Sunday, April 6, 2008

Funny Story (Not me)

True story.

I was in grad school in Sydney, living on campus. There were two Danish guys in the dorm, Mike and Lasse, who had kept in contact with some Danish girls who were going to another university out in the sticks, around dairy and emu farms. Since I didn't have any family around, and had no money to fly home for the holidays, they were nice enough to invite me to their little Scandanavian Christmas.

Things started out great. I was the only non-Dane in the room, but everyone was so nice, I was really starting to feel welcome. Then they prepared the Gluck.

If you don't know what it is (as I didn't then), let me explain: Gluck is a traditional Danish holiday drink made from hot wine, but there are spices and nuts and rasins and shit in there too. I guess you have to have been raised on it, because I could barely choke it down. But since I was a guest, I did my best to smile and swallow. I drank entirely too much of it. ENTIRELY too much.

Later on that night, after everyone was a bit lopsided, the American bashing started. Not mean spirited, or anything, but needling just the same. You know, things like, "Why do you love war so much?", "Why are Americans so fat?", and "What makes you think cow tipping is so funny?"

I was trying, without much effort or success, to defend myself. I explained that I didn't think cow tipping was particularly funny, and that I had never actually been cow tipping. So of course Mike and Lasse start screaming, "Let's do it! I want to see an American tip a cow! That would be funny as hell!"

I said Fuck no, I'm not tipping a cow, but everyone was really into it, and Mike and Lasse said that they'd go with me and tip as well. In my drunken mindset, it started to make more and more sense to me, so I reluctantly said Okay.

So we went out into a field that has maybe six or seven cows in it, and Goddamn if Mike didn't pick out the fucking biggest cow. He said, "Tip that one. Just walk up to it an push it over." Are you fucking kidding me? The cow must have weighed 500 pounds. There was no way I was going to just push it over. I said as much to Lasse, and he said, "Okay, get a running start."

Well all right...that made much more sense...I got about 50 feet away from the cow and took off. I got up a good head of steam, and ducked my shoulder at the last minute for the best impact. I even aimed high for the best leverage possible.

Lessons learned from that experience:

1. Cows are fucking heavy.
2. Cows are fucking hard as rocks.
3. I am fucking stupid.

I just about fractured my clavicle, and the cow shuffled over about half a step and walked off, leaving my stupid, drunk ass whimpering in the mud. The rest of the cows woke up and sort of wandered off. Mike and Lasse were pissing themselves in laughter. I picked myself up off the ground and resigned myself to taking the walk of shame back into the house.

As we were walking back, we passed a Momma cow and her little calf. I don't know anything about animal husbandry, but I guess the calf was maybe a year old. Cutest little thing. Mike pushed the calf over. He didn't say anything, didn't look to Lasse or myself for approval, just suddenly pushed him over. And started laughing like a lunatic.

The Momma cow freaked out. She gave a scary ass cow scream, which I had never heard before and hope to God in heaven that I never hear again. Jesus Christ, I nearly shit myself. I had no idea that a cow could make a horror-movie scream like that. Then the cow charged. Fuck, you never saw three drunks run like that. Suddenly, I remembered a joke from my childhood. Something about running from a hungry bear: I don't have to be faster than the bear, I just have to be faster than you.

Lessons learned from that experience:

1. Cows are fucking scary fast.
2. Drunk people can't run.

I was clearly in the lead, running back toward the fence. I hopped nimbly over (har har) and promptly spewed all over myself. Purple fluid, nuts and raisins came shooting out of my mouth like the pie eating contest in "Stand By Me". It was evidently quite spectacular.

Mike came over next, but it was obvious that Lasse wasn't going to make it. I guess he thought he was being chased by a bear, because he decided to fall down and play dead, but it was clear the cow wasn't to be had so easily. She stopped, rolled Lasse over with her nose, and started sniffing him. For a minute I thought his ruse was going work. Then the calf trotted over, and I swear, with God as my witness, monkey-stomped Lasse in the nutsack. Then the Momma and baby just walked away. Lasse projectile vomited in a fashion very similar to my own. Mike and I stood there, open-mouthed, disbelieving.

We never spoke of the incident again.

No comments: