Monday, June 28, 2010

Make Your Moove

I grew up on a farm and when my dad quit farming, I decided that getting covered in shit and working really long hours was really appealing to me. I opted to get another job at a farm in town and I truly enjoyed working there. It was very hard work, but it was rewarding: waking up at 4:30 AM to be at work by 5:00, working from then until about 6:30 PM, milking cows, driving tractors, and just generally doing what they show on a Wranglers Jeans commercial. That doesn't mean we didn't have fun working there though. I remember one particular morning, a strange thing occurred...

It was morning milking time and we were just getting started, so I would guess it was probably about 5:30 AM. One of the other guys that worked on the farm by the name of Troy was wandering around before going to feed the cows. I was starting the task of milking and he came walking past me. He and I had a fun little game we liked to play in the morning that went a little something like this:

Me: Hey Troy!

Troy: WHAT?!? (Faking anger)

Me: Fuck you.

Troy: Shut. Up.

Me: Shut the fuck up.

Troy: SHUT. UP!


This would go on until we were shouting obscenities at the top of our lungs at each other for no good reason other than it kind of woke us up at that point in the morning. It ended with one of the two of us waving our hand above our heads with a big goofy grin on our faces, saying, "Mornin'!". The other would be forced to do the same and then we went about our days. It always managed to keep us entertained and happy. I don't know what that says about us, but it can't say good things.

In any event, I was in between a couple of cows, putting on a milking machine when Troy went traipsing past my field of vision. I then proceeded to yell at him:

Me: HEY!

Troy: WHAT?!?!



*Large thump from an indeterminate source*

Troy and I stared at each other for a second, trying to figure out what exactly had made that noise, when all of a sudden Troy got terribly pale and looked to his left at a cow that was laying down. He bolted towards the animal and I did as well. I had no idea what was going on, but judging from the look on Troy's face, something was not going well. I ran over to see the cow on the ground, pulling its collar to an extreme and choking itself. Troy and I leapt into action, Troy going to the front of the animal, grabbing the collar, and tryin to unhook it while I pushed the animal up from the back, allowing the collar to loosen some slack. If you've never tried to move a cow that's dead weight, it's very difficult. A cow can average anywhere from 1200 to 1500 lbs and this was a Brown Swiss cow (one of the larger breeds), so she was probably about 17-1800 lbs. We managed to get enough slack to remove the collar, but the cow just put her head down and laid very still suddenly. Immediately we called for the owner of the farm to come down to help, and he ran to us.

He put his head down and just said she was dead. Now this may seem pretty sad, but it wasn't all that out of the ordinary; farm animals died all the time, it is just a way of life. This cow in particular was old (about 13 yrs old, which is a pretty old cow) and we were pretty sure she had a heart attack. The odd thing was the timing: she literally dropped as Troy finished yelling at me and he just happened to be about 10 feet from her when it happened. We will never know if Troy startled her that much and she died or if he has some super power that allows him to kill bovines by yelling at them to "shut the fuck up", but one thing is for certain...

I am not letting Troy anywhere near my fucking cows. Ever.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire?

It's always good to stay in touch with your friends from High School when you go off to college. Especially if your friends go to the same college! But what happens when you have to come home for the summer to live with your parents? Well, you hope that some of your friends will have to come back home as well, thus allowing you to party with them. The only problem is that you are living with your parents. But then you just wait for a set of parents to leave and you can party at their house. While my parents never went anywhere, luckily for me some of my friends' parents would leave their house in the capable hands of their responsible, college-aged children. This is a story of one of those times...

My friend Kat had a few of us over to her house when her parents weren't there for a weekend and we decided to have a couple of drinks. Now, when I say a few people, I actually mean that this time: there were only about 5 of us total at the house. The problem was that three of us were dumb, 20-something males who grew up in the middle of nowhere. So, when the words "fire pit" and "bonfire" were thrown around, we immediately decided to investigate this further. At this point, our bloodstreams were probably flammable due to consumption, so the last thing we needed to do was play with fire. Thank god we were all rational adults, so we all decided to sober up before we played with fire.

After that fantasy never happened, the three of us (myself, Jake, and Corbin) headed outside to get some serious flames going. Now, unfortunately, Kat was being a major buzzkill (read: more sober than us) and said we couldn't do that and she wasn't going to tell us the location of any fire-starting supplies. Luckily for us, Jake was dating Kat at the time, so he went outside and said, "I know where they keep the gas! And I've got matches!"

The three of us went to a shed near the house and went to find the gas Jake said he knew of. Not only did we find a gas container there, but we found 3 gas containers! We had stumbled straight out of reality and into a Darwin Award! Too bad for the human race, we weren't removed from the gene pool that night, but something pretty damn funny did happen...

All three of us decided to go out and put some wood on the fire pit and some gasoline on that wood. All was going just fine until we light it all on fire. Nothing exploded, but we did notice there was a bit of grass outside of the fire pit that had lit itself on fire. And by a bit, I mean something roughly the size of a football. I am not over-exaggerating anything this time, we were in no imminent danger. We were a good distance from the house, woods, cars, and other people. And that's why what followed is so stupid.

We all agreed in a well thought out, calm conversation ("Dude, the grass is on fire!" "Should put it out?" "Probably should" "I'm drunk as hell right now, stop harshing my buzz with talk about fire") that the grass should be extinguished. So, Jake and I (being slightly more sober than Corbin) looked around for something to put the fire out with. Corbin, being a man of action (drunk), decided to stomp the fire out. This is just fine most of the time, but I think I left out one important detail:

Corbin was barefoot.

Actually, I left out two important details:

Corbin was barefoot and his feet were soaked in gasoline.

It took Jake and I a minute to realize that our friends feet had CAUGHT ON FIRE and we should probably do something about that. You see, we managed to spill everywhere with our gas (probably because we were flinging gas at each other, but that's neither here nor there) so Jake manage to get Corbin to the ground and I patted his feet out. Luckily, Corbin was one of those genetic freaks that didn't really feel pain like normal people (seriously, they made Jackass-style videos of him getting tazed and things like that), so he was no worse for the wear. That and all the booze made him just fine. It was at that point we all realized the grass was still on fire and we still had to do something about it.

You ever have one of those moments where everything happens in slow motion, you know it's all going to end badly, but you still can't react fast enough? This was one of those moments. I am sure it had something to do with all the alcohol, but for whatever reason, I just sat back and watch what happened next. It was like seeing the unveiling of the PT Cruiser: you knew it was a bad idea and it could do a lot of damage, but you kinda wanted to see it go up in flames.

Corbin proceeded to notice the grass was still on fire and sprang into action again. That's right: after we had just stopped his feet from being on fire, he tried to stomp out more flames. This, unsurprisingly, lit his feet the fuck back up and we had to put him out once again. I then got up and stomped the fire out with my shoe-covered feet and everything was fine. Jake and I asked Corbin if he was okay and he seemed to be. After a strange conversation about bacon (probably brought on by the smell of burning flesh), we all decided to let the fire burn out and go back inside to drink more.

I wonder if they ever covered that scenario in D.A.R.E.?