Laugh Tracks in the Dust 3-22-10 |

Laugh Tracks in the Dust 3-22-10

Farm animals have an irritating habit of getting themselves into trouble that they can’t get out of by themselves. That leaves their owners, or helpful neighbors, to extricate these dumb beasts from their self-made predicaments.

This is such a story – a true one – about Bobo, the miniature (or simply stunted) Holstein bull. Now, Bobo undoubtedly had a difficult early life. After all, he wuz rescued, in half-starved condition, by an animal shelter. Then he wuz adopted by caring folks.

And that’s how Bobo found himself in a veritable bovine utopia on the Second Chance Ranch, a rural acreage operated by a soft-hearted couple – Will and Cannawe Helpam – devoted to providing the best of care to down-and-out animals – ranging from the scrawny Bobo, to crippled horses, to three-legged dogs, on down to partially paralyzed Vietnam potbellied pigs.

In this carefree existence, Bobo roamed free to develop his “masculine bully” virtues. However, that very freedom gave Bobo the opportunity to prove his “bullhood” by sparring with an ancient manure spreader parked in his pasture.

The manure spreader wuz equipped with a Y tongue and Bobo saw fit to build his bully neck muscles by lifting the manure spreader tongue with his ample set of Holstein bully horns.

That’s when Bobo ran into Murphy’s Law about if anything bad can happen, it will. Bobo lifted the spreader tongue high in the air on his horns, but then his horns became entangled in the Y tongue and the more he struggled to release himself, the tighter he got caught.

Finally, Bobo collapsed in a exhausted heap, his head and neck twisted at an awkward angle and lay there (for who knows how many hours that day?) until he wuz discovered in the evening by Mrs. Helpam while she wuz out doing evening chores.

Panic! What to do to save poor Bobo?

Well, she first called Mr. Helpam to the scene. He assesses the situation, then – being an engineer by training and trade – he coolly decides to rectify Bobo’s situation by removing the manure spreader’s tongue.

So, he assembles the necessary assortment of tools, but finds the bolts holding the tongue to be hopelessly rusted tight. No luck with that plan. Bobo has ceased to struggle. He may be near death.

In desperation, Mrs. Helpam rushed to her neighbor, ol’ Bendare Dundatt, for his possible assistance.

Ben, hurries to the scene on his ATV, and quickly takes in the Bobo tableau. Then, despite Mrs. Helpam’s consternation about Bobo’s welfare, Ben grabs Bobo’s tail and manhandles the bull to a position where one horn pops free. Then he grabs that free horn and wrenches Bobo’s head around until, lo and behold, the other horn pops out.

Ben then “tails” Bobo to his feet and the bull staggers out across the pasture, soon to be none the worse for the wear and tear. Ben gets thanked and everyone goes home.

I suppose the moral to Bobo’s story is that training in common sense sometimes proves to be the best training of all.


And, then there are rural cases where luck rules out over common sense – or no sense at all.

I’ve told true stories previously about the Parker Loosely family. Well, here’s another one. Parker’s son, Reeson Loosely, bought a place in the country and the house wuz covered with nice vinyl siding. There wuz also a decrepit smokehouse or storage shed 15 to 20 feet from the back of the house.

The shed wuz an eyesore that Reeson, Parker, and the rest of the Loosely clan decided one fine day would be easier to remove from the scene by burning, rather than by hand or mechanical demolition.

They all wondered if the shed wuz too close to the house to burn, but the consensus wuz that it could be safely burned because they had a garden hose and plenty of water pressure to suppress the heat or any wayward flames.

Of course, this consensus wuz reached only after they’d fortified their decision-making process with an ample supply of their favorite beverage. They finally decided to throw in the match. The shed burned good – too good in fact. As the flames grew higher and higher, despite their best effort at dousing it with their high pressure garden hose, they watched helplessly as the vinyl siding on the house began to sag from the heat.

By directing the water to the vinyl to keep the siding as cool as they could, they averted a total disaster and the home only suffered saggy siding. Eventually, the shed burned to the ground and the Looselys added another memory to their collective memory bank.


Gotta go do something more constructive. So, I’ll close for this week with more words of wisdom from Sir Winston Churchill. He said about America: “The United States is like a giant boiler. Once the fire is lighted under it, there is no limit to the power it can generate.”

Have a good ‘un.

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