FARMERETTE VAMPS ON PATROL 

I confess, I'm a faux Farmerette in a big SoCal city, (which I laughingly call Hell-A.) I grow my smog covered tomatoes a few miles from a major freeway but guess what? I'm tired of the row I'm hoe-ing.

With things in flux, it's necessary for city folks (who are all l paycheck away from homelessness, foodlessness, joblessness and in my case SSIcheck-lessness), to get the gardening thing going. Because I've lived through the 50's and have something to compare the INFLATION nowadays to,  I see clearly the economic differences between the flush Eisenhower years and the Bush II epoch. I have come to believe it's necessary to move to the countryside. Rents in LA are $2,300 for a little dinky apartment!

I tell my prosperous astrology clients frankly, the BEST thing they can do for their family is to buy a few dozen acres and start planting fruit and nut trees on weekends, tent on it until they can afford to build a cordwood, straw bale house or the exotic, stuccoed spiral sand bag house and live in that until they can afford to build a log cabin.

Being a single lady who has just enough money for the next huge month of rent, my being able to buy a farm is not likely.

Still, I am a city girl with considerable gardening talent, a gal who dreams of having a few acres of bottom land to play with and so it happened that recently, one week-end, I drove deep into the farmland to the south. And there, in a small diner, I came upon a middle-aged man in mud-spattered denims having dinner by his lonesome self.

After we discussed the virtues of fried chicken versus chops, I got right to the point. "You single? " He shook his head. After a while, he confessed that he was unhappily married. He said that his name was Joe and that his spouse didn't share his farming dream. "What am I to do?" he asked plaintively.

"You mean she's not a dedicated homesteader? She doesn't want to put that plowblade between her teeth and bend her head to the furrow while you whip her? The Spoilsport!

"No, I never make her plow" he protested.

"You mean she wants a credit card instead of a sewing machine? The strumpet."

"No, I buy her everything new. Any dress out of the Sears catalogue. It's just that she wants to live nearer the city. We're fifty miles from the closest post office. Got a little hundred acre spread, milk cows, avocado, citrus orchards, nothing much. But see, I leave the vegetable garden to her. Ten rows to hoe, maybe twenty tops.

I went faint with envy. Lucky girl! I patted his hand sympathetically. "Joe, I said," by now the chops had been served and we were on a first name basis,"Maybe you should take me to meet her. I'll tell her that there are plenty of shapely, gorgeous, SINGLE ladies out there in big cities. And the only rows we hoe are ciphers on a page, 8 hrs a day for minimum wage and we are SCREAMING to be on a farm."

I told him how we outdoorsy babes rent 50 x 100 houses on arid lots at great cost so we can have gardens, lie to our friends that it's because our cats need a yard, and in this 'yard' we grow nothing more than hybrid tea roses yet we pretend to be living the life of the farmer. We till the soil and grow smog-covered tomatoes. We swab out the cat litter boxes and pretend they're horse stalls, and compost our measly little kiwi rinds and maybe grow daisies.

We are faux farmers. No sadder bunch exists. At night, no coyote or wolf howls at our door, unless it's some little urban burglar. We lie in our beds, deprived of the company of a stalwart farmer buck who can make the monthly payment on the farm, and snore the sleep of the dead from milking 40 cows twice a day.

Not so in the city. Our boyfriends are all pawing at us nightly because they're not TIRED enough. God MADE men to be tired. What is all this FRISKY STUFF? The goats should be frisky the men should be stone cold asleep!

So I told Farmer Joe to tell his better half that she'd better get on the stick or there's an L.A. lady who'll drive to country diners every weekend, and talk to lonely Joes and sooner or later I'll snag one of these misunderstood guys (maybe your wife's HUSBAND, huh?) and SHE will have to come to the big city and type numbers all day and DO numbers all night and I'll be weeding her tomatoes with a big grateful smile on my face.

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