A few minutes of prodding and profanity and Sniffer pushed ahead of his mates and raced down the alley, pursued by the others. He’d gone barely five yards before he skidded to a halt and desperately tried to back up, possibly remembering that the last time he went this way was the day he became a steer. His brethren, still determined to get ahead of him, pushed him forward.
If Sniffer doubted whether following bullshit was a good idea, the calves behind him had no such reservations. I gritted my teeth and cursed. They were wasting my time, the time of the other four men in my crew, and expending all this effort to go in a circle, from and to their pen.
It occurred to me that most would see this differently if the calves were people. We’d call the calf trying to back up the “Leader” and those pushing his sorry butt forward “Followers.” Leaders and Followers apparently see things differently—something drilled into me every other November.
Come to think of it, it’s in November and December that we hold our national celebrations to honor wishful thinking and bad judgment. After our biennial celebration of the political non sequitur in early November, we save the rest of the month to contemplate our diets and most of December to think about our budgets. Looked at that way, these calves were paragons of reason compared to the folks I’ve known.
Maybe, people are the only species dumber than cattle. A historian might be forgiven if he thought Homo sapiens preternaturally talented when it comes to grabbing stupid ideas and running with them. I have to admit, I haven’t been good at weeding the good from the “bat-crap crazy” either. Sometimes, it seems my life has been a series of virtuoso performances in the “stupid” genre, ranging from garden-variety dense to flaming-fruitcake nuts.
I should have guessed I was getting help in this department, but I have two doctorates, so no one expected me to see the obvious.
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