She thinks my tractor’s sexy.

Wrong. Dumb song. Only appreciated by those who don’t have to repair them out in the field.

Your woman doesn’t care about your tractor. Unless it won’t harrow her riding arena; then expect some whining.

You need a tractor. But how big? Like a small town teenage boy who knows his manhood is measured by the height of his truck and the size of his tires, us men really, really need that tractor that shows our wife, our family and our neighbours what we are made of.

And attachments, it has to have more attachments than that big electric thingy in the front window of the downtown adult superstore.

You know the tractors I’m talking about. We’ve all spent time furtively perusing those hobby farm magazine ads. And just look at those tractor manufacturer websites where you can build your own custom tractor to your needs. Those glossy tractor photos. The pretty fresh faced gal behind the wheel. That’s country porn. Twenty minutes of this and you’ll be nudging the little lady into the bedroom and closing the door.

Yes, I want that compact diesel Kubota in the glossy ads. Certainly would improve my sex life.

But I can’t afford it. It’s that damn ‘to do’ list I make.  If I crossed off most of those projects I could probably afford the down payment. Won’t happen though. Represents the other measure of manhood. Remember I mentioned how we need that chore list? It gives us control. An oversized brand new tractor is like that girl in the bar who helps you spend your paycheck. Lot’s of fun, but you got nowhere.

What I have is a thousand dollar 1982 Allis Chalmers 917 garden tractor.  Bright orange. Manual three-point hitch, no front-end loader and a broken coffee cup holder. Delivers seventeen raw horsepower of inadequacy. I found it on the internet classifieds and my father in law bought it for us as a house-warming present.  Bless him.

It does the job. Sure, I’ve had to do repairs. But this old beater starts in the dead of winter, and the mechanics are basic. The key was to bite the bullet and only get a unit that would do 95% of the work around here a tractor would normally do. It was a difference of thousands of dollars. Yes, I would like a posthole auger. But what is the ratio of use to collecting dust?  It was also a trade off of price to what my mechanical abilities are.

Now if you consider an older basic tractor, a sure fire way to judge its worth is to get on the internet. You see, if something has a motor, us men will form a community around it. Even better, we’ll race it. Just ask the men deeply involved in belt sander racing. They take it seriously, and so should we. It provides a communal bond amongst us men. It’s a solidarity that no woman would understand; and thankfully is not interested in understanding. They just appreciate that these juvenile endeavours get us out from underfoot.

Anyway, there are whole internet communities out there for every brand of tractor you can think of. There are discussion groups, bulletin boards, even classified ads for parts. I bought a rebuilt PTO box from a guy thousands of miles away. He sold it to a fellow “brother in tractors”. Went out of his way to get it to me. Posted a picture of my broken rototiller hook up on the website. In no time I had answers as to what was wrong with it, and how to fix it.

The point is to size up your tractor wants to what you need and what you can afford. Is it something you can fix, or is it going to be winched onto the trailer to take to town every time it breaks down? My 1982 Allis garden tractor is easy to deal with; basic point ignition and a drive train that makes sense. Need a few postholes dug? Get to know your neighbour.

But get on the internet and do your research. Just don’t stray onto the new tractor websites. There’s only two ways to break the vice of that country porn. Either succumb to it at the cost of your wife’s new kitchen curtains for a down payment, and another seventy-one payments to go; or get therapy.

Instead, waste some time on the garden tractor racing websites. Much more fun.

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