Two Men and a Tractor: The Cup Holder

Some problems are as old as Farming. Man versus Rock. Man versus Stump. But since the combustion engine: Man versus Tractor. Here we chronicle the triumphs and failures of Mankind and the Tractors at the Long Shot Farm.

The Cup Holder

It is hour seven. The sun is now high in the sky. Too high. And on the Rust colored tractor, there is no shade, no air-conditioning, because it was built in 1958 when “Real Men” worked the Earth. But there is still daylight, and there is still mowing to be done. Grass is high and weeds are working their way through. And the heat is beating down. So the Farmer feels a deep thirst, and reaches down to grab his Drink. But there is no Drink.  No. Drink. For there is no cup holder. Silently, the Farmer curses, raises his fist to the sky, but continues mowing. For there is still Sun in the sky, and still weeds that need to die.

The Farmer returns after the day is done, and finds his Welder, installing a muffler on one of the tractors. “Lars! We need a cup holder. For my thirst rages within me out in the field, and it demands satisfaction.”

Now on a Farmer’s tractor, one cannot just weld on any old cupholder. No, it needs to be large enough to hold both a jug and a mug, including handle. Jug for the afternoon, but coffee is always the order of the morning. So the Welder sauntered into the shed which houses the tools and all things that might be one day useful. After much rummaging, he found it. An old one quart Folgers coffee can: also somewhat rust colored. Now this coffee can is truly old, for it is metal, not plastic. Inside are the same 6 nails it had stoically guarded for the last three decades. “It will do,” muttered the Welder. Large enough for the mug or jug.

For such a delicate piece of metal, only precision TIG welding will do. By arcing from a tungsten tip a high wattage current, enveloped by a layer of argon gas, one can join together that which was made separate without fear of burning or oxidizing. But only when wielded by the skillful welder.

After the weld was made, the Farmer came to inspect. With but a glance and a nod, he muttered, “It will do.”

The next day, as the Farmer ventured back out to the fields in the Rust colored tractor, thermos firmly secured, the Welder looked on. “But that tire looks flat!”

And so goes the eternal battle of Man and Tractor.

Posted by Anja Weyant