Thursday, November 12, 2009

Meadow Muffins and Bonehead Moments

It has once again been proven.... we country folk are easily entertained! What better way to spend an autumn Saturday then to attend a meadow muffin contest!

Someone from 'away' might ask what a meadow muffin contest is. Is it a cooking contest, similar to a chili cook-off? Is it held outdoors, in someone’s meadow?

Well, yes, it is an outdoor event. But no-one is baking pies in order to win a blue ribbon. Think cow pies instead.

That’s right! We Mainers know how to make the most of a good BM! As a fun way to raise money for charity, we like to pit our knowledge of the bovine gastroenterological system against that of our friends and neighbors! A section of field--or meadow, if you will--is divided into grids and fenced off. (Imagine a bingo card with MEADOW MUFFIN across the top and numbers 1-12 down the side, creating 144 square blocks of earth.) People 'buy' a square of ground inside the paddock, say D-3 for example, and then settle in for the show. The object of the game, of course, is to have the cow deposit a kucky cookie in the square that you paid for, thereby winning you a prize.

It’s not unheard of to arrive with your family in tow and a picnic lunch in a basket. Lawn chairs are set up, and the anticipation grows. The air is festive, and the excitement is contagious. Once Bessey, the heifer (the queen of all the cows) is released into the paddock, the suspense is a palpable thing. Will Bessey graze for a while, increasing the tension of the crowd? Will she give the spectators any warning before she makes a pattie placement? Will she perhaps stop and pose for a second so that everyone can witness the grand finale? What happens if she’s ambling along, calmly regurgitating and chewing the contents of one of her four stomachs while flopping the flap, and it lands in more than one square? (Cows can do that, you know. Their manure manipulation maneuvres are magnificent.) The potential variables of the extravaganza are endless, and add to the fun and excitement of the day.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Bessey, in fine form and with little more fanfare than a quick crook of her tasseled tail, makes her meadow muffin at last. The crowd crows with delight, the cow is praised for her fine form, and the winner is cheered.

Even though the contest is over, the day is not quite done. The fence comes down, and beautiful Bessey is led back to her stall in the barn. The cow pie is offered to the winner of the contest. When the champion declines the gift with all good grace, someone else takes care of the muffin removal. The spectators pack away their left-overs, load up their trucks with camp chairs, blankets and kids, and head through the field towards home. The sun dips low on the horizon and a whippoorwill calls across the now-quiet meadow.

Are we cheap dates, or what??

Yes, I appreciate that we can have a blast doing something as mundane as watching a cow chew her cud and waiting with anticipation for her to drop a doodle on a patch of grass. I love the fact that a community can join together to raise money for a worthy cause, and do it in a way that is inexpensive, hilarious and fun. I think it’s fantastic that you can make some money betting on the bodily functions of a half-ton cow!

And I gotta say it--I love any cow named Bessey.

This Bessey will be doing her bit for charity on Friday, November 27, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. (No!! Not THAT!!! Sheesh! I'm nowhere NEAR that regular...) To benefit Alzheimers (Maine Chapter) and Franklin Home Health Care, I will be performing 'Bonehead Moments' and 'I Love Ya Man...But Get a Grip!' at Nostalgia Tavern in Kingfield. Tickets are $15.00 per person, or $25.00 for a pair. Only 100 are available, and they are going fast, so please contact me if you would like to attend this evening of comedy. Tickets are also available at Nostalgia Tavern and Tranten's Store in Kingfield. During intermission, a character name in a Grumble Bluff sequel will be auctioned off. Here is your opportunity to have your name immortalized in a novel that takes place right here in the western mountains of Maine! Raffle tickets are also on sale for a quilt made by my 93 year old grandmother, and the winner will be drawn that night, as well. These are available at the Kingfield Woodsman Restaurant (where the quilt is displayed), at Tranten's Too, and at Narrow Gauge Realty.

Please join me for an evening of fun and help support these worthy organizations. I'll do the grumbling, and you can do the grinning! Call me at (207) 628-2070 or email me at for tickets!

Bonehead moments... Whose bright idea was this, anyway? Come discover the answer at Nostalgia Tavern! (He is SOOOOO going to pay for this!)
For those of you who are discering readers and followers of GAG, I'd like to take this opportunity to assure you that I DO know the bovine in these photos is NOT a COW. HIS name is Blue, and he is one of the steers at home here on The F.A.R.M. I DO know the difference, boys and girls! Cows don't have HORNS, after all! Sheesh...


  1. As we close in on the holiday season, I urge my friends to consider giving a monetary gift to the charity of their choice, in lieu of giving a wrapped gift to a family member or friend. Times are hard, but many of us have all we really need. Why not make a donation in another's name, and give them a card stating what you have done? They get the benefit of the tax write-off, as well as a feeling of peace and contentment, knowing that someone's life--someone who is perhaps not as blessed or as lucky as we are--has been made easier.

    Donate to your local food pantry, animal shelter, Heifer International, Meals on Wheels...or choose a neighbor who is down on his or her luck and buy them a few gallons of heating fuel or a gift certificate to the grocery store. (And if you can, do it anonymously, for our friends have the burden of pride, don't you know!)

    Just a thought...but a good one, I think. We all need a helping hand once in a while. Christmas is the perfect time to extend ours.

  2. Dont know what's worse watching the grass grow or waiting for a cow to drop a plonk. think Ill run with the grass.
    re charity.. Taken to heart. gave she.. the authors mother, $100 to buy some sketching gear for upcoming trip to Africa, that's charity where I come from..we Ozzies know where charity starts and it's at home if you know what's good for you....

  3. Hi Ali g!

    This tightwad Yank tried to figure out how to make a buck by watching the grass grow. However, I'm not as smart as I am frugal, and so we had to bring in the bovine...luckily, we rarely have to wait long!

    And I'm glad to see you know what's good for you...I'm so excited for you--heading to Africa. I hope there are many, many opportunities to use the sketching material.


    (I need to come up with some cute animal made from keyboard characters like you do that pussycat!)