Why I would never make a good farm hand

Thank you, Madam Toastmaster, for that amazing introduction.  After that, I can’t wait to hear what I’m going to say!


The following four stories are true.  They all happened to me, and they conclusively prove why I would never make a good farm hand, much to the disgust of my father-in-law, who is a good keen Southland sheep farmer.

BTW, why do cows like being told jokes? Because they like being amoosed!

First, I have chronic hay-fever.

I always knew I suffered from this ever since I was a wee lad in Nelson.  However, I had temporary respite when I moved to study and work in Wellington.  Little did I know, this respite was only because I happened to be working in air-conditioned buildings.

Fiona is also from the South Island.  We met in Wellington.  I went down to visit the in-laws on their farm in Southland.  Pops took me out on the trailer, on the back of this quad bike.  We rode through a field of tall grasses.  He looked back once.  He saw my eyes streaming.  He sent me back to the farm house.  Basically, to him, I was useless!

BTW, did you hear the one about the convict who had allergies?  He broke out.

The second reason, is my educational philosophy.

I always wanted to go to university.  My father-in-law was not impressed with my reasoning.  I told him I wanted to get a degree, because I hated getting my hands dirty.  I didn’t realise at the time that that could be interpreted to mean I thought I was too good for menial tasks.  Whoops!

BTW, I got a job programming computers.  How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb?  None; that’s a hardware issue.

Third, I’m a terrible shepherd.

Pops once asked me to help him herd the sheep into the sharing shed.  Somehow, I got in front of the pack.  They went the other way.  Not a great start.

BTW, an accountant was having a hard time sleeping and goes to see his doctor. “Doctor, I just can’t get any sleep at night.”

“Have you tried counting sheep?”

“That’s the problem – I make a mistake and then spend four hours trying to find it.”

The final reason why I would not make a good farm hand, is my lack of good tools.

This is not so much a fun story, but it is true.  I was 5 years old when my parents divorced.  I was raised practically as an only child by my mother, despite having 5 older siblings who were either out of the house or had gone with my father.  So I never got to observe my father doing odd jobs around the house.  And I never got to accumulate useful tools.  Instead, as I grew up, I had to acquire my own tools as various jobs arose.  However, this lead to my purchasing the cheapest and not always the best because I didn’t know any better.

Do you know that old saying, “a poor workman blames his tools”?  This is true on two levels.  The obvious level is that the poor workman is merely making excuses for his poor craftsmanship.  But on another level, a poor workman has poor tools.  This was certainly true for me.

BTW, some men in a pickup truck drove into a lumberyard. One of the men walked in the office and says, “We need some four-by-twos.”

The clerk replies, “You mean two-by-fours, don’t you?”

The guy scratches his head and says, “I’ll go check,” and goes back to the truck.

He returns and says, “Yeah, I meant two-by-four.”

“All right. How long do you need them?”

The guy pauses for a minute and says, “I better go check.” After a while, he returns to the office and says, “A long time. We’re gonna build a house.”


As you can see, I have four valid reasons why I would never make a good farm hand:

  1. I have chronic hay fever;
  2. My educational philosophy;
  3. I’m a terrible shepherd; and
  4. I have poor tools.

All I can say in my defence is, I found a job I like instead.

BTW, what do you get when you cross a robot and a tractor?
A transfarmer.



One thought on “Why I would never make a good farm hand”

  1. Hey James, good fun jokes – thanks! I especially appreciated the four-by-two vs two-by-four one – right up my alley. As a builder-sort, I absolutely thrive on the best tools! Didn’t know you came from sheep-farming stock – you’re such an intellectual!
    Give my best to Fiona,

    Liked by 1 person

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