It all started with one cow. A bold cow that shoved it’s head through the barbed wire, rubbing against it. A cow scratching an itch, breaking the barrier that held it back.
Herman and Melvin watched the cow trotting out from the captivity it had always known. The cow was calm. Grazing. Enjoying the fresh taste of grass on its tongue.
“Umm, Herman, maybe we should do somethin.” Melvin said as he watched the cow wandering further and further from the fence.
“Melvin, Melvin, Melvin,” Herman proclaimed. Then he sighed heavily, illustrating his weariness with the stupidity of his underling.
“Shouldn’t we do something about that cow?”
“A single cow isn’t a problem. It can easily be dealt with by our experts.”
“Nevermind, I, the great and magnificent Herman, have decreed it. Everything will be okay.” Herman smiled, closed his eyes, and then went back to sleep.
Melvin watched as other cows wandered through the hole in the broken fence. They seemed to be enjoying their freedom. As they romped about Herman continued to snore.
They were not insignificant noises, they were great thundering snores that signified the greatness of the man who was emitting them. Melvin felt thin and insignificant in his presence. Yet, the truth of the situation unfolding before him prompted him to question the wisdom he had just been given.
“Umm. Herman, the cows…”
“Melvin, the cows are where they are supposed to be! Have you not heard my decree? Do not speak of the problem cows again.” With that, Herman leaned hist head against the tree and closed his eyes again.
Melvin felt like speaking again but he had been censored. So, as obvious as the obvious was, he obviously couldn’t state the obvious. He would be smart. He would obey the wonderful decree of the great leader.
A cow wandered over to the tree where the two men slept in the light of a summer day. This was very interesting. Soon, other cows ambled over and examined the wonderful humans who had given them their freedom. One of them even stretched out its neck and began licking the face of its benefactor.
The sloppy caress of a rough bovine tongue dragged Herman from his happy slumber. His eyes widened as he took in spectacle of an entire herd of cattle surrounding him. He cursed as he wiped the slobber from his face.
“Melvin, what is this?” The great leader bellowed.
“I tried to tell you…”
“You tried nothing…look at what you’ve done!”
The cows stared stupidly. Surprised at the reaction to their show of appreciation.
“Get these cows back where they belong!” Herman heaved himself to his feet. Not an easy task for a big man like him. “Did you hear me, get these cows back to where they belong!”
Spooked by this display of wrath and bellowing, the cows began to run. It didn’t take long for the herd to scatter all over the neighborhood. Their lovely bovine presence lumbering through lush gardens and manicured lawns was appreciated by many in the world around them.
In an effort to disguise their pleasure at the presence of the cattle in their yards…many of the neighbors were heard to curse in anger. But no one was fooled, it was clear from the coverage in the media that the herd brought happiness wherever they chose to roam.
Yes, as time went by, it came to pass that the herd mentality was a great blessing to the entire human race. According to the reports on television, farmers everywhere began releasing their own cattle and rejoicing in the consequences of it.
Indeed, Herman and his visionary system of government came to be celebrated as an example to the entire world. Many countries elected their own big men and gave them unlimited power to accomplish as little as possible. Yet, despite all this wonderful prattle about cattle, a problem still remained under the leafy branches of the sleeping tree.
“Melvin. This is all your fault, you must be punished,” Herman proclaimed.
“But Herman, I think that…”
“That’s the whole problem, you were thinking. Thinking is my job. I am the big man. You are a little man. Your job is to obey. Understand?”
“I understand Herman.” Melvin lowered his head in a humble display of submission. “I’ll try do better next time.”
“I’m glad to hear that Melvin. Now, let’s go home.”
On that note, the two men wandered into the beautiful orange glow of the sunset. A fat man and a thin man. Soon they would be on a couch watching television…in the opinion of all the experts on television that qualifies as a happy ending, so we’ll just leave it there.
Later that evening…Melvin shares his perspective.
Just heard an expert on the radio say that usin a mask ta cover yer TV screen will keep ya from gettin infected with stupid thinkin. I always figured ya could just turn tha TV off if was causin trouble, but if tha radio expert said ta put a mask over tha tv, I better do what I’m told. A radio expert should know all about tv…Where is that mask…dee do, da…there it is…get on that there tv screen, yeah, there’s nothin like a good cover-up. I feel safer already. I’m sure glad I did that, don’t wanna look stupid…like that time I went down to tha flea market lookin fer a few good fleas…