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How ya gonna keep ‘em down on the farm…


One of the things I don’t miss now that the Heirs are teenagers is the little plastic detritus of “playsets,” tiny cows and cars and Legos that cut into bare feet and clog the vacuum. One piece of detritus was particularly aggressive: Farmer Brown.
Farmer Brown came with a Fisher Price farm set I’d gotten at a flea market (that’s him back on the tractor). But he was never really happy with his life in agriculture and animal husbandry and made it a point to attempt an escape on a regular basis.

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I don’t remember the exact first time, but I began finding Farmer Brown in the oddest places throughout the house. I’d pull out a pile of pots and pans and he’d be in the bottom most pot. Pulling out my wallet from my purse at the grocery store, I’d find him underneath. I’d find him floating in the toilet.
One time we got back our VCR from the repair shop with Farmer Brown taped to the top with a note saying, “It works much better without the farmhand.” I had to admit I was rather impressed with this particular attempt.

Just when you’d think he was gone for good, Farmer Brown would turn up. By this time the Heirs had outgrown the actual farm set and it had been given away. Farmer Brown was showing signs of regret that he’d shunned his agrarian fate. When I was giving an annual thinning to one of my houseplants, I found him burrowed in the leaves. More than a year later, pulling weeds and loosening the soil in the flower bed, he popped up again – along with, inexplicably, my deceased father’s old toothbrush.
Eventually, though, he really did disappear. He became family legend, required listening if you came to dinner for the first time. Still, no one would admit to aiding and abetting Farmer Brown. I figured whichever kid was responsible no longer remembered since keeping a secret around here is unheard of.
My suspicion was briefly aroused when Heir 1 said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if, when we move into the new house, we find Farmer Brown in there?”
So I was resigned to finding the plastic man, probably on moving day, in our refrigerator or floating in the hot tub, minor thoughts as I went through all the final things you do when you’re moving from a place, packing, cleaning, removing personal hardware, getting the septic tank pumped…
“Hey, look here!” Dirtman called, standing over the open septic tank.
I think this was one time good ol’ FB was more than happy to be apprehended. Because, while most people would have left Farmer Brown to stew in his own broth, so to speak, Dirtman donned his infamous plastic gloves (standard equipment when you design sewage disposal systems), and retrieved the wayward agriculturalist from the . . . uh . . . manure.
So Farmer Brown was washed, sanitized, anti-bacterialized, dropped into a plastic bag and packed away for the move.
I’m betting when we unpack at the new house, he’s not in there.

Share  Posted by Jeanne Jackson at 8:54 AM | Permalink

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