Jeff Ryan is Guy No. 2 in the operation of Two Guys Farming, Inc., near Cresco, IA.

Jeff farms during the day, but in the evening he e-mails his observations about life on the farm to his city-dwelling friends. He weaves these observations into entertaining stories that are sure to bring recognition, sometimes tears, but mostly a few smiles and outright belly laughs.

Watch for a new story from Jeff in two weeks. If you’d like to contact him, he can be reached at GuyNo2@aol.com.

Batten down the hatch!
I was on my way home from Ames one evening when I stopped to eat supper. In small-town Iowa, late at night, Pizza Hut was my best choice.

As I sat by the window and ate, I saw a car pull into the parking lot at a rather odd angle. It was as if the driver had run out of gas. Immediately behind the driver was a patrol car with its lights on. The driver stepped out of the car to talk to the officer. Since this was about 9:00 on a Saturday night and the driving ability of the motorist appeared to be less than ideal, I assumed that there might be an arrest made right before my eyes.

The driver stood by the side of the patrol car and chatted with the officer on the driver's side of the car. He kept moving from one foot to the other and was laughing the whole time. It appeared that he was doing a stationary stagger. He looked like a used car salesman. He was middle aged, had a developing beer gut and a BAD hairdo, and he had that look about him like he was about to try to convince you that the 1994 Buick on the back lot had only 25,000 miles on it and was owned by a little old lady who only drove to church every other Sunday.

The officer looked as serious as officers should in this situation. His partner then got out of the passenger side of the patrol car and asked the driver a question. The driver spun around on his feet to answer and regained his balance after such a sudden move.

There was one major problem, though. Since it was a very, very windy night in Iowa, air velocity and direction were no longer in the driver's favor. He had been looking almost into the wind when he talked to the first officer, but now he had turned to face the partner. The resulting change in location relative to the stiff breeze made a serious change in his appearance. You see, his toupee had been loosened from the back of his noggin but not the front. It was standing at attention on top of his head, still attached to the front of his head. It looked like his hairy trunk lid had popped open! That far into the evening, he had enough adult beverages in his system that he had NO CLUE that his ’do had turned into a don’t.

So, there he was...standing there explaining to the officers that he wasn’t really drunk and was perfectly fit to drive. Meanwhile, on the top floor, the remnants of a dead gopher were waving like a flag in the breeze.

By that time, I was done eating and headed out to my truck. The officers were smiling as they listened to the story being told by someone whose name was probably Gus. They probably wanted to listen to Gus for as long as they could to see if he suddenly felt his head getting cooler. If they threw him in jail and removed all his clothes as is customary with drunk drivers (in Winneshiek County at least), do you suppose they removed his hair, too...for his own safety?

One day, I hope to have enough hair to be in a position like Gus. I just hope that our mechanic is around with a roll of duct tape to keep it in order for me.

Guy No. 2