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November 7, 1998

Saturday Morning Farm Thoughts

The front lines have moved closer. I awoke to the sound of gunfire this morning, unlike the dead silence that awoke me yesterday. Someone not far off had obviously spotted a deer. Perhaps one of the small deer that I've seen every night this past week I thought. None of them would make much of a meal. I can't imagine any hunter even taking a shot at one. It seems that you would be the laughingstock of the entire town if you brought it to the butcher shop.

Not a big fan of entertaining macabre thoughts, I turned the radio on to the local radio station. They call it the big AA, but I'm not sure why since I don't believe there are two A's in the call letters. Anyway this is a radio station that thrives on dead air and playing half of an advertisement. They do this with such regularity that I can't imagine them having any loyal customers.

This morning they promised to give the sports news that we all were waiting for. They then proceeded with a short newscast followed by again promising to give us the much anticipated sports news. A half commercial later they began reading the obituaries.

I half remember them doing this in my youth on the local radio station in Keene, NH, but here it is a lengthy and daily occurrence. They go into great detail and with a lot of repetition. The key to all of this of course is that the local funeral homes are the biggest advertisers on the station.

When they finished the obituaries they once again promised the sports news that we all are awaiting. A man with a raspy voice, the local "big talent" began by saying, "the cold weather must have had something to do with it." There was no further explanation as to what the hell he meant by that.

He began playing cuts of three radio guys screaming over one another the gist of which was "touchdown!" Then dead air. A few moments pass, then the raspy voice says, "that wasn't the end of it."

By now I'm hooked. Another cut of guys talking all at the same time, "he scores!" Dead air.

"We don't have time to finish the sports right now since it's time for the news," (which means more obituaries to follow), "we'll bring the rest after the news."

Well technically he hasn't given us any of the sports yet, but I'm hooked on this bad radio. Another twenty minutes of Newt news, obituaries, weather (it's 26 degrees), five half commercials and finally back to more cuts from the exciting game. We won, whoever the hell we are.

Heading out into the cold I was confronted by the sight of the cows all looking over at me in what has become a daily ritual. The cows all line up at the gate of the side pasture in the morning convinced that this is the day of their liberation. They will remain here until noon, when one of the rebellious cows finally tires of waiting.

I'm not sure which cow (the Speaker of the Cows) convinces them that something is about to happen every morning but it may be time for them to elect a new one.

Cows have to be the dumbest animals around. But they are patient. Maybe the two are related, patience and stupidity. I'm one but not the other. I'll let you figure out which.


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