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Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Revolution Has Begun

There is a deep and profound undercurrent of fear in this country.  Many of its citizens worry that, one day, if we aren't vigilant and don't make note of what's going on, we will be Taken Over.  Oh sure, at first it seemed as if They were here to help us, to provide for us, to make our lives easier.  Then, we came to depend upon Them for various products that we use in everyday life.  Now, They've started to turn on us.  And it's scary.

I am, of course, talking about Cows.

Don't feel embarrassed if you were caught unawares; if you sit there now thinking, "Holy crap! I thought she was talking about the Chinese or the Saudis or the banking industry or the republicans!"  You are not in the minority.  Not everyone has a Cow Alert in his or her Google Newsreader (although he or she should, clearly).  Trust me, this is an Alarming Trend that has begun to develop in the past year, and I have followed it with increasing...er, alarm.  Allow me:

Exhibition A:  A gang of thug cows broke into a residence in Arkansas last winter and, after stealing food intended for the family pet and generally wreaking havoc, they collapsed in a mud-and-manure orgy and had to be removed by authorities.  Later, the cleanup crew hauled out a wheelbarrow full of their muck.  The pictures are harrowing.

Exhibition B:  Think Ames, Iowa, and what comes to mind?  The republican crazyfest known as the Straw Poll, where candidates can literally buy votes with barbecue tickets and country music concerts?  Well, yes, but add this.  In an all-out stampede, one pregnant cow led Authorities on a two-hour chase before she was finally sedated enough for capture and transport.  Did I say sedated?  That would be a vast understatement.  This renegade bovine was shot with "four darts during the two-hour ordeal, each one carrying double the amount of tranquilizer that normally would be required to sedate an animal."  This raging cow actually swam the river twice after sedation, prompting more shots.  And she's reproducing.

Exhibition C:  Now to Florida, where a cow mysteriously escaped from its pen near a construction site and crossed into traffic, confounding drivers and diverting Authorities from undoubtedly more pressing criminal matters in this Miami area suburb.  Resisting attempts to corral it, the cow repeatedly ventured onto walkways and near thoroughfares, finally roped into submission by a somewhat heroic construction worker who credits his hunting expertise and proximity to cattle for his success in restraining the animal.  Tied inauspiciously to a nearby Bobcat vehicle, the cow appeared docile, awaiting its next opportunity.

Exhibition D:  Bella, the YouTube Sensation Cow, (what? You never heard of her?) is perhaps the most insidious of all of the DangerCows.  In July of last year, she was among a dozen cows headed for a slaughterhouse who got loose when the truck she was in crashed.  She hid out in the woods for about a month, evading capture despite all the publicity surrounding her case.  Posses were out on the hunt for her, sightings abounded, and she became Michigan's Most Wanted.  Finally rounded up, Bella was unused to civilization.  She had Gone Native, and actually charged at humans.  About a month later, she had a calf.  (They are Replicators. It's all part of The Plan.)

Exhibition E:  This seems like such a Feel-Good Story About Cows, but do not be fooled.  Oh, sure, on first read it is a lovely Winter's Tale about firefighters coming to the aid of a poor, sad cow named Annibel, who had fallen through the ice on a freezing cold pond.  We can all say, "Oh no! Poor moocow! How scared she must have been, all slipping and sliding on that ice like Bambi, and then to suddenly fall in that horribly cold water, just like BlueLips Leo in Titanic! How terrible for her!"  But we would all be foolish (and obviously too addicted to NetFlix and film references).  Instead, we should be looking below the surface (sorry, inadvertent pun) of the story here and see the Dangers that lie beneath (again! sorry!).  There are two things which are very telling:  1.  This quote:  The cow's owner, Lois Ramsey, said...she thinks watching the other cows is what prompted 5-year-old Annibel to wander out on the frozen water.  2.  And this one:  Annibel wasn't the only life the Fire Department saved. The cow is pregnant and is expected to give birth within the next two weeks.

I think we all can see what's going on here.  THE COWS ARE TAKING OVER.  BY FORCE AND BY SHEER NUMBERS.  AND THEY ARE COMPELLING EACH OTHER--HERD MENTALITY, PEOPLE!--TO DO IT.

