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You can take the boy off the farm… September 16, 2006

Posted by Joe in Family, Farm.

I was recently reminded of something that happened about a year ago. It still brings a smile to my face so I thought I’d share it with you even though it’s “old news”.

Last August, I was invited to attend a one-day leadership training session in Chicago. As with a lot of these types of events, a welcome reception on the eve of the actual training was provided to “break-the-ice”. So I, and about 100 others from around the country, flew into Chicago that afternoon to attend the reception and to socialize before our training that was to follow the next morn.

The reception was held in a private room in a fine restaurant just off the Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago; a very upscale place. Drinks and appetizers were served while we made small-talk. Then we made our way to another area where a nice multi-course meal was served while the conversations continued.

Unlike a lot of people in technical fields, I’m not overly introverted. So I seldom look at my own shoes, especially when talking with others. However, at one point during the evening’s activities, I did happen to glance down towards my feet. That’s when I noticed it. There, stuck to the side of the sole of my right shoe was an unmistakable and tell-tale sign of my origins. Sticking to the side of my black dress shoe was none other than a big, dried, white & and gray glob of chicken poop.

I must have stepped in a freshly formed pile while walking to my truck to go the airport that afternoon. Somehow, the rest of the walk to the truck and the ride to the airport didn’t cleanse me of my tag-along. Somehow, it continued to persist through the security checkpoint, without setting off all kinds of alarms! Apparently going completely unnoticed through the screening process.

Or perhaps it was noticed but simply not acted upon by the guards? How do you approach a man in business attire and ask him to clean off the chicken poo he left on the x-ray machine?

In any case, the poo remained. It traveled with me on the plane and even on taxi ride to the hotel once I had arrived at my destination.

Anyway, upon the startling revelation of the distance this poo had traveled, I glanced up, looking around to see if anyone in the room had noticed me noticing my own shoe. Thankfully everyone else seemed to be oblivious of my new discovery. As I took in the vast audience of other attendees, I realized that I was surrounded by CEO’s of large organizations, Presidents of companies, Chief Financial Officers for institutions. And there was me, in the middle of it all, standing amongst all of these people of respect, with chicken poo on my shoe. I laughed out loud at the juxtaposition of it all.

It was then, that I fully realized that you can take the boy off the farm, but you can’t take the farm off the boy. And I wouldn’t trade that for the world!



1. Joe - September 16, 2006

By the way, surely I’m not the only person to every have something like that happen. Maybe I was the only one in that crowd who showed up for an event with Poo Shu Gai Pan, but surely others have similar stories.

So don’t be bashful. Share your story in the comments section of the blog.

2. Kevin Kline - September 16, 2006

OMG, Joe, that is hysterical. (And I know exactly what restaurant and meeting you’re talking about.) I laughed so loud that my kids came to investigate why I was laughing. I had to read your entire post to them. They enjoyed it too. What a hoot! :^)


3. Becky - September 18, 2006

I’m not sure the following will qualify or not but here goes. This past Saturday, I got up early to go one road over to walk in the woods where Duchess (my missing Beagle) has been spotted. Jenny didn’t feel well so I dressed to go off by my self.

I put on jeans, thick hiking boots, a hugh floppy straw hat, and a tank top covered with a huge tan long sleeved shirt. I also had a backpack with bottled water, crackers, field glasses, etc. I put my pistol in my pants pocket. In the front breast pockets of the overshirt, I put my sunglasses, car keys and my cell phone which I had put on vibrate so if it rang, it wouldn’t scare her off if I saw her. I also put my driver’s license in my back pants pocket. I really looked very fashionable.

I took off first walking up a dry creek bed (did I mention it’s been really dry here). I found a big, long walking stick to help me watch for snakes.

After a while, I decided against walking the dry creek bed because it looked like a place where snakes would like to hide. Anyway, as I was walking on a trail through very thick woods, I got thirsty and was going to get a bottle of water out of the backpack. I leaned my trusty walking stick up against a tree. Just as I did, something went Bzzzzzzzz, Bzzzzzzzzz, Bzzzzzzzz. It was near the hand which had been holding the walking stick I had just placed against the tree. First thing I though of was hornets, bumblebees or yellow jackets. I was coming out of that long shirt because it felt like whatever was buzzing was in the sleeve. Imagine my relief when I realized it was my cell phone on vibrate. I almost couldn’t answer the phone for laughing at myself. It iwas just my sister checking on me. I told her other than the heart attack and laughing fit, I was fine.

As for living in the country, I’ll take a film of red dust over city smog on the car any day.

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