The big day was upon us. We were going to start the insemination process. Steve and I successfully corralled the girls into the holding pen while we were doing our morning chores. Michelle, a cattle owning friend of ours, offered to come by to help. She made an offhand comment about bringing an extra pair of boots and another set of clothes, but I didn’t think to ask why. The three of us stood in the pasture waiting for the semen dude to arrive. Steve took the opportunity to snap a quick pic of me. Can you see the excitement and innocence that I was wearing on my face in that picture? I had not a clue what was about to go down.
Semen Jason arrived and got set up. This is when things went sideways. It did not take long to have my innocence shattered. I was expecting the process to be kind of like a doctor appointment. The cows walk through the chute, get their backside violated, given a shot and then move along for the next “volunteer”: quick, sanitary and tidy. No, and I mean NO, that is not what happened.
Here are the valuable lessons I learned that morning. Cows do not like being in confined spaces for even a minute. In addition, cows do not like being confined AND having strangers around them. Both of these situations are bad, really bad. Seems that they induce an upset stomach. This stomach upset manifests in the most prolific fountain of diarrhea known to man. I mean like explosive waterfalls of diarrhea. Like brown water diarrhea. Like shooting from a cannon diarrhea. Like raining diarrhea. And there is no escaping it. Streams of shit are either going to hit you square from their ass to your face or in their frantic attempt to break free, their frenzied hooves are going to splash that watery fecal matter everywhere else. Worse yet, time is of the essence so there is no stopping to clean off.
So there I stood with bovine diarrhea running down my face, arms and legs. I could feel it squishing around my feet inside my boots. My hands were literally covered in shit from touching the inside of the chute. My first dilemma? I didn’t put on any sunscreen because it was cloudy when we started. The sun was strong and I could almost see my dermatologist’s wagging finger. I stood there eyeing the #50 resting inside the RTV. Do I spread some on my shit-covered face with my shit- covered hands? Semen Dude must have read my mind because he said with a smile, “I think cow shit has an SPF of like 30 so you’re okay”.
The second dilemma I encountered? The flies. The flies were everywhere. I could feel them landing on my neck, head and face. Do I swat them and spread even more crap all over myself or just let them land to shit on me as well? I opted for fly shit comingling with cow shit. At that point, did it really matter who was shitting on me anyway?
My take-away from this experience? I know it is crazy popular right now to participate in “color runs”. People pay big money to run a race while those watching peg them with packets of dye. I just can’t help but wonder if we are onto something here. Farmers are always looking for ways to bring in extra money. We’ll advertise it as a cattle chute run. No sunscreen needed.