Cows, presidents and other aliens

Recently, after a column I wrote about the Great Gandy’s Milk Carton Top Auction, I received several letters from readers who wanted reassurance that I wasn’t affiliated with PETA. Words cannot express the shock I would have felt had I taken any of these queries the least bit seriously. My motto is: Life’s too short to be affiliated with PETA. The column in question described an experience I had as a boy, when my brother and I attended an auction held by the Gandy’s milk company. Kids all over the country were invited to regionally held auctions, where they could use Gandy’s milk carton tops as legal tender to bid on all kinds of outdoor gear. My experience at the event was less than satisfactory, since I got confused and bid more tops than I had credit for, and ended up with nothing. At the end of the column I mentioned that I was lactose intolerant, which evidently struck a nerve, although I really didn’t expect anyone to take me seriously. And they probably wouldn’t have, if it weren’t for a campaign launched in March by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In protest of milk consumption, PETA started urging college students to ‘Drink Beer, Not Milk,’ and even used a take-off on the ‘Got Milk’ slogan by changing it to ‘Got Beer’ The campaign pointed out that beer is much healthier than milk, and contains no fat, cholesterol, or antibiotics. PETA even said, in an article on their website, that milk contains a bovine growth hormone that can cause men to exhibit certain female tendencies, the details of which I will not elaborate on here. The whole endeavor soon backfired, causing such an uproar that PETA quickly changed tactics. They pulled their ‘Got Beer’ ads and replaced them with a parody of the pictures of missing children displayed on milk cartons. Campus telephone poles and grocery bags started showing up with pictures of ‘Charlie the veal calf,’ who was supposedly stolen from his mother, a dairy cow, soon after his birth. This one hasn’t been such a hit, either, but you have to give the PETA folks credit for trying. They even donated some money to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, in an effort to placate the MADD mothers. Just last week PETA filed suit against New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the New York City Dept. of Parks and Recreation, and the organizers of CowParade NYC 2000, because PETA’s $10,000, fiberglass cow was banned from the parade. Officials claimed the cow, which was painted up like a butcher shop poster, was profane, graphic and inappropriate, due to some of the language written on it. Which brings up the question, ‘Why would anyone pay $10,000 for a fiberglass cow’ Anyway, several readers pointed out that, if I really didn’t like milk, I was playing right into PETA’s hands. So I feel obligated to set the record straight, take the cow by the udder, so to speak, and inform everyone that I like milk very much, and that some of my best friends happen to be cows. Furthermore, I have never, not once, paid more than $5,000 for a fiberglass animal. One of the letters I received was from Berva Dawn Taylor, of Doole, Texas, asking me to do a follow up on the milk story. She sent me a copy of a Scripps Howard News Service article about the PETA ‘Got Beer’ campaign, clipped from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Which brings up another question, namely ‘Why is someone from Doole, Texas reading the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’ Ms. Taylor also enclosed a couple of ‘Beef Food Safety Tips’ refridgerator magnets, and a brochure called ‘Wow That Cow!’ which contains a lot of interesting information about all the wonderful things cows do for us humans. Of course, since I grew up in Central Texas, and have lived around cows all my life, I already knew that cows are vital to our existence. Besides giving us milk and meat and leather and methane, cows also provide important pharmaceuticals, such as chymotrypsin, insulin, vasopressin, and vitamin B-12. The big surprise, to me at least, was that the brochure didn’t mention that cows sometimes explode, which can provide a great deal of entertainment for anyone who happens to be watching when this happens. I have never, personally, seen a cow explode but, according to a newspaper column written by Dave Barry several years ago, such an occurrence is not out of the question. A reader had sent Dave an article about a New Zealand farming family who was standing around admiring a cow they had just bought when it unexpectedly blew up. Sadly, this was not covered under their factory warranty. Perhaps you, like me, are skeptical about the concept of exploding cows. Perhaps you, like me, have hauled hundreds of cows around on bumpy, dirt roads in shockless trailers, and never even had one ignite on you, much less explode. Well, let me just point out that it’s possible that none of those cows were the victims of alien implants, which could explain a lot. Alien implants, according to a company called Esslingen, are becoming a real nuisance lately. Luckily there is hope for those afflicted with this malady. For only $49.95 Esslingen will send you their ‘Award Winning’ AIDARD (Alien Implant Detection and Removal Device), with which you can ‘detect and remove those unwanted alien implants.’ Esslingen’s website contains testimonials from several of their satisfied customers, including: Jeff Albrecht’When my wife told me about her suspicion of being implanted I thought back to the vows on our wedding day and I couldn’t remember anything about alien implants.’ (Ironically, neither can I) Scott Flaherty’I never thought I would need it until I woke up naked on the side of IH 5 just south of Seattle hours after I went to bed.’ (That must have been quite a party, especially if Scott lives in, say, Houston) The point is that, if aliens can implant humans, it stands to reason that they can also implant animals. The New Zealand cow, therefore, may have exploded because of a malfunction of its implant. Not only that, but these implants might cause all sorts of other strange behavior in animals and humans. This may explain the abnormal activities of such people as Regis Philbin, Jerry Springer, Dennis Rodman, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk, even Bill Clinton. We may never know unless one of them explodes, which would be a terrible thing, especially if it happens on television. Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist with a strange bump on the side of his head. Write to him at PO Box 564, Mason, Texas 76856 or To order your Alien Implant Detection and Removal Device from Esslingen, go to: members.tripod .com/~esslingen/esslingen/alien.html (MC, Visa, & Discover accepted)

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