Scary Cow Lady
by WHO on May-21-2003

Now the first day back to work after a week long vacation is always Hell. I don’t care if you’re a lowly waitress (Like me) or a mildly retarded man who spends the majority of his time trying to see how long he can spin around in his office chair before he throws up (Like George Bush). Unfortunately for me, my first day back to work not only emphasized the hellish realization that I am 24 and still a waitress, but it brought back memories of a woman I dubbed ‘Scary Cow Lady.’ But let me start at the beginning…

So there I was. Standing by the server station and contemplating gouging my own eyes out in order to go home early when I noticed that I had a table. A fat woman in her mid-30’s and a young girl of about 7 were my customers. (Big money!) I glided on over to the table, introduced myself, flashed a winning fake smile and took their orders. The little girl had ordered kid shrimp. I can’t remember what the fat woman ordered, but I’m sure that it was covered in gravy.

About 10 minutes later, I delivered the food. The woman noticed that the little girl’s kid shrimp did not come with cocktail sauce. There is a good reason for this: 98% of the spawn in this country cannot physically stomach any condiment in the world outside of ketchup. However, fat lady wondered if maybe I could bring HER spawn some cocktail sauce. In a voice as musical as any Disney movie, I told her I could.

The little girl protested: “But I don’t want cocktail sauce!”

The fat lady’s eyes turned dark and foreboding. “You’re getting cocktail sauce whether you like it or not!” she whispered in a tight, vicious little voice.

I nearly peed my pants. I thought demon voices like that were reserved specifically for situations like child bearing or taunts as you run your husband over with your car.

But what scared me even more is it reminded me of Scary Cow Lady. A long time ago, thoughts of Scary Cow Lady would haunt my every waking moment. Scary Cow Lady would appear relentlessly in my dreams. Always there. Always reminding me that I almost witnessed a murder. Time and intensive therapy weakened the memory. But here I was, in a middle-class hellhole of a restaurant, reliving the whole damn thing.

I was 15-years-old when I came up with the bright idea of spending my summer working in an amusement park. I gained the position of ‘Water Attendant’ and imagined earning money while I basked in the sun and directed little kids when it was their turn to travel down the water slide. It seemed like a cake job. Hell, it was a cake job…all the way up until my second day. For on my second day, I came face to face with the Scary Cow Lady.

At first I felt a faint rumbling off in the distance. I looked up at the bright and shiny sky and wondered briefly how I could have heard thunder. And then a shadow fell over the sun. I shielded my eyes and gazed off in the distance. It was then that I saw her. A 400lb sweat beast plodding through the water park clad in a flowered sundress and pulling behind her what looked like a shaved poodle. It wasn’t until the Scary Cow Lady paused right under my very slide that I realized that she was actually dragging a 4-year-old little boy. A terrified 4-year-old little boy.

Scary Cow Lady craned her gelatinous neck upward and yelled in my general direction, “You open!” That exclamation point there is not a typo. I seriously imagined an exclamation point following every sentence this woman uttered no matter what the content. A question mark was but a mystery to her.

“Sure!” I replied, “Come on up!”

She looked at me like I had lost my fucking marbles. She glanced towards the stairs and stuck up her nose. The message was clear: the only way she was getting to the top of this water slide was via an elevator.

“How about I just send up the boy!” she asked.

“Sure!” I replied, “Send him on up!”

The boy howled in pure terror. But one look into Scary Cow Lady’s evil eyes and he skittered up the steps like a frightened field mouse. I helped him sit down at the lip of the slide and said, “Go on! There’s nothing to be afraid of!”

He locked his hands on the edges of the slide and refused to budge. I shrugged. No big deal. The kid didn’t want to slide.

I called down to the Scary Cow Lady, “He doesn’t want to go!”

“Push him!” she answered.

“It’s really no big deal,” I replied, “He doesn’t have to go!”

“Just push him!”

So I gave the boy a little nudge. He wouldn’t budge. I looked down at the Scary Cow Lady helplessly.

“PUSH HIM HARDER!” she bellowed at the top of her lungs. In the hot summer air, she bore a striking resemblance to a mad cow.

“Dear God, kid, if you don’t go, she’s going to eat us both!” I whispered fiercely to the little boy. Obviously, he didn’t care about the fate of the poor Water Attendant because he continued to cling tightly to the slide. I pushed him a little more firmly. It was no use. He wouldn’t budge.

Suddenly the Scary Cow Lady howled in disgust, “OH, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!” And to my utter astonishment, she slowly began to climb the stairs. The whole contraption swayed and buckled under the pressure. The boy and I were frozen, staring horrified at the sweat beast making her way towards us, grunting and slobbering. Now, I too, was clinging helplessly to the water slide.

She reached the top of the stairs, panting and staring at us both with pure hatred in her eyes. She paused to catch her breath while I looked over the side of the slide and considered jumping. “I SAID PUSH HIM!” she howled. And this time, it sounded like Satan himself had taken over her vocal cords.

Then moving so fast that I wondered if she was possessed by something supernatural, her meaty arm shot out and she grasped the little boy by the back of the neck. She pulled him backwards as if to pull him off, and then with all her strength, shoved him ruthlessly down the slide. The little boy literally somersaulted down the slide, his limbs bent in all sorts of unusual angles. In the distance, I heard high-pitched, terrified screaming. The Scary Cow Lady looked at me glaring and panting. I choked. The screaming stopped; it had been me.

“There!” She announced triumphantly, “Like that!” And with that, she turned and maneuvered her way back down the stairs.

Sweet Jesus, I didn’t expect that she wanted me to kill him.

I bent down and dipped my hand in the cool water of the slide and tried vainly to wash the invisible blood from my hands. My heart was pounding. Vaguely, I thought that I should go call the police. But I didn’t want to get off the slide. Because I knew at the bottom of the slide awaited the ghastly sight of the bruised and broken body of a 4-year-old boy.

Precisely at that moment, I felt the rumbling again. Timidly, I looked over the edge of the slide. There was the Scary Cow Lady, once again dragging the boy, who looked fine save a faint limp.

I learned two very important lessons working at the amusement park:

1. Kids are resilient little fuckers.
2. Women are insane.

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