My friend, Lisa, had just had a whole bottle of milk spilled on her, after which she was licked by a thousand sandpaper calf tongues. She was not in a good mood, and would have probably gone home if it hadn’t been that her cousin, Amanda, still wanted to milk a cow.
We stepped into the milking barn, and a cow, smelling the milk on Lisa, reached out her nose to sniff her. Lisa glared at the cow. “Don’t even think about it, Bessie.”
“Her name isn’t Bessie,” I said.
“What is it?”
I didn’t want to tell her that since the cow’s nose was always running, we had named her Snot Nose, so I fudged. “Bessie will do.”
Just then, Snot Nose, or, uh, Bessie, reached up with her tongue and cleaned out her own nose.
“Eww!” Lisa exclaimed. “That is just gross!”
As if in response, when Lisa turned to look at me, Bessie reached over and licked Lisa on the side of the face with the same tongue with which she had just disemboweled her own nose. She left a big streak of green slime on Lisa’s cheek.
“Ahhh!” Lisa screamed. “I hate cows!”
“Well,” I said, “she really seems to like you. She doesn’t usually kiss on the first date.”
“I think I hate you more than I hate cows,” Lisa retorted.
I chose a very gentle cow for Amanda to milk. Amanda wanted to try milking by hand first, so I showed them how to get the milk coming.
“What you are really doing when you milk is squeezing the thumb and forefinger tight around the top of the teat,” I told them. “That locks the milk in. Then, with the other four fingers, you press the teat against your palm, and that forces the milk out.”
I demonstrated in slow motion while they watched, and then sped up until I was milking quickly. It took Amanda a few tries, but soon she had the hang of it. After she had milked a little while, I showed her how to put the milker on. She did that, and then she took it off when the cow was finished milking.
It was Lisa’s turn next. I chose another gentle cow. I started the demonstration again, but Lisa stopped me. “Yeah, yeah. I saw it the first time.”
Lisa tried to get some milk to come out, but wasn’t having any luck.
“Every once in a while the cow gets something on the end of the teat, blocking the milk flow,” I told her. “Here, let me help you.”
I reached out my hand and squeezed hard on Lisa’s hand just as she turned the teat up to look at the end to see if there was anything there. With my squeezing, the blast of milk hit Lisa squarely in the face.
She snorted and wiped the milk from her face. “You did that on purpose!”
“No,” I answered, “but if I had thought about it, I would have.”
I encouraged her to try again. “Only if you stay away from me!” she replied.
I moved up to the front of the cow, and Lisa made another attempt. She finally got some milk out, and had just finished putting the milker on, when the cow swung her tail. It hit Lisa hard and about knocked her over.
“I thought you said this was a nice cow!” Lisa hollered at me.
“She is,” I replied. “She didn’t kick you.”
“No, but she tried to club me to death.”
When the cow was finished, and Lisa had taken the milker off, I said, “You know, Lisa, I think you were absolutely meant to be a dairy farmer.”
“I think I would rather be dead,” she replied, “and that would be right after I killed you.”
I guess cow milking just isn’t her thing.