|"Fainting Goats - How Society Drove A Man Insane" is an excerpt from the eBook
Life Bits and Other Chunks: Memoirs of an untrained man by Stephen L. Wilson.
Available at Smashwords, Amazon and Nook. All rights reserved. © 2013.
Maybe you have seen them. They are these little goats that when frightened, tense up and fall over. Apparently they were bred over time to run with herds of sheep. Since sheep are worth more than pygmy goats, when the goats froze up and fell down, predators would eat the goats instead of the sheep. To medieval sheep farmers, this was a crude but effective way to minimize costs. Because of this, I feel that fainting goats have been given an unfair shake in history, and I would like to help them by creating a new historical niche for which they may identify. I feel that fainting goats need some redemption, and I plan on making this happen when I retire.
I have spent enough time in customer service related jobs to come to believe that the famous humorist, Dave Barry, was correct when he said, “A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.” In general, and as a rule, when given any number of alternatives, people again and again choose to be aggressive in their attack on those they deem as socially insignificant. There must be some sort of mechanism in some people that makes them feel important when they rudely attack others in customer service positions. It appears that two circumstances must exist in order to create this ‘perfect storm’ of customer rudeness: a customer willing to displace their pent-up aggression and a company policy of “kiss all asses”.
I realize that most people aren’t actually this horrible. However, the trauma of this segment of society overrides the general good found in most people. As a result, there is usually a high turnover in the customer service industry. Those who spend too much time being society’s whipping boy eventually either find a different career, or have a mental breakdown. Rare is the individual who is designed to withstand a lifetime of belittlement, ridicule and the worst of what society has to offer.
It is because of this “retail PTSD” that I have decided that when I retire, I am going to buy a hill. I am going to buy a hill far away from society, and a herd of about thirty fainting goats. At the top of this hill will be enough room for a single folding chair, and a supply of yummy goat food. I plan on spending my remaining years on this planet sitting on top of my hill, feeding fainting goats, and then scaring them.
I am not sure how I will do it. Maybe I will just shout, “Boo!” at the top of my lungs. Maybe I will toss those little popping packets you get at the fireworks tent at them. Maybe I could rig up air horn somehow. Any way I do it, I can only imagine the fuzzy little fainters freezing up, and then tumbling down the hill.
Down the hill they will tumble. I will spend my remaining days inventing new ways to scare my goats. And I will laugh so hard when I see them tumble down to the bottom of that hill!
In this way I will help to bring the fainting pygmy goat to a more esteemed station in culture. Instead of being food, the goat is now fun. Kind of like court jesters back in the days of kingdoms and serfs, or rodeo clowns today.
Thanks, rude people. Thanks a lot.