Wednesday, May 19, 2004

LEGEND OF THE DAY: COW TIPPING

The practice of sneaking up on a sleeping cow and knocking it over (presuming that cows sleep standing up). What fun! And such a threat to our society that a Florida legislator sought to outlaw the nefarious practice.

I have it on fairly good authority--my brother-in-law grew up on a diary farm and his parents happened to be visiting when I called him--that cows don't sleep standing up. It is possible, the folks with decades of cow experience between them surmised, that one could stealthily walk up to a cow and, with the help of several able bodies, push against the half-ton cow. The result is most likely to be that the cow would push back, amble away, or (most unlikely) stare at you with bewilderment as you successfully knock it over. But they had never seen it attempted let alone accomplished.

Fact or fiction? Probably mostly the latter with an exceptional actual case thrown in from time to time. As the Tallahassee Democrat opines
I grew up on a cattle farm in North Florida and never once - despite the easy access to tequila - participated in the fine art of cow-tipping. Just like going on a snipe hunt, cow-tipping sounds like an elaborate ruse to get Yankees to step in cow patties.

Yet, cow-tipping has such an authentic ring of human idiocy that it's probably true.


If you don't want to mess with nighttime jaunts through patty-filled fields, click here for all the cow tipping you could want.

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