} Craig? A good team leader? Ahhh, what memories that brings back.
} A few years ago, back in the summer of '92 to be exact, Craig and
} I happened to take a holiday at the same place. It was called
} "Sunnyside Country Farm", a place for people who live in the city (or
} remote Oracular palaces) to relax, unwind, and learn a bit about
} country farm life. It is a real "City Slickers" kind of a holiday,
} only you stay on the farm instead of participating in a cattle drive.
} It was great--I thought it would be interesting to go off and be able
} to do things the way mere people do them for a week. It does get
} tiresome having someone there to wait on you hand and foot after a
} while. (I'm telling you this in the *strictest* of confidence of
} Anyhow, we learned all sorts of things and each of us had different
} tasks to do. Some people forked hay for the horses and learned to
} groom them, others did tasks such as churning, planting the vegetable
} garden that is used to feed the farm hands and the visitors, yet others
} of us did things like milking the cows and breaking fields for planting
} the year's crops. One of my jobs was milking the cows, and hoo-boy,
} let me tell you, I never thought they'd stop laughing when I . . .
} *ahem* well, never mind. You asked about Craig....
} Craig and I were given the task of using a team of oxen to break the
} sod in a new field. Since it is supposed to be a working holiday, the
} plowing is done the old-fashioned way with a team of oxen and a
} hand-guided plow. Because we're all unfamiliar with the work, they
} only have us do a small field, and assign two people to work together.
} One person guides the plow, and the other leads the team of oxen. I
} was a bit more muscular (of course) so I took the plow, and Craig was
} the one to lead the team. They instructed us in the basics, and we
} watched a real farm hand give us a demonstration, but Craig still had a
} problem remembering the commands used for the oxen...
} "Oh, Orrie, this is a lot of fun isn't it? Gee, I'm glad..." [the
} oxen make a slow but sure right turn and are now heading across
} the center of the field]
} " Um, Craig, I don't think..."
} "Now why did they turn like that? C'mon guys turn back this way!
} [Craig tugs at the halter-rope to no avail] "Oh, gee, why won't..."
} [The oxen turn right once more and are now heading back towards
} the end of the field they started at in the first place, only more
} towards the center]
} "Craig, watch what you're saying..."
} "Woah-didja see that Orrie? The guys in the next field just got their
} team to plow up one row and turn and start down the next! Why
} won't our oxen do that, and why did they just stop??"
} "You told them to stop."
} "I did not. This isn't my fault. They're not listening. C'mon guys
} you need to turn left!! [Tugs hard on on halter-rope again. Oxen
} continue standing patiently] "Gee, why won't you listen to me and turn
} left? No! Not right again, don't do that."
} "Craig, listen. Let's switch places for a while..."
} "What? You think you could do better? HA! . . . Ouch! don't turn
} this way while I'm.. Ow!..."
} Fortunately, Craig wasn't badly hurt when the oxen turned left and
} knocked him over. No broken bones, but I think his ego took a
} beating. The farm hands did tell him that he'd created a nice
} geometric pattern in the field, but I think it will be a while before
} anyone with any sense asks him to lead the team again...
} You owe the Oracle . . . Oh, heck, just send Craig a book about the
} crop circles in England!