This weekend marks the conclusion of "Shark Week," an annual event where the nice folks at the Discovery Channel try to scare the hell out of everyone so they can have the beaches to themselves during the hottest month of the year. At least, I’m guessing that's what "Shark Week" is about. I've never watched it. I don't need to. I’ve been afraid to go near any body of water—ocean, lake, river, or swimming pool—since seeing Jaws over thirty years ago.
However, lately I've been worrying less about sharks and more about cows. According to a recent study, you are twenty-seven times more likely to be killed by a cow than by a shark.
This doesn't surprise me. Think about it. Sharks have no reason to attack us. What have we ever done—what would we ever dare do—to make them angry? Cows, on the other hand, have been our victims for thousands of years. We herd them, milk them, breed them—not to mention slaughtering and eating them. As if that weren't enough, our young people subject them to all manner of indignities, from "mooing" at them from passing cars to unceremoniously tipping them on their sides.
No wonder they're angry.
They're also devious. Oh sure, they look sweet and docile, but looks can be deceiving. They're biding their time, waiting for the opportune moment to attack. As soon as your back is turned, BAM! You’ll never know what hit you. Cowboys knew this. I bet you thought they were armed with all those rifles and six-shooters to defend themselves against devious rustlers and hostiles. Not so. They were armed to defend themselves against devious angry cows.
If you want to avoid angry cows, you might want to avoid Great Britain, which seems to get more than its share of cow attacks. If you absolutely cannot avoid Great Britain (for instance, if you happen to live there), be sure to steer clear of pastures (no pun intended). Come to think of it, you'd do well to steer clear of pastures in any case. Even if you don't encounter any cows, you're certain to step in something you'd rather not step in. One way or another, those cows will get you. Like I said, they're devious.
Finally, in case you do find yourself under attack by angry cows, it might be wise to acquaint yourself with these survival tips.
As for me—I think I'll just stay in the house.