Xanga is all a-wash in rants about the Artificial Inseminator’s Strike these days. Almost six months since the ‘Knights of the Long Glove’ laid down their ampules, and almost every other hot-button issue has fallen off the fabric of our Front Page. I have never seen such Balkanized tinder in the In-box, as loyalties and special interests clash in a gerrymandered patchwork of fact and opinion, pitting the blissfully lactose-intolerant against the immaculate-conceptionalists, the prurient against his purer-bred brother.
I wouldn’t even weigh in here, were I not so familiar with the actual Truth of artificial breeding from decades in the dairy industry. Perhaps this short post, then, will insert a bit of Common Sense into the Xanga vaginae.
One need only glance at the sad Dairy section of any supermarket to grasp the gravity. Last month’s ‘Sorry, We’re Temporarily Out’ signs have now been permanently replaced, it would seem, by…oh.. new cut-out racks for Milli Vanilli CDs, (un-cool enough to not need refrigeration, which has been switched off).
Not bad enough whole milk, the absolute shortage now extends to yogurt, butter, cheeses, ice-cream… in short, anything once-inside-an-udder. Folks who’d have gone without coffee rather than to suffer non-dairy creamers are now ‘whitening’, guys who swear ‘I always believed it wasn’t Butter’ are settling for truly marginal margarine, and Ben & Jerry’s Sherbet battles with Hagen & Daz for glum customers at the mall.
And all for what? For the selfish pride of a couple thousand fed-up semen-eers? Not really. Here are the facts, dear Xangans:
1) TSS kills. Or at least ‘maims’. Living proof can be seen in any of the You-tube videos featuring the ‘poster-man’ of the Strike, Wilbur Greblos, (pictured below in happier times), the media-hounded first victim, from Red Dear Alberta, who lost an arm inside an infected Holstein. But we’re ahead of our story. Let’s roll up our sleeves and back up:
2) Nobody has a bull these days. Not since the ’50s. Privately-kept bulls are violent and even genetically unpredictable. I have a scar from one, whose pen, we discovered, needed to have been built with 4 by 8s, not 2X4s. No, every up-standing brown-cow you drive past in a modern dairy installation (‘Posture is a Feature in the Pasture of the Future©’, by the way,) is at least a half-sister to her herd-mates, the union of their mothers and sperm from sometimes long-dead corporate donor bulls, ‘milked’ (while watching ‘High School Heifers in Heat’?) by a special breed of ‘agricultural worker’. Don’t ask.
3) The real issue of course is how to bring zygotes together dependably and respectfully. Enter The Artificial Man, whose absence from the stage has now dried up the milk cans, one frustrated non-lactating cow at a time.
Cows come into heat about two months after ‘dropping’ a calf’. After breeding them at that time, we continue to milk for another 8 months or so, when they are ‘turned dry’ . They indicate their bovine libido by allowing other (female) cows to ‘ride’ them in the field. ‘Standing heat’, a day-long peak near ovulation, is when we (used to) phone the Artificial Man, who arrives dutifully with steel cryogenic tub of frozen bull-cum, a quiver of long glass or plastic hollow tubes, and, here’s the problem, a long glove. (TMI ahead) He loads the DNA into a squeeze-capsule, tells the tied-up cow she’s ‘the only one for me’, and proceeds to try to guide the tube inwards towards Mecca, aka the mouth of the cervix. Ah if it were only as easy as that. You try it blind and one-handed! All the while the cow registers her sexual pleasure by blithely eating silage and ignoring any question of the Earth moving.
Until the guy puts on his glove. Up to the shoulder and seamlessly attached to a full protective apron, he uses his left arm to dive in where men fear to tread, right up the butt of the beast, carefully finding in the dark, through practiced feel, the tube and steering it to Medina. The cow often finds this part an un-toward advance, and reacts with whatever ammunition she’s got. Some cows are surprisingly well-armed.
Yet the Strike is not over being merely pooped on. If it were, millions, nay billions of workers all over the world would throw off their chains. No, the problem is TSS. First noticed in New Zealand in the late ’90s, Tight Sphincter Syndrome remained a curiosity in the literature even as the number of cases doubled almost monthly. It took Greblos’s near-fatal gangrene incident to bring the horrible truth to the attention of the world media… and to create the current un-tenable situation.
Of course he should have had his cell-phone in his pocket.
Of course the farm-owner and his young wife shouldn’t have run off the road and been killed on their first day-trip off the farm in months.
Of course the RCMP should have found the bodies sooner.
And certainly the neighbors who heard the cows bawling to be milked from their SUVs out on the highway should have stopped in to see what was wrong after a few days.
Once Wilbur stopped feeling anything in his doomed arm, he did probably the only thing a man could in the
situation. I can only imagine the pain of a self-amputation, especially with a dull corn-cutter machete. The man didn’t scream though. No, his voice was long since shot from three days of calling out for help. The family dog did show up, but Wilbur’s attempts to explain his need for a salvation run were in vain.
So….. what’ve we got? Farmers selling lower-production cattle for beef in a desperate attempt to pay taxes, attempted strike-breakers and non-union scabs being roughly treated, and often in public although once was entirely enough, (artificial-men have a unique way of expressing disdain), PETA and the more extreme wing of SPCA supporting the strike, calling the whole practice ‘invasive and demeaning’, and boycotting milk products (duh?), Dan on Xanga getting 387 LOL’s for ‘I was reading this article about…’, an Australian film special-effects crew coming up with a fully-functional substitute stand-alone ‘bull-dong’… which languishes in committee waiting for approval at the US Dep’t of Agriculture, currently headed by a squeamish Christian-right-wing Bush appointee with a divine agenda to monkey-wrench Obama.
And deflated udders pretty much coast-to-coast.
Bottom Line: A post this long ought to have a damn solution to offer. I dearly wish I had one. Perhaps a reader, having benefited from this laying out of the facts, can suggest one. This is your chance to be a World Hero, not to mention the You Tube photo-op, arm-in-arm with a grateful Wilbur Greblos.
Wu: If this ain’t the dumbest thing you ever wrote I don’t know what is.
Me: I’ll search the archives and get back to you. And take that glove off!