Sex, Cows, and the Empty Milk Bottle

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!



17 thoughts on “Sex, Cows, and the Empty Milk Bottle

  1. jsolberg

    @ZSA_MD – So sorry; I’ve almost stopped writing ‘THIS IS A SPOOF’ on my posts. Lots of readers kinda assume that I’m usually just playing with an idea, like ‘What if?’ Still, the point; how we are so vulnerable to every cog in the wheel, is dead serious. Once again, no milk shortage… for now.

  2. forwhomthebelsentolls

    Lesbian cattle will have to get knocked up the old fashioned way, otherwise the price of fresh veal will skyrocket out of the stratosphere.  Thoughts of the moo, who posed for Chagall…that was part of my senior project…along with “Oh, drive that tractor, wheee!!!!”Don’t the rabbis do something archaic in the slaughterhouse, like blow through a tube into a beef carcass’s lungs to see if it had bovine tuberculosis before they declare it a kosher animal fit for a Jew to eat?  My father’s cousin was going into a slaughterhouse to buy some animal organs for purposes of his lab when he was at Hoffman LaRoche in New Jersey for a few years and he saw the Orthodox doing something messy like that and he was laughing about it because he’s an incorrigible apikoros.  And, an ex-paratrooper in the IDF of Moshe Dayan, with a Ph.D. in biochemistry. Who knows where to go to eat lunch in Daliat Al-Carmel, which really rocks my world.How is your son doing in his military career Mr. Solberg?  You have every right to be proud of him, I remember once upon a time when I could do many pushups.  Time for a beer run soon…

  3. ordinarybutloud

    ahahahahahahaha! Ah, excellent story. Truly brilliant. To the extent I’m not already turned off milk I’m definitely turned off of it by now. I try, I really try, not to think about these things too much. I went on a crazed research rampage re: food and its ingredients and its production and six years later I haven’t stopped regretting it. Yet. I can’t stop doing it. Researching, I mean. Thanks for making me laugh and cringe at the same time.

  4. MelFamy

    For some reason (Mossad dirty tricks?), I am unable to rec your posts; when I click on the icon, I find myself at the top of your page, forced to scroll back down and try again. And again, and yet again. Yes, I define insanity, neither denying not defying it. Onto the post…I cried til I laughed at this serio-comic masterpiece. Okay, so much for your post, and onto the memories it shook loose…I had a friend in Panama(the country, not the Hick Hamptons Elvis sang of in ‘Guitar Man’) who said that ‘interspecies insemination’ involving bovines was all the rage in the hinterlands, away from the policia, tourists and, apparently, accommodating ladies. He once promised me, not at my urging, I assure you, to send some pictures of such stump-training taking place. It’s probably a good thing he never followed through, as the tendency in the US is to not take too kindly to alternate lifestyles, and possession of ‘cattle-porn’ would likely lead to one’s ultimate subjection to the unmerciless hazing of fellow convicts(Hey Rawhide! Contented any cows lately?) for a period of years.

  5. Roadkill_Spatula

    As part of a reunion of the Mennonite relatives in Ohio, we were taken to the local stud farm where a cousin showed us how the equine insemination process works. Very enlightening. I particularly felt for the teaser, the poor perpetually frustrated stallion whose job it is to get the mare ready… and then get led away before he gets to do anything. After that, the preferred stallion is brought in, and as he climbs on, the brave farm employee darts in and hijacks his equipment with a capturing vessel that looks like a long, fancy thermos. At least, that’s the way I remember the description. I might be confusing two different processes.In any case, milk in our local grocery stores is .99 a gallon, thanks to the new Aldi, which opened in August.Aaaaand, I’m reminded of a scene in that stupid, stupid movie involving a guy who can bowl really well and an Amish farm that is about to be foreclosed on (stupid writers don’t know that the Amish always pay cash). Anyway, the scene about milking is troubling.

  6. scifiknitter

    I have a feeling that to say “LOL” or even “ROFLMAO” on this site would be terribly gauche, so I won’t do it. You are in fine form here, sir!By the way, I once took a course in herdpersonship and got to go on a field trip to s source of semen, where we saw a prize bull milked of the stuff of malehood. The bull did not look particularly gratified, but hey, it’s steady work.

  7. gnostic1

    Gloves?!!?!!? Nobody on the ranch told me there were gloves available when I had a summer job doing pregnancy testing on tightly coralled but loosely moralled bovines. Perhaps I was the butt of a joke. I found the foreman’s wedding ring once though so perhaps he didn’t know either. And once I came across a sandwich, but that’s another story.Another excellent story! Milli Vanilli was a good choice for the CD. Moosic to churn to.

  8. jsolberg

    @twoberry – A panel of sensitive cows is being assembled as we speak to vote on the success of prosthetics. Dolphins have orgasms, so I hear. I’ll update when the data is clear on milk-cows.

  9. jsolberg

    @gnostic1 – Um.. gloves are a perk for veteran employees, apparently. I always enjoyed the challenge of a bovine breech presentation. Something about arranging legs according to kinesthetic sense alone, in the darkness. I still get Christmas cards from the lucky calves I saved.

  10. seedsower

    I do not need a new Milli Vanilli CD I still have the first one…and Boy George too.Is that you looking all handsome ? OY!@Roadkill_Spatula – That movie was beyond stupid,and that scene popped in my mind too.Randy Quaid made one uglyass Amishman!


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