Competition!


Kevin over at Bearskin Rug has invited all & sundry to draw their own Thrilling Space Adventure – and quite impetuously I think – has given away the secrets of his trade to show you how to do it! If you click on the panel above you will see the full extent one of my own personal attempts at being a humorous illustrator/cartoonist type person. I’m nowhere near as clever as Kevin, but I made myself laugh and that’s all that counts. Surely.




I’m sure that you are all aware of the current movie phenomenon of ‘reboots’ – they’re everywhere these days, what with the reinvented Batman, the new Star Trek, the latest Sherlock Holmes and so on. In case this trend has passed you by, basically what happens is that a movie studio takes something that has run out of sequel potential and ‘reboots’ it by making the concept ‘hipper’, by editing it in a snappy fashion, and by casting it with some flavour-of-the-month actors.

When I recently read that they’re rebooting the Spiderman franchise I realised that the time is fast approaching where the reboots are going to come so quick on the heels of the original flick that studios will be in danger of rebooting films that haven’t even been made. This of course means that there is a grave and frightening chance of movies achieving originality – a situation that is plainly not acceptable.

In order that we may head off this alarming possibility, I have decided to launch the concept of the cross-boot. It works like this: you find two previously successful movies and mash them into a hybrid that will in fact appeal to even more people than either of the sources. For instance, Driving Miss Daisy, a film that was a hit with the ma & pa generation could be merged with a science-fiction action piece like, oh, Robocop say, to produce a film that simply can’t fail to bring the whole family together:



One of the problems that studios perennially face is the dreaded ‘couples’ dilemma. When he wants to watch an action movie and she is up for a chick flick, unhappiness inevitably follows for one1 of the parties. But with the cross-boot, no more disputes! If we take the lead character from Alien³ and force her to make a choice about which of her alien spawn she should keep, we obviously get:



In this mutation of two much-loved motion pictures, Ripley’s dilemma is transformed, via thrilling action drama, into a tear-jerker of unparalleled poignancy. Who could possibly be disappointed?!

But the icing on the cake for the cross-boot should surely be smashing a humungous Pixar/Disney animation hit into a killer2 vintage horror flick: a cute robot tries to fit in but is mercilessly mocked by his ‘friends’. In a bone-chilling fit of uncontrolled rage he wreaks his bloody vengeance…



The most discerning among you will have figured out by now that, aside from saving the motion picture industry from certain ignominy, all this amounts to the possibility of a Cow Competition… so, get to it! A wondrous TCA coffee mug goes to the winner. Plus, of course the fantabulous glory of saying you were funnier than me.

[The Rules: a pithy and amusing synopsis, plus title, plus cleverly Photoshopped poster mashup. Those of you without mad PShop skillz may enter, but your synopsis will have to be ultra funny to have a chance at the prize]






  1. Or both – the loser takes up the right to sulk for the entire duration of the film []
  2. Literally []

So, as we recover from the longest-running Cow Competition ever, only one question remains: who gets the trophy?

Well, as we’ve explored at length in previous Cow discussions, what makes a person laugh is a highly individual thing and so I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on my decisions (yes, decisions – with 200+ entries, there has to be at least one runner up…), but I think you will all agree that this was one of the all-time best laugh-fests we’ve had on the Cow.

Numerous entries had me cracking up on first reading, and many of them are still funny on multiple visits. Joey’s very early entry ‘Okay. We stampede in two minutes. Twenty bucks says Billy’s ass outruns his head again’ set the tone for the hi-jinks to follow, but most importantly gave us ‘Billy’, who went on to be quite a Cow Headliner. Cissy Strutt chimed in with the hilarious ‘Tits!’ to be followed by Atlas’ classic ‘This ain’t what I had in mind when I told you to bring a Trojan’ (after a slightly surreal detour into existentialism from Joey).

And from there it never faltered. I won’t elaborate further – you can revisit them at your leisure for years to come. Or, if you’re really keen, download the pdf of the whole competition in situ, as kindly provided by Atlas Cerise.

