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The One About Cows

People in Texas are often complaining about cows, but never for the right reason. The right reason should be because cows are stupid. If anyone doubts this, I invite them to deal with cows for any length of time because I guarantee, you’ll be driven to drink. A lot. Is there any wonder that my home state is filled with drunks that end up shooting things that don’t usually get shot? I’m sure there’s some statistical correlation between the number of cows in that state and the number of drunks. No wonder the Southern Baptists in my hometown had to hide out at the country club to drink; most of them were ranchers.

But no, most people complain about cows because they can never get cows to do what they (the people) want them (the cows) to do (it goes without saying that cows pretty much are going to do what they want to do if left alone, and those activities are the ones I take issue with, i.e. COWS ARE STUPID. But I digress). The ranchers and farmers are always griping because the cows won’t go into the barn to get their vaccinations, the cows stayed out in the fields during the blizzard and froze to death (see? They ARE STOOPID) instead of going back to the barn, the cows wandered out through a broken section of fence and got hit by a speeding drunk football coach, the cows wouldn’t let themselves get herded onto the truck bound for the slaughterhouse (that reason actually makes them look smart), or the cows ate all the feed in the barn instead of staying out in the pastures where they’re SUPPOSED to graze. So gripe complain and whine about the bovine scourge of your existence, Mr. Farmer Dude, because at least you’re griping about an animal that burps up food it ate four hours ago and chews on it. Something like that deserves a complaint or two.

We spend way more time griping about each other.

Yeah, we get on each other’s nerves. There’s the guy that parked sideways across three parking spots. There’s the lady who bought an iPhone but she’s never heard of the Internet. There’s the kid drinking shampoo in the dog food aisle at Wal-Mart. There’s the guy who thought jumping a dead car battery next to a gas pump was a good idea. Yeah, there’s plenty complain about coming from all directions during our days, but what’s interesting is the amount of time we devote to being royally hacked off because someone didn’t do what we either expected or wanted them to do. “Bob moved in and refused to hack into the neighbor’s cable box. He’s a computer genius, for Christ’s sake!”. Or the homeless guy that gives you the stare of death because you won’t turn around, walk seven blocks, and take twenty bucks out of the ATM for him. I, for one, would be pissed off that I was homeless. No time to be pissed off at hipster yuppies being lazy! Get me a house!

I’ve had plenty reasons lately to be pissed off, and for good reasons. Usually when I get this mad, I’m going through my index cards of revengeful goodness to pick out something really appropriate, but on reflection, I found that a decent amount of time had passed and I’d never really gotten mad at all. Yeah, I was out a couple hundred bucks that could have been spent on coffee and guitar strings, I had to spend six or seven nights explaining myself to the mental equivalent of a concrete floor, and I wasted a lot of time that could have been used on people in my life that mattered. But when the dust settled, I realized that the reason I wasn’t mad was because I had expected all of it to turn out the way it did. The irrationality, the overreactions…none of it surprised me. In other words, the cows were being stupid and I had no reason to gripe or complain. Why?


I’ve often described this as knowing someone who suffers from Bovine Actuality Syndrome. If I were to write a poem about this, it would go “A cow is a cow is a cow is a cow….” and so on. Basically meaning that the cow is being a cow and there’s no reason to run about getting your blood pressure up. So the only reason we’re going around complaining when something’s not turning out the way we planned is because we are selfish and needy. “We want we want we want we want…..” and then screw the world when we don’t get our way, in this sense, with other people. Well, genius, was what you wanted really that good of an idea? Maybe there’s a reason you didn’t get your way.

When I arrived at my Army unit in Germany, the barracks had been set on fire the previous week. Turns out some guy had the hots for someone in the building, and when she didn’t return his affections (not sure what really happened-heard a few different stories) he ran down to the basement and lit the damn thing on fire. Just because someone wasn’t acting the way he wanted to. Well, someone acted, and that person was a military prosecutor.

There are times when I really wish that we could just get some perspective. That we could just calm down and leave the cows alone. I don’t like being around cows; I moved to the East Coast. Problem solved. So the next time you find yourself losing sleep because things aren’t turning out the way you wanted them to, ask yourself: Are you asking unreal expectations of someone? Could you probably just relax a bit and let them make up their mind, or even better…let them be the only thing they know how to be? Themselves.
Trust me. The stupid cows aren’t loosing any sleep because the rancher hasn’t figured out he’s milking the wrong cow. Er, oops.


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