Friday, December 11, 2009

The MoooooER

Imagine your phone ringing. You scurry around your house, rushing to locate the handset.

You finally find it.

"Hello," you say, winded, "how may I help you?"

There's a pause.

"Hello," you repeat, "is anyone there?"

Suddenly, without warning, you get your answer.


That above scenario, my friends, would be me calling you.

After my first year of residency, my wife had called me at work, quite excited, telling me she had found an amazing house for us to rent during my last two years of training.

Say what? I was surprised and didn't know we were "looking" to move from our very comfortable, two-bedroom condo just ten minutes from my hospital.

"Trust me," she reassured me, "you are going to love it."

And she was right. I did love it. Leave it to my wife to find such a great place.

The new house was about 35 minutes from the hospital, almost all country driving. It was built by Farmer Ed, an old-timer who we grew to love as family, smack in the middle of his cow and corn pastures. Farmer Ed had built this house for his planned retirement in a few years and wanted to rent it out until then. It sat comfortably on the top of a beautiful mountain range, alongside a curvy, country road where neighbors waved as you passed by. The views were endless and the sunsets spectacular. A small, friendly town sat just a few miles away.

It was not uncommon for us to wake at the break of dawn in our new house, cows milling around our bedroom window, talking to us in their language. Many a times I had dreams interrupted by Bessie's moo. Sometimes, even, it felt like Bessie and her gang were having some fun with us, staging their own version of The Sound of Music. Hey, Moo Trapp Family, go back to your hills in Austria and let me sleep!

Ashamed of myself, I must admit that I rolled over a time or two in my dreams to snuggle up to Bessie and her warm, engorged udder. "Moo," I whispered seductively in her ear. "Moo moo," she answered back, blinking her big eyes and batting her long lashes flirtatiously at me.

Okay, I just made that up. Sorry.

Anyway, my wife loves to speed walk and sometimes, on days when I was home, I would go with her. I always struggled to stay alongside her, but the country scenery and surrounding beauty did much to distract me and make the walks more tolerable and even fun.

One day, as we passed a pasture of grazing cows, on a whim, I stopped and inhaled a deep breath. Plugging my nose, from the back of my throat I forced the air out, emitting a low, guttural "moo."

"Hey," my wife said, "that was pretty good."

And you know what? It was good. I knew because the cows had stopped their grazing to look up.

I took another deep breath and mooed again. And another. And yes, another.

The cows started mooing and began walking collectively toward us. I got a little nervous, the barbed-wire fence the only thing separating my wife and me from eighty misled cows. I didn't want a mutiny on our hands. My wife, however, found this all to be quite funny.

With a little practice, I soon had the "moo" down pat. It sounded good. Heck, I'm going to forget about being humble--it was excellent!

I started mooing all the time, I think to the point where family and friends began avoiding me. I mooed on the phone, I mooed at work, I mooed at home, I mooed at parties. That would have been me who, standing alone in the corner with my drink, mooing, you carefully avoided.

I was a hit, however, with the young kids. I would get calls from our family's and friends' children to moo. Over the phone line, I'm told, my moo sounds even better. On hindsight, though, I think their parents just said this to keep me from coming over and doing it in person.

The biggest place where my moo was a hit? Easy answer--our pediatric ER.

Where I trained in residency, we had a Pediatric ER and it was here where I perfected my moo. If a child wasn't critically ill, I would have three strategies to make the visit easier: 1) Hand out stickers, 2) Hand out a popsicle, or 3) Moo. Let's face it, anyone could do strategies one or two, but three? Sorry folks, I owned that one all to myself. And truly, it was a hit. A smile usually appeared by my second moo.

So, I mooed my last two years in residency and brought my moo with me when we moooved here.

The other day, one of our residents brought his devilish, happy, handsome two-year-old son to visit our ER. He was so darn cute already, but I knew a way to make his cute factor fly through the ceiling.

I took a deep breath and plugged my nose.


At first his reaction was usual--a look of bewilderment. By the second moo, however, I had him.

"Moo," I said. "Again," he said. "Moo," I repeated. "Moo-cow," he said, clapping his hands. "Moo," I said one last time. He laughed out loud and flailed his giddy arms and legs.

As I walked away, I felt like, once again, my moo had made me the cat's meow. I was all that!

Unfortunately, three patients were peering out of their rooms, wondering why there was something mooing in the ER hallways.

