homepage logo


By Staff | Sep 9, 2011

They say it’s easier to seek forgiveness than to ask for permission. I don’t know who “they” are, but, one thing is clear: they are full of hooey.

That nugget of supposed wisdom ignores the inherent difficulties regarding the forgiveness part of the equation.

In my opinion, concocting a plausible excuse for one’s boneheadedness is much more problematic than obtaining permission. I would probably think differently if I were a better liar.

I bet there’s good money in crafting plausible-sounding excuses. Here’s an example of an apology I would have gladly purchased when I was a young dairy farmer.

My dearest wife: I regret that I tracked coagulated hydrated earthen particulate matter and various animal digestive byproducts across the flat horizontal linoleum surface of the food preparation area of our domicile.

In all truthfulness, until the very moment of my trespass I was unaware that the kitchen floor belonged solely to you. I presumed that we shared ownership of said floor; but realize your having just scrubbed it may have modified your opinion regarding this matter.

Please allow me to elucidate what transpired the other day and, most importantly, why.

I was checking on our bevy of bovines when I discerned that one of them was in the throes of giving birth. Closer scrutiny established that it was Old 49, one of our most senior cows and a sentimental favorite.

After observing her for some minutes, I deduced that Old 49 was in trouble. She was making scant progress with the birthing process and even seemed to have given up. Fearing for the life of Old 49 and that of her much-anticipated offspring, I sprang to action.

Given the desperation of the situation, I felt there was no time to fetch the proper obstetrical tools, so I requisitioned some used baling twine.

This decision was made easier by the fact that we don’t actually own any proper obstetrical tools; baling twine was my only choice.

I quickly fastened a pair of twines to the forelegs of Old 49’s calf and began to apply tractive force. Old 49 suddenly perceived my presence and leapt to her feet. She displayed a startling amount of alacrity for a cow at death’s door.

But that wasn’t the only surprise Old 49 had in store. She instantly recovered all her strength and agility and commenced to galloping across the cattle yard. I had no choice but to hang on.

As you know, our cattle yard contains mass quantities of mud and mire and decomposing bovine digestive byproducts.

It also contains a number of rocks, one of which I struck with my toe as I skidded along behind Old 49.

I thought I broke it. My toe, that is; rest assured that the rock remains in perfect condition. The intense pain induced me to commence to skiing on one foot. roadrunner and coyote cartoons notwithstanding, this feat is much more difficult than it appears. I promptly lost my balance.

Old 49, unaware of my plight, continued to gallop briskly while towing me on my abdomen.

Thankfully, I thought to close my mouth after only a few yards and managed to keep the amount of ingested mud and various other compounds to a minimum. Even so, I soon had to let go.

So that’s why I staggered into the kitchen sporting an aromatic aggregation of sodden soil and bovine digestive byproducts.

In my defense, it wasn’t possible for me to observe that the floor was freshly scrubbed due to the gunk packed into the gap that normally exists between my glasses and my ocular organs.

I am deeply sorry that I reversed in mere seconds your efforts of an entire forenoon. However, I feel that your assessment that we’ll need a steam-powered pressure washer to excise my mess was a bit hyperbolic. I also hope that your comment that we may as well burn the house down was merely a dramatic affectation.

One small matter puzzles me: when you looked skyward and asked, “Why do I even try?” were you posing a philosophical query?

Or is this an issue you would like to debate at some future date? Please inform me if it is so that I can conduct research and organize my counterpoints on index cards.

And what’s your estimated timeline for me to resume sleeping in the house?

The pickup’s front seat is comfy enough, but the gear shift lever keeps poking me in the lower lumbar region.

Again, I deeply regret the mess I left. By the way, Old 49 calved just fine all by herself. She had a heifer, and it’s every bit as spirited as her mother. Now I just have to catch that spunky little bugger and give her an ear tag.

Nelson is a freelance writer from Volga, S.D. Reach him by e-mail at jjpcnels@itctel.com.

Please Enter Your Facebook App ID. Required for FB Comments. Click here for FB Comments Settings page