In certain parts of these Santa Lucia Mountains, springtime grasslands are grazing grounds for some of California’s most contented cattle. These happy, healthy cattle transform native grasses and other edible vegetation into whopping pasture pies that are tasty enough to eat — if you’re a dog. A couple of mouthfuls, and like a cat high on catnip, some dogs flip out. They seemingly fall face first right into those gelatinous blobs. Then, belly up, smack dab in the middle of hot patties, those puppies squirm around with gooey grins that speak of pure bliss.
Who am I to judge another’s usage of cow pies? Heck, gardeners shovel composted chips into their soil. Outdoorsmen fling dried dung as targets for skeet shooters. Some campers toss seasoned bovine briquettes into campfires. Stay upwind of that campsite! And politely decline one of their s’mores.
Personally, I see cow pies more like land mines than dog food, canine cologne, fertilizer, redneck clay pigeons, or fuel for fires. When tires hit oven-fresh cow poo, that excrement explodes, baby! Splat. Suddenly everything in the vicinity resembles a Leopard Appaloosa. Greenish-brown spatter adheres to the undercarriage, the running boards, the people who naively hopped in the bed of the pickup. …
Hey, when it’s the other guy who gets splattered, it’s funny, right? But what if you got some sludge on your shirt? How would you behave with waste on your whatnot?
If you choose theatrics in the form of a tantrum, bystanders may not applaud your performance, but they will surely be entertained. There’s no doubt that emotional outbursts make memories. The problem? At the very least, when someone highlights his or her humorless persona, he or she alienates others and is assigned an unflattering nickname for life.
Thankfully, another possibility exists. We can turn some crappy situations into comedies of error. Show those pearly whites and laugh along with the spectators. With hilarity, there’s much to gain. The ability to remain good humored, humble and kind, while dealing with all the messy stuff that’s dumped on our trails, that, dear readers, is extraordinary. That powerful conduct is very attractive, regardless of any muck that gets smeared across our mugs.
It’s worth a try next time we step in some “you-know-what.” Whoop it up. A laugh fest trumps a pity party any day. The beauty? There’s nothing to lose. Hearty laughter is good medicine.
And, what about those lingering dollops of doo — traces of that “udderly” earthy eau de toilette? Well, since we’re all unwavering water conservationists around here, give it time. Eventually, it will fade away — much to the dismay of our dogs.