Joel 3:10 reverses the formula, and throughout rural Minnesota, old farm combines are being crafted into engines of destruction for upcoming county fairs. The drivers are studying war, or at least aggressive driving.
I first saw a combine demo derby in sylvan New Auburn, Minnesota, fortunate enough to be represented by both Collin Peterson and Laura Brod in the halls of Congress and the state House respectively. The lumbering behemoths were made for reaping, but that July night in 2004, the prairie air was heavy with the sound of crunchy metal. My boyfriend at the time, who collected vintage tractors, noted that none of the combatants had value in the rare farm machinery market.
Two years before while I was lit dropping in New Auburn, a man working in a garden cautioned me about going against divine plans. Indeed, he claimed that Earth had just experienced a near miss from a comet; God intended that as a warning for schools to quit teaching evolution. To judge by the devolution of farm equipment that night, New Auburn had little to worry about.
But for those who love a good crash, combine demo derbies are the ticket. So far, we know of several at local heats and county fairs, where the first place driver may received about a $1500 or so first prize:
Race and Crash Day, Milroy, June 27, 5:30 p.m.
Cannon Valley Fair, Cannon Falls, July 2, 7 p.m.
Big Stone County Fair, Madison, July 12, 2:30 p.m.
Sherburne County Fair, Elk River, July 19, following 1:30 p.m. demo derby
Meeker County Fair, Litchfield August 2, 2009, 1:00 p.m.
Murray County Fair, Slayton, August 12-15, date and time TBA
Wright County Fair, Howard Lake, August 12, 7:00 p.m.
Brown County Fair, New Ulm, August 14, 7:00 p.m.
Mower County Fair, Austin, August 15, 7:00 p.m.
Swift County Fair, Appleton, August 20, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Below the fold, a video from last year's Brown County Fair derby, for those who need a taste of the action:
From the 2008 Brown County Fair:
More on combine demo derbies in te Wall Street Journal's 2008 coverage.
Photo from the Wright County Fair.