Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

On the Edge of Common Sense: Moustache safety

Baxter Black Published on 18 January 2013

Moustaches have become de rigueur in certain lifestyle choices: mountain men, Arctic explorers, Fu Man Chu-ists, carnival acts like the bearded lady and cowboy poets. As we know, if something becomes popular, the government soon tries to get involved.

A word about moustache safety and maintenance: haphazard! There are really no official rules, no regulations passed down by the Department of Sanitation or Landscaping or Aerodynamics.But I suppose one might encounter moustache restrictions for certain jobs like wine tasting, orthodontry or swallowing fire.



However, moustache freedom may soon be endangered. Already, well-meaning socialist potentates have passed intrusive laws in their kingdoms decreeing No Smoking, No Soda Pop, No Big Macs, No Voting Republican and No Spitting On The Sidewalk laws. What if these little self-appointed kinglets discovered that moustaches can be life-threatening?

Let’s consider the story of LeeRay, a good ol’ Nebraska farm boy. It was calving season and things were not going well. They had a lot of scouring calves and heifers not pairing up.

LeeRay was the ground-man at the calving barn. He’s a big fellow, not fleet of foot but strong and hard-working. He was being helped by two cowboys who watched the “heavy bunch.”

One late afternoon, the cowboys brought in a big Angus cow who, in spite of her calving difficulty, was still on the fight. The cowboys backed the trailer up to the loading pen and led their horses out.

LeeRay walked in, opened the middle divider and quickly stepped back. Mama Cow disembarked like a long-jumper in the Ungulate Olympics and put LeeRay over the fence.


The cowboys mounted up and managed to get a rope around her neck to help direct her to the alley that led to the calving barn. It wasn’t working, so LeeRay stood in the alley gate to tempt her. (To those of you who participate in dressage or raise rabbits, this may seem to be a questionable practice. But so is riding bulls, returning punts or falling in love with a cowboy.)

Mama Cow took the bait and charged, dragging horse and rider behind her. LeeRay slid and stumbled down the alley into the calving barn like a wounded rabbit at the dog races. The alleyway was a four-inch layer of fines made up of sand, horse manure, hay and dust.

The dally slipped. Mama caught up and hit LeeRay square in the seat of his pants, sending him into a nosedive. With her pushing, he plowed a furrow 12 feet long in the thick dust and dirt.

He got to his hands and knees twice, but she never let up. She just kept on plowing with LeeRay turning up the curl. Finally, he slid by an open gate, rolled to the right and she took a left into the little calving pen.

“Are you alright?” yelled the cowboys.

LeeRay staggered to his feet. He looked like a 200-pound breaded muskrat. He blinked back the tears and said, “I think I swallowed my moustache!” PD