People Are Funny


1. affording light mirth and laughter; amusing; seeking or intended to amuse; facetious

2. differing from the ordinary in a suspicious, perplexing, quaint, or eccentric way; peculiar

Courtesy musings from my watering can.

I had several different experiences with people over the past few days, and I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to what kind of funny they are. Note that funny #2 encompasses a wide variety of options.

Since I moved here, I have been faced with an ongoing problem that I have tried to ignore, but eventually was unable to ignore any longer. I don’t want to go into the specific details of the problem, but it involved my property rights and the access roads on my farm. I am a believer in defending all comers against property rights. There was also some (minor) illegal activity involved. Not to mention some nuisance. This past week, I determined that it was time to address the problem head-on.

The result was that the offending party came to my front door, cussed me out, and told me they had no intention of doing what I had asked them to do to rectify the situation–then stomped off.

I was still shaking from the aggressiveness of the verbal assault when Adam showed up to work on my milking parlor. I told him what was going on and he said, “You need a man on the place.”


Adam said, “I don’t mean to offend you. I’m just trying to help you. People wouldn’t come to your door like that if you had a man here.”

The hired men who work on my farm without fail think I need a man on the place. And it’s true, they are just trying to help, but that’s not the answer. They’re quaint and sweet and just worried about me. Because I’m a woman running a farm by myself. They are one kind of funny.

Then there are the people who try to take advantage of me. Because I’m a woman running a farm by myself. A totally different kind of funny.

Then there is the ‘hood. At Stringtown Rising, the ‘hood was comprised of the handful of people who lived around the river ford. Here, the ‘hood is the handful of people who live at the end of this road. A small rural ‘hood has a dynamic all its own. Knowing how to live within the ‘hood is critical to an everyday sense of safety and support. People in the ‘hood depend on each other, provide for each other, and have certain expectations from each other. The people who live down the access roads on my farm, despite also being at the end of this road, are not part of the ‘hood. By their own choice, they reject the ‘hood, separate themselves, pass through without ever knowing the satisfaction of being part of a rural micro-community. What I like best about the ‘hood is they don’t see me as a woman running a farm by myself. They just see me as a valid, contributing member of their community, and their support helps me remember to stand on my own two feet as a person not a woman. A person who can solve my own problems.

I called the sheriff. The sheriff dispatched a deputy. And the problem was promptly resolved to my satisfaction–everything from the illegal activity and the property rights encroachment to the aggressive behavior. There’s nothing like a badge to ramp things way down. I love law enforcement. And I love showing men that I can’t be intimidated by a cowardly verbal assault.

It’s about time.

I went to the little store in town yesterday for some t-posts. Adam is going to work on my field across the road later this week to get it ready for the horses. He walked the field to see what needed done. To repair and reinforce the fencing, he said I might need to lay in seven or eight t-posts, but ten would be better, just in case. I told the young man who was doing the loading that I needed ten t-posts. He said he had another customer ahead of me getting t-posts and he wasn’t sure he’d have ten left. I turned around and there was a (I must say) very good-looking man about my age standing there. He said, “I’m just staking tomatoes. If you need the t-posts, you can have them.” I told him to get his first and I’d take what was left. I went to the back to count the t-posts. He followed me. The young man followed everybody. The cute man kept insisting I should take the t-posts first. I told him that I probably did not really need ten and it was really okay and he could take what he needed for his tomatoes, and with some struggle, I left with nine t-posts.

And that there is yet another kind of funny. For all the “bad” people in the world, there are always the ones who will try to give you the t-post off their back.

People are just funny that way.


  1. perry says:

    Good for you for standing up for yourself. I don’t think men will ever realize that women can possibly be as good as they are at some things that are considered “men” things. However, we must keep on trying because all of us don’t have the luxury of having a man around to do those “manly” things. Even nature realizes we are better at some things, lol.

  2. STH says:

    You are so right, perry! Though I’ve even had this argument with women; my last supervisor (a woman) jumped all over me for picking up PCs and moving them to the workroom. If I can’t do something I ask for help, but it makes me furious when somebody ASSUMES I can’t do something because I’m a woman.

