Thursday, January 19, 2012

A HORNY AUDIENCE


Ok, now that I have your attention, I have a story that merrilymarylee's husband DB (who is sometimes her guest blogger) reminded me of the other day.

As a meter reader, I wasn't wild about reading meters in a city setting. Miles of walking, boiling hot sun with dogs chewing on me wasn't that much fun. However, I loved the rural driving routes.

Cow country was perfect. Bumping across pastures, spotting the occasional eagle, fox or a sounder of wild hogs was my idea of a good day. Enjoying the sight of horses with heads alert watching my progress or cows who barely raise their heads from the tall grass as I passed by.

My targets were the water pump meters that were often a mile from the gates and each large ranch had several.

As I bumped across the pasture that day, I was enjoying the Egrets, Sandhill Cranes and mama cows with their Spring calves. It was a comfortable, beautiful day.

“KERTHUNK” brought me back to reality. Backing away from the meter, I buried my back wheel in a bull hole right up to the frame.

Bull holes are large places wallowed out by a bull as a cool and comfortable place to lay. The abandoned holes will easily swallow a tire.

I looked around for perhaps someone in eyesight on a tractor but I was alone. I was saying some pretty unladylike phrases as I dug out the roofing shingles and shovel. One thing I got good at was getting unstuck for it happened regularly in the rural routes.

I dug the edge away from the hole and laid the shingles for traction in the soft sand. As I got off the ground to start the truck, I looked around. I was quite startled for I was totally surrounded. Not 15 feet from me in all directions, was a circle of quiet and curious Brahma cows. There had to be 30 of them. They had slipped up on me with the stealth of an Indian.


Not my picture

Some had horns (which explains my title), some were dehorned but none were threatening nor was there a bull in the group. There was no posturing, kicking of dirt, nor cow like snickers. They were just enjoying the show the strange human was putting on.

For a brief moment we just stared at each other. At that moment, I think I knew a little of how zoo animals must feel.

I curtsied and smiled at my attentive audience. “Did you hear the one about the cow that walked into a bar?” I asked the girls.

Guess they had all ready heard that one for the cows made the ground rumbled as they took off frantically in all directions. The show was over.

I may have entertained the girls but I was hot, gritty with sand and thinking a few dog bites maybe weren't all that bad.

I have recently learned that the power company I worked for years ago is converting to electronic meter reading. The job I enjoyed long ago will soon become obsolete. That word “obsolete” will put a creak in your bones.

Has a former part of your life become "obsolete"?




38 comments :

  1. So I assume you got out of the hole in the end? Funny story.

    I trained as a graphic designer in the days before Apple Macs. When I started all my work was done with a technical pen, spray mount and cutting and pasting everything onto board to create an artwork. I miss those days.

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  2. The job I began as a secretary has gone away, to be replaced by an administrative assistant. :-)

    But the work has changed considerably over the decades. Administrators will always be needed, and editors of grammar are even more in demand than before, it seems.

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  3. That's a funny story. I love that the cows ran away when you started telling jokes. Tough crowd.

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  4. HAHaaaaaa.... I can just see you circled by the ladies... HAhaaaa...

    As someone who started out as a secretary typing on a manual typewriter and having ... no mistakes allowed!

    then

    electric typewriters!

    then word processors to PCs...

    Some things I'm glad became obsolete...

    I miss MISS people whose jobs became obsolete due to the automation of phone robots! I HATE hate HATE having to call somewhere and go through 972 punches of this or that to get to speak to a person.. I reeeelly hate it.

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  5. Cute story! I can just imagine all those cows staring at you in a circle. And then fleeing when you opened your mouth. Haha!

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  6. Cows are so funny!

    I am glad I am no longer cautious about how many pictures I take because the more I used to shoot the more $$$ to develop.

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  7. LOVE those cows....Theyt are such a pretty color...! Great story Patti....You certainly ran into some unique situations when you were reading meters---I remember the Burt Reynolds stry---Better Burt than the Cows...!!!

    I hate that one can rarely get a "real" person on the phone these days, and if you do, they are in a foreign country...It is disconcerting on so many levels---but the Biggest one is, that those jobs used to be held by people right here in our country...!
    Being talked to by a disembodied electronic voice is pretty disconcerting, too....!

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  8. I loved working as a medical transcriptionist. Those days are gone. Computers now transcribe the doctors words.

