Hoss Haney and the Hood


         One year on the farm at Del Monte, we had a young guy whose real first name I've forgotten, but he called himself Hoss. He was built like Hoss from Bonanza only a lot smaller.

         He was a decent worker, though he lacked a bit of common sense and was not known for his speed or efficiency. The pay wasn't that great for first year guys.  Come to think of it, the pay wasn't that outstanding for those of us on our fourth or fifth year as I was at the time.

         Hoss was assigned to fruit fly bait duty that year. I guess I need to explain that. He would choose tomatoes each day to cut slits in the tops and put by plants in the tomato field of several farmers under contract to Del Monte to produce Catsup tomatoes. Each following day he would collect them, take them to our lab and inspect the slices under a microscope to count the number of fruit fly eggs. This would give DelMonte field managers an idea  when the farmer needed to spray Sevin or Malathion for control of the flies.

         This seemed to take Hoss all morning while the rest of us worked in the fields and we suspected he was padding the time, which we discovered one week when he took a vacation and I did the task in about 2 hours each day. Hoss wasn't pleased that he had to pick up the pace!

         Getting back to the hood, though, one day, he returned all excited and out of breath and our pickup (leased from a local Ford dealer) had a bent up and wrinkled hood. We asked, "What happened to the hood?" Hoss told the following story.

         He had stopped at the gas pump in the plant and filled up the tank and checked the oil before setting out and it seems he had neglected to latch the hood properly. So, while driving 50 MPH to the first farm, the hood flew up. We assessed the damage and it was worse than a simple hood opening, so we pressed for more details.

         His answer was beyond belief, it seems, he decided that he could see fine through the crack between the bottom of the hood and decided to fix it when he got to his destination 10 miles away.

         Did I mention, no common sense?

Davdan @ 2008-2018