A Disturbance in the Force?

Running away at the keyboard….

I happened to be watching Star Wars the other day and was at the same time reading an online tractor pulling forum.  On the forum, I came across one of those threads that started with a comment about how great a pull was, but that quickly devolved into a nasty little name calling, accusation filled exchange.  Of course it was uncalled for, but in fact, it was embarrassing. 

So I went back to my Star Wars movie only to have Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), the Jedi Master mentor to Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker utter this nugget of wisdom: “The ability to speak doesn’t make you intelligent.”

Wow, now that was timing!

You guys ever read online tractor pulling forums?  I do from time-to-time, but not nearly as much as I used to.  While there are often interesting, educational and sometimes entertaining posts and follow up, much too often there is the “spat,” that little, “My tractor is better than yours” or “The only way you beat me was you were cheating” tit-for-tat.  Without exception, they always prove Qui-Gon Jinn to be right.

This kind of stuff has perplexed me for years. 

I mean, we are pullers.  Truck pullers, tractor pullers, garden tractor pullers.  Hell, we are even 4 wheeler pullers, golf cart pullers, peddle tractor pullers and motorcycle pullers.  By far, the vast, vast majority of us are not professional pullers.  We are weekend warriors.  And, I don’t know about you, but what that means to me is that I am going to work way to hard on a Friday getting ready to go spend way to much money on a Saturday to get to the track and get back.  And all of this for the “track reward” that might be a 50 cent ribbon or a $1.50 trophy…or more likely, not.  And when I get home late Saturday night dirty, smelly, tired, broke and with a half day’s work still to do getting everything cleaned up and put away, I’m probably going to say something like “man, that was really fun!”

In fact, the real reward for me is getting to hang out with my Dad and Mom and Sister and Wife for a whole day (generally either sweating or freezing my a-s off), and hanging out with a bunch of people that I really do like.  There is reward in participating in putting on the event.  And it is really rewarding when you see some spectators or kids intrigued with the spectacle that is pulling and think to yourself that you may be watching him or her pulling one day.

Fun, in my opinion, is the Force.  As long as we are having fun, then the Force is Strong. 

Pulling at Inverness, Zellwood, Ocala & Melbourne (the only places I’ve pulled so far), the Force is strong for the Bainter family.  We are having a blast.  We go, we have fun and avoid the three dreaded “A’s”—Acrimony, Accusation or Arguing.  We go to the track and hang out with family, friends, and competitors alike.  We help each other out when we can and get a lot of satisfaction in doing so.

Particularly as we begin the fall schedule next month followed by the Winter Nationals in January and February at Zellwood, Inverness, Ocala and Kissimmee, I say to each of my fellow pullers, friends and spectators “May the Force be with you too!”

Star Wars Video clip