We could all use a fainting goat around the house

by Ken Carpenter

I have been trying to think of something I can do to add some pizzazz to my life. It doesn’t need to be anything drastic like adopting a purple Mohawk as my hairstyle or wearing baby blue alligator cowboy boots. I am not going noticeably nuts or anything; I just need a little something else to look forward to every day.
After much thought I believe I have found the answer I have been looking for. The key to temporary happiness, which is the only kind we can hope for.
I have decided I must buy a fainting goat. That’s right, your eyes do not deceive you, a fainting goat is just what the doctor ordered to spice up Kenville.
The reason is obvious. They faint when you scare them, so if you have one you should never become bored.
Have a frustrating day at the office? Go home and scare the goat! Ha ha, ho ho!
Watch him quiver, it’s good for your liver!
It isn’t as mean as you might think either. They were bred to faint, and if they don’t have a good fit once in a while they may begin to feel worthless.
I would just be building up their self-esteem by giving them plenty of practice, you see. Honing their fainting skills would almost be a charitable act.
The history of fainting goats makes you wonder how the breed survived. They were somehow bred to faint when they were frightened so that they could be used to protect valuable flocks of sheep.
You might ask, “How did they protect them, oh wise one? Did they also introduce kung-fu skills into the breeding process so that the manly goats could suddenly jump up and flout the starving sheep-killers?”
No, grasshopper, they did no such thing. They merely wanted the herd goat to pass out from fear when the wolves closed in, thereby tempting the beasts to an easy snack while the snickering sheep made their getaway.
I don’t imagine sheep-tending jobs were in very high demand in Goat City. There are countless places a critter can faint without waking up as a wolf dropping.
A fellow named Tinsley brought fainters to Tennessee in the 1880’s. He soon left the goats and his wife so he could head west with a cow. True story, but there is no truth to the vicious rumors that the cow was wearing lipstick.
Tennessee is still famous for their fainting goats, and flocks of tourists show up every year to watch them stagger and drop. Everything on the planet seems to have a price, so I wonder what the tourists have to pay for the right to deliver a scare.
In truth, most goats don’t actually faint, they just stiffen up and tip over. It is caused by a condition called myotonia, whereby the external muscles lock up when they are frightened.
I knew a lady like that once, but unfortunately her vocal cords did not lock up with the rest of her. Her fearsome wail could peel bark off of a tree.
Older goats become adept at hanging around fences and buildings so they will have a handy-dandy leaning post when their next fright happens along. Kind of like an experienced drunkard.
It will come as no surprise that fainting goats have bulgier eyes than other breeds of goat. If you spent your whole life in a theater waiting for Frankenstein to pop around the corner, your eyes would bulge too.
I may change my mind about getting a fainter, for I know that like most humans I tend to tire of things when the novelty wears off.
The clincher in my decision could be my dogs.
Unlike me, they would not tire of something as tasty as scaring a goat.
I am sure any fainting critter around our house would just become a permanent object on the ground to trip over. They would not be joining my wife.
She long ago tired of my talent for inducing wails and shudders, and threatened me with a stick should I not give up my sudden pops around the corner.
A guy just can’t have fun anymore