Anycow, let’s cut to the chase. In my view, the competition peaked early, and no-one quite reached the rarified heights of entry #50 by Joey Polanski, which I declare to be the overall winner:



I can’t explain quite why this makes me laugh every time I see it, but to me it encapsulates the perfect comment on this photograph: the assertion from the speaking cow is condescendingly self-evident, but its implacable acceptance of the guys in the cow costume plays out the kind of humour that I really like. It does have a certain bee-joke-esque quality as Joey says, but it is very ‘cow’ in its own right. So, Joey, the question now must be – how the heck do I get you your SGM coffee mug?

Now, I’m going to award two runners-up, and I think you may find them just as puzzling as the main winner – but they both made me laugh a lot, and that, of course, is the only criteria for any Cow competition!

Honorable Mention number one goes to Cissy Strutt for:



This needs some explaining too. This is an excellent variation of an old situational gag that I invented quite some years ago, with which Cissy is quite familiar. The schtick goes like this: a bunch of people I know are standing around at a party or somesuch and a newcomer arrives on the scene. As they enter, someone proclaims loudly ‘…and that’s what happened to the cheese sandwich!!’, whereupon everyone else (clued-in by previous arrangement) bursts into laughter. The newcomer is then frustrated to find that no-one wants to tell them the (obviously hilarious) Cheese Sandwich joke. It’s a form of ‘meta’ humour that really tickles my funnybone. You can see how a cow performance elevates it into humour worthy of a prize!

So, Cissy, another SGM mug on its way to you for Christmas.

The second Honorable Mention goes to Queen Willy, for yet another in-joke, but one that was played as a marvellous slam-dunk to create a perfect end for the competition:



It does, of course, refer to this post, and elevates the scenario to a strange situation where two men in a cow suit become the bovine analog of the Archangel Gabriel presenting a mooing Virgin with strange news in the form of text speak. It doesn’t become any weirder than that!!1 A collectible SGM coffee mug for The Queen too!

Even though I found the above three the funniest of the funny, don’t think I didn’t laugh at mostly everything. It remains only to thank you all for providing such hilarity on The Cow, and contributing to an escapade that I suspect will go into Cow Lore. With 230 comments, How Now Brown Cow? ranks as the highest commented Tetherd Cow Ahead post of all time. Of course we want to do MUCH better than that come January 1, 2010, n’est ce pas?

Oh, and be sure to check out Queen Willy’s Cow Wall for the last laugh!

  1. But, it has to be said, makes for an interesting commentary on the ‘actual’ event… []



Funniest comment wins an awesome Simple Graphics Man coffee mug.

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Thanks Kirke! (via Urlesque, via Everything Random – original domain unknown)

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A Closeup of Pickled Herring

Today,while looking for something else entirely* I came across an image of a curiously titled painting, ‘In Praise of the Pickled Herring’, by the 17th century Dutch painter Joseph de Bray (someone of whom, until today, I was entirely unaware).

The website where I learned of Joseph, which is dedicated to ‘Food in the Arts’, leads me to believe that this painting is a fine example of ‘Fish Still-Lifes’, an artistic niche that had also previously (and regrettably, I must add) passed me by.

The Full Picture

This is the full version of the painting (click to get a closer look), which features, as a centrepiece, a stone table drapped with herrings and onions, and inscribed with the poem that gives the painting its name. It was penned by preacher and poet Jacob Westerbaen, and contains the picturesque declaration that the consumption of pickled herring:

Will make you apt to piss
And you will not fail (with pardon) to shit
And ceaselessly fart…

I immediately set about attempting to track down a complete rendering of Westerbaen’s poem, because if anything at all in this world is certain, it is that Cow readers will be clamouring to learn all that is to be known about literature that involves soused fish, poetry and bodily functions. It appears, alas, that no-one has seen fit to bring the genius of Westerbaen’s herring musings to the digital world, which is a shame because I feel it is more than obvious that there is a monumental dearth of pickled fish verse in our lives today. To that end, faithful Acowlytes I know you will more than rise to the occasion, so I’m declaring a TCA competition:

Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to write a paean to preserved fish. You may include references to the digestive process if you wish. Most importantly you should understand that you toil in the shadow of greatness – make Jacob Westerbaen proud!

There will be a real prize this time.

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*Another reason I love teh internets.

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