'Bout a year ago I went to an auction in Wisconsin. I bought 2 tractors there and an Oliver plowmaster: an Oliver 770 and a '44 Oliver 70 on full steel. A week later I had a chance to grab my loboy and driver to retrieve my prizes. I own 6 1/2 acres and live at the end of the street, so when we got them home we unloaded in the cul de sac. (no curbs)Knowing that there was hardly any gas in the tractors, I ran to the house and filled a 6 gal plastic gas jug. All filled with anticipation, I opted to fill the 70 first. Now someone in the past had changed the neg. post clamp to one with a wing nut that stuck up so high that when you closed the battery box cover it hit. Like many, this old girl was pos. ground. In my excitment to get the 70 going, I didn't think about the cable, closed the battery cover so I could open the hood cover to get at the gas cap. I laid the plastic jug on the battery cover and SHAZAM!!!, the jug, the gas tank, the top of the tractor where I had spilled gas and my left arm were on fire. I whipped out the jug, spilling more gas on the tractor and about a quart on the pavement, which also caught fire. Ran around in a circle about three times and finally decided that the ditch was the best place for the fire breathing jug. Then I stood ther for a few seconds(after I snuffed the fire out on my left sleeve) assessing the situation with a dumb look on my face. The top of the tractor was still burning, about 200 square feet of road was burning and the jug was burning!
I thought,'crap, I'm gonna burn that thing up before I get it to the barn, that plastic jug is gonna melt any time now and the gas will run into my pond and that will be blazing too. I ran to the tractor, put the lid on the tank and snuffed that out,checked and to my amazement the jug had died out, probably due to being so full and a lack of oxygen, and there was just some residual flames on the pavement.
About that time, my son Chris, who lives accross the street came out. I was just standing ther with the same dump look on my face. He looked the situation over( part of the street still burning) and quoting me many times, He said 'what in he## you trying to do?, I can't leave you alone for a second can I?' Then He gave me a new name:Illinois psyco farmer.
Altogether, I was really lucky, a few hairs singed on my left hand, a black spot on the road and the top of my 70, and some jangled nerves. The moral of this story is : don't get old, it makes you stupid!!!
Larry Coltrin, IL, entered 2004-01-28
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