6 Things No One Tells You About Living on a Farm
Most people's exposure to rural environments consists of taking a scenic drive through wine country or being tricked onto a tomato farm by a Domino's Pizza focus group. To us jet setters, the countryside seems so beautiful ... the milkable animals, the clean air, the daughters that can't say no to traveling salesmen. Well, before I became the Internet's me, I spent my childhood living on farms, and there are some misconceptions I want to clear up.
Animals Are Designed by Nature to Be Gross
One of the reasons people don't keep goats as pets is because every pound of tin cans they swallow turns into 5 pounds of slimy fecal pellets that fall from them in an unbreaking stream. Goats shit like an I Love Lucy skit. And according to my studies, cows digest only 2 percent of what they eat. The rest is simply coated in filth and flung out of the back of the animal. The only two events in the life cycle of a cow are ruining grass and death. It's like natural selection decided it was too much trouble to give them claws and decided instead to have them spew waste until they're too disgusting to eat.
A nice thing to do for animals is to keep a layer of hay on the floor of their barn. It's soft to sleep on, it keeps them warm, they can eat it and it will be made entirely out of feces before any of those things happen. No big deal. You just pick it up with a shovel and move it, right? Good luck. They were also peeing on that, and the second you disturb the swampy toilet they call a home, ammonia shoots out to burn your lungs and sear your eyeballs. Evolution gave these monsters natural weapons that actually prevent you from cleaning up after them. And if you ever get the opportunity to milk an animal, don't take it. It's like squeezing hot snot out of a fat woman's flaccid penis. When robots become self-aware, it's the milking machines that will be first to suggest revenge.
In all the animal kingdom, nothing shits like a chicken. I don't mean that they produce a lot of it. They do, enthusiastically, but more notable than the amount is the coverage -- chickens can and will put their crap everywhere. They never go in the same spot twice. Whenever you look away from a chicken, it hides three smears of crap in places it couldn't have possibly reached. I have seen eggs come out of chickens with feces already on them. Do I know nothing about chicken tubes, or are they acrobatically pooping into each other's birth canals? Both. And I can prove it.
Every day I had to fill our chickens' water dispenser. It was like an upside-down bucket that drip-fed into a little moat. It was specifically designed so birds couldn't sit on it, and yet every day I found it filled with chicken crap. Filled. In order for that to happen, they had to be deliberately and uncomfortably backing their assholes into their own water supply. Why would you do that if you weren't trying to turn yourself into poison in order to kill your masters from inside a soup or sandwich? There was even crap on the top and sides of the waterer, which meant that the more athletic chickens were leaping over it and moving their bowels with precision timing. I swear the reason chickens run around after you cut their heads off is because their bowels still have so much to live for.
Animals Are Also Dicks, Stupid, or Stupid Dicks
If your only interaction with farm animals is petting zoos and cheeseburgers, you probably see them as lovable and innocent creatures. Don't be fooled -- petting zoos are where animals go when their spirits are broken. A real goat who hasn't had its soul rubbed out by thousands of tiny hands is a gigantic dick. It's built into its DNA. Every time a living thing breaks eye contact with a goat, a coin flips in its brain. Heads, it charges. Tails, it charges as hard as it can. I've watched a goat ram its horns into its own pregnant mother because she turned away from him. A goat head is like a cement block with horns because the only things those stupid things know how to do is lick salt and head butt.
In the country, even dogs are assholes. You've no doubt seen a dog lose its mind when a stranger comes near its home. That territorial instinct is multiplied as their territory expands. If a dog's home is several acres of farmland, it greets every visitor with primeval murderous instinct. Growing up, if we wanted to get home safely from the bus stop, we had to fill the weakest child with dog poison. An encounter between country dogs contains no comical ass sniffing -- it's a snarling cartoon cloud of mortal combat. Country people don't favor huge dogs because they live too far from Chihuahua boutiques. They do it because if their dog isn't big enough to spare a couple quarts of blood, it's going to die during its first visit next door.
When you live on a farm, you also have to deal with wild animals. Raccoons will spread your garbage out horizontally. Badgers will rip the heads off of your chickens. Wood nymphs will break up your parents' marriage. Even the "cute" animals are a pain in your ass. Deer will use their majestic leaping ability to hop into your garden and eat everything you grow. They don't care that it took six years for those god damn blueberry bushes to finally bear fruit -- they pick them clean in seconds and prance dickishly back into the woods. Luckily, you'll see that deer again when it suddenly appears in front of your truck as you're driving to town for blueberries. Country mechanics probably spend more time scraping deer carcasses out of truck grills than they do fixing engines.
Let There Be No Misunderstanding About This: Chickens Are Rapists
Let me explain how the mating cycle of a free range chicken works. A hen struts around, darting her beak into the ground and ejecting terrible amounts of black and white acrylic paint from her ass. It's everything the world's most retarded animal could ask for. Here's the downside: If she does this anywhere near a rooster, he stops what he's doing and stalks her. With the stealth of a jungle cat and the romance of a running start, he leaps onto her and pelvic blasts her for one explosive, squawking second. The female chicken will hate this.
The rooster does this to every chicken every day, and none of them have ever wanted it. Chickens are these stupid little fat squirting things that look like a pillow fight when they try to fly, and the only thing they can do with any elegance is violent sexual assault and pantomiming the shame they feel afterward. Consider that the next time you're a vegetarian and you're wondering why everyone thinks you're an asshole.
