With the Heat Index over 100° yesterday, conversation in Buzzy’s Country Store turned to worst jobs to have when it’s hot. One comment did sum it all up fairly succinctly “Any job outside.”
Other worst-job-suggestions involved specific occupations such as road workers laying asphalt, roofers and welders. My contribution to the conversation was cutting tobacco which was always done this time of year in August.
Of course any field work, whether picking fruit or vegetables, would be demanding when it is a scorcher outside. However, cutting tobacco is its own kinda hell – literally! In addition to having to cut, spear and load it out in the field on a very hot day, all that is foreplay hell until you go and hang it in the barn.
What really made hanging tobacco bad for me was my being designated as the “middle man” in the barn. My Uncle Tinkie would assume his position perched in the top rafters of the barn to place the tobacco just where he wanted while I passed it up to him. The explanation given to me as to why I was suited to be “the middle man” is because I had long arms.
What I really suspected though is that I was the stuckee because no one else was dumb enough to do that particular job which involved straddling two gimpy barn poles while working under Tinkie for an extended period of time as he sweated, farted, chewed tobacco and grunted his way through the entire process. Too, Tinkie was never very patient with how I passed the sticks up to him and was always on my ass about being too early or too late passing the tobacco up to him. It was zero fun regardless what temperature it was or felt like up in that barn. When I compare it to those other worst-jobs-in-heat, there is NO comparison.
Only one song to play here right? While the British group The Nashville Teens were one hit wonders with it in 1964, the tune was a semi-autobiographical one originally written and performed by John D. Loudermilk in 1960.
P.S. After I hit the Publish button here, related posts popped up and as it turns out, I previously did a similar post on this in 2018. I even included the same song. Apologies for repeating myself but chalk it up to some memories you just don’t forget.