Cow Town

I’ve been stuck in the sticks all summer,  since my parents flipped out about Trey. And yes, it has royally sucked, the only benefits of farm labor being my killer tan and these shockingly toned arms. Oh, and there’s that hot bag boy down at the little Food Lion, but that could just be the boredom talking.

His name is Jared, but that’s as far as I get because the cashier totally cops a block. Something about the parking lot. An alarm sounds. Like a tornado warning. I follow Jared outside to see what the fuss is all about. It’s unbelievable. I’m talking WTF-Land unbelievable.

I’ve seen it all in the city. Naked men on the metro, people peeing in the street. I once saw two clowns beat each other bloody over a dollar. But cows on bicycles. No words.

“Sara, you should go inside,” Jared calls out, helping an elderly woman to her feet. A little girl pats her head and screams.

“Mommy, he took my hat.”

A cow pedals off, ringing his bell and chewing on a straw hat. Jared gives chase. It’s like a freaking Chick-Fil-A commercial out here, only these cows aren’t cute. A wobbly heifer snorts at me then nearly bites it on a ten speed.

Everyone is running around. A hick grabs his shotgun. I latch onto Jared but I guess he mistakes my shock with interest. “Herd 154 from Slimfellow’s Ranch.” He shields the sun from his eyes. “Where are the pigs when you need them?”

Again I state the obvious, just to be sure. “Those cows…..are on bikes.”

“Yeah, last time they busted out they made off with Mrs. Orton’s convertible. Robbed County First Bank.”

I want to ask just what in the hell he’s talking about when some fat dude in overalls comes screaming down the lot. Behind him, a massively adorned bull rides a wheelie only inches from his back.

“Mr. Slimfellow!” Jared breaks away and starts to go after him but when the farmer dude trips and flops to the pavement the bull comes right up and scoops him up by a strap. We wince in unison. “Ouch.”

“Come on, I’ve got to get you inside.” He takes me by the arm, zipping a grocery cart at two tongue-wagging cows on a tandem bike. “Get out of here.”

My hero. It’s impressive. Trey once left me stranded at a concert to score some weed. But Jared whisks me along to safety. He’s strong and tan and a perfect gentleman, but it’s too late. The bull flings his trophy to the side and turns his big burly head to us. Suddenly we’re back to back in the center of a cow circle. Did I mention that cows were riding bikes?

They grunt and bellow, toying with us. It would be comical if it weren’t for farmer dude over there with a puncture wound. The hick lowers the shotgun and squints. Then a rumble sweeps over the trees.

“Well it’s about time.”

“Time for what?”

“The pigs.”

“They ride motorcycles?”

He smiles into the sun, I follow his gaze to the silhouettes of a biker gang.

“I thought you said the cops were here?”

The choppers pour into the lot, growling as the sun rays bounce off the chrome. A crash as the cows stop parading and drop their bikes. That heifer on the ten-speed eats it.

Once you’ve seen cows on bikes, boars on motorcycles is only a minor stretch. And by pigs Jared meant, like, pigs. The bikes pop and grumble and the pigs are wearing leather vests and rogue helmets. They make those poor cows look like puppies. Especially the leader, he’s wearing aviator glasses and has a cigarette plugged in his snout. Two deafening revs of his hog and the even the bull tucks tale and bolts.

Like that it’s all over. People creep out of the store. Slimfellow’s carted off. The little girl is still sniffling about her hat. Jared’s manager invites the pigs to help themselves to the dumpsters out back. Then he motions for Jared to pick up the bikes.

I help out. It’s the least I can do, besides, there’s not much else to do anyway.

“So Is this what you guys do for fun?”

He holds up the mangled ten-speed and examines the flattened tires. “Well, this and cow tipping.”


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