THE SONIC BOOMER
Many people think that, after we die, we come back as some sort of animal. I suppose this means that the people who have been good get to come back as a bird or a puppy. The ones who have been bad, may come back as cockroaches or intestinal parasites.
I want to be good enough to come back as a cow.
It’s not just my Wisconsin upbringing; I like cows. No one ever calls animal control about the neighbor’s cow making too much noise.
No one ever says, “That cow is such an eyesore.”
And road crews across the land seldom have to clean up a cow roadkill.
Of course, there are always exceptions. Like that time I was driving across Florida and the traffic came to a long, boring halt for ages. By the time I got out of the car and walked nearer the front to try to figure out what had happened, the country boy I talked to summed it up this way, “Ya got yer dead cow. Ya got yer burnt truck.”
But that was an errant cow, a misled cow, a curious cow that had been told “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” and wanted to find out for herself. Most cows are happy to stand around all day with their noses in the grass, chewing their cuds and making delicious milk for us to drink. I would be one of those cows.
And think about it — once a cow’s life is done (whether due to natural causes or a sudden blow to the head), they’re the gift that keeps on giving.
Ya got yer milk, yer cheese, yer ice cream.
Ya got yer butter, yer yogurt, yer whipped cream.
Ya got yer steaks, yer chuck, yer pot roast.
And ya got yer powder horns, yer racquet strings and yer pet food.
The list goes on and on. And that’s without even mentioning the leather used to make the best-fitting boots in the world, the top-dollar designer handbags and the seats for your Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
So, I’d like to come back as a cow. It plays right into my wheelhouse. I’ve spent a good part of my life finding good homes for previously loved antiques, so recycling is a natural extension of who I am. At my core, I like things to be used up, not thrown away.
All I need to know is: to whom do I speak about such things? Does it need to be written into my will or made a part of my epitaph? Do I need to forward my request to a higher power? Or do I not get to choose at all?
I don’t want to come back as a housefly.
If I can’t come back as a cow, maybe I could at least be a silkworm, something useful. You know, if we do come back as some kind of animal. Or come back at all.