Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Cow Tipping and Beer
I learned about cow-tipping from an Admiral’s son. Young Mr. Hogg… worked for a summer at our horse stable, helping clean stalls and feed horses and huck hay and straw. His dad showed up one day to the stable, elegant in his Navy whites, not even wincing when I walked up to him covered in hay-dust and dirt—he shook my hand and said: “good, hard, dirty work improves the soul…” He arranged with my mother for his son to work for us for the summer.
He spent the summer among my entourage of townie friends—teaching us all college drinking games, like quarters and a game that involved beer in ice-cube trays, straws and a race to each end… Our riding club had a bar with beers bottled and on tap. We were all regular imbibers of beer; Belgium is all about beer… hundreds of varieties; it was and still is the best thirst-killing beverage on hot summer days when you’re out throwing bales. My tolerance for drinking has faded a lot since those days, but back then, it was part of our lives, it was a large bottle of table beer during dinner, it was a pils between giving riding lessons… even though most of us were in our mid-to-late teens, we drank a lot. American kids though, they’d find themselves suddenly free beyond their dreams, and often got in trouble over-indulging in the lax drinking laws. With 20 Frank (25cent) beers being served at the town sport hall weekend parties, it was old hat for us. However, Jim had many of us drunker than we’d ever been—just because he introduced stupid games, and encouraged us to drink far in excess to what we would normally do. He was college frat boy in so many senses… something I’d never experienced until he came along.
He then told us about cow-tipping. None of us believed it of course. Jim took off to travel around Europe for a few weeks in a junky little car, and one night, the group of us decided we were going to try this cow tipping thing. We fueled up on Duvel beer and rode our mopeds and motorcycles down the road to one of the many farms around the stable, and a couple of the boys vanished over the fence. All us girls could hear in the darkness was their questionable attempt to be stealthy while snickering and stumbling. Then we heard a terrifying sounding snort, and then the horrified cries of the boys and their running flight followed by thundering cloven hooves. It was the cliché. The only denizen in the field was the biggest bull we’d ever seen. They flipped over the top wire of the fence in time to escape the groggy bull, and they lay there both moaning in pain from the barbed wire and laughing at the same time.
Two of our friends had decided to go to a club a couple of miles from the stable rather than tip cows. On our way back from our cow-tipping adventure, we ran into those two. They were staggering side by side up the street towards the stable dragging a street-sign complete with concrete ball still on the end. We put the street sign inside the stable gates, and then all piled into Johnny’s car (a tremendous feat) and drove to Leuven to have mussels at an all-night restaurant. All of those guys are on my mind today. Jim, of course… Johnny, Lekkes, Kristof, Bastin, Alain, Kurt, Cacahouette, Veerle… What fun we had together; a ragtag bunch of aimless crazy farmer kids with visions of tipping cows like Americans do. LOL.
[Illustration/Office Special = Don't know what inspired this little thing today. I used a sharpie and and ball-point pen. Mommy monster has a bottle of "Rarr Human Repellent" ostensibly to chase away the thing that is terrorizing the poor frightened baby monstie. Who knows. It's random as usual... that's how I roll. ;)