I like to play pranks. Not the mean-spirited kind of pranks where folks get scared or cry, but ones that you play on folks you care about to liven up their day. The kind of joke that’s fun for all involved. I usually think up one prank a year for a cousin of mine, his name is Doug. Doug is my age, we grew up together and for lack of a better explanation…didn’t inheirt the same “wonderful” sense of humor that I did (come to think of it…none of my other relatives did either). Nontheless…I think up a joke for him (or his Dad…my uncle) whether they want me to or not. I’ve done enough jokes on my relatives that anytime something remotely odd or weird appears in their mailbox the first words that cross their lips is “Rich is up to something.” I should explain that Doug (and his Dad) are farmers in western Illinois (I’ve never held this “Illinois-thing” against either one of them…but it comes to mind from time to time).
When Doug, who’s the “brains of the outfit” now, isn’t working the soil, planting something, spraying weeds, irrigating, mowing, irrigating, mowing, getting a manicure, spraying again, feeding livestock, filling out paperwork, fixing machinery, harvesting crops, hauling grain, working the soil again, managing his employee(s) he’s probably screwing around…leading the life of leisure most farm folks do. Oh…he also sells insurance on the side, while his lovely bride (who shall remain nameless at this time as I feel the “innocent” shouldn’t be heckled in a blog) sells investments and manages retirement funds and the like on the other side of their insurance business (I’m certain that there’s a more professional term for what she does, but I don’t know it). Anywho…Doug is a busy guy, too busy for his own good some days…so I thought up another prank for him this spring (out of the goodness of my own heart no less).
I borrowed a photo that his daughter, Carlea, sent me (she’s quite a talented photographer, and dancer–neither inherited from Doug…that I know of) and asked if I could use it in the following joke. Carlea obliged and the joke was “on”.
I used the photo to have a nice sized poster and cool-ass coffee mug made (thanks Walgreens!) and came up with a name for the photo and subsequent product line “Dirty Doug…the Farmer’s Brand“. I had our nineteen year old make up a couplea “Dirty Doug the Farmer’s Brand” logos that I could tape over existing products (then make color photocopies of them…yeah….it’s very “low-tech”, but so am I) then typed up a cover letter for Doug’s wife (ol’ nameless herself–remember…she’s innocent) and sent everything to “Homemaker” at their address. This particular “homemaker” is well aware of my spectacularly odd sense of humor so she knew right away that “something was afoot” as soon as she saw the mailing address. The following is the cover letter, with full letter below.
Dear Agricultural Homemaker,
Are you tired of trying to get your Professional Agriculturalist’s work clothes clean? Are your P.A.’s clothes almost as dingy and stained when you take them out of the wash as when you first put them in? Do they have a tangy and slightly pungent odor that persists even after a healthy dose of bleach? Are you afraid that your neighbors snicker behind your back (or worse yet…to your face) about the colors in your P.A.’s yellow shirts not being as “bright as a sunflower” or that the “lavenders look more like light blue” or that the “orange looks more like salmon”? Well Agricultural Homemaker…your days of frustration are over! Introducing, new to the upper Midwest, Dirty Doug (the Farmers Brand) laundry detergent! Originally manufactured for killing foul smelling bacteria in portable toilets and disinfecting hostels in Europe (filthy Europeans), new Dirty Doug (the Farmers Brand) laundry detergent kills, disinfects and kicks stubborn stains right in the old tucuss. Your days of using kerosene and Jim Beam on your “wash days” are over!
Be one of the first in your neighborhood to try new Dirty Doug (the Farmers Brand) laundry detergent, ask for it at your local grocery store, Wal-Mart or farm supply store. Also, be on the lookout for new and exciting products coming from the good folks at the Dirty Doug (the Farmers Brand) laboratories like:
- Dirty Doug’s Laundry Detergent…in new Lavender & Vanilla…it’s not emasculating at all…we swear.
- Dirty Doug’s Beer…nothun refreshes like a Dirty Doug Wheat Beer. Just refrigerate, drink, and repeat…several times. Dirty Doug supports the designated driver.
- Dirty Doug’s Lawn & Plant Food…not everyone has an endless supply of manure like Dirty Doug, so he’s packaged some up…just for you.
- Dirty Doug’s Cheese Loaf…..we named it “Smooth & Cheesy”…just like the man himself.
- Dirty Doug’s Gas Relief…sometimes opening a window just isn’t an option.
- Dirty Doug’s Cat Pan Liners…”who wuv’s a kitten? Dirty Doug does…that’s who!!”
- Dirty Doug’s Nutty Nuggets Cereal…irregularity takes no holidays, neither does Dirty Doug. Stay regular. Eat a bowl full.
- Dirty Doug’s Mole Chaser Stakes…Ol’ Double D hates moles, and since not everyone has dynamite handy he recommends that you buy his ultra-sonic solar powered mole stakes. Mmmmm….steaks.
- Dirty Doug’s Prophylactics…Just like Barbara Mandrell, “If lovin’ you is wrong…Dirty Doug don’t wanna be right.”
Our top flight staff of scientists are working round the clock to bring you new and exciting, award-winning Dirty Doug (the Farmers Brand) products as we speak so don’t be surprised to see more Dirty Doug (the Farmers Brand) products soon! Look for the “Double D” label (or retro 70’s logo) wherever you shop and ask for Dirty Doug by name!
Enclosed is a promotional Dirty Doug poster and Dirty Doug coffee mug for you to enjoy (where are those stupid snickering neighbors now? They don’t have a wicked cool Dirty Doug coffee mug….only you do…so tell ‘em to go suck an egg!
PhD Lead Scientist
Dirty Doug the Farmers Brand Laboratories
& Stinky Pete’s Portable Toilet Operations V.P.
Soo…anyway, 2012’s prank on Doug is now officially “in the books” (or is it?) Apparently Ol Double D is enjoying his newfound celebrity (having your own coffee mug will do that to some folks). Be sure to look for the Dirty Doug (the Farmers Brand) label wherever high quality merchandise is sold.