Hairy Hubby Hardships

The Hairy Hubby has been an anxious chap of late. Unless you knew him particularly well, you’d never notice much of a change, but the fact that his teeth have been grinding noisily in his sleep again is a sure sign A) of worry and B) of an imminent bruised shin.

He has spoken undeniably harsh, defamatory words about his straw chopper, although he had the decency to keep it within the family. I usually take the piss mercilessly about failing machinery, but I keep quiet in August. I slide cool cans of beer into his lunch box, make him sandwiches – nice sandwiches, with proper layers and everything – and drive out to the field with the munchables, where I warmly commend his superb progress if the combine is moving (even at a crawl), and silently hand him spanners if it has ground to a halt in disgrace, whilst radiating meek helpfulness. I do not, uncharacteristically, offer advice. I sometimes even pat his hand. Nevertheless, soon he will acquire the harvest eczema that he stoutly refuses to admit is stress-related, and yet appears every August and lasts until October. The spot price of wheat has become a daily talking-point.

This all tends to happen every year, even when it isn’t pissing down with rain. Last year he had to contend with both a baby in NICU and unbelievably soggy weather – ridiculously, the combine was losing traction and wheelspinning in the bloody mud – so naturally, his immune system decided to really play silly buggers and promptly sent along a truly horrific dose of Vincent’s Disease. The hubby-gums had never previously ailed a thing: drunken dentists and two smashed-out-by-hockey-ball teeth notwithstanding. So, it was a surprise to their conscientiously brushing owner when they suddenly developed trench mouth, rendering him completely unable to eat and almost unable to drink. He struggled on manfully for 10 days or so, losing a stone in weight, and getting bugger-all spare sympathy from me, as Harry was not doing so well in special care at that point. Combining all finished, he even got as far as attending a family funeral one afternoon, although the stoic effect was spoiled slightly when he passed out with a thump from dehydration during the final hymn.

So: last year was a right sod. This year, by default, is likely to be a significant improvement.


It has rained for… well, just about forever. The combine is sinking into the wretched mud again, when the ground should be iron-hard. The weather forecast for the next five days is biblical. Hubby will be sheltering disconsolately in his workshop from the rain, staring wistfully at his combine and empty grain stores. And even if he does eventually manage to rev his way out into the paddy fields – around September, the way things are going – the price of grain is sinking lower and lower, and the price of fertilisers, pesticides, fungicides, fuel (in fact, everything you need to run a farm) have all gone astrofuckingnomic. And the wife just won’t stop spending money! 

In fact, I think the only thing that would cheer him up currently is either lots of sex, or finding a prominent anoraked-up member of the local rambler’s association with one boot fractionally off the footpath, fully entitling Hubby to deliver both barrels of his 12 bore into said rambler’s arse with complete impunity. Or so he says.

I may go and move some signs.

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