"It's okay, folks," I said, "go on back in your rooms, please."

At the nurse's station, I overheard one of our newer secretaries on the phone. "Yeah," she said, "some idiot is out in the hallway mooing-can you believe that?"

I almost bent over to moo in her ear from behind, but I restrained myself. Instead, I went to my telephone and called home.

"Hello," my youngest daughter answered, "how may I help you?"

A pause.

"Hello?" she repeated.

I took a deep breath and let it out.


"Oh, hi Dad," she said nonchalantly. Then I heard her yell, "Mom, it's for you. It's Dad and he's mooing again."

I could have sworn I heard my wife's faint response. "Tell him I'm not home."

As always, thanks for post will be Monday, December 14. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend...


Christine said...

Very cute. :) I make a decent sheep noise, but generally reserve that for extremely crowded situations. Maybe you should post an audio clip of your outstanding moo.

This made me smile. Thanks for sharing!

littlepretendnurse said...

I really enjoy reading your stories!!! Thanks for the laughs!!

Wild Roaming One (WRO) said...

I'm all teary after reading your moooo's filled with so much love and humour...thank you...

As a side note, I do my own was something started by a blogneighbor and it's heard coming out of my mouth instead of well, instead of whatever other sounds i may makein frustration. and the kids...well they laugh, and it diffuses the situation, if even a little.


Cal said...

I enjoyed reading about your mooing abilities. After the last tear-jerking post, it was a relief to read your lighter prose. You seem to be able to describe both the tragic and the funny with tenderness, showing you care, something that seems to be absent more and more often these days. (A generalization, I know, but a trend I have noticed)
"brought my moo with me when we moooved here" I liked this detail, put in true bovine style!

Not tellin' you my name ... said...

"I didn't want a mutiny on our hands."

Don't you mean, "I didn't want a moo-tiny ..."?

A friend of mine went to college that was surrounded by cow fields. His dorm room was on the first floor and during the summer would sleep with his window open. One early morning, he was having a vivid dream about the girl he was dating, only to wake up to a cow licking his face through his open window.

Love your blog.

Tiff said...

your post moooved me to laughter!

SeaSpray said...

Great post! You made me chuckle throughout this delightful post.

Can you whistle rawhide too? ;)

God obviously gifted you the ability to write and to mooo.

"Moo," I whispered seductively in her ear." Hilarious!

VetRN said...

Having grown up in the country, and having few playmates around, I became a pretty good mimic by "talking" to whatever animals were handy in the fields and woods. I can converse with cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens; and my wild bird calls include mourning doves, owls, sparrows, both male and female wild turkey grunts/clucks/gobbles, and crow calls.

Kids are amused, adults amused at first( then later annoyed), but it does make for some interesting times in the ER (especially in the middle of the night) when things get slow.

Maha said...

Perhaps its time to add romance writer to your resume!

drcharles said...

I had a friend in school who would point at his leg and say "moooo", and if you looked he would ridicule you: "What? Did you think a cow was really sitting on my leg."

Funny post :)

Smalltown RN said...

What a wonderful story.....your home in the country sounded so quaint....I loved your mention about your wife andher power reminds me of my husband and I...he's almost given up on walking with me as he says I race ahead....and don't smell the roses...but oh I do...and the cows...and the MOOOOOOOOOO....

Unknown said...

Wow....this sounds like something I'd do! I'm known at my office for my meows. Kids seem to like it, while some adults even go as far as to meow back! It's gotten to the point where if I don't meow, people think there's something wrong. Oh well, offices are pretty dull, it helps to shake things up a bit!

MC said...

This post made me smile... especially as I kept thinking back to something I did a few years ago. Having a love for horses and spending a bit of time with them, I got really good at neighing like a horse. According to everyone else it sounds like a real horse. I once was in the church nursery with my little sister and all the kids and I were playing horsies. They were all running around going "neigh, neigh..." Then suddenly I broke out into my full-blown real horse neigh. Suddenly the whole nursery got quiet, and one of the adults asked, "who did that?" "I did" I replied. They were shocked at the amazing quality of the sound, and had thought one of the 3-4 year olds did it.

I used to be able to make rooster and elephant sounds. I however still have a large repritoire of animal noises. Big dog, little dog, cat, goat, baby goat, sheep, chicken, duck, donkey, cow (moooing is SUCH fun), pig, and horse. Many love the noises and it can be an icebreaker, but there are always those who get annoyed by it.