Got Your Goat
Another perfect day in Paradise, butt there are the goats. No butts about it, I have goats on the brain. It all started several months ago due to an alert, sophisticated, and debonair Indy reader, me, who read to myself, without moving my lips, thanks to the Evelyn Wood speed reading class I took as a kid that what? Oops lost my herd of thought. Oh yeah, goats. I read that the city of Laguna Beach pays a herder for his goats to eat the dry brush in the green belt. And the contract is some chomp of change. I’d like to get in on this action. That’s when my goat obsession started.
It’s like the recurring song that gets stuck in your head and you can’t make it stop. Mine is far worse. Imagine Julie Andrews in the “Sound of Music” belting out “The hills are alive with the sound of no music, butt goats.” Problem is, I don’t know what sound goats make and it appears that Julie Andrews doesn’t know either because she never sings the goat refrain, butt reappears skipping across the mountain meadow singing over and over, “the hills are alive with the sound of no music, then nothing.” It’s like Groundhog Day without Bill Murray and without the groundhog and that makes my recurring loop not funny. Not funny at all. No disrespect to Julie Andrews, butt I’m sick of her cheery skipping and twirling and explosives shaped as little goats from Bill Murray’s ‘Caddyshack’ seem a reasonable solution.
I’ve tried to recollect my earliest schooling. I recall Socrates asking, “What does a cow say?” “A cow says moo.” ‘What does a horse say?” “A horse says neigh.” ‘What does a sheep say?” “A sheep says baa.” “What does a goat say?” “A goat says nothing?” Come on think, think. I’m not letting some silence of the goats get my goat. Maybe goats are mimes and they hold up placards to entertain the other animals. For the cows “Eat mor chikin.” For the horses, “Why the long face?” For the sheep, “Take me to your leader.” Note to self. Goats aren’t mimes. Mimes aren’t funny. And there goes Julie Andrews skipping and twirling again. Either remember or get dynamite at the Acme store. Beep. Beep. That’s the sound a roadrunner makes.
My kids came to town to help me celebrate my big 6-0 birthday. In baby terms, I’m 720 months old. In dog years, I’m 420 years. In puppy terms, I’m 5,040 months. As my kids said in greeting, “You’re an old goat.” Geez, like I needed to be reminded about goats. Now it was Julie Andrews hooking up with the von Trapp kids all skipping and twirling to no sound of goats. Where’s that number to Acme? How could I possibly qualify for a Laguna Beach city contract as a professional goat herder, if I don’t know what sound a goat makes. Then it hit me in the butt. I’ll get the endorsement and recommendation of the Laguna Beach Merchant Association by advising them that my goats don’t make sound and they don’t make a lot of other things as well. My goats don’t make T-shirts. My goats don’t make candles. My goats don’t make home accessories. Butt, I can’t bleat for the other herder’s goats. Perhaps the other goats paint, sculpt, and have art walks the first Wednesday of every month. Who’s to bleating know. I can only speak for my own herd.
Yep, that’s how I’ll get the $125,000 goat-herding contract. And for each additional herd if needed, I’ll do it for $50,000 instead of $55,000. Got your goat contract! And you better believe that I have the empty beer cans to inspire my herd to grazing greatness. “Eat mor chikin!”
Mark is a recent transplant to Laguna from Chicago. He occasionally writes the guest column ”Pet Peeves.” His recently deceased border collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.