The Galloping Consumption

This is not a real post. Consider this an excused absence from my normal blog writing. i have what my father affectionately referred to as the Galloping Consumption, a term he applied to any respiratory illness that makes you doubt your will to live. Having spent six months in the hospital for tuberculosis, I consider him an expert in this area.

I’m in my second week of the Galloping Consumption. I haven’t been able to sleep, hold a conversation or even read a story to my children. Hubs is renting out my side of the bed and taking applications for a new wife and mother, should I finally blow a major blood vessel on my next coughing fit.  Meanwhile I entertain visions of myself in a cane-backed wheel chair with a lap blanket, being wheeled around by an attendant or lying supplicant on a velvet couch while Johnny Depp recreates Neverland in my sitting room. In my visions I cough with an English accent.

Now I wouldn’t publicly declare myself an optimist but I am prone to want to look at the bright side of a situation, so I can say that I’ve lost ten pounds, though most of it has been in muscle tone and breast tissue. I’m on the verge of obtaining the coveted lollipop figure that LA is known for. Rachel Zoe actually considered taking me as a client until she realized that there was movement in my forehead and declared me dead to her until I developed the good sense to paralyze my face with Botox.

However just between you and me, even a career as a geriatric super model isn’t enough to raise my spirits while I am coughing mercilessly through the night. I can be tough and resilient for short stretches but I grow impatient about hardship quickly and then I’m just irritable and nihilistic.

I’d be terrible at war. Sure I’d be focused and bad@ss for a couple of fire fights but then I’d grow weepy, start complaining about a lack of coffee breaks and finally I’d lie down in a fox hole and wait for enemy fire to claim me. They never would’ve made a mini series about my war-time heroics. So don’t hold out for Band of Brothers and One Sister. It ain’t coming.

Anyway, thank you for your patience. Normal posts will resume shortly.

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Second Hand Candy And Ethanol Byproducts: The New Superfoods

 

 

I think I have a nose for investigative journalism. Some stories just jump right off the page and demand that I do some research. For instance, this morning I saw a story titled Cows Eating Candy During The Drought. I had visions of cows buying Snickers bars and Big Gulps down at the local 7-Eleven and cows trick or treating while dressed up as princesses and ninjas. The investigative journalist in me had to check it out.

See, trick or treating cows are adorable. By the way, she’s holding a fake severed finger.

I was somewhat disappointed to find no mention of trick or treating cows in the article. However, the story was still interesting.

Apparently the drought is sending corn prices off the charts, which is making it very expensive for ranchers to feed their livestock because cows are notoriously big eaters. That’s why they’re called “cows”. For the record, I’m not judging them for their appetite nor would I advocate making them buy two tickets on an airplane. Not every animal can be built like a cheetah, so let’s be a little more tolerant here, people. Besides, who wants to sit next to a cheetah on an airplane? It would eat your head. We need to be logical about this.

Anyway, according to the article, Joseph Watson over at Mayfield’s United Livestock Commodities couldn’t afford to feed his cattle corn anymore, so earlier this year, he started feeding them second-hand candy.

(Enrollment in animal dentistry is probably skyrocketing as I type.)

The packaged candy comes from various companies at a discounted rate because it is not fit for store shelves. I didn’t know that candy went bad and judging from the Halloween candy I got when I was younger, neither did any of the people in my neighborhood. I wish some thoughtful rancher had been around back then to take the stale chocolate and petrified Dum Dums off the hands of my neighbors, even if it meant that I would eat it later covered in A1 Steak Sauce at our local Sizzler.

“Old Lady Simmons gave me some junky lollipops again.” “Me too. I say we egg her house later.” (image via flickr & Martin Lindstrom)

Watson mixes the candy with an ethanol byproduct and a mineral nutrient. He says the cows have not shown any health problems from eating the candy, and are gaining weight as they should, which makes sense. I gain weight when I eat a steady supply of candy. I also find myself a little irritable. I wonder if Watson is having problems with grumpy cows. I wonder if his ranch looks like a school playground the day after Halloween.

I was a little concerned that if the cows are completely sedentary, eating candy and drinking Big Gulp’s full of ethanol byproducts, they aren’t living a healthy lifestyle. That’s no way to live. Unless you’re a computer programmer.

This angle of the story demanded further investigation.

I contacted my confidential source, Lindsay Lohan (and by “confidential” I mean completely fabricated), who seems to exist just fine on candy and ethanol. She suggested that the ranchers take the cows clubbing for exercise. I told her that the idea was ridiculous. Obviously the cows don’t have anything cute to wear. They’d never get into any quality Los Angeles nightclubs. Then Lindsay and I got in a fist fight and her parole officer had to break it up.

Don’t worry, I gave her some candy and ethanol and we’re solid again. (image via dreamstime)

To be honest, I didn’t completely understand what an ethanol byproduct was. It sounded like something I might have produced after a night of collegiate drinking, but surely no one would feed that to cows.

In order to speak intelligently about it I did what any knowledgeable journalist would do and googled “ethanol byproduct”. There I discovered an article filled with somebody else’s investigative journalism that talked about how recent research at Kansas State University has found that cattle fed distiller’s grain have an increased prevalence of E. coli in their hindgut or, as I like to put it, poisonous junk in their trunk. In fact, the prevalence of E. coli was about twice as high in cattle fed distiller’s grain compared with those cattle that were on a diet lacking the ethanol byproduct.

They don’t know exactly why this is but they’re looking to find out why and then prevent it from happening because the relationship between cattle ranchers and ethanol producers is mutually beneficial. Distiller’s grain is a cheap food source and ethanol producers need an added source of income in case the world suddenly stops drinking heavily or Kentucky sinks into the ocean.

Don’t panic. We’re not getting rid of any state that gave us Johnny Depp. (image via dreamstime)

I think I’ve asked the important questions here.

Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to go perfect my new cocktail. I’m mixing whiskey, old Halloween candy and a Flintstone’s chewable and calling it a Cattle Feed Martini. I’m on my second one and I’m about ready to throw myself on a grill right now.