    I have to disagree with Adam’s comment; obnoxious neighbors will get in your face regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman.

    And, yes, every time I’m just about to give up on people, somebody does something amazing!

  3. bonita says:

    I disagree re: Not funny, not funny at at all. Rude, dishonest, ignorant, opportunistic, untrustworthy, belligerent, … but not funny. It stings even more, when the people are women themselves, taking advantage of other women.

    Congrats on enlisting the sheriff. You gave them an opportunity to settle dispute quietly, they chose to decline your offer. It’s now very clear what your expectations are vis a vis your property. BTW, I knew one self-sufficient Arkansas farm woman, who enforced her property rights by casually carrying a shotgun! (But then, she had a still at the back of her property!)

  4. willsahna says:

    You know, if this were a novel there would be a lot of foreshadowing going on here.

  5. Rose H says:

    Wow! Good for you Suzanne, people cannot get away with trying to walk over you.
    Your t-post tale just proves that for every awkward, nasty person there’s a whole lot more good ones on this earth. :yes:
    :happyflower: :happyflower:

  6. Rainn says:

    Good job Suzanne!!! Like I always told my kids-yes there are bad people out there-but there really are more good guys then bad………just use your head…..and always be alert!

  7. twiggityNDgoats says:

    I know what you mean the dynamics of rural “hoods”. I’m glad you were able to resolve your situation. I hope it stays resolved.

  8. Rah says:

    There’s a 21st-Century parable in this post,Suzanne. :happyflower: It would be interesting to know how you would have perceived Mr. T-Post’s behavior if you hadn’t had the other incident beforehand. I’m sorry you had to deal with the stinker and the stinky behavior, but it always feels so good to keep one’s own cool and do the right thing. Props to you! p.s. What is a t-post–I mean, obviously the “t” part of it is probably self descriptive, and I can get that for tomato plants, but how are they used for fence posts?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Rah, t-posts are handy for all kinds of things–personally, I wouldn’t use them for staking tomatoes, but some people do. I use them for staking new trees, though. I also use them for fence posts. Typically, they are used between wood posts. A fence line of ALL t-posts wouldn’t be strong enough, but they are cheaper than wood posts (usually) and easier to drive into the ground than wood posts, so often they are used between wood posts (or between tree trunks, if using trees on a fence line). They are tall metal posts with notches for wire and clips.

  9. Murphala says:

    This reminds me of a book by a practicing lesbian (an older woman) called “Are you girls traveling alone?” The only thing I remember clearly was the notion that the author was traveling with another woman and men kept approaching them and saying “Are you girls traveling alone?” I had never thought about it before, but yeah, if it’s two women traveling, they are still traveling “alone” if a man isn’t there with them. Interesting… sounds similar.

    And regarding Mr. Handsome, noticing means you’re not dead. No harm in that! I look all the time!

  10. Old Geezer says:

    There are people that are “funny” and there are people that are “loony”. It’s the loony ones that give me pause. The loonies tend to overreact without considering any downside consequences.

    I assume Coco will bark if anyone were to visit down by the barn in the middle of the night? Do you have an all-night bright area light on down there just in case?

    Places like Costco often have nice deals on surveillance camera packages. As your farm gains exposure (which you want for the good of the business) it will attract more than horse flies unfortunately. A camera setup (if certain aspects are visible) can be a deterrent, but is also useful for justice if needed.

    A good dog and a camera setup are more useful than a man — except for routine vehicle maintenance.

  11. Leaves of the fall says:

    If a man’s willing to give up his T-posts for you, I only have one question: did you exchange numbers? 8)

  12. Diane says:

    People are funny in a rural community. There is a hub that will take care of each other. Every once in awhile you will find a stinker.
    That “woman” thing bothers me. I’m married and get that if my husband is too busy to take care of what ever it is needs done and I do it so that it does get done.

