The Prairie Spy

Alan “Lindy” Linda

The last time I had any commentary on my occasional instances of doing harm to myself was from one of my children. I had slipped and chipped two front teeth as I was climbing onto one of my tractors on the farm.

“Look,” one of The Young Girls said to me—(and they’re not that young anymore). “We’ll put you in a football helmet and full pads if you keep this up!” (Hidden in this statement was the unsaid fact that The Old Folks Home was a distinct possibility.)

Since then, I’ve added handrails and steps to the few tractors I have left. I got rid of the tooth hater, and one or two more that seemed capable of biting me. However, in reality, I have 120 acres of potential physical blunders before me every day I get out of bed. Add to this potential for disaster my chainsaws, firewood, skidsteers, an excavator, and miscellaneous other power tools with mean streaks, and you can immediately see how I might need an emergency room driver.

Which is why I was quite impressed when someone told me that there are now tracking devices out there so, no matter who has them or how far apart they are from me,  someone can tune in on you and find out what nonsense you’re up to at any moment. And where that nonsense is taking place.

I can see it now, as all three of The Young Girls instantly communicate via SnapChat or some other mysterious way of talking to one another that I don’t understand. I fell substantially behind trying to get hooked up to text messages, and did go under while trying to get control of Messenger. All I know is that things are changing faster than I can keep up.

I know my kids mean well, what with me likely to come into premature senility or momentary idle-brainedness at any moment.

But I am still attracted to, and think I still understand, chainsaws and tractors, so the potential to mechanically get in over my head still exists. Two potential positives occur to me regarding these “tracking” devices. The first kind is those cameras you can put up by your rear view mirror in your automobile, which record visual and audio happenings should you have a fender bender or worse while you are driving. Should that happen, and should you Darwin yourself out of the gene pool by doing something truly stupid, your descendants can review your camera footage and see what dumb thing you did to off yourself.

“Look at that! What was he thinking trying to floss his teeth while going seventy miles an hour!”

“OMG! Did he really try to make that right-hand corner at 60 miles an hour!”

Even: “I’ll bet he thought he was in his boat!”

But I can see one good thing about a tracking device. As I wander around the farm strewing behind me a well-meaning but absent-minded trail of saws, socket wrenches, oil cans, come-alongs, hammers, my cell phone, gloves, hats, glasses, pocket knives, keys, and just about anything else that I can drop, fumble away, and leave behind me on my way around the farm, guess what!

Now I can fire up that tracking device, and retrace my meandering route around the farm, and recover all my lost property.

How wonderful is that!

Maybe I’ll find that four-wheeler that’s lost out in the pines north of the house, even.