The “cultural conflict” that exists between city folks and country folks is legendary. The conflict usually stems from misunderstandings, not mis-intentions.
The most egregious from a country folk standpoint is when city folks move to the country “to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life so they can enjoy the serenity of country life.” Then, once they get moved to the country, they unfortunately don’t leave their city ways or values in the suburbs.
They bring their citified ways with them to the country and start complaining about the foul smells emanating from their farm neighbors’ farmsteads, the dusty and chuck-holed gravel roads, the muddy and chuck-holed gravel roads, the occasional farm animal who strays from its appointed pen or pasture into their lawn, garden or flower bed, the pokey and massive farm equipment that obstruct “their” public roads, the deer and other wild critters they routinely plow under with their SUV bumpers, the “No Trespass” signs on all that inviting countryside, and other country “inconveniences.”
Now, cultural conflict is not a one-way street. I’m sure city folks don’t appreciate us “lost country bumpkins” wandering slowly and aimlessly around their bustling interstates and sporting venues. Nor do they spare the furtive side-glances at our cowboy hats, clod-hopper boots, and overalls.
The one difference is that few well-entrenched country folks have any desire to move to the city to improve their quality of life. They’re happy where they’re at.
I’ve got a true story that illustrates the above rural/city cultural divide. And it happened in our community which is part of the annual “Dirty Kansas” bike ride. Every year hundreds of city folks converge on Emporia and the twin-cities of Cottonwood Falls and Strong City to train for and compete in the Dirty Kansas Road Race. (And, I’ll add the city dollars they bring with them are welcome additions to our local economies.)
But, back to the story. One of our neighbors, ol’ Dan D. Guye, happens to live right on one of the Dirty Kansas race roads. As such, Dan is accustomed to having “spandexed” and properly helmeted and goggled bicyclists drive by his home. And, bring a naturally friendly soul, Dan enjoys the novelty of city guys and gals huffing, puffing and pedaling through the rolling Flint Hills on their dirt bikes.
But, one time Dan and a cowboy crew were moving some mature bulls down a gravel road from one pasture to another. All wuz going well until Dan looked ahead of the bulls and spied a spandexed male bicyclist on a training run pedaling furiously toward them.
Dan knew the bulls were on the prod and out of sorts just by the way they were acting. To make matters worse, the bulls were approaching another group of bulls across the ditch and fence in an adjoining pasture. A bull tussle seemed imminent and he sure didn’t want a “Dirty Kansan” in the middle of it all.
So, he cautiously drove by his bulls and intercepted the bicyclist in time to warn him of the situation. The friendly cyclist pushed his goggles up and told Dan, “Don’t worry about me. I’ve spent quite a bit of time on farms and know about livestock.” With that, he pedaled forward to his “bull fate.”
By the time the Dirty Kansan arrived at the bull convention, the bulls on both sides of the fence had worked themselves into a bellowing, dirt-pawing, snot-blowing rage. Briefly put, they were looking for trouble.
And, trouble showed up in neon spandex biking shorts. Just about the time the bike rider reached the bovine melee, one of the peeved bulls decided the biker provided a nice target for his testosterone-fueled frustrations and put the “evil eye” on the biker.
Thankfully, the bull didn’t do a full-tilt charge, but satisfied himself by forcing the bicyclist to abandon his wheels and take cover behind a convenient cedar tree in the ditch.
With a little cautious intervention by Dan and his crew, they diverted the bull’s attention and allowed the “I know livestock” Dirty Kansan to remount his two-wheeled steed and make bumpy haste out of the roadside rodeo.
Of course, Dan and the guys had a good laugh at the bicyclist’s expense — and now you can, too.
I’ve got a neighbor who raises chickens and sells eggs as I do. We’ve got plenty of customers for our eggs, but, I’ll admit, he’s got a better advertising campaign to sell his eggs than I do.
That’s becuz I don’t rely on any advertising except word of mouth, but my neighbor advertises his eggs for sale at 17-cents each and a four-cent total discount if you buy 12 at a time. That comes to $2.04 per dozen — or $2 a dozen with the discount — just the same price as me.
I think that’s clever.
Just about all the avian spring returners have shown up. That includes robins, blue birds, meadowlarks, plovers, killdeers, paired-up Canadian geese, a brown thresher, and a host of different field sparrows. The only birds missing are the purple martins (I have their house ready), the hummingbirds, and the Baltimore orioles. Ol Nevah and I enjoy our bird friends.
Here’s your dose of heavy thinking for the week. Folks who think of their glass half empty or half full miss the point. Their glass is refillable. Have a good ‘un.