Kenneth Avery is a Southern humorist with well over a thousand fans. The charm and wit in his writing span a nearly a decade.
Time to Get Moving
on another piece of new ground and I'm excited. I've heard about my topic, hayrides, but never involved myself with a closer look in what was right and wrong with them. I'm far from being a tradition-basher. I'm a rural American through and through. I can eat my fill of chicken and dumplings chased by a gallon of southern iced sweet tea without breaking a sweat. So if you have those "anti" things in your mind . . .just forget them.
I love hayrides. Nothing's better than layering five layers of clothes including bogan and meet with a hayride group, who bring hot cocoa along in brightly-colored thermos and try to not eat everyone's snacks. You see? A hayride like life, is just what you make it. Can I get an amen? What about belting out a soulful Star Spangled Banner?
I know from what you've already read that I am about to really lay-on the waves of fun-making about hayrides, but not this time. My hay-riding history stretches way back to early 1980. My wife and daughter had been asked to go on this church hayride and as life goes sometimes, we were also asked to be chaperones for the ride to make sure that the teens from the church we belonged, acted right and did their flying straight. Right now here in 2021, I will tell you the truth. No problem--did we have in the hayride. Lotsa fun was had from early evening to almost 10 p.m. Plenty of laughter too. I didn't get to eat anyone's snacks including those brough by my wife.
Some Troubles on Hayrides . . .
⦁ Couples on hayrides, even with parental supervision, can get near-rowdy and get steamy kissing like holding one's breath to keep from drowning. Definitely a no, no. Not because kissing is wrong, but sometimes authority is challenged and well, you know.
⦁ Pumpkin-tossing is one of the most-dangerous pranks played by kids who are on hayrides. Grown pumpkins, if hurled, can cause someone to be knocked-out or get a cut on their head from the bursting pumpkin. This should also be surveyed by hayride supervisors.
⦁ Standing and waving arms to oncoming traffic is dangerous and stupid. If this infraction happens, the driver of the tractor or whatever vehicle is pulling the wagon with hay, should stop. Then tell these young troublemakers just how much trouble they could be in if their ignorance causes an innocent person in a car some serious injury, the pranksters can be jailed.
⦁ Crawling underneath the hay in the wagon or truck, then shoot-up yelling something horrifying, should not be tolerated. Chaperones,watch your hayride customers closely.
Some Happy Things on Hayrides . . .
⦁ Holding hands with that special person and just gazing into their eyes. Sure, I know. It's dark, but son, it's the thought that counts.
⦁ Whispering sensitive thoughts to that cherished person. Nothing harmful with this activity, that is unless one of the couple is driving the pick-up or tractor pulling the wagon with hay.
⦁ Feeding each other bites of crispy candy. (I cannot tell the brand) is very sweet and fun. Plus it helps to build a stronger bond between the two young people, or hey, middle-aged people, be stronger.
⦁ This is my favorite hayride activity: see how many animal and bird impressions the group can do and those who listen to the sounds can guess the bird or animal who's making the noise.
A serious note, my wife and I were the guests of our church's hayride back in 1980. My wife's brother came by invitation to just meet our pastor's daughter. This was one train-wreck-of-a-mistake. The first time the brother laid eyes on the pastor's daughter, he tried hard, but could not act impressed enough to sit near her for the hayride.
Her feelings were crushed. Not her brother because he is a creep, but he was so nervous that he did not try to overly-impress her. Before the hayride was over, the two were holding hands, laughing and enjoying themselves. Yes! Pam was then and now a wonderful diplomat.
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Hey, I Want to See About a Hayride
What About Hayrides?
Hayrides, personally speaking, look to be a good bit of fun, but as I have learned over the years the old stand-by, "not everything that glitters is gold," is so true. Very true. If you have experienced this phenomenon like I have, then you know what I mean. I don't like to repeat things, so I'm glad that you are a learned-student.
When I look at hayrides with eyes wide-open, no, Tom Cruise, is not the topic here. they are so humble, quiet, and no matter the age, kid or adult, all somehow get to relax and enjoy the laughter, singing, and atmosphere. All without really trying. It's very natural. The hayride only costs the gasoline burned by the truck that pulls the wagon of hay and the tickets for the riders, if any, and some invested time by the sponsors and chaperones to make sure that their hayride is not a flop.
But the initial question looms around, so I will ask, just what makes the hayride the fun and enjoyment that it produces? It is the thrill of sitting for a couple of hours in the icy November weather in an open vehicle with loved ones having a great time? Could be. But why a wagon or truck to use to mobilize a hayride? I suppose that a Hay-Walk with participants with hay stuck themselves with Super Glue walking in unison would be and look plumb stupid. But not so much as a Hay-Run, because people in our nation love to run outdoors. So designate a run with entry fees to be given to a worthy charity and have a trophies for a first, second and third place finishers to be handed-out?
Can Hayrides Really Be Stupid?
Speaking of stupid, who would take part in a Hay-Eating-Competiton? Hardly anyone because the competition name is very misleading. Who in their right mind would sit or stand with other competitors eating as many handfuls of hay as humanly possible? Do I really need to answer?
Humanly-thinking, and speaking, a number of everyday things and events may look like being on a hayride, but a closer look tells just how stupid they can be:
⦁ C.I.A. Recruiting -- respectful, but surely no fun.
⦁ Woodstock, Another Music Festival -- maybe riding "to" the festival, but not on the wagon. (No reference about drinking.)
⦁ Circus Feats -- some maybe, such as, juggling a few Indian Clubs or golf balls, but that's it. No fire-eating . . .PLEASE! Or things of this nature.
⦁ Dog Shows -- sure, but in a small capacity. Use Chihuahua's as contestants.
⦁ Drive-in Movies -- did I say stupid? Only looks, but taking a hayride to a drive-in theater would be just the ticket. This one proves that I am not as bad as you thought.
Everything has a place in life--work, play, songs, and hayrides. Yes, there is definitely a place for hayrides. If they haven't earned a place by now, they never will.
April 02, 2021______________________________________________
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