I think I was a lot funnier before grad school.
While cleaning out my files and notebooks tonight, I found literally hundreds of dumb jokes. I used to do this a lot. Before I was prolific at blogging, and taking notes on academic topics, and reading too many books, I used to write dumb jokes and... well, read too many books.
The problem has always been that I am one of those people who has no idea what's funny. As my friend Mike once described me, ''The thing about Rufus is that some of his jokes are totally hysterical, and some of them are not funny at all, and he absolutely cannot tell the difference.'' So, keeping that in mind, here's something that seemed funny to me four years ago...
So, I decided that I wanted to adopt a cow. You know, I figured it would be one of those things like sponsoring a child. I could make monthly cow payments and my cow would get to wander around and live in peace and, if it didn’t work out, I could just eat him. Actually, it would have the advantage over sponsoring a child right there. What I was hoping was that I’d make my payments and they would send me pictures of my cow, you know crewing grass or lounging, perhaps in some tasteful bathing wear. Then I could carry the photos in my wallet and show them to people and say, “This is a picture of my cow. And this wallet is my cow’s father.”
I mean, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’m an activist or anything. My parents taught me to never have any strong opinions about anything. Well, once my father did go on a hunger strike to protest the Metric System, but we were never the sort of family who had debates about the news or anything. I’m not real worried about animal rights. I just wanted a cow. Besides, I was drunk.
So, anyway I looked into it and there are lots of places that let you sponsor a cow, but most of them are cattle ranches. So, you get to sponsor the cow for a year and then they kill it and send you the meat. Somehow, carrying ground chuck in my wallet seems to defeat the purpose, you know. There are dairy farms that let you sponsor a cow, but I started imagining my cow with some pervert hooking her tits up to a metal sucker with a picture of me taped to it, so that she learns to hate me. I really don’t need that in my life right now.
Finally, I found adoptacow.org. They let the cows roam around and do whatever they want and they pretty much leave them alone. The only problem was that they’re Hare Krsnas and I don’t want my cow brought up in any religion. I want the cow to figure it out for herself. Because honestly, I assume that’s what cows are doing all day when they’re chewing their cud and what not- mulling over the nature of God and debating Kierkegaard and what-not. I like the idea that they’re agnostics mostly. I can’t stand the idea of my cow being shunned by a bunch of bigoted, dogmatic cows for her beliefs.
“Now look Lu-Lu, we already decided at the Holy Cow Synod that there is nothing beyond this field of grass. Why must you question cow teachings?”
“Because I swear to you, there is such a thing as a ski chalet. There is.”
“The Elder Order of cows says there are no ski chalets. Now repent and do 100 Holy Clarabelles.”
My family was actually Catholics you know. We’re pretty easy to identify. We’re the ones who carry around a replica of the murder weapon that killed our savior as a fashion accessory. I just know that if Christ comes back that’s going to be a big faux pas, too. Probably nobody’ll say anything except that one loudmouth that has to pipe up.
“Hey Boss! Remember this? Man, but how could you forget, huh?”
I guess we’re lucky though. At least, He wasn’t hanged. We’d all be wearing nooses around our necks. Knowing my luck, I’d strangle myself trying to get off the subway car. Become the first martyr of bad fashion sense.
Actually, I eventually I became an athiest, mostly because the services are much shorter. You know, we get together at Denny's once a week, shrug our shoulders, and order breakfast.
And honestly I didn't want my cow to be brainwashed by some religious group and end up playing a tambourine at the airport or something. But, I figured, my cow would be strongwilled. So, I gave in and joined the group. For a few months it was okay, but when they sent the picture of my cow, she had that look in her eyes- you know, like she was some blissed-out cult member singing chanty songs and taking herbal enemas or something. Or a cow. So, I went and confronted the Krsnas. I'd been practicing being assertive at home with the toaster, so I was ready for it. I stormed in to the camp.
"Look! I want to see my cow!" I yelled.
They looked up my name in their files. "Ah yes", the krsna said, "Your cow is Sri Kesava. Yes, she's doing quite well."
"WHAT?!" I thundered, "Sri Kesava! Oh no! My cow's not named Sri Kesava! My cow is named Harpo- Harpo the cow!"
"Well, your cow has now received Krsna consciousness and taken on a new name..."
"KRSNA CONSCIOUSNESS?! That's it! I'm taking my cow and going home!"
"You're taking the cow in a Pontiac Sun Bird?" he laughed. "Oh, no. Sri Kesava won't be safe out there in the world."
So I got really mad at him. "Look here! Do you know who Eddie Cremopolis is? I say, do you know who Eddie Cromopolis is?! Well, he's only THE leading cow custody lawyer in America! Do you know how quickly he could have you doing time on the rock, you lotus eating freak?!"
So, I took her with me to a cow depreogrammer and then she came home and lived with me. I soon realized that this wasn't going to work, because I have an efficiency apartment and she wanted to roam around outside. It was bad for me too because she never did any of the housework and the neighbors kept complaining about the noise. I told them that my Fisher-Price See-N-Say was broken, but I could tell they were getting suspicious. It was nice living with my cow, and I had plenty of fertilizer for my chrysanthemums, but I could tell from her diary entries that she wanted to go home.
So, the two of us had a house meeting and after long deliberations, decided that we would sneak her back into the Krsna camp. I disguised myself in a tablecloth and her in an extremely large diashiki and crept back into the camp. We got away with it, although I was repremanded for making a reference to "that Krishna mutha" and she was repremanded for taking a crap during the morning meditations.
I still miss her and I can't eat a Big Mac without getting choked up. But, she's back with her own kind now and perhaps that's for the best.