Our correspondent shares a few humorous stories he's gathered over the years. Some are true, some might be true.
A 5 hp. Fuller & Johnson hit and miss governor. The one inthe back is a 7 hp. Galloway. They are fully restored. Courtesy of Ray Christenson of Ellendale, Minnesota
Here's a collection of humors stories, most related to engines in some small way. Lewis tells us the first two are true. He doesn't know about the rest, but the fourth one I had heard as true. They all could be. Read and enjoy!—Anna Mae.
One thresherman whom I recall back in the days of steam threshing went bare-foot all summer. He was a very healthy man, did not use liquor, tobacco, coffee, tea nor profane language. In his early 30's at the time, he boasted he had never been sick a day in his life and of course had never taken doctors medicine. He was very strong and something of an athlete. It was said he could walk through a patch of Canada thistles and they would never faze him. During the noon hour after dinner one of the threshing crew remarked that a new world's record had been set for the running broad jump, and told the distance. He said "Shucks, I can jump that far." There seemed to be some doubt in the minds of some about it. He called for a tape measure, which was furnished by the farmer at whose farm the threshing was being done. A couple of wagers were made, a place prepared, and he proceeded to jump. He not only jumped that far but exceeded it by a few inches. The tape measure was inspected and found to be OK, and the bets reluctantly paid off. Of course he had done it barefooted. How much difference that would have made I do not know, but I will remember it as long as I live. I was not more than ten years old at the time. In his later years after discontinuing threshing, he did custom butchering, sheep-shearing, cattle de-horning, and some moving of heavy buildings.
At a tractor demonstration in 1918, where there were about 18 tractors operated, I saw the following: Back then there was considerable prejudice against tractors; many farmers claimed they packed the soil, and nearly all believed it. The operator of the Cleveland (Caterpillar type) buried an egg two inches deep in freshly plowed ground and then ran his tractor over it seven times. Then he dug it up and the shell wasn't even cracked. He defied any of the others to try it, but no one did. Whether they would have broken it or not I'll never know.
A man decided to take his family for a ride one Sunday afternoon. After driving several miles, he came to a large mud hole in the road. He tried to drive his car across it and became firmly stuck. The situation looked hopeless. Suddenly a boy came along with a team of horses and offered to pull him out for $5. He reluctantly agreed to the deal and soon his car was on dry ground. He paid him and said "You must do quite a business here, do you work night's too?" The boy answered "Oh yes, nights I haul water to the mud hole."
A man stalled his car on the road and found his starter unable to turn the motor over. A lady came along with her car, and he hailed her, asking her to give him a push. He said to her, "My car has an automatic transmission, so you will have to get up to 35 miles an hour." He sat there waiting for her to push him with her car and nothing happened. He looked around and there she was coming at him at a speed of 35 miles an hour.
A woman driver became stuck with her car on an icy street, and got out and proceeded to throw sand under the front wheels. A bystander told her she should put it under the rear wheels instead of the front ones. She gave him a withering look and said."You simp, why should I put it under the rear wheels? It's the front ones that won't turn."
A farmer delivered a load of sweet corn to a mental institution. He backed his pickup truck up the kitchen door, and while he was unloading it one of the mental patients watched him through the fence. When he had finished the patient said to him. "So you're a farmer are you?" "Yes, that's what I be," answered the farmer. "How long you been farming?" asked the patient. "Nigh onto 30 years," answered the farmer. "Ever been crazy?" asked the patient. "Nope," was the answer. The patient said, "You'd just ought to try it sometime, it beats farming all to pieces."
A man had a flat tire next to a mental institution. While he was putting on the spare, a patient watched him. He could not find the nuts to hold the wheel on the hub. He must have mislaid them, and didn't know what he was going to do. The patient said: "'ll tell you what to do. Take one off each of the other wheels, that will get you to a service station where you can get some more." The man said "That's a very good idea, especially good for a mental patient." The patient said, "Just remember that I'm in here because I'm crazy, not dumb."