When cows play bingo

Published 9:52 am Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Column: Tales from Exit 22

The Loafers’ Club was meeting.

We meet for about an hour each morning. We do nothing except talk about how we could do even less. Then we go home and rest.

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The following is a transcript of the discussion between Loafers. The words have been altered slightly to enhance the truth.

“What were you doing out in your yard on Monday?”

“I was fertilizing my lawn.”


“To make the grass grow.”

“What were you doing out in your yard on Tuesday?”

“I was watering my lawn.”


“To make the grass grow.”

“What were you doing out in your yard on Wednesday?”

“I was mowing the lawn.”


“The grass was growing too tall.”

We make work for ourselves. If the grass is going to grow like weeds, maybe weeds should be given the opportunity to grow like grass. Here at the Batt Cave, we practice selective lawn care. We leave the decisions as to the quality and location of the lawn fertilizer to the animals.

I haven’t been involved in applying fertilizer for years. Let’s see, when was the last time? Here we cut to a flashback. Ripple dissolve. Defocus. Wavy lines.

Hartland once ran a fundraiser called cow plop bingo. We had to. We don’t have a casino. The money raised by the bingo game went to a good cause. Cow plop bingo had other names. It was called cowpie bingo, bovine bingo, bossy bingo, cow chip bingo, and cow patty bingo. It was scratch and sniff. Everyone sniffed until the winner got the scratch. Bovine bingo was like a lottery only with more natural fertilizer. It was a joyful event.

We tried to hold a Miss Cow Plop Bingo competition, but it was difficult to find much enthusiasm among the community’s young ladies for such a thing. Not a one was desirous of having “Miss Cow Plop” on her resume. Here’s the scoop on bossy bingo. A bit of mowed grass was fenced in and squares chalked across it. Folks bet on which of the numbered squares the cow would drop a cowpie. There was much thought put into which numbered square a gambler put his or her money. You don’t plop your money down without researching cow patty bingo. Each bettor wanted to put his or her money where the poop would be. The cow was a healthy Holstein. When it came time to wager, Weasel bet on the square that would receive the first shade of the day. Weasel believed a Holstein was more likely to relieve itself in the shade. It is a wonder he isn’t rich. All the squares were deeded. The winner would get a swell prize.

We kept an eye on the cow. Maybe there were too many eyes on the cow. We may have made the cow nervous.

Unfortunately, a constipated cow was employed. A constipated cow! What cow doesn’t get enough fiber in her diet? She ate hay! How did a constipated cow ever get booked for such a job? Someone messed up during the job interview. The cow wouldn’t go no matter how much it was encouraged. I blamed it on Furry Murray who ate a beef sandwich in front of the cow. I think that bound up the poor bovine. It was decided by the authorities that someone should keep an eye on the cow and its movements, just in case some unscrupulous person (from out of town) moved the fertilizer from one square to another. Gambling can bring out the bad side of good people.

I plopped down and watched for the plop in the drop area. I sat near the cow pen from midnight to three in the morning, waiting for something to happen. As I awaited the momentous occasion, I considered the age-old question, “If a cow goes in the grass and no one sees it, does it still make a sound?” Nothing transpired during my shift, but I did get the experience of being a bovine bingo sentry.

It looks good on my résumé.

The cow did go — finally. We all have to go sometime. It provided free fertilizer without so much as a moo. The meadow muffin fell on the winning square to the clamor of the crowd.

I believe cow plop bingo passes as culture. It will undoubtedly be an event in the next Olympics.

What did the winner of this bizarre bovine bingo bonanza receive? A T-shirt that read, “A cow pooped on my square and all I got was this crummy T-shirt.”

Hartland resident Al Batt’s columns appear every Wednesday and Sunday.