Even more frightening, it's not just here. They are taking over everywhere.  Bossy, Scary Cows are in Europe, terrorizing the tourists and locals alike.  People are being trampled, bitten, and hospitalized by these cows who, as one Authority says, know "exactly what they are doing" and they have warned people not to even look them in the eye.  Walking, a common European traveller's pastime, is now fraught with peril.  Even the police aren't safe, as in Ireland, where a rampaging pregnant cow knocked down members of the Garda and went for the crowd.  And no one in Germany can really be sure where Yvonne is, or what she may be planning.

Let me tell you, it is truly a Sad Day for me.  The Rose-Coloured Scales have fallen from my eyes when it comes to cows.  Now, when I read this story and watch the accompanying video, I no longer smile and chuckle.  I fear for kindhearted Duane Button.  I cringe when I behold the cow's sudden and coldly assessing gaze at the camera.  And I am fearful of what that last bellowing moo may portend.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

teaparty Prodigy Of The Week: I'm Thinking Of The Word "Handbasket"

Oh, Texas.  You've already given us so very, very much.  But like Typhoid Mary, you keep giving and giving and giving.  Now you want to give us your governor...again. 

Been there, done that.

Rick "Secessionist" Perry has such a devoted following--see above--but he comes with a little baggage.  None of that matters to people like this, however, a woman whose MyTwitFace profile my sister Susan had occasion to "research" and thoughtfully copied, pasted, and sent me, and which I reproduce faithfully here:

 'I am 39, married to Jonathan, have 4 kids, Kaitlyn, Tucker Dean, Daniel, and Ben. I am a Registered Nurse. I am attempting to homeschool Daniel. My interests include family, "religion," politics, couponing and stockpiling, camping.'
 'Conservative/Tea Party/Constitution!' 

I just bet that's her sign.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Joy Of Six

The Dept. of Nance is six!

I know.  I share your astonishment.  I, too, thought that by now The Authorities would have dismantled this site for its shameless refusal to Have A Central Theme And Purpose, or for its unmitigated temerity in acting so contrary to most Online Tendencies in not simply fading away and becoming a Twitter feed or a commercial repository in its host's desire to Brand Herself, thus hoping to score a mention on the Today Show or in TV Guide's Hot List.

Oh, wait. My other site already got both of those things.  Sigh.  And I'm still not famous?  WT--?

Anyway, the Dept. is six, and in six years, I've covered a lot of territory.

With SIX You Get Eggroll:  Rick, Sam, and Jared all provide me with a great deal of blog fodder.  Being the only woman in the family of three huge men, at least there is that tradeoff.  These days, the boys live out on their own.  When they do come over--and at the same time--it's exhausting.  I'm thrilled and grateful that they are each other's best friend, but the constant ribbing and riffing is like being part of an Abbot and Costello/Lenny Bruce routine.  They toss me around like a beanbag, defy my MomLogic, and exchange dubious glances with their father, who is largely no help at all. I have No Idea why I had all these children.  Here are a few of my favourite posts about all this Madness:  If You Are Ever Invited To DinnerAnd That's What's Known As Relativity; I Ain't A-Scared Of You!; and Premature EjacYULEation.

SIX Feet Under:  Here at the Dept., I've even dealt with the subject of death a few times, and that's one I'm not entirely comfortable with. I will be vastly annoyed by my own, I'm sure, especially if it inconveniences me, such as if it occurs when I am not suitably dressed, not wearing makeup, or if it causes me to do anything unseemly, like make an inappropriate noise or facial expression.  I prefer the old cinematic deaths wherein the woman can lie in her bed and look pathetic and wistful, then flutter her eyelids a few times and sigh while her Significant Handsome Male holds her pale, manicured hand.  Aside from all of that, though, here are a few posts wherein I did chat about The Grim Reaper, in a very Nanceian way:  If A Blogger Falls In The Forest;When Walt Whitman Said "To Die Is..."; and Reports Of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

