Ray County roads, where every cow is like family

By Jason Offutt

The message read clearly enough, I just had a hard time believing it.
“Cow in the highway at 210/Southpoint Drive if anyone knows who it may belong to.”
Someone back home had written this on social media, a place generally reserved for people to post such vitally important information as what they’re having for lunch, self-portraits taken in a bathroom mirror, what they’re having for dinner and showing how much they support (insert vital social issue).
This last one even has its own term, “slacktivisim.” Through social media people can show they care just enough about a socio-political issue to post a picture of it on Facebook and think they’re effecting change, when what they’re actually doing is showing the world they’re lazy.
But back to the cow.
Since I grew up in a rural farming area, I knew the person who posted this message did, in fact, know the animal in question was a cow. Not a bull, not a steer, not a heifer, but a cow. I’m a little surprised she didn’t list the breed and judge it using the cattle producers Body Condition Scoring scale. I guess it’s hard to fit “Hereford” and “first hip protuberance” in 140 characters or less.
But what made this post really back home were the people who commented on it (actual conversation. Names changed because I know these people and they all own guns).
Tom: Is she cute?
Alicia: I suppose, if you’re attracted to cows, or really drunk.
Bobbi: We noticed you had one testing out the grass on the other side of the fence last Sunday. I went to call you, but lost your number.
Alicia: Oh, yes, grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Idiot cows.
Tom: Why do you hate cows?
Marcia: Maybe the (name of farmer). They are out that way, I think.
Alicia: Yes, they’re out there. My sister called the Sheriff’s Department.
Kelli: Dinner.
Alicia: It will be FAST food if someone hits it going 60 mph.
Terry: I am heating up the grill.
Tom: Would that be called a flat iron steak?
Terry: The best meat is road kill. The economy being as it is we have to learn to be resourceful.
Tom: I’m drinking wine out of a QuikTrip cup.
Alicia: You could just tip the box.
Jim: I’m making Merlot in the toilet.
Me: This is hilarious. I tell my students from big cities about things like this and they tell me I’m making it up, but a “do you know whose cow this is?” post is priceless.
Alicia: Even more absurd is that I fully expected someone to chime in and claim it.
Nicole: Only in Ray County.
Amen, Nicole. Amen. Sometimes I miss being back home.
Jason Offutt’s column has been in continuous publication since 1998 appearing in newspapers and magazines across the United States. Follow Jason on Twitter @TheJasonOffutt.Bottom of Form

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