From the GRADER cab, you watch the BLADE OPERATOR squat beneath the GRADER with the MUSK MELON, which is carefully pushed into the edge of the GRADER’s BLADE, slicing the MELON perfectly in half.

The BLADE OPERATOR hops into the cab, the glorious aroma of MUSK MELON filling the cabin.  

 “Enjoy!” says the BLADE OPERATOR, handing you one of the MELON halves. 

Gazing at the golden-orange fruit on your lap, you reply, “You don’t happen to have an extra spoon or something, do you?”

Smiling mischievously, the BLADE OPERATOR pushes open the compartment meant for storing sunglasses above the windshield, revealing a fork and a spoon.

“You take the spoon, I’ll manage with the fork. And scoop the seeds into this cup. I’m a saver.” They point toward a coffee mug that reads “HAWKEYE POINT - 1,670′.”

The two of you dig into the MELON halves as the BLADE OPERATOR puts the GRADER into gear and heads toward town. The BLADE OPERATOR talks for almost the entire ride.

“You know, being a BLADE OPERATOR is a highly respected position.”

“That farmstead over there belongs to my buddy PAT. She had a pretty good RUTABAGA harvest this year, but she’s had some trouble with RUTABAGA BANDITS pilfering some of her crop.”

“I got rid of my cell phone. I’m no 5G conspiracist; I just think it improves my quality of life to not be connected all the time. You ever hear ‘You Can Have A Cell Phone That’s OK But Not Me’ by Jonathan Richman? I’d kicked the phoneless idea around for years, but that song really pushed me over the edge. All that said, I never leave home without my iPod touch.”

“Yes, some people call it a GRADER, but to us OPERATORS, it’s a BLADE.”  

“I can’t believe ANDREW W.K. is still ‘missing.’ Not that ‘ANDREW W.K.’ ever really existed in the first place, as I’m sure you know.”

“You can call me HARRISON FORD because I run a BLADE, heh heh.”

“Speaking of, I didn’t think BLADE RUNNER 2049 was all that bad. Though was THE GOOSE playing the same character as the guy from DRIVE or was that just me?”

“You know, BROCK LESNAR was a champion wrestler at the U of M before making it big in the WWE. NORMAN BORLAUG wrestled for the GOPHERS too. It’s a shame BORLAUG was never able to make something of himself the way LESNAR did.”

...until you arrive in town.