After being furiously impregnated against her will, the hen lays her egg and sits on it as often as she can for 22 days. This is usually cut short by about 22 days when a farmer or his disinterested children yank the egg out from under her. To do this, one simply pries the fluttering, pecking hen out of her coop. If you don't use a stick for this, congratulations, your bloody arm is now ground zero for a brand new chimeric disease that they'll name after you. Egg collecting is both annoying and disgusting and often leads to the discovery that the chicken you're fighting isn't sitting on anything at all. To make matters worse, my dad's bitch of a second wife cooked like a chemical toilet accident, and handing her a basket of rape eggs only added to the misery of the world.
If a chicken manages to outsmart you by disguising its egg as an egg-sized pile of feces for 22 days, and it will, this of course hatches into a chick. If the chick grows up to be your second or second millionth hen, fine. If it grows up to be your second rooster, you're in trouble. Determining its sex is easy. You simply pinch its body until its anal vent protrudes and check it for bumps. Both sexes have bumps, so unless you're a specialist in this field, all you are right now is a pervert killing a baby chicken anus first.
If you screw up and get a second male chicken, the competition to be the top rapist drives them all insane. Roosters have a biological aversion to sloppy seconds, and any time one bones any amount less than 100 percent of the nearby ladies, it becomes a feral, unpredictable attack bird. So to sum up: Each time you see the words "free range," you're about to eat something that was sexually assaulted by one rooster every day of its life and regular assaulted by all the others. Enjoy!
Pollution Becomes a Part of the Landscape
Cities are filthy places filled with filthy people. However, most of them are constantly being cleaned. You see a dirty diaper on the street every now and then, but it's a brand new dirty diaper every day. In the country, no one is there to clean it up. That diaper will stay there until the world's most depressed coyote attempts suicide.
When someone's tractor breaks down, their solution is almost certainly to push it out of the way and get to it later. Within a few months, nature starts to eat it, and now there's a tractor in that spot for the rest of all time. Old combines, plows, tools, trespasser skeletons, cars ... they become landmarks as permanent as trees and home to twice as many wolverines. Most farmers produce as much rusty metal junk as they do food. Plus, every home in the country includes an ancient pump house, barn or shed that is only there for teenage spiders to explore each other's bodies. No one will ever go inside until a horror movie's location scout spots it from the road.
There's No Such Thing as a Vacation
When you live on a farm, you can't leave. It isn't like asking a friend to come over and water your plants. An unmilked cow dies in screaming pain. Unweeded thistles will devour your crops and launch seeds into every neighboring county. Your sprinkler system is watching for your truck to drive away so it can malfunction and turn your garden into a mud wrestling pit.
If you let an egg sit under a chicken over the weekend, its yolk turns from a delicious breakfast into a veiny fetus. Once a week I had to drive a riding lawn mower past the hives of my dad's irritable, lunatic bees, and I still say cracking eggs open was the most stressful job on the farm. Each egg I cracked had a higher and higher chance of dropping a face and placenta into the bowl, and I was raised American, so we only ate face and placenta on Chinese New Year.
The maintenance required to keep a farm going never ends. You can handle it in two ways: hiring workers or breeding workers. People in the country don't have sex with donkeys because it's fun -- they're trying to create centaur children to work their fields. Which brings me to my next point ...
In the Country, All Your Neighbors Are Insane
No one likes their neighbors. For instance, every time Mexico scores a goal, mine blow an air horn until it's just an ordinary can. But they are infinitely better than the neighbor who pulled a shotgun on me and my brother when we were playing Rambo too close to his cabin. I was 8 and he was 11, and this madman actually shrieked the words, "GET OFF MY PROPERTY!" In a way it was flattering that a grown man saw us and went straight for the shotgun, since despite our headbands and M60-like sticks, we would have run like hell from a lunatic with only a shovel or a kitchen knife.
Wild hermits are unusual, but everyone in the country owns a gun, and like all gun owners they fantasize all day about using them. I wasn't sure why until we got our first solicitor. When it takes them 30 minutes to get to your front door, Jehovah's Witnesses do not take "Suck my balls" as an answer.
I rode the bus with moon-headed children who were by the very literal definition of the word inbred. I got in a fist fight with one of them in fourth grade, and I have a vivid memory of my deadliest karate blows having no effect on his indefinably wrong face. The house nearest to ours had actual booby traps on it. The point is, people don't move away from civilization because they're normal. My parents did it so that when the Soviets dropped ICBMs on us, we would have a defensible compound. From paratroopers? Mutant survivors? I honestly never asked, but we had enough jam and canned corn to outlast their siege.
I learned how to throw a tomahawk before I learned how to throw a football, which was ridiculous since if we were involved in a ranged altercation, there weren't enough people in the state of Oregon to soak up my family's ammunition supply. My folks used to turn off the electricity on weekends to prepare us for a life of self-sustained everything. I had so many knives and spears stashed in tree forts that my version of Home Alone would have been rated NC-17, and my parents thought that was rad. I should have made it clear earlier that when I said, "In the country, all your neighbors are insane," I was mostly talking to the people living next to me.
Seanbaby invented being funny on the Internet with Seanbaby.com. Awesome people follow him on Twitter.For more of him on Cracked, please enjoy The Most Bats**t Martial Arts Movie of All Time & The 4 Most Irresponsible Sex Advice Books of All Time.