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
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.
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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
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.