Thursday, October 21, 2010

With friends like this

The last time I was here posting I said I would talk about last Friday and Saturdays bull weigh in and tagging. I wanted to talk about the camaraderie and fun that a bunch of cow hicks can have when they are working together. I was lucky enough to experience some of that same fun today. I really do not know why but cattlemen are just a bit different than say, oh normal human beings. I do not know if it is the things that cattlemen will experience in life that is very different from most of humanity or if it takes a bit of mental instability to be in this business or some combination of the two. It could be that cattlemen are just weird.

I do know that there is no other “type” of people I would rather spend time with. When I talk about different things than most humans ever experience that has many examples. How many of you have ever stuck your arm up to your shoulder in the anal cavity of a bovine? Yeah, I just narrowed the group considerably. If we were playing Survivor 99.98% of the world’s population would be leaving the game because the tribe of smelly arms has spoken. That would be to the extreme but I can think of many other things related that are different to “normal” humans even at the most basic level.

There are only so many people that are willing to share whiskey with their friends in the absence of cups but I have yet to find a group of cattlemen that will shy from such a feat. Personally it works for me because I don’t think like “normal” people. When I swig whiskey out of a shared bottle I do not think to myself, “Ugh, I just put my lips where Cletus put his lips.” I prefer to imagine kissing Cletus’ wife when the bottle hits my lips because I am sure at least once Cletus has kissed his wife with his lips. I do not think about it too much though or pretty soon my whole group of fellow whiskey drinkers are making out with Christine!

Last week I showed up in the late afternoon Friday to help weigh in bulls. I had not been at it long when one of my friends, who had been at it all day asked, “Did you get my text?” after rolling my eyes (I hate text) I said that I had not to which he said, “It was just two words.” I then asked him if the first word was “bring” To which he answered in the affirmative. I told him that it was on the passenger seat of my pickup under a bag of ice. I won’t tell you the second word but it started with a “B” and ended in an “R” and had an “E” in it. No, I did not have a bear under a bag of ice in the passenger seat of my pickup. It was almost like we had some type of mental telepathy that I have never felt when working with my plumber, florist or psychiatrist.

On Saturday when one of my friends slashed his finger with a tag cutter all of us were very concerned for him and his well being. This concern did not manifest itself before we had a hearty laugh and had called him every feminine name in the book but the concern was real. I was so concerned that I even let him use some of my special red duct tape to close of the wound. Very few people share these kinds of special friends outside the cattleman world.

We also had one friend that showed up with his Hereford bulls that he had been issued brand new handwritten ear tags that morning. After removing these new tags to replace them with “official” tags we chuckled at his wasted effort. In most instances that would be the end of it but not for a group of cowboys. We took his newly made tags that we had removed and later placed them into the ear of an orphan “roping” calf of a different breed combination lacking of any Hereford characteristics or color. Not only that but we are planning on taking some pictures of this less than stellar animal wearing the tag of our friends ranch and publishing it with an advertisement saying “semen available” from XYZ ranch. It takes some pretty special friends to help each other out in this way.

Today I helped some “friends” haul some of their calves to the auction. Besides the freeway bravado of Dodge vs. Ford nothing was really off limits to comment on. From remarks on the growing size of someone’s gut to the symbolic comments about the decreasing size of someone’s testicles it really was just the loving compliments among a group of cattlemen. I especially enjoyed the underhanded compliments such as, “that is so weird, last week I could only get 14 of my own calves on this trailer but yours must be smaller because 17 fit just fine.” This type of friend is hard to find these days and even harder to find with a bottle of whiskey, lack of cups and a wife and/or girlfriend that is pretty enough that you can imagine kissing her when you swig whiskey. I sure hope none of my “friends” are in trouble over this post. The embarrassment over their small calves is shame enough without knowing I am dreaming of kissing their wife and /or girlfriend.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the prickly pear aka Opuntia polyacantha.

Today’s picture is 7234w with her new fall calf last week. 13 years old and still productive and one of the smartest cows I have ever known.