Today In Pop Culture: When Cows Fly

Published on February 17th, 2016 in: Science and Technology, Today In Pop Culture |

By Jeffery X Martin


Sometimes you ask someone to do something and they scoff and say, “I’ll do that when cows fly!” And then you say, “Cows? I thought that was pigs. You’ll do that when pigs fly.” And the person says, “Pigs fly, cows come home. And I’m still not going to do that thing you want me to do, because of your poorly worded adynaton.” Then they take some of the Atomic Fireballs out of the shallow glass dish on your desk, and that’s not cool. You brought that candy from home.

Well, today is the day for those who shirk behind their eccentric disbelief in bovine aviation to suck it up and start doing all those things they swore they wouldn’t. It’s February 18, otherwise known in pop culture history as Elm Farm Ollie Day.

She may have looked like a regular Guernsey cow, but Elm Farm Ollie was the first cow to fly in an airplane. This was in 1930, and the whole event was part of the International Air Exposition. Ollie flew from Bismarck to St. Louis, Missouri.

Ollie was also the first cow to be milked in midair. She pumped out 24 quarts of milk while flying. Ollie’s milker was named Elsworth Bunce. Elsworth and Ollie stand alone in a special kind of Mile High Club. The milk was siphoned into specially designed cartons that came equipped with parachutes. The milk was heaved over the side of the plane, where it caught the breeze and floated gently down to the people watching from the ground. It was like floating dandelion seeds all across Missouri, except it was milk cartons with parachutes.

The reason for all this folderol was to see if it was feasible to transport livestock by air. Scientists were on hand, examining the animals for any ill effects of not being in a field. None were reported being found.

By the way, you should know that pigs can fly. They are allowed on commercial flights as emotional support animals.


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