Taking the Moo Out of Flying

“Thank you, ma’am” the TSA official said as he handed back my ID and boarding pass.  I did a double-take and checked my driver’s license to see if I actually had an individual name because way back at curbside, I’d become a cow.

The cow persona settles on a traveler as herds tromp off buses and out of cars. My fellow adventurers and I may mill about the outer food troughs of TGIFridays, or Barnes and Noble, but eventually we respond to the jangle of the food bucket, and join the rest of the herd, ambling toward the TSA corral, towing our carry-ons like a wagon train.

STATION 1: EAR TAG CHECK. This first stop is where our ear tags identify which cow you are, when you’re birthed, and if you’d like to donate any organs.  If one of the cattle is missing its plastic ID tag or papers, then he or she is sent down a side chute and searched for a brand.  If none is found, they go to a holding pen.

Here’s where the TSA official almost awakened me out of my stupification by smiling and using my name, but not to worry.  After several wide-eyed blinks, I was pressed into the chute, the pack pushing me to:

STATION 2: VACCINATION STATION.  Here we’re herded through another gate to receive a dose of radiation. If administered at the appropriate level, it can sterilize objects, find cancer, cross-link plastics, and create new strains of seed.  Posted signs indicate it will not hurt film. Nothing about what it does to cows. But our bovine brains are freighted with heavier realities: Should I Zip Loc the toothpaste? Why do charts tell us to bag deodorant—my armpit has never exploded?  There isn’t much time to ponder these truth because the chutes divide and we are channeled to the:

STATION 3: DIP TANKS. Each doggie clops through the gate bare-hoofed, free of cow bells, harnesses, or jewelry.  Animals are sorted into those who make the cow gate bing bong, those whose trappings ding dong, and those who don’t make any noise. Once ejected from the chutes, the cattle mill around trying to find their tails and saddlebags.

There are more lines, but my favorite part of flying is sitting in the hauling containers for hours. Usually a wrangler passes through the aisle, making sure we’re all watered and still conscious.

After being caged in a 2’x5’ seat that doesn’t conform to any mammal’s body angles, it’s easy for the car rental to sell upgrades. “Sure. Lemme have a rig big enough to do jumping jacks and kick my legs in the air.”

“Enjoy your stay, ma’am,” the Budget lady calls as I trot to my vehicle. It won’t be long now.

I rip from the parking lot with a “MOOOOOOOve.” Soon the hypnotic stupor of cow-ness will fade. I’m headed for open pasture.

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Humor, Life, Smiles, Traveling and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Taking the Moo Out of Flying

  1. You have raised the cow to the level of very funny. In all the years we’ve had cows they never inspired this kind of humor…perhaps because they were raised for beef and not dairy. Unfortunately for us we had to sell our herd due to the drought. Fortunately for you no cows will be bearing your name, something my husband and I enjoyed doing…coming up with names for all those grazers. We could use your humor down here in the land of parched land. Yep, when we rebuild the herd, we will definitely have to include a funny cow. “La vache qui rit” is onto something.


  2. Lafemmeroar says:

    Great analogy for being caged in flight. We’re all just a pack of animals en route … funny post 🙂


  3. Margie says:

    I always joke that I fly in the ‘steerage’ section. Your description of the process explains why I say that!


  4. Roxie Matthews says:

    When standing in long lines, I often bleat or bah to see if anyone gets the joke. All things considered, though, I would rather be an examinee than an examiner. Imagine if you had to frisk some guy with a glandular problem who had been traveling for 27 hours already. That pat down could NOT be pleasant. And as for those x-ray machines – I figure anyone that has to look at my nekkid body deserves my pity rather than my scorn. Anyhow, between the plate in my wrist and the underwires in my bra, I wind up getting wanded two out of three times through.

    So,where’d go and why?


    • Barb says:

      I was meeting Jon E. Depp and G. Klooney in Indiana away from the paparazzi. Oh,,,I guess some long lost relatives were there, too, but it was hard to tell with all the camera flash making me blind.


  5. Spectra says:

    So, where’d ya go? And why? And, more importantly, did you hire up a lil’ gigalo to keep you entertained while out of town? If your husband was really supportive, he’d have given you a gift certificate for that before you left.


    • Barb says:

      Perhaps you could write a prescription for that to make it more official. Could you sign it Dr. Sepctra. I think it would increase the size of the gift certificate if it were sanctioned.


  6. You forgot the in-flight ‘entertainment’ designed to remove the cow brains and thereby prevent mad cow’s disease.
    This was wonderful. For your next flight you can moooove to First Class.


  7. moma escriva says:

    What a hoooot! You are definitely way above our atmosphere!


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