Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Cow Mating Day

A long long time ago, decades even my sister was a freshman at an educational institution in the great state of Vermont. Wait, let me go back a bit further: in addition to being the homeland of the Green Mountain Boys (& if you are big on your own patriotism & you don't know who they are you should hang your head in shame), it is also the birth place of Ben & Jerry's famous ice cream.  & those B&J cows are everywhere.  Not just as Ben & Jerry's trademark, but the actual cow-cows. 

Back to my sister.  She is ticking along, being a student-that whole gig, when she learns there will be no class on March the first because it is Cow Mating Day.  She already knew they took their cows seriously & as a family we have a long standing bad habit of asking fewer questions the crazier something sounds & so Happy Cow Mating Day it was.  As for how long it took to get resolved, I either never knew or just plain forgot (my money is on never knew-see previous sentence) but it did eventually get straightened out.  While many of the original thirteen colonies/new england states do still have old-time-y town meetings, only Vermont has such a day designated as a state holiday & they call it Town Meeting Day.  Go ahead say it aloud...with a Vermont accent...while standing next to a giant cut-out of a holstein:  Cow Mating Day?  It could be.

This means the people of Vermont, if they choose, may take this day to participate in local politics.  Even in 2011 many towns still hold their annual meetings on this day & vote on budgets; in Vermont all town budgets must be approved by a direct vote of the electorate.

What else can I say except that this is hardly the strangest idea coming out of Vermont to take hold nationwide.  Those born in Vermont include Brigham Young & Joseph Smith (yes, him of the magic underwear), Rudy Vallee, Robert Frost, Wilson Bentley, etc.  As for those who worked & died in Vermont how about Shirley JacksonNorman Rockwell & even one who while never in my lit classes was associate with Vermont wrote his most famous work there: Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book in Brattleboro.

Finally I would not want to forget those Green Mountain Boys at the top of the page.  Green Mountain for the vert mont in which they lived & boys because they were a band of high spirited testosterone-overloaded youngsters who were not about to let some occupying government collect taxes & give them nothing for it. In an interesting statistical sidebar: Vermont has also registered the most casualties in Afghanistan & Iraq as a percentage of their overall population.  Yes, other states have lost more, but Vermont barely had them to lose. 

So let me be the first, probably, to ever wish you a most joyous Cow Mating Day.  You can celebrate by eating all natural diary products & participating in the day-to-day administration of your local governing body.  I will observe the day teaching C****** how to make home-made yogurt.  No, really.

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