Every year, on Father’s Day weekend, The Allis Connection hosts an Allis Chalmers tractor show in Amana, IA.
Every year, my brother, sister, and I take our dad and our cousin Deno to go see it. Yesterday was the big day!
It’s a 4-hour car ride one way, and my family is a veritable bunch of goofballs, so the ride is half the fun.
I drove over to Deno’s, and the rest of them were to pick the two of us up at his house. I got there early, and I hadn’t seen Deno for awhile, so we were chatting and catching up while we waited.
I noticed the latest newspaper laying on his kitchen counter, and asked: “Have you seen that news story about the two-faced kitten that was born?”
He said, “No, but given that cats are simply ex-wives reincarnated, of course it’s two-faced!” I’m glad I had turned down his offer of something to drink, or I would have just spewed it all over his kitchen.
I inquired as to how his mother was getting along. “She was doin’ a helluva Alzheimer’s imitation the other day, but I didn’t swallow it. She’s fine.”
He took me out to let me admire the new wheels he had just put on his newly acquired older Jeep. He then said he’d had to have some little something repaired on it, but followed that up with: “I wouldn’t buy a new one even if I hit the lottery. I like the older stuff — I’d buy everything old . . . ‘cept hookers — I’d buy younger hookers.”
All righty, then! Change of subject time. I noticed he was wearing a new Allis Chalmers t-shirt that said, “I bleed orange” on it, and a hat that advertised “Bad Ass boys drive Bad Ass toys”. I asked him about it, and he said that his son-in-law had gotten him the t-shirt. I said: “Where’d you get the hat? I don’t remember it.” He said: “Well, I tried wearin’ it out to dinner with you once, and you told me I looked like an old man!” Me: “Oh, look . . . there they are!” Saved by the arrival of the rest of the family . . .
We pile into my sister’s car. We’re headed down the road, and she asks our brother, Darin: “Did you bring the cooler?”
“Yep, I put it in the trunk.”
“Is there anything in it?”
“Nope!” Then he adds: “My dinner shirt’s in the back window back there.”
Katy asks: “What’s that mean? It’s a larger size?”
Deno pipes up: “No. It means it repels cottage cheese when the spoon gets ta flyin’ . . .”
It’s a standing family joke that Darin is a cottage cheese addict, and that at the tractor show’s evening dinner, cottage cheese is served family style, and Darin usually devours an entire bowl of it all unto himself. So we never cease to crack jokes about it. Deno says: “You know he loves cottage cheese, if he’ll drive 4 hours to get it!”
I said: “Yeh, he loves it so much that he adds it to Katy’s grocery list, too!”
Darin muses: “Yeah, and there might be a carton of it at home that’s goin’ bad in my fridge.”
Katy spouts: “It’s goin’ bad at your house ’cause you’re always down at my house eatin’ out of MY fridge.”
Darin: “Well, yer tryin’ to cut down, so it’s workin’ out for both of us.”
Katy snorts, as Darin adds: “When you’re out there at the lake wearin’ yer size 4 bikini, you’ll thank me.”
When that round of laughter dies down, Deno wonders aloud if maybe Darin’s fridge might be going on the fritz, and then mentions that one of his refrigerators is starting to make a funny noise. Darin: “You have TWO refrigerators?” Deno: “Yep.”
Katy says: “I have two refrigerators.”
Darin, incredulous: “YOU have two refrigerators?!? Where’s the other one at?”
Katy: “In the barn.” Darin, shaking his head: “You mean you got a fridge that I ain’t been in? I’m gonna hafta remedy that right away. We need to go home right now.”
Katy: “Yeh, and Denny wonders why it costs me over $100 every time I go to the grocery store.”
The discussion turns to what restaurants in our area are any count. Daddy says: “You just cain’t beat Don’s for a good meal. He’s got the best smothered steak. You can cut it with a fork, and I can eat it with what few teeth I got.”
As we’re finally getting closer to the end of the drive, the guys are gettin’ a little cagey, and Katy pulls out to pass an Intrepid that had been in front of us. Daddy asks: “Was that Enter-pede holdin’ us up?”
Darin says: “Yeah, and she was young!”
Katy says: “Well, she was drivin’ like an 80-year-old woman.” As I scribble a note to myself “Remember, even when 80, don’t drive like you’re 80,” Darin says: “She was hot for me, too.” Deno says: “Oh. I was tryin’ to figure out if that look on her face was anger or lust.”
Katy retorts: “Well, you can have her, but for pity’s sake, teach her how to drive before you bring her home!”
The tractor show was fun. You might think that going year after year, it might all get to be the same each time, but every year there are some different and new things to look at that keep you interested. That is, IF you’re interested in old tractors . . .
Katy and I snuck off and went to the quilt shop for a few minutes. It’s a wonderful place: Heritage Designs Quilting and Needlework, in Amana, Iowa. If you’re ever up there, stop in. It’s worth it. Not to mention that the Amana Colonies has plenty of other things to do and see.
Daddy was wearing a new pair of boots this time. I was shocked, because he always puts me in mind of the scene from “Lonesome Dove” where Gus says of Deets: “He ain’t one to quit on a garment just ’cause it’s got a little age.” He must have worn his others completely out.
It was, as usual, a fun and funny day . . .
I’ll leave you with some more quotable quotes from the rest of the day’s adventures:
“It’s kinda rude when I ain’t seen you in awhile and yer just sittin’ there doin’ homework.”
“He’s testin’ yer sisterly love.” . . . “Among other things.”
“He didn’t take my advice.”
“If it wasn’t for my hi-falutin’ cousins, I’d never go anywhere.”
“Sounds like me after eatin’ a bag o’ Bugles.” . . . “So that’s why they’re called Bugles.”
“After 2 or 3 ‘kitties on a stick’, I’m ready.”
“You better watch yer mouth about my knives, or it’s gonna be a long trip.”
“You won’t drive very far and keep yer mouth shut. Why, I talk to myself all the time goin’ down the road. If you can drive 10 miles without havin’ a fit, you’re doin’ good.”
“It’s not too sturdy, so Conda, don’t put yer foot up there.”
“Don’t get all puffy with me. I’m yer elder. Go fluff up somewhere else.”
“Wow, you’re pretty good at math. I ain’t seen you in so long, I forgot just how talented you are.”
“Don’t trip over anything gettin’ here, and make an ass o’ yerself.”
“Sometimes there’s a lot to be said for a good killin’.”
“Well, that looks like an elephant ridin’ a mouse.”
“Parting is such sweet sorrow . . . sometimes.”
“She couldn’t hear herself fart.”
“You say ‘accident’ — I say ‘mean cousin’.”
“It’ll either put hair on yer chest, or take it off.”
“I’m even wearin’ an orange condom right now.”
“It IS a pleasure havin’ me around.”
“Six tortellinis ain’t even worth dirtyin’ yer mouth over.”
“There’s a helpful smile in every aisle.”
“I can’t endure another tufted titmouse episode.”
“The AARP has been sendin’ me them little cards for years — o’course, I been old for years, but that ain’t the point.”
“I’m tired. I can hear my 50-year-old Serta mattress a’callin’ my name. I did have to flip it a couple weeks ago, ’cause a wayward spring nearly catapulted me across the room.”