Blokes and sheds

By: Julie Cotton

I’ve been a very bad, bad girl. I have committed the ultimate farmer’s wife sin and cleaned out the shearing/tool shed with a mindset that was far more Venus than Mars. For three days I thought I was Wonder Woman with a broom and dustpan. God knows I would have worn a cape if I had one. The condition of this shed was complete and utter chaos at best and war zone status at worst. I stupidly went into this ordeal thinking that sheds must be like kitchens, and I was the farmer’s fairy godmother. I would make everything perfect and clean and take all their stress away.

Wrong, Julie! I just didn’t count on the fact that farmers actually like junk and crap stored everywhere. Having any resemblance of order or placement in these sheds just isn’t their “gig”. Over those few days I made a few fatal errors in judgment, not the least being the fact that this species of man has a rare extra portion of the brain that only allows them to locate items if everything is in complete disarray. I did feel very naughty but liberated trawling through all that junk. The things that this breed of men keep is unreal, coupled with the fact that they are hoarders and never throw anything out.

Apparently, cases for power tools are only reserved for taking up space and not actually for storing the tool. Screwdriver and socket sets should never be kept as a set or confusion may reign. Tow balls must surely be a valuable collector’s item? Otherwise I fail to see why they would need a dozen of the same shape and size. I am quite partial to the odd round cake tin or two, but I don’t need twelve! Thank God there were ocean flares for the boat we don’t own and two deluxe unused double padded camper beds for all the camping we don’t do. There were two expensive-looking kayak trailers, which I am sure would work well for the broken kayak in the shed, but we would have to kick the birds’ nests out first. There were four ugly-looking long metal things, which I have since found out are called PTO shafts and are apparently very important when you’re dragging stuff around behind the tractor. I thought they were so ugly I actually stuffed them behind two tonnes of concrete-cutting metal drill barrels, but we were seeding at the time and he desperately needed them. I won’t go into detail over this catastrophe, except to say it had a very nasty, messy outcome. I think the biggest nightmare of the whole ordeal would have to have been the bolt, screw, nut and nail “set-up”. Honestly, I just can’t imagine my life if all my cutlery and utensils were shoved in buckets. Seriously, those thousands of items gave me a panic attack. I needed help. I had to bring out the heavy artillery. So I trotted off back to the house, brought back a wine and proceeded to clean up the mess one glass at a time.

Now the ordeal is over and for a while it did look mighty fine. But, alas, slowly but surely all the rubbish I turfed in the rubbish pit is slowly being dragged back to the shed. Tools are slowly creeping back out of their cases, and those dear men of mine are starting to smile again. I will never attempt anything as stupid as this again. In fact, I am sure it would have been less painful hurling myself on top of a gorse bush. They tell me that when they build a new shed they will change their ways. Yeah right! When they do get a new shed I will be telling them this: “Don’t bother giving me a key, I prefer to keep my sanity.”

Julie Cotton


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