My family lives on the outskirts of a very small, peculiar little town in northwest Washington State. Lynden, population 9200, was founded by Dutch farmers, and is now inhabited solely by whom I assume to be the descendants of those same Dutch farmers. My parents were aware of the town's wacky nature when they moved to Lynden nine years ago, but after years spent moving around to various military bases around the world, they craved the solitude and the strong roots that the northwest countryside could provide them. Since I had already gone off to college when my parents settled down there, I never got the chance to fully experience what day to day life was like in the sleepy little town of Lynden. My parents are aware of the humor I find in some of the odd characteristics of small town life, and routinely fill me in on some of the funnier anecdotes of life in Lynden. One of the funniest I've seen to date crossed my path this past weekend.
In a town with a non-existant crime rate, no movie theater, and a law that states that you can't consume alcohol and dance in the same establishment, you can imagine that the local newspaper reporters would be a bit starved for any actual news to report. For instance, the police report on any given day will contain accounts of "malicious mischeif heard at 9pm," detailed reports of tractors hitting parked cars, and mysterious accidents involving manure spreading machines. Often times, lengthy interviews with 4H and Future Farmers of America award winners take up a considerable portion of the front page. Due to this lack of anything AT ALL to report, it is not rare for the section entitled the "Farm Report," to completely dwarf the entire Lynden Tribune. It was in this "Farm Report" that my parents found what I consider one of the funniest, and most bizarre pieces of journalism that my eyes have ever seen:
My Father informed me that, while waiting in line at the hardware store, he overheard one of the local dairy farmers telling his buddy that Paradise the Cow lives in a fancy, well-equipped barn all by herself and is coddled and cared for all the day long. When my Dad told me this little fact, I immediately pictured Paradise the Cow lounging around on a plush bed covered in pink satin sheets, her owners feeding her gourmet hay on silver platters. What a charmed life for a cow to lead. If some twist of fate forces me to have to move to Lynden, my only wish is that I might have it as good as Paradise.