ITS THE PITTS -- WORDY

by: Lee Pits

I could never be a purebred breeder because I couldn't get all the paper work done, especially naming the animals. It's hard enough coming up with titles to my weekly columns but to have to name 500 or 1,000 cattle every year would drive me even more crazy. And because I've always hated my name I'd be super sensitive about the names my animals would have to live with.

A breeder's name or initials are usually worked into the name such as Sitz, Connealy, SAV, or Tehama. With a name like Pitts I was't meant to play this game. My cattle named Peaches of Pitts, Pitts of Gold, or Underarms of Pitts would be the laughing stock of the cow business.

I don't know how big outfits come up with 2,000 names every year. They must have a Vice President of Monikers whose only job is think up names. I've noticed some outfits use a different theme every year, like names of tractors, states, colors, Presidents or diseases such as ABC Eisenhower or XYZ Strangles. After you add in a herd number some of the names end up longer than the animal itself. But beef names are still not as pompous as the names of dairy cows.

I am a simple guy who likes a short song, simply sung, so when I see dairy cow names like Hanover-Hill Star Roxy EX92 2E or Oakhurst Colantha Abbekerk my first reaction is I could never be in the Holstein business because I'm a stickler for good spelling. You read a name like Bohnheur Abbekerkm Posch and you wonder if the name-dropping dairyman speaks English.

The only stockman who are worse spellers than dairymen are Thoroughbred horse breeders. For example, some of the horses originally entered in this year's Belmont Stakes were Frammento, Materiality and Mubtaaij. What's up with that? It makes you wonder if a Thoroughbred breeder ever won the Spelling Bee in school. Even American Pharaoh was misspelled. (The Triple Crown winner's name should be spelled Pharoah.)             Horse breeders are also fond of running their words together like Fuggedaboutit and Madefromlucky. Are they missing the space bar on their computer keyboards down at racehorseheadquarters?

Or maybe it's because there are just too many rules in naming race horses. You can only use up to 18 spaces including spaces and punctuation, you can't use anything vulgar, dirty or in bad taste with no abbreviations or trade names. And it can't be offensive to religious, political or ethnic groups. In the politically-correct world we live in no wonder horse breeders have to make up their own words!

Another thing I don't like about naming race horses is you have to submit six names and the Jockey Club will then pick one of the six for you. How would you like to have the current bureaucracy pick your child's name for you? You could end up with a son named ObamaBear.

If the Thoroughbred people have too many rules the club calf breeders may have too few. Some of the popular bulls in the club calf business are Ali, Monopoly, Hard Core, I Da Man, Daddy's Money, Card Shark, Cash Flow, Swagger, Womanizer, Eye Candy, Walk This Way, Choppin' Wood, Salty Dog, Man Among Boys and Who Made Who. I don't know Who Made Who but I do know that I like these names better than dairy cow names such as Johanna Rag Apple Pabst or Merkley Starbuck Whitney. Those snooty sound more like residents of Cape Cod, Palm Beach or Beverly Hills than they do cows.

Not that the club calf breeders don't have their own problems. Without any rules you end up with a Smilin' Bob and a Smokin' Bob. I don't know if Bob is smilin' or smokin' but it could be confusing when you go to order semen. You may have also noticed that If horse breeders are missing the space bar on their keyboards, club calf breeders seem to be missing the "g" key, as in Choppin', Smokin' and Smilin'.

If I ever do become a club calf raiser I've already thought up some good names for my million dollar herd sires such as Hubba Hubba, Milk Shake, Miss Demeanor, Future Taco, Holey Moley, Handsome Devil, Goshdangyou, Pitts' Bedpan, and the best one of all... The Flatulator.      

Good huh?

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