Ten Quid Jeans

Twelve years ago I made a very significant investment, it was in no small part because of my wife, or to be more precise the constant nagging of the aforementioned.

Now, no amount of complaining by my nearest and dearest was about to entice me into the shopping lanes of Exeter. The best option was a supermarket alternative, this, by my reckoning is by far the better option. I am sure I speak for most of the male species when it comes to clothes shopping. What a dread, three, four, five shops visited and still not found what one is looking for and then if you are fortunate to find something you have to queue for a changing room to try them on.

Therefore a suitable supermarket was chosen, this being the quickest and easiest option. In a way that only men will understand, one can enter the shop in the spirit of a single-minded mission to find exactly what you’re looking for, and be at the checkout within minutes, its even possible to be back at the farm within the hour!

At the supermarket I selected a very fine pair of ten quid “ Value” Jeans, they were jet black and the very pinnacle of high street fashion, they were for best after all, as my previous best pair had been demoted for work purposes.

However, the days of being my best pair were only short-lived. After a long and very enjoyable evening spent in the snug at the Tippling Philosopher in the village, I asked my wife, who was the nominated driver for the evening to stop at the farm, some two miles outside the village, as I had to check on a heifer, which was due to calve. Despite much protestation from Louise, my wife, which went something along the lines of. “But you’re wearing your best jeans” Along with. “ If you ruin them I will………..”. I climbed out of the car outside the farm buildings and walked to the calving area.

Sure enough, the Heifer was calving, I would need the calving aid, so quickly fetched it. A calving aid is a most valuable item in these situations and takes a lot of the strain. However, it needs to be used with caution as it consists of a long ratchet handle, which can give you the most horrendous pinch injury if misjudged.

After attaching the calving ropes to the unborn calves feet and the opposite end to the calving aid, I began steadily ratcheting the calf out. Unfortunately, the rather nervous Heifer would not stand still, instead kept turning around in circles. During this struggle and the mild alcoholic haze I was experiencing, I managed to pinch the upper thigh of my new jeans resulting in a small tear. I continued to struggle with the young Bovine for a further twenty minutes before the calf emerged fully from its mother, after initial “ Vital signs” Checks I could conclude this was a successful delivery of a healthy female calf, but what about my new jeans? Needless to say, the short journey home was one of stony silence, my dear wife concentrating on the dark, wet country lanes, straight-faced and speechless.

So the new jeans quickly became work jeans, which over the next seven years became loyal and trusted friends, sure they were fading and now were a faded grey rather than the jet black they used to be, but they were still functional. I tried to rotate between three pairs of work trousers and sometimes needed all three pairs in a day. Doing anything with cows always involves being liberally splattered with cow dung, the severity of which depends on the season. In the summer when cows are grazing on lush green grass, the consistency of dung changes rapidly into liquid form and not only does the consistency change, so does the speed at which it exits the cows rear end. So one really does need to position one’s self at a strategic distance, however, this is not always possible and often the first clue is a warm clinging feeling on your leg, having milked cows for many years I have had this warm clinging feeling more times than I care to remember, the worst being down the back of my neck, whilst bending over in the milking parlour!

Incidentally, along with the jeans I owned a pair of Moleskin trousers, which are actually made of cotton but resemble the soft silkiness of Moleskin. Although these were very comfortable I limited the wearing of these, as the Tractor drivers on the farm would mercilessly poke fun at me for wearing them. I had to endure comments such as. “ How many moles did it take to make them” Another favourite was. “ If you keep wearing them, you will just dig a hole for yourself”. Only Tractor drivers – will understand Tractor drivers humour.

The jeans, unfortunately, are showing signs of wear now and the denim on the knee of one leg has been thinning faster than my hair. Indeed my wife commented just the other day that she had never seen me wear trousers with holes in. Amazingly, young people, these days pay good money to buy Jeans with half of the legs missing or shredded as though they have been caught up in the sowing machine at the factory. I have never worn jeans with holes in the knees, however, this particular pair have the tear in the thigh from the calving aid incident and another small tear in the crutch for the last three years.

Yes I know I should have gone through the gate, instead of straddling the barbed wire fence, but the bloody cows should not have been in the cornfield and I needed to get them out of there in a hurry.

I will concede though, that dis-entangling my crutch from the razor-sharp fence did use up vital seconds but thank goodness the damage was limited to the crutch of the jeans.

The hole in the crutch has never been a problem but a hole in the knee is. Unfortunately, it has been getting larger and larger and my clumsy attempts at putting them on at four fifteen every morning has not helped. The problem I have is getting my big toe past the hole, much as I try the damned digit keeps going through the hole and I have to withdraw and start over. One occasion a while ago I actually fell over, hit my head on the nearby chest of drawers and woke the wife up, something I try very, very hard not to do.

After this incident I returned home from afternoon milking and told my wife, I would put them in the bin, but after showering that evening I gathered up all of my work clothes and placed them in the washing machine, I had completely forgotten about putting the jeans in the bin and placed them in the wash also.

The following morning I returned home for breakfast and on walking around the corner of the house toward the back door, I noticed the jeans swaying gently in the breeze, suspended high from the washing line. Just then I thought the old ten quid jeans could still have some life left in them,

Perhaps the wife could sew a patch over the hole………

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