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Ima Lame Brain

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

You know how some women lovingly refer to their husbands as darling, dear, honey bunch or creampuff? My wife uses none of those sappy or corny sentiments because she’s much too honest to engage in such mushiness.  

No, sir. Instead, she refers to me as imbecile, fool, ignoramus or el stupido.

All those sincere romantic sentiments hurt my feelings, but I think the worst thing she’s ever called me was lamebrain. But in her defense, as the following example will illustrate, it is a well-deserved pet name.

For some reason, I receive market cards from auction markets all across the country. I was really baffled by one listing a “Special Lame Sale” in its upcoming schedule of events.  I was perplexed because I know there are rules about sending lame animals to an auction market.  

The strict rules were written primarily because too many dairy cows who’d spent way too much time on concrete and could barely walk were being hauled to market. So, I naturally assumed if an auction market was having a “Special Lame Sale,” the market would be inundated with gimpy dairy cows in such numbers they’d have to sell seven nights and days straight to get through all the crippled cows. Not just because of the sheer volume but gimps tend to walk v-e-r-y s-l-o-w.

I think the auction market should give a trophy to the consignor of the dairy cow that came the farthest. But I did wonder why any auction market on earth would subject itself to intense scrutiny by placard-bearing, fake-blood splattered People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals members from Hollywood? 

I showed the market card to my wife to see if she could make any sense of it, and she looked at me like I had the brains of a sea anemone and the IQ of a bag of charcoal. 

“You idiot,” she lovingly said, “someone just made a mistake and instead of typing a “b” they hit the “e,” so instead of a “Special Lame Sale,” it should be a “Special Lamb Sale.”

“Oh,” I feebly replied. 

I’m not criticizing or making fun of some overworked employee at an auction market because I’ve made so many similar mistakes in my career. If I had a dollar for every wrong key I’ve hit, I’d be in the Forbes 400.  

And I can easily see how it could have been far worse. For example, if the typist had hit the “p” instead of the “b,” they could have been flooded with antique dealers wanting to sell their old non-working lamps of every kind imaginable. 

If it would have been a Special Cow Sale, one wrong keystroke could have resulted in the sale of “Cops” or “Cons” and good luck to the pen riders trying to sort them out. Since the “r” and the “u” are kept apart by only two keys on the keyboard, I can see how a “Special Horse Sale” could easily become a “Special House Sale.”   

Then you’d have every homeowner in the country consigning to the “House Sale” who has a variable rate interest loan and just had their monthly payment doubled. If one thought finding cow buyers was tough, try finding a home buyer these days.

As bad as the “lame” error was, it still doesn’t compare to the worst “oops” I’ve ever seen appearing in a livestock newspaper nearly three decades ago. The caption under one photo said the image was of the “1983-84 Texas Junior Brahma Queen.”  

The only problem was it was a picture of a Brahma cow. Making matters worse, on the same page was an ad with the photo of the cute young Brahma Queen, only the copy read, “She will sell June 9, 1984. Just one of the outstanding females we will be offering in our upcoming production sale. She presently weighs 1,085 pounds, is a daughter of SP Jose and sells bred.”

I bet the poor Brahma Queen still gets harassed about it.

So, to whoever typed, “Special Lame Sale,” I hope you don’t feel too bad because it could have been a lot worse. And I hope you are able to find another job soon. 

Still, I worry about the auction market having enough pen space for all those hobbled Holsteins showing up on sale day.

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