    I think you are doing a wonderful job on your farm!!! If I lived by you I think I would love being your neighbor.
    The other lady did have a good idea about the security cameras. I would put them on the front of the house as well as on your studio as well. If you are going have people there for classes and stuff then its in your best interest to have something to keep track of who might be coming and going on your property. Its a good investment.

    What is not to like when a nice looking man is nice to you at the store. Just shows that not everyone is a jerk and sometimes people can be very kind. We all need that from time to time and we need to be nice to others as well when they least expect it. One never knows what is going on in a persons life that day and might been a kind word or two. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Dbunny says:

    People bully because they know they’ll get away with it. On the rare occasions where they don’t get away with it, I’m sure it not only shocks them, but it also deters them from bullying again. Although people like that NEVER self-examine to find any error in their ways, they are cowardly and will always take the easier path.

    Oh, and if they show up again, answer the door with a gun in your hand. You know, because you were right in the middle of cleaning it when they interrupted you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. SarahGrace says:

    Glad you enlisted the sheriff. Adam is right that if there had been a man on the place, not necessarily a partner just a man, that the cussing man probably would not have treated you as such. He would have been too scared beforehand that he’d be laid flat. It’s not done in this part of the country for a man to cuss out a woman like he did. You calling the sheriff showed the cussing man that you won’t be pushed around. Good for you!! I’d second the camera route. We had some problems here until my dh mounted the camera. When dh mounted the camera I passed the word how it was hooked up with constant record and that we could access it from anywhere. Amazingly, things stopped disappearing.

  15. langela says:

    Where was your camera as you got your t-posts?! Now we are left to imagine what t-post guy looks like.

    I’ve never been afraid to call in the law when what I can do doesn’t work. And I have a husband! Some people just won’t respect you no matter what. I’m glad you got it resolved peacefully.

    There’s such a bonus to being a woman. You can carry things if you want/need to do so. Or you can “need” help from a man if you just don’t want to get your shirt dirty doing something. It’s alright for us to be weak. The extra bonus is it lets the man helping us feel like He-man for helping the poor woman. He feels great, we keep our clothes clean, it’s a win-win. ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. KellyWalkerStudios says:

    The jerk didn’t sound like he was funny at all….sounds more like he’s an a#*hole! Glad you call the authorities. You tried to talk but no need in arguing with someone like that. I always invoke my rule #1 – “Never wrestle with a pig; you both get dirty and the pig likes it!” ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. LisaAJB says:

    That man at the store sounds like he jumped out of one of your novels!

  18. Stick Horse Cowgirls says:

    I’m thinking you need a “manly” dog at your side! I love the Pyranees, but maybe a really intimidating dog (but nice to cats)!

  19. shirley T says:

    I’m sorry about the verble abuse. You did right calling the police. Just can’t let people run over and use you for a door mat. I wouldn’t totaly trust strangers either~~Ted Bundy was a very nice, helpful good looking man. Do you remember the tv show Murphy Brown~~she had a guy in her home painting the walls~~he was always there painting~ never finished the job~ just kept painting the whole time~she had constant compaionship even used him as a babysitter for her child. Any one you know you can trust. I know, I’m too funny!!! Really do hope things turn out well for you.

  20. Cheryl LeMay says:

    It’s good you called the sheriff’s dept. If the issue crops up again it will be on record in your favor. Also, you should have some sort of security system installed, and I would put locks on your gates and outbuildings. Just in case this person is the vengeful type. I’ve been in a similar situation and it’s no fun.

  21. Barbee says:

    Cheryl,was thinking the same thing I was thinking. Notifying the authorities gets this put into their records, which is a good thing for you. If anything like that happens again, they will know it’s a repeat, or perhaps, something on-going. I know the old saying says it takes all kinds of people to make a world, but there are some elements I would gladly do without.

  22. JerseyMom says:

    Sounds like you handled the situation just right. As to Mr. Cute…hmmmmmm….he must live nearby, yes? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Please be sure to spend the extra couple of dollars for plastic tops for the t-posts if you will be using them in horse fencing. Well worth it to keep them from getting badly cut on those post tops. With horses the extra precautions are always worth while. Afterall, as the saying goes, a horse is an animal looking for the most expensive (and heartbreaking) way to die…….

