As Steve and I stood at the entrance of the bidding tent at a cow auction last Saturday, looking over the sea of men wearing camouflage with mouths full of chew, he turned to me and asked, “10 years ago could you ever have imagined yourself standing here on a Saturday afternoon?” No, no I couldn’t have.
I was raised a suburban girl outside of Chicago. “Preppy” is the way I would describe my environment. If any camouflage were even worn, it would surely have an alligator or polo player embroidered on the chest! I have become a country girl of sorts who is more used to a thick southern accent than anything from the north. Still, I find myself not fully assimilated to southern culture and Saturday’s auction was just another example.
Driving up to the cow sale I noted that the pasture looked like a used pick-up truck lot. All makes and colors vividly on display. There was one foreign-model sedan among the 100 or so pickups, my suburban self figured that car owner must have taken a wrong turn on their way to Starbucks and now felt trapped in the dusty maze of F150’s.
Behind the bidding tent was the obligatory free lunch being prepared by the hosts. The smell of BBQ competed with the odor of livestock. Good smell, bad smell, good smell, bad smell. Just when I thought it was safe to inhale deeply……bad smell.
As we waited for lunch, a four-wheeler came screeching past me full throttle, loaded with at least 6 young boys piled onto each other, all laughing with wild abandon….no helmets, no seatbelts. I was relieved to see one of the camouflage dads come out with his hand in the air, but instead of having them stop because it looked like an accident waiting to happen, he said they were being too loud so it was time to park it. They obliged then headed directly over to a large, dangerous looking piece of farm machinery and started climbing it like a jungle gym. My suburban caution was on high alert once again as I saw them crawling through what looked like enormous cutting blades. Camouflage Dad seemed happy with their decision so I thought it best to mind my own business.
The lunch bell rang and everyone headed towards the tent. Before the buffet line opened, a pastor gave an extensive prayer about everyone making it home safe with their cows. Seemed like a strange choice of prayer topic to me, but hey, I bet it gets tough to keep coming up with original ideas at a cow auction.
My favorite part of the meal was the red velvet cake that was beyond delicious. So good, in fact, that I took a picture of it, which made all of the men in camouflage choke on their chew as they laughed at me and the women to look at me suspiciously. “Who would take a picture of a piece of cake?” they whispered.
I was trying to be a good ol country gal and fit in so I made the rounds talking about the new cows that we purchased a few weeks ago. I was telling everyone I talked to about how they loved having their hay fluffy in their feeding ring. I kept announcing proudly that I was the best “cow fluffer” around…….that is until Steve pulled me aside to inform me that there is an actual job in the porn industry called a “fluffer” who’s duty is to get the male actors “camera ready”. I stopped that line of folksiness immediately.
I was feeling a little embarrassed by my innocent but inappropriate fluffing comments until the bidding began. The bulls were being auctioned off one by one. As each bull was presented to the crowd the auctioneer enthusiastically noted the bull’s statistics. One stat, in particular, caught my attention. It made this preppy suburban girl giggle.
Seems that the scrotal measurement of a bull is very important, the bigger the better in fact. As evidence, the bull with the biggest scrotum went for the highest price. So this suburban girl learned something new and it goes against everything I have been told for years. Sorry to burst your bubble gentlemen, but apparently size really does matter.