Reid McCarter, my colleague at Bullet Points, and I recently took a trip to Bolivia. It was just the two of us. Doing guy stuff. No wives. Something about that fresh South American air, those verdant fields, the roaring engine of a compact utility tractor (this year’s 4 Series really is a class leader) puts the hair on your chest. We had a frankly priceless time. From the pictures below, we’re sure you’ll agree that – although it happens all too rarely in this day and age – when men are allowed to be men, livin’ off the land and sippin’ beer, it’s just goddamn magical.
Here’s what we got up to
After a night under the stars, by our tractors (mine was in Piston Red, Reid had chosen Casablanca Blue) we awoke ready for a day of plowing
I must have hit “snooze” because when I woke up again, about half hour later, the sun was up and Reid was leaning over me. He just couldn’t wait to start work! Men just don’t have that kind of ethic enough these days. As for the pick up in the background, we’d rented it off Hertz when we got off the plane but pranged it the night before after a few too many locally brewed ciders. If the woman whose outside toilet we smashed into is reading this, what can I say? Shit happens!
I brought the tractor around while Reid laced up his boots. Real leather, steel toe caps. Good job, too – when we were carrying his new 50 inch into the rec room last month the corner dropped on his foot. Plus he does a lot of wood work – for my birthday in 2014 he carved me a Buddhist strength symbol. His entire garage in fact is made of wood. Later that day we free hand climbed those cliffs.
Got plowing about 7:30 AM. Already two beers deep here. The humidity is so much you just sweat it out. No idea who the woman is back there. But she didn’t mind us driving our tractors around…
…or taking a break in her big bowl of beans…
…for an hour or so.
Reid wanted to get a picture with my 4 Series so I pulled ‘er over and let him take a few snaps. He gave me this one to keep. All his tats are custom designs by the way. He inked most of them himself, too – you can’t see it here because it’s on his inside thigh, but he’s got a huge eagle, smoking a cig and flipping the bird with one of its talons. But one of the wings is a bit bigger than the other to cover up the name of his ex-wife
I asked the woman (I think she owned the place or something, I don’t speak German) to take this for us. I told Reid we could send it to Dunceman’s Tractors in my home town, try and get an advertising contract. He said that sounded girly. He was right. But I do enjoy how the offside rear wheel matches his outfit.
It was time for lunch. Corn and fresh water. We shot it ourselves.
In the afternoon it started raining, but we didn’t care – rain is nature’s hot shower. I bought those hats for us before we left. Hand-crafted by a tanner back home called Richard Jackson Kinnerson. He says he’s the ancestor of Jim Bridger and I believe him.
Not sure how this got in the roll!
This speaks for itself. Sometimes you just gotta get away from it all, you know? I said to Reid: “this rain, it’s like God is washing away all our stress, all our pain.” The whole trip was special but I think this was the moment he and I became closer than ever before. And before you ask, yes, I would die for him…
…and I would kill for him.
It was soon time to get back to work. I joked and told Reid he’d be riding “bitch.” He didn’t laugh. In fact, it made him quite angry. I think that’s why he shot that bird.
It was nearly the end of the day. Reid wanted to test out his new Girthman’s (binoculars to you) so I said I’d get in the foreground so he could test the depth perception. “Now that’s a vista,” he said. Then the local police showed up and said something about a car crash and two guys destroying a field, so we took off.
This is my new Facebook cover. But no-one appreciates it. Mum won’t accept my friend request and Shirley left me for that guy, just because I said I didn’t give a fuck about her reviews of street food. Their loss. Probably will send these to Dunceman’s to be honest.
It had been a long day. We were arguing about which Swiss Army knife was better, the Wenger or Victorinox. Eventually Reid joked: “we shouldn’t quarry.” I told him the word was “quarrel” but considering we were near a quarry I guess the joke still worked. Those cops from before were back again by this point, shouting and pointing guns. Something about two men in a field shooting a bird and the bullet hitting a kid in the leg. No idea. But it confirmed what we already knew: in this world, if you want to stay a man you’ve got to take it to the extreme, so we got back in the car and Reid gunned it while I looked for our Boston CD
This world would never let two guys as strong, as fearless, as just goddamn crazy as us live in peace
We loved life. We loved good old fashioned values. We loved each other. With a double finger to the world we decided it was time for us to move on down the road of life, to the cul-de-sac of death. I know what you’re thinking: “Reid, Ed, you both live on the edge of the night and take no prisoners. What will the world be without men like you?” Well kid, all we can say to that is…
…WE GOT YOU COVERED