SIX A.M.:  For all six of the years I've been writing at this site, I've been teaching English and Creative Writing I and II at a "large urban public high school with a significant minority population."  I set alarms to get up, but my internal clock got me up by 6:15 every morning.  All this summer, I still get up before seven, even without Piper and Marlowe tugging at my hair and nudging me to fill their dish.  I wrote quite a few posts about my days at The Rock, as it was known before the New Place was built, and it's a bittersweet look back.  My Dept. Faithful will no doubt remember some of these:  It's A Perception Thing; Ahhh, Youth; Of Edgar And Literature And Abraham Lincoln; Somewhere In Here There's A Great Pun...; Hostage Crisis Ends Without Bloodshed; and Flamingoes: They Don't Teach You This In Teachers' College.  That last one...well, every teacher should read it when he or she is feeling like Society's Whipping Boy, which is all the time these days.  Kind of a good reminder.

Concession Road 6:  This phrase won't mean anything to you, but it brings a smile of recognition and satisfaction to me.  That stretch of asphalt lies in Ontario province, Canada, and is home to one of my favourite wineries, Cattail Creek. Rick and I discovered it when it first opened and we were hooked.  Thus began our love affair with Ontario's wines.  We laugh now when we think back to our initial foray into a winery:  we walked in, looked around, were immediately overwhelmed and intimidated, and walked out. Finally, we took a tour of a winery which included an instructional group tasting, and our obsession was born. Right now, we have a pretty well-stocked cellar, and you might want to do a little Time Travel and Tasting here:  A Taste Of My Vaca-hic-tion; Day 2, So Much Wine...; and I Don't Look At It As Wine....  There has been so much more wine, and so many new wineries have opened up since then; I just haven't described them.

The SIX O'Clock News:  I've been a news junkie for most of my life.  My father read the paper religiously, even reading it aloud to my mother as she cooked dinner. We watched the news at six and discussed it during and after meals. And I was a papergirl back in high school. I delivered the local paper to 43 customers seven days a week, reading one as I tossed its companions into front and side doors all along the route. Politics--well, that goes without saying. Our local Cleveland news at six is horrendous. I wait for Brian and his tie at six-thirty, but I wander among CNN, MSNBC, and HLN all day when I'm home. And if I'm not on a break from NPR, I grab that in my car.  What can I say?  It's an addiction, as you can tell from:  I Need The Cronkite 12-Step Program; If There's A Law Against This,Then...; Christmas Kickoff...Complete With Crocs And A Six-Pack; Extra! Extra! Read All About It!; In Which I Worry Whether I Am A Bad Person; In The End, It's All Politics; and It's Called Priorities, America.

SIX Degrees of Separation:  Often, I have lamented the distressing reality that is my life in Minutae, Ohio Northeast.  I have Zero Chance of ever seeing anyone of note in the local establishments.  This does not stop me from writing about them here. Here at the Dept., I can freely discuss my decades-long relationship with Daniel Day-Lewis, my on and off dalliance with Johnny Depp, my puzzlement over my attraction to Hugh Laurie, my devotion to the President (only a couple get the capital P), and my List.  Oh, the List.  It's been overhauled as of late, but the top spot is still...well, we can talk about that later.  (You've got one, right? Oh, everyone should!) To dish, start clicking up: DoN Takes A Look At Her Cabinet; DoN Weighs In On Infidelity; The List; Politics Make Strange...; O! Whatever Should We Do Without Men?; and Why Daniel Day-Lewis And Ohio Are Really Irritating Me, to name a few. 

And those are only SIX things that the number SIX made me think of.  We didn't even get into cows, bunnies, polar bears, stupid smackdowns, fashion, food, grammar, or oh, so very many things that I feel are under the purview of this, the Dept. of Nance

It has been my very great pleasure to host you here.  For those of you who have been here for all SIX years, you hold a Very Special Place In My Heart.  For those of you who have arrived because you found one of my comments elsewhere and became curious, or who read me and comment even though Blogger is tedious, or who are former students and colleagues and family and friends, you also hold a Very Special Place In My Heart.  Thank you.  Now, please, won't you all have some cake? You're certain to find one that you'll like.

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