I used to be able to tell my wife anything about farming and she would believe me. After all, I’ve spent my entire life on a farm while she was raised in town. I earned three degrees in agriculture while she studied nursing. But now, much to my chagrin, she’s beginning to question my expertise.
Just last week, I explained to her that I needed to pick up a couple of OB straps on my next trip into town. “How come?” she asked.
I explained that calving season was starting in a couple of weeks and I needed to get everything ready, as a precaution for the inevitable emergencies that would occur. Instead of taking my statement at face value, she questioned why I needed new ones when she knew I always carried a couple in the tool box of the truck.
Granted, I probably rolled my eyes as I tried to explain that the ones in the truck were stiff, dirty, and would probably break at some point this spring. “Don’t they have any newer technology than those nylon straps?” she queried.
I really tried to show patience as I explained that as far as I knew, there were only nylon straps or the chains. Looking confused, Judy stated, “I’ve never seen you use chains.”
“I don’t like to use them because I would think the nylon strap would be more comfortable on the calves’ legs,” I responded.
“Do you have proof?” she asked.
I didn’t have any empirical evidence, but simply made the assumption based on how I suspected a tightened OB chain would feel as compared to a softer nylon strap against my own legs. Then, to my astonishment, Judy asked me to go and retrieve my old nylon straps and the OB chains that I still keep for certain situations. I was perturbed by her request… but, I went and got them.
When I returned from the barn, Judy insisted that I put the chain around one of her legs and the strap around the other and pull on them both, equally, at the same time. At that point, I preferred to put them around her neck before pulling, but I agreed to allow her to continue her experiment. I suggested that we go to the garage to perform her evaluation, since I had not yet cleaned them for this year’s activities.
My wife sat on the top step of the little stoop that leads from our house to the inside of the garage, as she carefully placed the OB chain around her left ankle. Incredulous, I watched as she then attached the nylon strap around her right ankle. Then, just as she instructed me to, “pull,” the garage door opened as my oldest son pulled into the driveway.
I can only imagine how it must have looked to my son as the door opened wide. With a look of shock on his face, he simply shook his head and rolled down the window. “I don’t even want to know,” he shouted, as he put the car in reverse and left.
If anyone is interested, Judy concluded that there is absolutely no difference in comfort between the chain and the strap.


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