Monday, December 10, 2018

A HORNY AUDIENCE

Now that I have your attention with the title, I am still borrowing posts from my past. This one is from January 2012.

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 thru the tall grass that day, I was enjoying the Egrets, Sandhill Cranes and mama cows with their new 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 and tall grass quickly disguises them.

I looked around for perhaps someone within 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 getting unstuck 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"?


31 comments :

  1. Are you going to get a lot of spam bot views with that title!

    I laughed at you curtsying and scaring those poor cow away. They really are curious animals.

    every place I or my husband ever worked got torn down.

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    1. Jean R,
      So far, spam free but there is still time. Cows are really curious but they are also easily spooked.
      Know what you mean. Do you suppose it is progress?

      Delete
  2. You tend to make the most of every situation you find yourself in. Good for you. Plus your titles are always grabbers. LOL

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    1. Annie,
      I do try to get a chuckle out of most situations. I couldn't resist the title with all those cows:))

      Delete
  3. I don't remember reading this before. You sure led (are leading) an interesting life. To answer your question … almost all of my life seems to be obsolete now. I wonder if others my age find the TV ads nowadays to be weird. Half the time I can't understand the words … much less make sense of what is being sold.

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    1. Ginnie,
      Don't feel badly about the TV ads. Unless you have a degree in medicine, pharmacy, or have one of the diseases, it is Greek to most of us.

      Delete
  4. Dear Patti, I so enjoy your writing sense. You have a sense of the ridiculous and have the ability to make a story funny when you write it down. Few can really do that. I've always been a good oral storyteller, but I don't have the knack of making my stories funny with the written word. So I admire your skill. Your life is so interesting. And you have the ability to see the humor in everything. That, too, is a great gift.

    As to obsolete: when I first starting working for a publishing house (Pflaum's in Dayton, Ohio) in 1967, we wrote our articles, they were then typeset and we got galleys of them that we read for error. The galleys were long sheets of paper on which an article was printed. None of that is done any long. everything is digital and automated! Peace.

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    1. Dee,
      Thank you so much for the nice compliment. I do lean towards humor most of the time.
      I remember hearing about galleys but never saw one. Think it would be easy to spot errors that way. Sadly those days are gone. The need to adjust is constant.

      Delete
  5. Obsolete: no longer used, out of date. Wow! that covers so much these days, it would be hard to pick out one thing in particular. I guess the thing that comes to mind quickly would be dictionaries and encyclopedias (thanks to google).
    And I worry that one day book stores and libraries (both of which I love) may become obsolete too.

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  6. Rian,
    You are right. On the shelf above my computer is a dictionary sitting on top of a thesaurus. Can't remember the last time I opened either one. The Kindle that I love and Amazon have made most bookstores extinct. So far libraries here are still flourishing but partly because of their partnership with Kindle. Times they are a changing.

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    1. I use my dictionary and thesaurus almost every day, for a crossword or to find a different word for the same meaning as one I wanted to use, but want to change it up a bit.

      Delete
  7. Great story. It made for a fun mind mooovie.

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    1. Linda R,
      Thank you and I loved the clever word play.

      Delete
  8. Those cows look pretty and it is good they were peaceful, I think they saw you as a TV show. So many jobs are obsolete or on their way out. Our local paper had an article about a huge robotic machine that will replace field workers in planting and weeding vegetables. Computer programs are replacing librarians in choosing books to buy, I know, I am a retired librarian. At the university library where I worked bibliographers no longer are needed to select books. It's a brave new world.

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    1. Terra.
      Ha ha, pretty sure I made their afternoon. Sadly I think you are right about libraries. I read a couple books a week, some from a library but I no longer have to set foot in one. It can all be done on my Kindle. Kind of miss walking up and down the isles looking for a title to jump out at me.

      Delete
  9. Obsolete? Only the weak and quiet become obsolete. We loud ladies who spent most of our life being mild now have a chance to wild.

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    1. Susan,
      We ladies will never be obsolete, I mean there is the human race to continue but a lot of the jobs we had or devices we had are long gone. Time marches on.

      Delete
  10. Not obsolete exactly, but I worked in factories and a lot of manufacturing plants have now been closed in Australia with the companies shifting production to third world countries where labour is cheaper.

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    1. River,
      Yes the bottom line in business where profit is king is hurting many. Sigh.

      Delete
  11. Yes, the world is changing, and as there are more people, there are fewer and fewer jobs like yours. You do tell a good story, Patti. I also loved the idea of curtseying to the girls. :-)

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    1. Djan,
      Thank you so much. I felt I had to acknowledge the girls as they had been such an attentive audience. Guess they don't like jokes or had all ready heard that one:))

      Delete
  12. Sweet Patti you amaze me with all of your abilities. I would never have made it as a meter reader where there were animals...I would be to busy enjoying animals and meters would go unread. lol

    As for obsolete I was a keypunch operator and typist for several years. Computers have now taken the place of both.

    I love you blog posts and so enjoy every one of them. Your sense of humor is a great gift. Hugs

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    1. Maggie,
      Thank you so much and am glad I can entertain. My sister in law was a keypunch operator and that was a plumb job.

      Delete
  13. Most of my working life was in critical care nursing. So many of the difficult measurement tools are totally obsolete. For example, the pulse oximeter the nurse puts on your finger measures the oxygen saturation in your blood. Back in the day, that measurement required a needlestick into an artery into a glass syringe. As you might imagine, the processes for billing have been so automated the simple armband is scanned along with the items to be billed. Fortunately, the tender touch and reassuring word are not obsolete.

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    1. Carolyn,
      Like some of the improvements, I am glad today my oxygen can be monitored and not have to have blood drawn.
      I remember watching them in my last hospital stay scanning everything at my bedside. Thankfully, the tender touch has not been automated. It was welcome.

      Delete
  14. What i was glad to see go was carbon paper type multiple copies, mimeograph and ditto machines that were replaced by a xerox that has now been replaced, too. Then typewriters are long gone except for a few I’ve read who persist in using them. Actually I still have my Royal Portable and an IBM Selectric manual but probably would need new ribbons. The calculator and adding machine to figure loan interest when I did a stint as a loan teller are long gone I’m sure. Then there were the highfedelity and stereophonic stackable record players for my records — 45rpm: later 7 track tape and tape recorders — so many items.

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  15. Joared,
    Oh my did carbon papers make realizing you had made a typo a nightmare. Some of the things obsolete deserve to be, others I'm a bit sad to say goodbye to.

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  16. I was brought up on a farm so I hope an audience of cows wouldn't have worried me too much! I worked in newspaper offices all my life and started out on those old manual typewriters, then electric typewriters, then a word-processor until everything was computerized. Happy days!
    Around My Kitchen Table

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  17. Haha, that's the sort of title I would come up with! :D

    Oh yes, I trained in fine art and graphics. Before computers took over the kind of work I was doing by hand.

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  18. Oh yeah! I was a long distance telephone operator, remember when no one called long distance without us?

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  19. Oh yes, I did line illustrations for newspapers. Computers now do it all. I did layout and paste up...now computers do it all. LOL

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