I Am Not The Worst Celebrity Goat Milker in Houston, And That's a Win For Me

I think Asia liked the attention.
I think Asia liked the attention. Photo by Allison Miles
Were I the type of person who kept a vision board, dead center in it would be the phrase “Dream just the right amount.” See, at 35, I’m still optimistic that the good things in life can still happen for me, but honest enough with myself to know that the dreams of my youth aren’t likely to come true. So, yeah, I’ll never become an internationally famous musician, but maybe one day I’ll write a game that a few people want to play.

I mention this so that you can maybe understand my mindset going into the Celebrity Dairy Goat Milking competition at RodeoHouston.

My goal was not to come in first place. That would be dreaming too big.
My goal was not to come in near the top of the field. At 35, discovering I was some sort of goat milking savant would be too much for my mind to handle.
My goal was not to come in last place. Just because I’m not supposed to be able to milk a goat doesn’t mean I’m free of vanity.
My goal was to avoid being any of those three things.

I don’t really know much about livestock. I know that people on farms grow animals, some of which I eat and some of which I don’t. Occasionally they pop up in memes I see on social media, but unless they’re being badasses I rarely think about livestock outside of rodeo season. I’m almost certain I haven’t thought about goats other than to wish I was more flexible because goat yoga looks adorable.

So, yes, when I got my first squirt of milk out of my new four-legged friend Asia, I damn near dropped her udder — I think that’s the word, again, I’m livestock clueless — in shock. It was like magic. It wasn’t a ton, but it was proof that — with one hand at least — my dream might be within reach.

Sometimes time just flies by, but let me tell you, milking Asia was one of the longest minutes of my life. I was giving it my all in my pursuit of mediocrity, trying to give her the squeeze in a way that would accomplish my goal without making it too weird for her, and judging by the smug impression on her face it seems that was a goal accomplished.

When the minute finally mercifully ended, I was relieved. Asia hadn’t exactly been generous, but I felt that what had ended up in my bucket was enough to spare me the humiliation of being the worst of the milkers. Imagine my surprise as the judges started comparing milk amounts and it was becoming increasingly obvious that I had come in last place in my heat. I tried to play it cool, but I’ll confess I was disappointed that I had somehow didn’t do enough to be mediocre.

But then, out of nowhere, redemption. Someone in the first heat had a truly abysmal milking experience, easily walking away with last place and the trophy that came with it. I was bad, but I was not the worst.

In every competition there are winners and losers. On this day I was not George from 100.3 The Bull, who had a mighty fine day of milking that netted him first place. I was not the person who came in last, destined to go unnamed in the official write up of the event, but who got a sweet trophy for his effort. No, I am Cory Garcia, and I am the penultimate celebrity goat milker in Houston.
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Cory Garcia is a Contributing Editor for the Houston Press. He once won an award for his writing, but he doesn't like to brag about it. If you're reading this sentence, odds are good it's because he wrote a concert review you don't like or he wanted to talk pro wrestling.
Contact: Cory Garcia