They play music in the radiation room. As I’m on the machine, hands above my head, looking at the fake painted skyline, tunes are emanating from the speakers above. It’s a different station every day. On Friday they were playing Maroon Five. Which felt right. Few things feel more cancery than Adam Levine’s voice.
This morning they were playing country music. To say I loathe country music would be an understatement. Because I super loathe it. I loathe it in the depth of my soul. As if it did something wrong to me.
But this is the world, and occasionally we are exposed to things we hate. Which I realized was about to be me this morning as I took off my shirt and headed to the table.
The first song was a Carrie Underwood ballad. I was relieved. Carrie Underwood is one of the few that don’t me want to relapse. As they left the room and fired up the machine I listened to a tale about the end of a summer and a girl going to Baton Rouge while her young love stayed and worked with his father. Life going on or something like that.
Once that song ended, the real fun began.
Fun in the form of a song called, “She Think’s my Tractor’s Sexy.”
By this point the techs had left the room, so I couldn’t ask them to turn the music down. So, there I was, strapped to a table, alone with the voice of Kenny Chesney.
There was nothing I could do. So instead of fighting it, I decided to listen. To really listen to the lyrics of this “song.”
Plowing these fields in the hot summer sun
Over by the gate, yonder here she comes
With a basket full of chicken
And a big cold jug of sweet tea
I make a little room and she climbs on up
I open up the throttle and stir a little dust
Look at her face, she ain't a foolin' me
She thinks my tractor's sexy
Because I’m sure that happens all the time. In the middle of working a job or going to school, in the middle of keeping up with the day to days of life, a woman has time to put on a full face of make up, a black dress, fry up a bucket FULL of chicken, lug a jug of Southern Table wine through a hot corn field to lay at the feet of this tractor riding Lothario. I’m sure that happens all the time. And in appreciation of her effort, he takes his tractor, and kicks dust full of pesticides and cow shit right in her pretty little face. If woman is anything like the women I know, she would have a look on her face alight, and sex would be the last thing that look would be communicating.
We ride back and forth till we run out of light
Take it to the barn, put it up for the night
Climb up in the loft, sit and talk with the radio on
She says she's got a dream and I ask what it is
She wants a little farm and a yard full of kids
And one more teeny weenie ride before I take her home
First off, I love that they drove this tractor back and forth until it’s dark out. In thirty years when we are feeling the full effects of global warming, we will think about their little joy ride, and all the joy rides this song inspired and we will thank them.
I appreciate the pastoral images of the barn and the loft. Also I’ve noticed in the country music I’ve been forced to listen to in grocery stores and gas stations that the radio plays a big part in this genre of music. It always seems to be playing. And a cold beer always seems to be in the hand. And the nights seem to remind them of blue jeans.
Then we get to the dreams of our young ingenue. They’re lovely. A little agribusiness. A small farm providing corn and soy beans for the industrial food complex. That’s all she wants. That and the children. But before all that, she has one more thing she longs for. And that is one more teeny weenie ride before she has to go back to her father’s house. Now, I don’t want to go out on too much of a limb here, it might be the music from the radio, it might be the diesel fumes she’s been sucking in all day, BUT I DON’T THINK SHE IS TALKING ABOUT THE TRAILER! I THINK THE TEENY WEENIE RIDE SHE WANTS IS REFERRING TO SOMETHING ELSE! I’M TALKING ABOUT HIS PENIS!
The red light on the radiation machine went to work. The song continued, letting me know about this girls likes and dislikes. Apparently she didn’t like cars or pick up trucks, but farmer’s tans sent shivers down her spine.
Then that was it. The song and the treatment ended at about the same time. I said goodbye to the tech and my new radiation friends in the lobby and walked out into the cold air of the late winter morning. Who knows, maybe tractors are an aphrodisiac. Weirder things can true. Jaimie and I started dating while I was driving a 1997 Mercury Sable. The sport wagon kind. The color of nude panty hose. If I can get a date driving that, perhaps that dude on the John Deere is in fact getting panties and tea and chicken thrown at his feet. What do I know, I thought to myself, as I cranked my 2007 Ford Escape, but in my ear buds and pressed play on my New York Times The Daily Podcast and drove home to start my day.