A Real Downer
By Lee Pitts
“Long time no see Lee. How are ya doin?” asked Wild Bill last week when I dropped by the Idle Spur Coffee Shop.
“Bill, I’ll tell you I’ve got so many troubles, if anything new happens today it will be at least a month before I can worry about it,” I replied.
“What’s the problem?” asked Wild Bill with a concerned look on his withered face.
I had to answer in a real loud voice because I knew Wild Bill was a little hard of hearing, but not bad for an 80-year-old man.
“My wife caught the flu bug going around, and I can’t get her out of bed. Then on top of that, my very last cow to calve had a huge calf, took one look at it and decided she too wanted to stay on the ground instead of having that whopper of a calf tug at her flanks all day,” I said.
“A downer, huh? There’s a lot of that going around,” Bill replied.
“Yeah, and with the wife being sick I didn’t have anybody to ride on the sled with the cow when I pulled her into the yard,” I said.
“Have you tried lifting her out of bed?” asked Bill.
“She’s so big it would take four guys,” I replied.
“I didn’t mean the cow, I meant the wife,” said Bill as he slurped his coffee.
I’m not much of a coffee shop person mind you, but with the wife down for the count I needed nourishment, especially after hauling food and water to the cow and the wife for three days. The next time I went to the coffee shop, Wild Bill was still there.
“Get the old lady up yet?” he asked.
“Naw, she’s still down,” I said. “You’re an old hand, what would you do if you couldn’t get her up?”
“I’d see if I couldn’t get some medicine into her,” he replied.
“I already tried that. I gave her 50 ccs of LA-200, but it didn’t seem to perk her up,” I said.
“That’s quite a big dose,” said Bill as he rubbed his fanny and grimaced. “Just take her lots of liquid and make sure she’s comfortable. Have you tried propping her up in front of the television?”
I couldn’t for the life of me understand how that would help a cow.
I said, “I need to lift her up, but I don’t own a tractor with a front-end loader and the old lady’s not worth what it would cost to rent a tractor for a couple days.”
“Don’t think much of the old gal do you?” asked Wild Bill as I left the coffee shop to go feed and water the two females in my life.
About a week later I went back to the Idle Spur and again Wild Bill was riding the same chair. By this time, I was looking beleaguered from a lack of home cooking.
“Still down?” he asked.
“Yeah, and she’s turned mean on me. I hate to admit this Bill, but I was at the end of my wits, so I grabbed a hot shot and gave her a little electrical charge hoping it would encourage her to get up. But she just moaned and laid there. Now every time I go near her, she lunges at me and tries to kill me,” I said.
“Can’t really say as I blame her,” said Wild Bill.
“Well, if she doesn’t get up soon, I am going to have to shoot her and put her out of her misery, unless you have any other suggestions,” I replied.
“I believe I’d have a doctor come by and have a look at your wife before I did that,” said Wild Bill; aghast at the suggestion.
At the time I am writing this, neither the cow or my wife have gotten up yet. I wanted to explain to Wild Bill I was talking about the cow and not my lovely wife, but for some unknown reason they won’t let me back in the coffee shop. Along with folks with pacemakers and hippies without shoes, they refuse to let me in the joint. And even if I got inside, judging by the looks on the waitresses’ faces, I doubt they’d wait on me.