Love, Sex and Tractors

Roger Welsch, Author Motorbooks International $14.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7603-0868-4
Welsch, who lives on his Dannebrog, Neb., farm, served a spell as CBS Sunday Morning's resident down-home humorist, and his Diggin' In and Piggin' Out was ranked among the top 10 cookbooks of 1997 by Bon App tit. Now, the twice-married Welsch refers to himself as ""an accomplished and experienced male chauvinist sexist pig"" before setting out to examine dating, love, sex and romance as a key element in his ""world of rusty machinery."" According to Welsch, women learn to think and act alike at a secret Woman School, with classes often taking place in the ladies' room: ""They're in there holding a seminar on `Confusing the Idiots' or `Giving Driving Directions from the Passenger Seat' or `Packing a Purse' or `Unreasonable Demands.' "" Embarking on an entertaining ""effort to correct the imbalance, to create a kind of Man School,"" he succeeds with plenty of tool tips, workbench worries and good ol' boy humor about everything from welding and matrimony to religion and road trips. In a rambling fashion, as Welsch enters his anecdotage, he recalls a story to match every occasion, and for each tale that falls flat, he has three others that are vivid and fascinating. In his concluding chapter, Welsch describes his ""Conestoga wagon-to-spaceship leap"" from carbon paper to computers to the Internet. He found sites on the Web ""that give you a taste of the simple joy of rural life,"" and he shares message board posts from his ""cyberbuddies."" Instead of a bibliography, there's a lengthy list of tractor Web sites and tractor organizations, providing some indication of the market for this book among antique tractor enthusiasts, apparently a larger group than one might think. Welsch's well seemingly will never dry up, and the ""cybermechanics"" of computers and tractors in these final pages map new directions this humorist might possibly explore in the future. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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Hardcover - 978-0-7603-0998-8
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