Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Bull in Elsie Time

Elsie the Cow started shilling for Borden's back in 1936, and all through the middle decades of the 20th century, the poor thing never took a break. Not only did she have to push things like Borden's milk, ice cream, Hemo (a vitamin drink) and all the fab things you could make with them - she had to put up with Elmer.

Elmer the Bull was her rageball (ragebull?) husband. Fun fact: he was later used by Borden's chemical division as the spokesbull for Elmer's Glue. Yes, the very same Elmer who helped facilitate all those horrible grade school craft projects. So it's kind of ironic that he's such a perfectionist.

Elsie prevails, though. Always. Her steely cheeriness not only helps her triumph over Elmer's loudmouthed foolery - but also won her accolades: honorary degrees such as Doctor of Bovinity and Doctor of Ecownomics (apparently). But Elmer? Not so much as a Masters of Bullosophy or even a Bachelors in Glue-ography.*

The bigger version is here if you want to read the whole crabby story. The short version? A skewed version of Robert Frost's poem about that cow who ate too many fermented apples and got a little fermented herself:

The Bull in Elsie Time

Something inspires Elmer the always-crabby bull
To bellow just because the dining table's full,
Concluding that Elsie and the calves are fools.
His face is not attractive, but he rules
The airwaves and the house. Having tasted dessert
He scorns apologies, yet seems less curt.
And Elsie runs kitchenwards to sweeten
Both Elmer's furious ways, and what they've eaten.
She loads the plates. When Elmer makes one last cry
Of outrage when he fails to notice pie,
She thinks: someday, I'll kick him to the sky.

The actual poem, "The Cow in Apple Time," by Robert Frost, is here.

*Sorry, that's the best I can do.


vanilla said...

We'll take it. Fun post!

Mike said...

I hear that when Elmer came in late, with his rooster friend in tow, both plowed on fermented apples, that the two of them gave Elsie a cock and bull story about where they had been.