Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor



Danged if I know why, but the new fad of “planking” has gone viral. For those of you familiar with corral planks, bridge planks, and walking the plank, but confused by this booming fad, I will explain how this cyberspace game works: In creatively odd locations you rigidly lie face-down down with your arms pinned to your sides. Your buddy snaps your photo which you then post to social networking sites. That’s it. (Apparently, net surfers find “planking” digitally irresistible.) “Plankings” receiving the greatest viewership receives the grand prize of nothing at all and with such high stakes at risk, “plankers” are pushing the envelope of human ignorance. May 15th, Australian Acton Beale “planked” himself on the seventh floor balcony railing of the Brisbane Hotel and then 1.81 seconds later, “planked” himself on the sidewalk 105 feet below. He is forever 20 years old.

I heard the radio broadcast of Mr. Belae’s misfortune as I was racing between farm calls. Knowing the object of the game is to be creative, I rattled down the road looking for unique places where I might spot a “planker.” Balanced on the top of a fence post would certainly attract great cyber attention but it would require someone with abs and back muscles of steel. Then I remembered a time when I “planked” and it was long before it was a fad, but unfortunately it was never caught on film. Here is what happened.

It was a Thursday, June 15th, 1995 and I was on a farm call examining a lame bull. (I know this because I pulled the medical file to refresh my memory.) Bulls, just like state legislators, only work 60 days a year, so it is critical they be able to travel during their brief time on the payroll. While the patient was restrained in a squeeze chute, I scrubbed the mud and manure off his left rear leg and discovered a deep laceration under his dewclaw. The wound appeared to be several weeks old, was granulating nicely, but might be helped with an injection of a long-lasting antibiotic. I pumped 90ccs of LA-200 intramuscularly into six different locations on this bull’s massive neck—something the bull didn’t seem to particularly enjoy. Once the thrashing subsided, I tripped the headcatch and the bull jumped out of the chute.

In Disney movies, when the hero pulls a thorn from a lion’s paw to stop the throbbing pain, the happy lion becomes life-long friends with the hero. Such scenarios don’t exist in real life and this bull was on the fight. He spun around as he hit the ground and stared right at me. We both knew what was coming next as we each instantly calculated the distance between us, our relative sprinting speeds, and the paces to the nearest fence. Without bothering to check my math, I shot out from under the chute levers towards the fence. From the bellowing I could tell the bull was rapidly closing the gap. I was two steps from the fence when I felt the bull’s snot splashing off my backside. I feared if I stepped onto the bottom corral pole to vault the fence, the bull would crush my legs. With no other option and without missing a step, I dove headfirst over the top.

If I quit here, the story has a happy ending. Unfortunately, such was not the case. I had miscalculated either my ground speed, or my leaping ability and the arc of my flight dropped me square on my ribs, perfectly balanced on the top rail. I teetered there for a split second, when the snorting bull smacked my legs with his head and flipped me over the rest of the way…lucky me, only a couple cracked ribs.

If someone could have snapped a photo of me perfectly “planked” on top of that fence, and it had been 2011 instead of 1995, I could have posted it to social networking sites and won the fictitious grand “planking” prize of absolutely nothing. Now I told you this story so those of you who still socially network at the Mint Bar, or here in the pages of this paper, will know what is happening when you see sandal wearing Subaru drivers “planked” on an alfalfa windrow in front of your round baler. Don’t worry, they are trying to draw cyber attention to themselves and will leave the area the minute they snap a couple photos.

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