During a recent trip to a small southeastern town, in need of a variety of provisions, I stopped at a local “mom and pop” style supermarket. While navigating the 2 aisles I overheard a heated discussion between a shopper and the store’s butcher. Normally I would have just carried on with my business but this conversation seemed extremely hilarious. A man with a Brooklyn New York accent and a butcher with his southern drawl debating about meat is not an everyday occurrence so I stood by and observed.
The man asked the butcher if his steaks come from cow. The butcher replied that his steaks can come from cow, steer or sometimes ox but rarely bull. The man asked “what’s the difference between them all?” The butcher replied “a cow is female and a steer is male.”So what’s an ox?” asked the man. The butcher replied “both female and male.” Now confused the shopper asked if he ever used bull meat. The butcher replied “not very often as the meat is usually too tough to eat.” The man now looking extremely perplexed then asked the butcher to explain the mating habits of bovine. “A cow mates with a bull and produces a calf also known as veal” tells the butcher to which the man asks “is veal male or female?” “Both” replies the butcher. Now the man being very frustrated says “so, a veal can’t mate with an ox because they are both sexes and an ox can’t mate with a steer because it’s both sexes and a cow would never want to mate with a bull because he’s too tough, is that right?” The butcher looked deeply into the eyes of the man and said “son, you must be a city boy.”
I left my groceries in place and scrambled the hell out of there.