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  9. I made extra money in college typing papers, using carbon paper for the extra copies. And in high school I worked in a record department selling vinyl records for a record player.

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  10. The most important jobs I've ever had were WIFE & MOMMY--let's hope they never become obsolete!!

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  11. I don't know about obsolete, but those cows are sacred in India, which makes me wonder what that rancher did with them here. Would eating them send you to hell??

    My granddaughter works on a bison ranch. She says they are a bit like cows but not as friendly. Wonder if they are as friendly as Brahma cattle or meter readers? Dianne

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  12. LLCool Joe,
    I hope you can still do the designs the old way or have you caved to the new.
    Yep, I got out right after the cows stampeded.

    Djan,
    At least the work is still there even though the title has changed.

    Olga,
    You nailed it. They were a tough crowd. At least they didn't throw stuff.

    Carolyn,
    I know what you mean. The power company closed all its offices and now all business is done via phone by someone not even in your area. 2000 jobs were lost, including mine.

    gigihawaii,
    I guess you could say that I really know how to clear a room.

    islandwonder,
    I sure don't miss film. Being cautious how many pictures you took then waiting for them to be developed. Like you--I do love digital.

    Smartcat,
    Gee, thanks.

    OOLOH,
    Ah yes, dear ole Burt. The near miss. So agree about dealing with a real person and especially one that I can understand. I heard some of those jobs may be coming back. We can hope.

    Linda,
    I didn't know that computers now did that function. Computers save time but they do cost jobs.

    Mercyn,
    Oh yes, those carbons so you could make copies one at a time. Boy do I remember vinyl.

    fishducky,
    Petry dishes and test tubes are making in roads on the Mommy part.
    Think we are safe however for a long time.

    Dianne,
    They are the cow of choice in Florida because they tolerate the heat so well. You would only go to Hell if you were an Indian.

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  13. Great story, Patti! Love how you hook us in with those funny titles. When I quit college after 2 years, I became a key punch operator. I was quite fast and soon worked up to a verifier position. Of course that job is obsolete and I bet the younger people wouldn't even know what a key punch operator is.

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  14. What a funny story. Jobs come and go, and some become obsolete, sometimes for the better, and sad to say sometimes for the worse. I know one thing you're too with it to become obsolete!! I enjoy your blog!

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  15. I am so happy to come upon another funny story. You and fishducky can keep one laughing for days. We will go electronic here in the canyon too, soon. Typewriters, mimeograph machines, record players and records, well, being my age, it isn't hard to come up with obsolete stuff.

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  16. You should see "bull holes" bison make, only they wallow to shed hair, too. We saw some in SD.

    Has part of my life become obsolete? Almost all of it. HA HA

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  17. Sweet Patti I am always excited when I see you have put out a new post. I know I will never be disappointed when I get here to read. You have had some very interesting experiences and still do. I was a keypunch operator in my younger days that was my all time favorite job. Now computers have taken the place of keypunch machines. Hugs

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  18. Hi Patti, I'm sure you provided some good entertainment for those cows.... How funny!!!! (Wonder why they didn't help you, the Lazy things????? ha)

    Obsolete is a scary word... Sometimes I think I am obsolete since getting old is hard... There have been so many changes in my life that many things I remember are now obsolete... Not always a good thing though!!!!

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  19. Once agian a great story. You are one capable woman. I still like your exercise table story.

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  20. Cheryl,
    My husbands sister was a key punch operator and that was a plumb job in those days. You are right, it is unknown to most today.

    Muffy,
    Aww, thanks for such a sweet comment. I can only hope so.

    Inger,
    Thanks and you are right, the older we get, the longer the obsolete list gets.

    Nitwit,
    Me too, isn't that the truth:)) Bison are so darn big, bet those holes are huge.

    Mumsy,
    Thank you for your confidence but now you have really set the bar I have to reach very high.
    You and Cheryl shared the same job. It was a really good one.

    Betsy,
    Ha ha, do we ever think alike. That is exactly what I shouted at them as they ran off:))
    My list keeps getting longer also.

    Grayquill,
    So glad you think so GQ. I just do the minimum to get by. Glad you liked the bench story. Got lots of strange hits from that title. I'm a bit of a tease.

