May 22, 2024
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May 22, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

It’s come to my attention that although every year during the Nine Days I run an article about safety, I don’t run nearly enough articles about animal safety. In the summer especially, parents keep telling their kids to go outside, but that’s where all the animals are. And even supposedly harmless animals can be an issue.

This idea was awakened during the Nine Days last year, when after I wrote a safety article about flying hot dogs, I woke up to a story on the much more serious threat of a loose cow running around Lakewood.

(Insert your freezer joke here.)

I guess it figured that the Nine Days was the safest time to go sightseeing in Lakewood, because no one was eating meat, plus anyone chasing it would have low energy, due to the lack of meat. So this was actually a pretty safe situation for the cow, though it probably was not so safe for people. It’s kind of a smaller scale of the Running of the Bulls in Spain, which people talk about like it’s such a dangerous thing because people get hurt, but the truth is they can help it. It’s not like weather. No one’s saying, “There’s a front of bulls coming in from the east, but it might turn into sheep.” Just stay indoors. No other city has this problem.

But in Lakewood, everyone was chasing the cow, because I guess they figured it was some kind of Color War breakout. But strangely, according to police at the time, no one reported that their cow was missing. So where did it come from? It didn’t come from the wild. My guess is someone was keeping it under the table so they could have a hands-on way of teaching Gemara.

“So if Reuven’s cow gets loose… Are you following? OK, let me show you.”

“Wait, now the cow got away! In real life!”

“Calm down, Reuven. So what’s the din?”

“We’re not up to that Gemara yet!”

“Oh. Well, then, for illustration purposes, let’s see if it gores anybody!”

“It’s on the highway. Now we’re never going to finish this Gemara in time to make the siyum.”

So clearly, this was part of some grand cow conspiracy.

And the problem of harmless animals roaming the streets doesn’t just extend to New Jersey. Apparently, there are quote, “gangs of wild chickens” terrorizing an island in the UK.

I refer here to the island of Jersey, between England and France, which is probably where Jersey cows come from. They don’t come from Lakewood.

According to reports, the island is overrun by chickens, because there’s nothing on the island that actually eats chickens, besides, you know, humans. So the chickens are fighting back.

In general, chickens aren’t scary. When I go to the zoo and see random chickens walking around, I’m not like, “Oh my goodness! Some chickens escaped!” They’re not even aware it’s a zoo. But these chickens are roaming freely in packs of up to 100, and they’re doing all kinds of things that you’d expect an unchecked gang of wild chickens to do. They’re eating from people’s gardens, chasing joggers, and, of course, blocking traffic. Not to mention the 4 a.m. wakeup calls. The government has made two attempts to get rid of the chickens, and in total, between the two times, they’ve been able to dispose of 35.

The chickens are winning.

But even a single animal can be scary. In June, workers at the Buffalo Wastewater Plant found a goldfish in the Niagara River that was the size of a small kitten.

They’re not sure how it got there, but if there’s one thing we know about goldfish, it’s that they don’t come from the Niagara River. They come from pet stores. More specifically, they actually come from China.

So now the Buffalo-Niagara Waterkeeper is warning the public not to flush their goldfish, because they can get into the river and mess up the delicate Niagara ecosystem. And you might think, “Not my goldfish. My goldfish are tiny!” but the thing about goldfish is that the bigger the body of water, the bigger they get. And it’s scaring the seagulls.

But wait a minute. Who’s flushing live goldfish? Firstly, they’re easy enough to kill by accident. And if you feel bad killing your fish, why is flushing it any more humane?

Though I guess it could be that these people thought their fish was dead. So I would say, for safety’s sake, always make sure your pet is dead before you bury it. Unless it’s like a pet groundhog. Then it could come back huge.

But that’s all beside the point. Personally, if we’re worried about the ecosystem, I’d be way more worried that they’re so casual about the fact that the things you flush end up in the river in the first place.

I mention this because I hope to take my kids at some point on the Maid of the Mist.

I also don’t understand how these fish can survive in the sewer, but if I change the water in their fish bowl incorrectly, they’re all dead five minutes later.

And it turns out it’s not just fish that can grow to unreasonable sizes.

I have here an article titled, “Massive Cow Named Knickers Has Been Deemed Too Large to Eat,” which was written in Australia by someone named… Knickers.


Anyway, this cow, which is actually a steer, is 6-foot-4 to his shoulders, and to give you an idea of how big that is, I’ve seen pictures of him standing among his herd, and he looks like he’s running a kindergarten.

And it turns out that he’s too big to fit through the butchering equipment, and his cuts of meat would be too large. No one’s paying for a 25-lb. cow tongue.

It’s not clear how Knickers got to be this big, or who flushed him. I also have no idea why he’s named after Chassidishe pants. But according to his owners, Knickers has become the patriarch of his herd, showing the smaller cows where to graze, and protecting them from dangerous predators.

“I’m just going to pick off one of these… Holy cow!”

That’ll show those chickens.

I’m waiting until one of these cows gets loose in Lakewood.

Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia and other magazines. He has also published eight books and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].

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