Friday, March 17, 2006

Why do they keep dumping on me?

My first real offer of getting paid, a chance to make some real money, occurred in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (near New Orleans). I was 5 years old and my brother had just turned 4. My Mom and Dad were attending Louisiana State University (LSU) and my brother and I were filled with the spirit of adventure.

The home we were renting backed up onto a cow fence. My brother and I would climb over the fence with red towels to play bull fighter and other fun games that our parents would have chastized us for, had they known. One day, we got stuck on the top of the metal fencing. Alright, I was trying to save face for my brother, he got stuck and needed stitches as the metal penetrated his inner thigh as we scrambled to get away from the dairy cows we called, “Bulls.”

One day the owner of our “Bulls” had a calf escape from the fence. As he was tired of chasing it, he offered $5.00 dollars to the neighborhood kids if one of us could catch it. There must have been 8 to 10 kid’s employed individually to catch that mad calf. The pack of kid’s took off running after the already worn out calf. I remember distinctly running from the back of the pack to the front of the money hungry kid pack. I was wearing tuff skin jeans, and trainers. I also had some bottled up speed when there was $5.00 dollars on the line.

As I approached the trotting calf, I leaped into the air, grabbing a kung fu grip on to the calf’s tail. Grasping the tail tightly with both hands, for dear life I might add, I was being dragged like a rag doll. No matter, I was holding on to that $5.00 dollar bounty. You know the saying, “No pain, No gain.”

What seemed an eternity, was most likely seconds. My ego seems to remember at least eight seconds. As the eighth second passed, so did something else. I suppose the calf was trying to lose some dead weight. I was at the right place and the right time. I received the passing. The calf lost about 50 lbs of weight, 10 pounds of dung and 40 lbs of me. Feeling the heat, seeing the brown, and smelling the stench, I had just received an important business rule. Rule number one, “Don’t let them dump on you.”

My fingers lost their desire to hold on to the bounty. In slow motion, I released the tail, hit the ground bouncing and watching the other kid’s continue on their journey and their business deal. I was ousted.

To make matters worse, I had to watch the kid who finally captured the calf, bring her home and take the bounty. The recognition for my efforts was all over me. I sadly walked home to clean off the mess. “Tomorrow is another day.” Failure is a great lesson in life.” I hope I will never chase a mad calf again.” What mad calves escape in your world? This time mine was definitely not a money cow!

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