by Mark Parker
Parsons, Kansas —
10. The neighbor to the north and the neighbor to the south have their pickups pulled up side-by-side discussing how in the world you could afford a new tractor.
9. The fellow who moved out from the city is rolling down the road at 12 mph so he doesn’t get gravel dust on his new BMW.
8. Your mega-farmer neighbor is caravaning down the road with his 60-ft. planter, commodity cart, fertilizer tanks, tender trucks and Winnebago mobile command headquarters.
7. Your hobby-farmer neighbor is caravaning down the road with his 6-row planter, pickup with seed in the back and a second pickup with jumper cables for when the other pickup won’t start.
6. Folks from town are cruising the countryside for mushrooms.
5. Deep, circular ruts caused by the kid down the road who got a four-wheeler for his birthday.
4. The county maintainer has misjudged the load-bearing capacity of the 75-year old culvert and now appears to be ready for a moon launch.
3. The retired farmer is meandering from one side of the road to the other as he checks out everybody’s crops.
2. A deer that failed the survival of the fittest test is on one side of the road and the mineral blocks that fell off the tailgate when the pickup zigged as the deer zagged are on the other side.
1. A school bus waiting to pick up the neighbor kids whose mother will, after about five minutes, step out onto the front porch in her house coat and wave the bus on.