Friday, September 03, 2010

Confessions of a Former Hooker

“Open confession is good for the soul,” or maybe “There are things to confess that enrich the world, and things that need not be said.”

Confession is good for the soul but I wonder how much information is too much information when it comes to confessions on our local logosphere. Scottish proverb or Joni Mitchell?

I figure we all have a past, some shadier than others.

My shady past began during my childhood. Times were tough when I was growing up. Once or twice a year we were faced with the daunting challenge of getting a hundred bales of hay from the flatbed trailer into the second story loft of the barn. This required everyone to take on a specialized task. My job was usually that of the “hooker.”

As “hooker” I stood in the opening of the barn loft with my hook in hand ready to pierce the bale of hay as it was hoisted up and swung in my direction. It was the “swingers” job to cause the bale to swing towards and away from the opening of the loft. I had to learn to use that momentum to strategically guide the bale into the loft. If I didn’t accomplish my goal as the bale was swinging towards me I had to quickly let go of the hook or else I would leave the loft still attached to the bale. Once the bale was hooked and pulled into the loft the person behind me neatly stacked the bales – I was probably “stacker” too.

I didn’t weigh much more than a bale of hay so I am not sure how I defied the laws of physics to avoid falling to my death. Looking back I wonder if my parents had it out for me.

The greatest reward, besides completing the task, was finally getting to play with the rope and two-story-high pulley. You can imagine the rappelling that took place.

At the time, I hated growing up in the country: it’s where I developed my skill of artfully avoiding manual labor. Looking back, I realize that the chores I hated the most while growing up now provide me with my fondest and my most rewarding memories.

It hurts to confess that to my mom.

My sister recently confessed to me that while in the Navy she was a “stripper” aka deck hand, so I’m not the only one in my family with a shady past!

Maybe Peter De Vries, “Confession is good for the soul only in the sense that a tweed coat is good for dandruff—it is palliative rather than a remedy.” Also, the “stoned by popcorn” quote is fun.

Originally posted August 31, 2010 Here.