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  21. Another fun read...I think they ran before you had a chance to tell another joke lol.
    You really made me think about obsolescence ...cant think of any job I have done that is now no more...not that I have had many different ones ...objects become nolonger needed too. How many still use a Tea Set or a Tea Pot even ...its all mugs and tea bags.What about a can opener ...not long before they are relics of the past, what with all the ring pull cans around....lets hope we humans never become obsolete. lol xx

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  22. I love your meter-reading stories, patti! Brahman cattle are so beautiful. I wouldn't mind being watched by a herd of them for a while.

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  23. Actually quite a bit of my former life has become obsolete! I guess the biggest thing is canning. There are a lot of people who still do it, but most younger people have never eaten a home canned pickle. I hardly ever can anymore either, it just doesn't make sense when you are only feeding one person.

    I grew up on a dairy farm and your story made me laugh because I can remember lots of times where the cows just stood and watched us. I always wondered what they were thinking!

    xxoo,

    RMW

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  24. Patti, if you put all of these stories together, you sure would have an awesome book. Loved this story and the photo. I don't think that I have seen cows like that before.

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  25. Angie,
    Thank you mam. I guess my career as a stand up comic bombed.
    If they get really good with robots we may be in danger.

    robin,
    Thanks robin. I just love them and they are my favorite cow. To me, they look so exotic and those droopy ears are adorable.

    RMW,
    I moan every year that I haven't learned to can. I find nothing so comforting as rows of perserved fruits and veggies lining a shelf.
    I agree and think cows out do cats in the curosity department.

    Oregon gifts,
    Thanks for thinking so Kathy. I fear I am too all over the place with my stories for a book.

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  26. Great story, Patti. Except for the getting stuck part this job appeals to me. Wandering abut, enjoying the countryside is what I love to do... :)

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  27. Hello, I stopped by way of Clamity Janet's, your title caught my eye. I was in college when PCs became affordable. Freshman year we were thrilled the library had an electric typewriter with a correction button. We were dancing in the street when we got our first desktop with a word processing program.

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  28. troutbirder,
    It really was a wonderful job when in the country. Someday I will have to tell about the spirit horse on the Indian Reservation.

    Sally,
    Welcome to TNS. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Hope my title didn't throw you off.
    I agree, I even remember old manual typewriters. Yuck. Give me spell check and auto correct any day.

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  29. Southwest Arkie,
    At least you have reminders. I just went all grey.
    Zingers can really find a home in an undeveloped personality.

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  30. My husband works with cows. I can just picture that little group standing and watching, chewing their cud, switching their tails, as you labored over that car. Cows are fun that way.
    Great story. So many things are or will be obsolete....like the buggy whip makers, many jobs will no longer be needed.

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  31. Yes, your title did catch my attention. *L*

    Do you reckon the cows were watching and thinking that Romeo, the bull, might not like what your were doing to his hole.

    Fun story and you told it so well.

    Oh...vinyl is coming back and we haven't a turntable anymore. :D
    I have a number of records from long ago. My daughter took some to frame, but I don't think she ever did.

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  32. Last summer I loaded all my CDs onto my Mac- then donated every one of them to Goodwill. It felt very, very strange - but they were no longer needed.

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  33. alwaysinthebackrow,
    I really do love cows and your husband is lucky to work with them. Who can resist those long eyelashes? They are so curious.

    Amber Star,
    Thank you and you may have a point I didn't think of:))
    Now they are saying vinyl has the best sound. All DJ's use the vinyl. They tried years ago to fix what wasn't broke.

    Linda Myers,
    I did the same thing but I was sure to back up my computer on a flash drive. Lucky I did for I lost the mother board and all my music would have been gone.
    Amazing what can be stored on something the size of a stick of gum.

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  34. DB enjoyed reading this. He says one of the parts of cattle farming he dreaded most was having to bury a dead cow.

    I learned shorthand and typing, but then dictaphones became popular, then computers. I certainly don't miss trying to type an error free manuscript on a typewriter.

    Heck, I can even screw up on a computer, even with all the cut, copy, delete, and other helpful options.

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  35. marylee,
    I am so glad DB enjoyed. I do share his love of cows. I raised day old beef cross dairy calves for a while and while it was hard, 24/7 work, I loved it. They are really cool animals.
    I am waiting for the computer that takes what we think, proof reads and corrects automatically.

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  36. Oh, yeah, but I'm not going to tell about it here.....lol

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  37. Judy,
    That sounds like a good post for the future. How about it?

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