Meet the Beefalo, or, How I Spent My Summer Vacation

(Originally ran on August 25th, 2003 as "How I learned to stop worrying and love the Beefalo")

At 11:15pm I was lying on my bed, staring at the poster of Frank Zappa pinned to my ceiling. It occurred to me that I still hadn’t had dinner yet.

Fifteen minutes earlier I had finished packing for my move to Logan. The next day I was due to head north and take my place with seven other guys in my brand new bachelor pad. It was one of those surreal transitional moments when you look back at where you’ve been, forward at where you think you’re going, and decide to just listen to Bobby McFerrin for a while.

As I’m sure all three of my fans from last year will be interested to know, I did wind up finding gainful employment this past summer. After a long and focused effort that saw me turned down for a Temple Square gardening position for a lack of qualifications, I was able to score my old job at the Natural Resources Conservation Service. It provided much-needed cash, and surprisingly, a lot of writing material.

One day I was trying to force myself to stay on task when I stumbled upon the following opening line of an NRCS press release:

"Many experts believe that anaerobic digestion could be the microbiological powerhouse that is the key to unlocking the ‘electrifying power of manure.’"

I had never before considered the ‘electrifying power of manure,’ and immediately began to speculate on the possibilities of an alternate power source for our automobiles, toasters, and laptops. But that is a topic worthy of it’s own column, so I’ll move on. Let me just say that my discovery that day was far from the only exciting moment last summer. In fact it only paved the way for my discovery of the Beefalo, the exciting new hybrid animal derived from the American Bison and your common beef cow. Beefalo beef boasts low fat and cholesterol, and with the right backing, could very well revolutionize the meat industry. Just think, someday in the near future you too could stand in line at your local Wendy’s, give the cashier a steady wink, and say, "I’ll have the Beefalo Burger, thank you. No standard, fat-ridden beef for this Aggie!"

Also, in an unprecedented move, I attended summer school. I took one of those high-intensity weeklong workshops where you spend eight hours a day in the same class. My workshop was in memoir writing.

(At this point I’d like to jump in and re-affirm my masculinity by pointing out that I devoted my writing to my experience playing in rock bands. But by the end of the week I had discovered that my passion for playing the drums was actually driven by a deep-rooted inferiority complex, so I had to dedicate the rest of the summer to beach volleyball and Led Zeppelin in order to subdue my new-found sensitivity.)

Of course, the summer drew to a close, and now I’m faced with a brand-new school year. New classes, roommates, all of the usual rubbish; what I really want to know is if I’ll ever be able to forgive Karl Malone for jumping on the LA bandwagon.

At some point this year I need to write my Master’s thesis. This could be a challenge, seeing as my cumulative effort through the summer was to tell people repeatedly that "at some point next year I need to write my Master’s thesis." Assuming I do finish the task and graduate on time next spring, my next duty will be convincing my friend Ben to skip the bar after he graduates from law school in Nebraska and work with me full-time on developing a situation comedy based completely in a Centerville, Utah grocery store.

But as for the school year at hand, I would suggest that we as a student body focus our efforts on the following items, in no particular order:

    1. Always introducing ourselves with our political party affiliation, like Senators. "Hi, I’m Wayne, (R-AZ)."
    2. Eating more yams, thereby breaking the "Thanksgiving Monopoly."
    3. Writing to your school columnists, so they have better material than having to write about why we should eat more yams.
    4. Making sure that at least one person elected to local office is named either "Murray," "Delores," or "The Fonz."

Remember that any success is dependent upon goal setting and planning.

Accomplishing the goals I have suggested will make basically no difference in our lives, but the important thing is that we’re unified.

Go get ‘em, Aggies!

Love,

Josh (I-UT)