revealing that she was, in fact, wearing "falsies."

I was somewhat relieved, although I would advise that the statuesque blonde guy refrain from visiting bars at closing time while wearing his Bangor Sister getup. You know what they say: 10 beers can turn even a 1 into a 10 at 12:00.

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