Were you born in a barn?

-Lori Oliver

I live in barn country. Silo country. Truck country. Yes, Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Trucks.
My whole life I thought the expression “Were you born in a barn?” which of course means, you left the door open, was because barn doors are cleverly designed to self-close, so the animals can’t wander out, nor predators wander in. Turns out that’s a big nope, you big dope.
Barn doors are deliberately left open so the animals can wander at will. Because that’s how animals do. They wander. They are like shoppers in the Mall of America. No agenda, no deadlines, no meetings. They just mosey on over there for an Orange Julius, meander over there for a Wetzel’s Pretzel. One thing animals never haplessly gander, however, are the restrooms. The world is just one big Great American Cookie sheet for cows.

Through my barn door research I learned the expression can take on a derogatory meaning, such as the rather insulting, “Are you stupid?” The suggestion being the fella in the Duluth Trading Company overalls ($149.50) is dumber than the dapper dude in the Louis Vuitton x Supreme Indigo Monogram Jacquard Denim Overalls ($4,334). Read carefully and decide who is the stupid one. Intelligence-measuring-wise, a more apt comparison would be that of Boomer vs Millennial. Boomers have a good stock of “been there/done that” intelligence while Millennials have the “read about that/know where to retrieve that data” advantage. Boomers, to my mind, still hold the advantage because we have lived it, and nothing prevents us from also looking it up. Farmers know how many tons of ham in a herd of hogs, but that doesn’t preclude them from finding “Hamilton” tickets online.

The internet truly levels the field. If you want to know how a farmer actually levels a field, go here: http://www.fao.org/3/t0231e/t0231e08.htm but before you do, haplessly gander the image. Careful now, it may be more than your rig can tow—especially if you were born in a Pottery Barn.

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