polo is physically demanding to both horse and
rider, we were nearing the end of another evening
practice and Bobby was a big hitter. I positioned my
horse cross-ways about 30 feet down the polo arena
so as to best block his free shot from the end zone.
Taking a full swing with his mallet, Bobby exploded
the 13 inch red rubber playground ball out of the
dirt, sending it flying it across my saddle horn. I
reflexively tossed up my rein hand and the ball
ricocheted off my fist as a sharp pain shocked up my
arm from my ring finger. I glanced at my rein hand
to see the backside of three fingers, but the palm
side of my ring finger. “This isn’t good,” I thought
as I quickly twisted my ring finger back around so
it matched the others.
My practice was over, so I loaded my horses in the
trailer and drove to my clinic so I could snap an
x-ray. Sure enough, the first phalanx on my left
ring finger (the bone where your wedding ring should
sit if you are married) was fractured in three
pieces. With my little and middle fingers serving as
a splint, I taped the three together and headed
home. Such is the only fringe benefit to being a
veterinarian; you rarely waste a night waiting to
see a doctor in the emergency room.
Scanning the appointment book the next morning, I
spotted a problem. I had previously scheduled a farm
call to preg-check 20 cows, but now my testing hand
was taped together because it had a broken sending
unit. In vet school, we trained our non-dominant
hand to perform rectal palpations, so our dominant
hand was free to perform fine manipulations such as
writing or zipping our pants. “I’ll just preg-check
with my right hand,” I thought as I drove to the
farm. “Since both hands feed information into my
brain, how difficult could this be?” After 15 years
of practice the fingers of my left hand could detect
structures as thin as a dime through the wall of a
cow’s rectum. However, the fingers of my right hand
told my brain all it could feel was warm cow manure.
Everything was so confusing and this poetically
brings me to my political point.
Patriots typically study political news as if their
freedom depends on it, because it does. If you
understand the contradictory relationship between
free-bees and freedom, you knew which candidates
earned your vote months ago. Today’s deluge of
negative political ads is not directed at you, it is
targeted at the one or two percent of undecided
voters. Your mind is simply the collateral damage of
a political war. Imagine how confusing it must be
for this one or two percent to cast a ballot based
entirely on television, radio, or direct mail ads.
It is like me trying to preg-check a cow with my
right arm; my hand may be warm, soft and moist, but
it has no clue what it is doing. Isn’t it
frightening to think the fate of American liberty is
about to be decided by the undecided.