Hospitals always give me the creeps. They’re too clean like, if ya know what I mean. Somethin’ unnatural about that. And the smell… I’m thinkin’ about all this when the pretty nurse at the ER desk looks over at me.
“What are you in here for tonight?” she asks.
The waiting room is empty ‘cept for me.
“Waitin’ for my buddy,” I say.
“What happened to him?”
“Well, there’s a long story ’bout that,” I say, “but, I won’t take up yer time with the nitty gritty details. I’ll give ya the quick ‘n’ dirty version.”
She smiles and continues workin’ on the papers on the desk.
“So me and my buddy, Tyler’s his name, we were out at his daddy’s barn mucking it out and drinkin’ a couple of buds. We’re gettin’ ready to get outta this town, ya see, and we were talkin’ ’bout the future and movin’ away from cow country. Well, after a bit, Tyler stuck his shovel in the muck and leaned up against the barn wall, takin’ a break.
“Now, there’s somethin’ ya should know ’bout Tyler. He ain’t super crazy ’bout hygiene, showerin’ as much as the rest of us, but Tyler, he sure loves brushin’ his teeth. Whips out his toothbrush any chance he gets. Well, he leaned up against that barn wall, took out his toothbrush and brushed for a few seconds then looked at me all funny like.
“‘Have an regrets ’bout leavin’?’ he said.
“‘No,’ I said. ‘You?’
“Well, Tyler, he smiled then and put his toothbrush in his back pocket then said, ‘Well, ain’t never been cow tippin’ and seein’ as I grew up here, I shoulda done that.’
“We decided that cow tippin’ sounded better then muckin’ out the barn just then, so we started walkin’ out to the pasture. Tyler’s daddy woulda killed us if he found out, sayin’ that cow tippin’ ain’t nothin’ but damagin’ a good profit, but he wasn’t ’round.
“So, we hopped the fence into the pasture and picked out the cow for tippin’. She was last summer’s calf, smaller than the rest of ’em so we figured we’d be able to tip her. She was sleepin’, her cud just hangin’ there in her mouth. So, we got a runnin’ start and SLAM, we hit her broadside, but damn, she didn’t move a inch. He eyes sure flew open though and she chopped that cud and we knew we were in trouble, so we started runnin’.
“I was ahead of Tyler, runnin’ for all I was worth. The cow, she was snortin’ and stompin’ on our heals. I jumped and cleared the fence and Tyler was cursin’ behind me. He was almost to the fence when his toothbrush fell out of his pocket. Well, the idiot, he stopped dead in his tracks and turned around to get it, and that cow, she ran him flat over. Smashed him up pretty good.”
“The cow attacked him?” the nurse said.
“Yup. He woulda been fine if he’d left that damn toothbrush.”
“He got trampled by a cow, all for a toothbrush?” she said.
“Yup,” I said. “Tyler just loves brushin’ his teeth.”
“A toothbrush.” the nurse shook her head.
“A toothbrush.” I said, laughin’. It’ll be a great story outta cow country.