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Desert Solitaire
by Edward Abbey

Another lap around the celestial skating rink has come and gone, as have the corresponding festivities.  This year’s party was a bit scaled back from last year’s owing mainly to the fact that I’ve moved to another town and need some time to rebuild my forces.  Of course, by “scaled back”, I mostly mean that the party went on for something less than 24 hours this year.  I doubt that anyone could say that I was truly slack.

The day started with late breakfast in preparation for the Hey! Cow! tournament and wine tasting around the county.  For those not familiar, Hey! Cow! works as follows: each vehicle has a driver’s side team and a passenger side team.  The object of the game is to attract the attention of cattle.  Each team member is permitted one Shout per pasture.  The Shout consists of two words, the first being “Hey!” and the second being “Cow!”.  One point is scored for each cow that turns its head to look at the shouter.  At the end of the day, the scores are tallied and the winning team receives some concession from the losing team.  An excellent example of The Shout is as follows:

Experience suggests that the quality of The Shout is directly proportional to the number of vineyards visited.

Post-Hey!-Cow!, we returned to the Log House, where a crack team of specialists (which is to say, three of us with beers and hand drills) had assembled a dance floor the night before.  There was a potluck, there was music, there was square dancing and hula hooping, and there was an unusually high concentration of Italians.  It seems you just can’t keep Italians away from square dances.

So thanks to everyone who attended and contributed their energy and talents to a memorable evening.  The square dance floor will be making an encore appearance at Musicalia next weekend, and probably at other festivals throughout the summer.  Look for it!

Update: Additional Hey! Cow! footage follows:

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