  23. Jen says:

    I think she doth protest too much! ;o)

  24. Jane L says:

    Sorry this happened, but I am glad you sorted it out so promptly. If you need some ass whupping ask him if he wants to ride Patriot;)
    You’ll be okay – you don’t NEED anybody and when you WANT someone, you’ll be ready.

  25. Dawn says:

    visited my friend yesterday and she has just installed a bell that rings in the house when someone enters the end of her very long driveway – alerting her to someone being on the property – don’t know if this might be of use to you.

    we live in a medium size town in canada and gas prices fluctuate – my large (6’5) son normally pumps the gas for me as I am disabled and use a cane and he only has a learners permit. twice this summer women have gone after him because we didn’t pullup to the farthest pump and give them the one we were trying to use as they cussed him out – they were completely overlooking the fact that the pump they wanted us to use was not selling car gas but marine gas or diesel – he calmly and quietly informed them (after they screeched) that the pump they wanted us to use was not doable and they quietly got back in their cars and waited but – yesterday he was not with me another older lady was and the gas was on for such a low price for only a couple of hours that I really needed to take advantage as I needed almost a whole tank – we had a little trouble with the pay at the pump thing and while we could hear a guy in the line beside us cursing someone out in 4 letter words the fellow behind me approached and politely asked if we needed some help – as we had it by then we smiled and thanked him and were very relieved that ours was the polite one.

    so sad that we have to suffer the rotten ones to appreciate the good ones but so grateful that those nice ones are out there too. (also proud that my son is shaping up to be one of the nice ones)

    hope you have a better day today

    oh, by the way, I did hear of something rather clever that I laughed about at the time but now I wonder – a lady living alone far out of town left a chair on the porch with an old pair of VERY large workboots beside it – a note on the chair informed one and all that – George – be right back – I put Killer in the house so you better wait outside so I don’t have to clean the blood up again. hmmmm

  26. Joell says:

    Suzanne, maybe that handsome gentleman at the hardware store could use some help with his gardening from an attractive farmer. If he lives around there maybe you could invite him over to see your garden and show him how to stake tomatoes.

  27. yvonnem says:

    Suzanne, As others have mentioned, I think the cameras are a great idea, and get ADT out there to help protect you and your home. I would do one or the other if I were you…just want you to be safe is all! :heart:

    Can’t wait ’til Saturday to meet you in person! :snoopy:

  28. whaledancer says:

    One thing I observed when I worked retail is that the nice people outnumber the rotten ones by far, but encountering one rotten one can sour your whole day if you let it. It’s easy to overlook nice people and dwell on the unpleasant. It’s a matter of where you choose to focus your attention. I’m glad that good-looking man reminded you to pay attention to the nice people, because (in my experience) life is much more pleasant when you do that.

    I need to use a ride-on electric cart to do my grocery shopping, and every time, some stranger will offer to reach something for me or to help take stuff out of my cart at the check-out stand, so I get a reminder that nice, decent, helpful people are all around us. Sometimes I have to ask for help in reaching something, and without exception, I’ve been treated with kindness and friendliness. I’d prefer to be able to do for myself, but the up side is that I get to be reminded that most people are nice.

  29. tawetal1817 says:

    I thought it was very interesting that while you don’t have a man on the place, eventually you went and got the sheriffs deputy who I am assuming was a man. Kind of ironic and funny. I envisioned a sort of “rent a man” and laughed.

    A man on the place is a symbol of authority with the power and will to back up their decisions. You did well in the situation, used your power and will to back up your decisions. You were your own man on the place and I applaud you for it.

    I used to hate it when I had to say, ” you’ll have to talk to my husband” or get my stronger husband to move or do something. Now, after many years, I realize that I am using all my resources when I get my husband to move something I cannot. Frankly, I think you are kicking it up there in WV.

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