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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Cow Tipping

By Mickey Rogers of This, That and the Other

While with a group of friends the other day, there arose the topic of cow tipping. Most of the guys claimed that it is impossible to knock over a cow but one fellow stated that he has actually done the deed! I decided to investigate.

The next morning I asked my wife what she thought of cow tipping. “I’d treat a cow just like anyone else,” she said. “If the service is good, I’d give 15 percent. If service is lousy I’d just leave a dollar.”

After laughing at her weak attempt at a joke, I dropped the subject. Later that evening, I met a friend that we shall call “Farmer Brown.” Brown has worked with both beef and dairy cattle for more than 30 years so you might say he is an expert on the matter.

“Is cow tipping an urban legend?” I asked my friend.

“Actually, it’s more of a rural legend,” he replied. “According to cow tipping lore, one sneaks up on a sleeping cow and plows into her side, knocking her over.”

“Is that possible?” I asked.

“I suppose anything’s possible but knocking over a cow is highly unlikely,” Brown responded. “Cows have excellent senses of both hearing and smell so it would be difficult to sneak up on Old Bossie.”

“Do cows sleep while they’re standing?” I enquired.

“Occasionally cows might take a little nap while standing, but for the most part they lie down to snooze. Even if you could sneak up on a cow, remember that they weigh between 500 and 1,500 pounds. That’s a lot of beef to move.”

“How about if you were running at top speed when you rammed a shoulder into the beast?” I wondered.

“Like I said, the chances are not too good that you could sneak up on the critter but even if you did, you’d most likely fail. If successful, you could injure the cow. If you picked on a bull by mistake, you’d probably be the one hurting.”

I then asked: “Well, could several good-sized guys working together knock over a cow?”

“Again, they’d have to sneak up on the cow, which wouldn’t be easy. If they could do that, then maybe they could knock it over.”

A few days later I was once again with the group mentioned earlier in this story. This time a guy named Fred, who was not at the earlier get-together, claimed that many years ago he had indeed knocked over a fully-grown cow all by himself.

“Old Bossy was standing in the field, fast asleep,” he said. “I gave a good run and at the point of attack, I stuck my shoulder into the beast. She plopped onto her side, looked up at me with those big cow eyes and let out a pathetic ‘moo.’ At that time, I saw the lights come on in the farm house so I got the heck out of there.”

So there you are. Most “experts” claim that cow tipping is impossible or at least highly unlikely. A few diehards, however, claim from personal experience that a cow can be knocked over. I tend to think that tipping over a cow is about as likely as catching a snipe or having the federal government agree to live within its means.

However, the only thing I know with absolute certainty is what Bev had told me. If the service is good, a cow should be tipped at least 15 percent.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Great Story!! I will do an unofficial survey here in Michigan at my next morning coffee. If I hear anything of interest, I will forward it to you.
Michigan Grandma

Your wife's joke was not a weak attempt. I think she came up with the best answer for cow tipping.

Mickey - Funny story!

As a kid I often took a short cut across a large field to reach a friend's house. Frequently, a bunch of cows would thunder after me in hot pursuit. Are you certain that 'cow tipping' doesn't refer to them tipping over us?! - Sandy

I'll stick to sheep tipping. I'm too old and too weak to knock over a cow.

I'd give a cow a twenty per cent tip if the service was good!

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