Monday, May 15, 2017

Down on the Farm, Way Down

Consider this another disclaimer. 

If you're going to come to a farm, you're going to see animals in their natural state. If you're going to read about a farm you're going to read about animals in their natural state: Be warned!

Our neighbor, Mr. M, has goats. We have goats. Fences separate our goats. Sometimes the goats actually pay attention to the fences and stay where they're supposed to stay, but in the spring . . . all bets are off. It's spring after all.

Because in the spring a young buck's heart turns to love or . . . how to say this genteelly . . . er . . . um . . . oh forget it! Humping! Their hearts turn to humping and fences are for jumping.

We have a buck goat. He's seven feet tall when he stands on his hind legs. He has devil eyes and jacked up horns. Grown men are frightened of him. He's a complete sweetheart. His name is Tramp. Tramp's companion goat, wife's name is Eleven. 

Mr. M has a buck goat, a little, snorty, aggressive, headbutting sex monster. We'll call him Pest.

One fresh spring day I heard the grandchildren sounding the alarm. Screams echoed from the pasture lands.

"Goats. Goats! There are goats everywhere."

True. There were goats everywhere. Led by Pest the buck goat, Mr. M's goats had jumped the fence and invaded our Tramp's territory. Massive headbutting began, followed by snorting, stiff leg stamping, face peeing and lip curling. 

I should explain. Boy goats are gross. They have scent glands between their horns that reek when they're in rut, and to top it off they pee on their own faces. It's a poor goat's cologne and drives girl goats crazy.

Pest the neighbor's goat jumped one fence, squeezed under a gate, and finally crawled into Tramp and Eleven's pen. And then it got wild.

Eleven ran for her life. Tramp, inspired by all the head butting and urine face ramping ran after Eleven. Pest the Buck ran after Tramp. Everyone had love on the mind. It was a goat threesome. 

Children screamed. The dog barked. I raced after the goats trying to lasso one or all of them. Another neighbor showed up and hollered, "Linda, what have you got going on back here?" My daughter kept hollering, "Why? Why?" and, "What is happening?" Periodically I had to stop and bend over at the waist to laugh manically, and around and 'round we went.

Yesterday, Mr. M, my neighbor, had a kid's birthday party at his house. All the children tramped out to the barnyard to "see" the animals. I heard one bright young man yell, "It's pooping. It's pooping. Everyone look! It's pooping all over the place." What kind of animal was pooping? I have no clue, but they all do it--a lot.

Poor city kids! 

Not only do animals poop and pee, sometimes they pee on their own faces, in addition to jumping fences and going on wild date rape adventures. Be warned! Farm life is real life in its natural state: no pants, no manners, no singing, no dancing, no autograph signing. Be warned!

Linda (Pimp Daddy) Zern 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


. . . Because He [God] never lets me get smug. Never. Ever. That’s how I know. Just about the time I get to thinking I’ve got some street stuff or cool juice, God enjoys serving me up some humble pie with an extra helping of humiliation on the side. 

Here’s how it always goes. I do something pretty keen, even dazzling, and then bam, one of my shoes falls in the toilet, and I have to dive in and fish it out. True story. Don’t ask. 

I’m pretty good at saying the words that people hear with their ears. My college speech teacher remarked that “Linda is just this side of an inspirational speaker.” This side of what he never clarified.

It might be the Irish in me. It might be all the practice I get talking to myself. Either way, I can put the words together pretty okay when in front of a congregation, class, or captive audience. Recently, I spoke at a Saturday night church meeting with some excellent feedback from those that attended: I was passionate. I was sincere. I was loud. People said nice things to me afterward. I believed them.

Not going to lie, after giving my rousing speech I felt pretty pumped, stoked, and a bit up-tempo. My esteem of self enjoyed a moment of highness. 

It was nice . . . while it lasted.

But then I set the table for the following Sunday dinner, and God put me back in my place where I belong.

I covered our giant dining room table with an enormous oversized tablecloth smoothing, de-wrinkling, straightening and finally removing the gigantic lump under the cloth. It was a pair of my scanties, clinging to the back of the tablecloth like a cocklebur in a dog’s tail.

I should explain. Scanties are a genteel southern term for a girl’s under clothing or as my mother used to say, “Foundation garments.” Sort of like a cement slab holding up steel girders, I guess. Or in this case the bit of clothing that comes before the mom jeans. All right. Fine. My underwear. My underwear was balled up in the tablecloth from the dryer.

With a crackle of static, I pulled my scanties free and stuffed them out of the way in a bookcase next to the table saying in my head, “Now, Linda, don’t put those there. You know you’re going to forget them, and that will not end well.”

I was right. Sunday dinner commenced, and before the green beans had made their way to the end of the table, someone was waving my underwear over their head saying, “Hey, YaYa, what’s been going on around here?” Mad laughter boomed off the ceiling.

What could I say? It was humiliation mixed with goofy embarrassment. Great. 

“Hey! Ask me how my speech went last night. I was dazzling. Ask anybody.”

But it was too late; my triumphant Saturday evening dissolved into my humbling Sunday afternoon, and that’s how I know that God is real because just when I think I’m big stuff someone finds my underwear stuffed between Ben Hur and The Turning of the Screw.

Sigh. Now I know that there may be a few skeptics who don't believe that God throws shoes in toilets or prompts the leaving of underclothing in bookcases and to you, I say, "Just when that Samson guy thought he was pretty hot stuff he got a bad haircut and things went south--fast." 

Linda (Smug Muffin) Zern 

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