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The 100 Days of Hell

Randy Wilson


Actually, its more like 120 days for those of us trapped on a bentgrass plantation in Georgia, but that sounded like too long a period to survive, so we stuck with 100 days.


In the olden times, in order to keep the wilt-watchers, the irrigation tech and our ownselves from going completely raging berserk at the thought of four months of endless heat, my brother Mike devised a brilliant survival tactic.

berserk at the thought of four months of endless heat . . .

Reasoning that part of the problem was mentala psycho-traumatic condition aggravated by baked brain pansMike kept track of the 100 days by posting a countdown on the assignment blackboard.


Each evening, we conducted the ceremonial erasing of the days number, sort of like sounding Taps on an army base.  We then posted the next days number and celebrated.


freaked-out-crew-worker-150x150.jpgWe also had a mechanism for that unsettling period when we reached Day Zero in September and it was still Africa hot.  The crews moaning, sniveling and whining would typically increase, as there was no sign of the promised reliefand celebrationone expected, having survived the 100 Days. 


Theywilt-watchers and the irrigation techwould curse the calendar, el nino, la nina, me, Mike and bentgrass while shrieking things like Asphalt melting! Air too hot to breathe!  Cant touch steering wheel! Hair burnt!


This is when Mike would employ the Post 100 Day Mechanism.  He would calm the unstable, frazzled, burned-out wilt-watcher by placing him in a cool, dark, air-conditioned room.  Then Mike would say, I realize its still hot, but its no longer August.  Its September now. You see, August is August, but September, well . . . September is September.  Mike said this last part in a soothing voice, like the ER nurse uses when you are on that steel table wondering how you got there.


Thenand this is importantMike convinced the wilt-watcher to repeat the mantra with him.  August is August, but September is September.


crew-chants-August-is-.-.--150x150.jpgWe all joined in, chanting and dancing . . . hey, it doesnt matter what is true anymore, by early September, were all pretty much insane and unable to face one more day in the skin-sizzling heat.


For the next month, as we waited for the first cool morning or signs of a cold front pushing down across Minnesota out of Canada on our screens, we dealt with raging, freaked-out crew workers by letting them vent and then starting the chant:  August is August, but September is September, August is . . .


Of course, the day we converted to Ultra-Dwarf, we cast aside our metaphysical rationalizing and just sat in the shade . . . and celebrated some more.


If you want to survive The 100 Days, celebrate first and then watch this slightly altered training film by Ludell Hogwaller, first shown in 2010.



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