RIDDLE: What’s white, tan, gray, and red, and has ants crawling over it?
ANSWER: An irrigator.
White is the color of her forehead, which is always covered by a hat, and her torso and legs, which are stuck in rubber boots. (Irrigation boots are neither comfortable nor stylish, and they’re inevitably too hot or too cold, depending on conditions.)
Tan is the color of her lower face, neck, and arms, as well as the straw hat she wears when the sun’s beating down.
Gray is the color of the mud splashed and smeared all over her—clothes, hair, face, everything—as well as the mud caked on the shovel handle, sidewalk, doormats, and piles of clothes and coats waiting to be washed in the laundry room.
Red is the color of her hands, which, although protected by gloves, are protected by wet gloves.
The ants—sometimes accompanied or replaced by spiders—are the refugees whose homes she’s just flooded. They were frantically treading water and latched onto higher ground when it sloshed past them.
We irrigating women need some help. Surely there’s some designers and stylists out there, maybe people who grew up on a farm or ranch, who care about our plight and dare to come to our fashion rescue. We don’t necessarily want elegance or panache, but if a delivery truck or neighbor car pulls into our lane, we don’t want to feel obliged to run and hide!
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.