Monday, November 21, 2011

Tin Snips and Tractors

One day, my little brother is going to be famous, but there is something about being famous that doesn't exactly leave room for tractors. Being famous is about large quantities of people seeing your face and knowing your name, and wanting to give you enough money to keep seeing your face and knowing your name. It's not about tractors.

So I would like to tell you a story about my little brother and tractors, with the hope that one day, when he is famous, there will also be something said about tractors.

Of course the story never begins with tractors, it always begins with boredom. As children, boredom was forbidden--that is to say, we were allowed to be bored, but we were required to either keep this fact a secret or be subjected to a large number of chores which we wished to avoid. Thus, our ability to self-entertain was a highly developed skill by the time we reached adolescence. Mostly, we made things.

Miniature Evan loved tractors. His favourite bedtime stories consisted of a calender of tractors with the names and numbers labeling every single picture and a catalog of farm equipment. These are not, of course, the only things he loved--his first drum set was made of laundry soap bottles and pot lids, and he had a cow outfit with cow spotted shorts, a cow spotted shirt, and a cow spotted hat. But for a long time, you could drive a tractor up the road and it would keep him occupied for, well, as least as long as it took the tractor to drive up the road.

Combine the ability to make things at a young age with a vast knowledge of farm equipment and a lot of free time and what do you get? A complete set of farm machinery made from tin cans with tin snips and pliers.

Since then Evan has made a large variety of things (homemade bass guitar, guitar pedals, musical instrument traveling boxes, a tube amp converted from a movie projector, and a variety of other unnecessary inventions), but nothing quite as interesting or endearing as his tin can tractors.

1 comment:

  1. seems to me there is a story about Ariele's first trip into orbit, It involves a tractor that she didn't know how to stop and she orbited the wild apple orchard several times before her father could leap aboard and hit the kill switch.