Bravely Facing the Bearded Baby Phenomenon

(Originally ran on February 9th, 2004)

Future brides of Cache Valley, do you know that ritualized cow-milking and bearded babies may await you in the future?

As if there weren't enough things to worry about as you're getting ready for your weddings. As if the photos, the place settings, and the traditional quilts weren't already hanging over your soon-to-be veiled heads. Now this.

I have learned only moments ago that part of a traditional rural German wedding ceremony is the priceless moment when the new bride demonstrates her marital value by milking the honorary guest cow.

This is a subject that needs some discussion, especially in a state that ritually holds wild cow milking competitions and occasionally endures the near-tragic "bovine rampage through the downtown outdoor mall" episode.

Recently, one of these "honorary guest cows" decided that she wasn't into the whole chicken-salad-sandwich and éclair scene and went AWOL on her rural German owners. She was accosted soon after turning up on a bank security camera, likely trying to withdraw some Deutchmarks to pay for a trip to Luxembourg.

Seriously, the cow wandered into a bank. I don’t know if this is a usual occurrence in Germany; I've never been there. I just wonder if they tried to charge her the transaction fee for not having her account there.

Maybe the cow didn't like the German social caste system. She could have been thinking, "nuts to this, man. I've had it with this backward rural male-centric booshwah. Maybe there are some progressives in Luxembourg." Those Germans are just lucky that Bessie didn't bring back the whole herd and stampede their lame wedding reception.

So if the cow-milking thing doesn't scare you, ladies, get this: I was shown a website the other night dedicated to bearded babies. Toddlers with goatees! Now I myself started shaving in the eighth grade, and I remember my buddy Dustin showing up for class on the first day of our Junior year of High School with a beard so thick it would put any tenured professor to shame, but I never thought I'd see a baby that could grow a Fu Manchu moustache before it could poop in a civilized manner.

Things could be worse, I suppose. A cool early 80's sci-fi TV series showed a girl give birth to the very first human-alien hybrid. Junior looked Yoda in a nasty mood. A kid with facial hair would be pretty zany, but at least it would be better than one with scales.

What I'm getting at is this: Valentines is this week, guys, and this would be a good time to try to compensate for all of the weird crap that the more refined gender has to put up with. To help us out, I've devised a "Fourteen Days of Valentines" list to follow on behalf of your wife/girlfriend/concubine/favorite photo of Nicole Kidman.

Day One: Bathe

Day Two: Think of something complimentary to say, like "hey, your ears are inspirational reservoirs of sublime truth," "my, what impressive knees," or "wow, Dean is screwed."

Day Three: Leave copy of "Pride and Prejudice" on coffee table to suggest chance of watching it together.

Day Four: Go out to dinner to cover fact that you returned copy of "Pride and Prejudice" to Hastings early that morning.

Day Five: Compose sensitive poem for her. (Be sure to omit profanity and all usage of the word, "fart," even if it screws up the rhyme scheme).

Day Six: "You're my number one hoochie-mama" in soap on her car.

Day Seven: Turn radio down while driving together.

Day Eight: Show photograph of you as a child (doctored, if necessary) that shows you do not carry the "bearded baby" gene.

Day Nine: Voluntarily forsake rare chance to watch Clippers/Hawks game to discuss your relationship.

Day Ten: Shave her name in the back of your head (call it a "retro-nineties tribute").

Day Eleven: Listen to her.

Day Twelve: Spend time in Pier One Imports together looking for tasteful room decor.

Day Thirteen: Present her with He-Man figure* custom designed to her likeness.

Day Fourteen: Claim that "yesterday was day fourteen."

Some guys may be mad that I even suggest doing anything more than buying some roses and one of those lame cards with the sunsets on the front. Others may point out that in order to do the fourteen-day thing right, you should have started a week ago. My response? If you want to read a 750-word column about bearded babies, write it yourself. Happy Valentines Day.

*Crafted on the "Teela" mold.