“Don’t Say It Unless You mean It”
A Lesson from Greene County
A number of years ago, Richard, Bob, Dave, and I were running around buying and selling some antiques. We found ourselves in New York, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania after driving all night in our old Sears delivery truck that we had literally acquired from the Dixie Truck Salvage yard and headed out in it on a Friday afternoon. Sometimes we went in Bob’s pickup.
Mostly this was some cut glass but also Tiffany Lamp Shades and furniture items. Once, we bought a whole warehouse full of stuff in Wilkes Barre, PA. You talk about chairs, well, we had chairs!
We found this company that produced reproduction Tiffany Lamp Shades and we bought a truck load. We had some auctions and went to a lot of flea markets. We had reproduction Glass fruit jars and , we had ‘em by the truck load, too!
This brought us to Buckhead, Ga. Now, this is not the Buckhead with the Ritz Carlton and Phipps Plaza. This is a little community over in Morgan County, Ga. The original one. Its between Madison and Greensboro. There was an old store there that was abandoned and we arranged with the owners to hold some auctions there. This was before Lake Oconee was formed. That had us in the area around Morgan and Greene counties on several occasions.
They had a two legged deer in Buckhead, but that’s another story. No one but Bob, Dave, Richard and the guy that had the deer believes that story anyway. Even I can’t stretch that into believability anymore.
Now, in those days, this was dairy country. Lots of cows. There still are a lot of beautiful farms in that area today but more beef cows than dairy cows, I believe. It has something to do with Black Angus versus Holstein milk cows.
Just to let you know, it is not easy being a “Gentleman/Gentlewoman Farmer” with a herd of Holsteins that have to be milked every morning at 4:30 and still run your law practice or see patients at the clinic. Something to do with “milk bases”, too.
In fact, the county in Georgia that has the most dairy cows at this writing is Macon County according to the Dairy Association. A lot of the farms over in the Morgan and Greene County areas are now subdivisions, farmettes, and some are waterfront lots on Lake Oconee.
Just so you know, the largest cattle ranch in the US, in terms of number of cows, is owned by the Church of Latter Day Saints. No, it’s not in Salt Lake City. It’s in Florida. They have 300,000 acres of land and 44,000 cows! Now that’s a lot of manure to spread around, no matter how you look at it! Deseret Ranches. Not all Mormons sing in the Choir, it seems.
But, one day Bob, Richard, and I were driving somewhere over in Greene County. We decided to make a “Snickers Bar” break. This meant we would have to stop at one of those country store/7-11/service station stores that use to be found in the rural areas. The owners were often farmers, cattlemen, or otherwise employed as well as running these stores near their homes.
Any store worth its salt had Pepsi’s, Moon Pies and Snicker Bars. Some had Yoohoo’s. Vienna sausage and Sardines.
As we were driving, passing the beautiful farms, we passed some cows on the shoulder of the road. They had escaped the confines of the barbed wire fence and were checking out the grass beside the highway. And we soon came up on one of the store/7-11/service stations. We stopped for our Snickers.
We went in and there was a man and his wife running the store. As we were getting our cold drink from the drink box, we mentioned to the fellow that there were some cows out on the shoulder of the road if he knew who they belonged to he might want to call them about the cows before they got hit by a car.
He responded with a sigh, “They are mine. They have been driving me crazy lately. I have a bunch that has learned how to get through the fence and they keep doing it over and over.”
He went on to say, “Last week, two kids stopped by in their Chevy Nova to get some gas. They mentioned that a cow was out on the shoulder of the road and asked if I knew who owned it and I told them that, unfortunately, it was mine. I then made the mistake of saying I wished someone would load the thing up and I would not have to chase it down and put it back in the pasture again. They asked if I was serious and I said yes”.
But in a few minutes, the two guys drove back up in the Chevy Nova and one of the guys jumped out and ran back in the store.
“We just wanted to let you know that we got that cow and we have it in the car. Thank you very much for letting us have it”.
The man said he and his wife were both too flabbergasted to say anything but that he went to the front door to look as the two guys drove off with the cow in the Chevy Nova. At least, he would not have any more problem with that cow getting out of the pasture.
It was a lesson learned in Greene County, Georgia: Don’t say it, unless you mean it.
The unlikely possibility that a cow could be rounded up, caught, and be loaded into a Nova on the side of the road and that the two guys would even attempt it seemed to make the notion absurd. The off the cuff comment seemed to fall in the realm of the “that’ll never happen, anyway.”
But the absurd became the real to the gentleman in Greene County. The day we were there he did not make that same mistake again! We looked like the types that might load up a cow or two if given the chance.
Thinking back on that day, I wonder where they went with that cow. They were probably asking themselves after a mile or two, “What in the world are we going to do with this thing?”
Did they ever get the cow out of the car? Suppose they went to trade that car in and said to the car dealer, “Our car is worth more than the Blue Book Value because it comes with a cow!” If you Google up “Cow In a Car” you will see several pictures of not one, but multiple, cows in cars. But it is not something you see every day on I-285.
Have you ever been guilty of saying stuff you don’t mean? Chit chat, palavering, and jibber jabber is everywhere in our society. Talk, talk, talk. You know some people like that!
A man asked me a question once and when I had finished my answer he said, “I asked you what the weather was outside and you told me how to make an air conditioner”. I’ve told that story before, but you know how I like to talk!
Now, I would like to explain a phenomena called “Alligator Mouth.” Alligator Mouth is when you make a big and unequivocal statement that is too big to be supported with your Tadpole Size Rear End.
Sometimes the stuff we say is just a lot of bull! And you may think this story is too. But you would be dead wrong! It was actually a heifer.
© 2015 SPT