Friday, October 26, 2007

Cow Tipping

When Bink and I took a fiction writing class together in college. Our professor had the class break into groups and workshop our stories that way, as well as turning them in to him for review. Bink and I weren't usually in the same workshop group, as it happened, but one time when we were one of our classmates had written a story about cow-tipping.

She had never done it, but had heard about it from her roommate, who was from one of the many small towns on the east side of the Siskiyous which send their high school seniors to our college. I don't remember anything about the woman who wrote the story but I remember the story in painful detail: Some teenage boys creep out into field and tip a cow, which drowns in the mud. The story ends with the boys laughing about how they'll have to work for the farmer to pay back the $500 the cow cost him.

Being raised in the city I have spent little time around cows, and everything I knew about cow-tipping was that freshmen at UC Davis were supposedly required to sign a "no cow tipping" pledge during orientation. Bink, however, grew up in an island community where people did have cows and she explained to me that it was a pretty big (and expensive) deal if a cow died. I was irritated that the story was so bad; she was irritated that the writer had so obviously no idea about what she was writing about.

However, this has made cow-tipping a little bit of a running gag for me with Bink. Not cow-tipping itself (of course), but references to cow-tipping. Last winter there was a picture in the Chronicle of a row of birds sitting on the spine of a cow, and the caption was something like, "One, two, three, tiiiiiiiiiiiiip!" I sent it to Bink.

I watched Cars this evening, and I didn't like it that much. It was the "make friends and be a better person" Disney-type storyline, but I found the lead character, Lightning McQueen, totally unlikeable until the last ten minutes of the film. But I laughed and laughed at the tractor-tipping scene. Made the film for me.

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