Hubby and I were discussing cow farts the other day.
We didn’t suddenly turn to each other at the dinner table and exclaim, “Cow farts!” No; our conversation actually began as a semi-serious discussion of global warming. It’s just that whenever I’m present, the conversation tends to go rapidly sideways. I blame this on my brain’s annoying tendency to latch onto useless but amusing bits of trivia.
In this case, the factoid in question was: Cow farts are a major contributor to global warming gas emissions. Because of the fermentation that takes place as organic matter moves through their four stomachs, large quantities of methane gas are produced. The gas is, erm… expelled. Human beings raise lots of cattle. Lots of cattle equals lots of cow farts. (Update: Sadly, the Blog Fodder has pointed out below that this is only a factoid, not a true and useful fact. But I still like the idea of farting bovine enviro-pirates. It’s good to be a fiction writer.)
Anyway, that got me thinking about cows in general. You know how some things are intrinsically funny? For example, bananas are funnier than oranges. Turnips are funnier than, say, lettuce or radishes. And cows are funnier than horses or just about any other farmyard animal.
I think that’s partly because of another little piece of trivia that may or may not be true, but it sounds logical and I want to believe it: Cows spend pretty much their entire lives intoxicated because alcohol is another by-product of the digestive fermentation process. Maybe that explains why they’re so placid. Whenever I see a cow I giggle at the thought that behind those big brown glassy eyes is an animal that might be completely snockered. (Update: Nope, this one’s not true, either. Bummer.)
And cattle are funny-looking. They could have been designed by a six-year-old kid: a big rectangular block supported by four knobby legs with a head stuck on the front. Oh, and a tail on the back.
The tail always makes me laugh, too. The skinny rope with a tassel on the end is funny in itself, but what truly amuses me is that cows and lions have exactly the same tail. I don’t know whether to congratulate the cow on its badass likeness to the king of the beasts or offer my condolences to the lion for getting tagged with the same hair-handle as the ungulates.
And if you’ve ever seen a cow jump a fence (they are actually capable of jumping, though not very high), that in itself is giggle-worthy. Unless the cattle in question are escaping your pasture, in which case it’s not very funny at all.
Fasten your seatbelts, ‘cause here comes a topic-swerve that’s only loosely linked to cow farts: doobies. (That’s a funny word in itself.) Yes, I’m talking about bombers, joints, reefers; wacky tobaccy in general.
How is this related to cow farts? Well, cow farts are funny. And doobies are funny cigarettes.
Why am I making this extremely tenuous connection?
Because it’s a cheap and sleazy segue into announcing that Book 9, SPY HIGH has cover art and a release date! Woohoo! My beta readers blasted through it during the Christmas holidays – thanks, guys, you ROCK! Now I only have to do some final polishing and it’ll be ready to roll out the door. The tentative release date is January 16, 2015 (to be confirmed next week).
And yes, that is a funny cigarette on the cover…
After four uneventful months spent guarding her boss’s eccentric hippy parents on an isolated raincoast commune, bookkeeper-turned-secret-agent Aydan Kelly is beginning to hope mildewed undies will be the only hazard she’ll face.
But some of the blissed-out flower children are not what they seem. Aydan discovers a plot to kill her lovable charges, and in her fight to protect them she unearths the commune’s deepest secret. Suddenly she’s facing dozens of enemies who threaten the lives of all the innocent commune members as well as her own.
She’ll only survive with a little help from her friends…