#3. Pollution Becomes a Part of the Landscape
Cities are filthy places filled with filthy people. However, most of them are constantly being cleaned. You see a dirty diaper on the street every now and then, but it's a brand new dirty diaper every day. In the country, no one is there to clean it up. That diaper will stay there until the world's most depressed coyote attempts suicide.
When someone's tractor breaks down, their solution is almost certainly to push it out of the way and get to it later. Within a few months, nature starts to eat it, and now there's a tractor in that spot for the rest of all time. Old combines, plows, tools, trespasser skeletons, cars ... they become landmarks as permanent as trees and home to twice as many wolverines. Most farmers produce as much rusty metal junk as they do food. Plus, every home in the country includes an ancient pump house, barn or shed that is only there for teenage spiders to explore each other's bodies. No one will ever go inside until a horror movie's location scout spots it from the road.
#2. There's No Such Thing as a Vacation
When you live on a farm, you can't leave. It isn't like asking a friend to come over and water your plants. An unmilked cow dies in screaming pain. Unweeded thistles will devour your crops and launch seeds into every neighboring county. Your sprinkler system is watching for your truck to drive away so it can malfunction and turn your garden into a mud wrestling pit.
If you let an egg sit under a chicken over the weekend, its yolk turns from a delicious breakfast into a veiny fetus. Once a week I had to drive a riding lawn mower past the hives of my dad's irritable, lunatic bees, and I still say cracking eggs open was the most stressful job on the farm. Each egg I cracked had a higher and higher chance of dropping a face and placenta into the bowl, and I was raised American, so we only ate face and placenta on Chinese New Year.
The maintenance required to keep a farm going never ends. You can handle it in two ways: hiring workers or breeding workers. People in the country don't have sex with donkeys because it's fun -- they're trying to create centaur children to work their fields. Which brings me to my next point ...
#1. In the Country, All Your Neighbors Are Insane
No one likes their neighbors. For instance, every time Mexico scores a goal, mine blow an air horn until it's just an ordinary can. But they are infinitely better than the neighbor who pulled a shotgun on me and my brother when we were playing Rambo too close to his cabin. I was 8 and he was 11, and this madman actually shrieked the words, "GET OFF MY PROPERTY!" In a way it was flattering that a grown man saw us and went straight for the shotgun, since despite our headbands and M60-like sticks, we would have run like hell from a lunatic with only a shovel or a kitchen knife.
Wild hermits are unusual, but everyone in the country owns a gun, and like all gun owners they fantasize all day about using them. I wasn't sure why until we got our first solicitor. When it takes them 30 minutes to get to your front door, Jehovah's Witnesses do not take "Suck my balls" as an answer.
I rode the bus with moon-headed children who were by the very literal definition of the word inbred. I got in a fist fight with one of them in fourth grade, and I have a vivid memory of my deadliest karate blows having no effect on his indefinably wrong face. The house nearest to ours had actual booby traps on it. The point is, people don't move away from civilization because they're normal. My parents did it so that when the Soviets dropped ICBMs on us, we would have a defensible compound. From paratroopers? Mutant survivors? I honestly never asked, but we had enough jam and canned corn to outlast their siege.
I learned how to throw a tomahawk before I learned how to throw a football, which was ridiculous since if we were involved in a ranged altercation, there weren't enough people in the state of Oregon to soak up my family's ammunition supply. My folks used to turn off the electricity on weekends to prepare us for a life of self-sustained everything. I had so many knives and spears stashed in tree forts that my version of Home Alone would have been rated NC-17, and my parents thought that was rad. I should have made it clear earlier that when I said, "In the country, all your neighbors are insane," I was mostly talking to the people living next to me.
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