While emptying the pockets of my barn coat before its regular trip through the wash recently, I thought about what an odd anthropological study its contents would make. Between all the lint and straw, dirt and crushed bits of eggshell (whoops), what does all this junk say about, well, its owner?
There won’t be any study funded, surely; no penniless grad student shall pick through its contents; and unless Etna were to magically appear nearby, blow its stack and bury me in ash on my way to the goatshed with pockets still full, no future somebody is bound to wonder either.
Its contents: Tiny box of strike-anywhere matches. Box cutter. Pliers. Right garden glove (left missing). Various bits of wire, T50 staples, small measuring tape, safety glasses. About 5 types of screws, a few rusted nails, a large permanent marker, a few pellets for the pellet gun. The aforementioned dirt and junk. A penny. A snack-sized plastic bag. A twist tie.
(Sheesh, but honestly, no independent study would be needed. Imagine I allowed ads on this blog: The sidebar would now be filled with targeted ads of Daisy guns, home supply stores, tool companies, and poultry supplies. Yep, you are welcome.)
Now, I wash this coat with extreme regularity. You would too, I would hope: owning such a cover-up is fairly sensible thing to do if one is often called to pick up something muddy, poopy or bloody. It is a knockoff of a Carhartt canvas coat, with a zipper, probably three times larger than it needs to be, cloth lined, and it sports a few holes. And EVERY time I wash it, I find practically the same things burdening its pockets.
What an odd life this coat has. It never leaves the property, unless it accompanies me on trips to the butcher (poultry often are muddy, poopy AND bloody, poor things). But it is part of my uniform. Interestingly, I never leave the property in the uniform, either. So it’s a secret uniform, wherein I transform from mild-mannered white collar El to Super Farmer El.
Not that I don’t think I look fabulous in such dowdy he-man-wear; I do. I find it helps to have a bit of an attitude, especially when one is prone to slip in chicken poo, fly dramatically through the air, and land firmly on one’s rear end. May as well dress the part of a superhero.