In the cheese business, you’re never quite sure what kind of strange knowledge your conversations with cheesemakers will yield…
This week while talking with one of our local goat cheese makers, we delved into some uncharted territory. Let’s just start by saying it involves a company called ‘Skulls Unlimited’. Yes, a bit of quick web surfing verified that this company does indeed exist, in Oklahoma City, OK, and purports itself to be the largest supplier of osteological specimens in the world. Now let me assuage any fears out there that our cheesemakers double as serial killers… To the best of my knowledge, anyways, they are not.
This particular cheesemaker is planning to retire one of his bucks this year (buck = male goat), a big five year old who is getting a bit too pushy and aggressive for his own good. To put it simply, he’s wearing out his welcome on the farm. During breeding season, bucks are apt to go to extremes in order to win the affections of the ladies (or does in goat parlance) Their brawls make a drunken episode of ‘Jersey Shore’ seem tame. The cheesemaker said to me, in no uncertain terms, that bucks will fight to the death for the right to procreate on the farm. Sheesh. Another reason I’d argue that women are in the end the wiser sex. But I digress…
Once this buck is retired, the cheesemaker plans to slaughter him, box up his head, and send it off to Skulls Unlimited to be turned into a museum-style piece with antlers and all to hang in his living room. I don’t think I’d like to work as a receiver at Skulls Unlimited. Though I know from experience that this cheesemaker is adept at shipping things and keeping them cold (he ships us cheese on a weekly basis) the idea of unpacking a severed goat head and going to work on it seems a bit far out for me.
The cheesemaker lamented that the shipping cost to send the head to Skulls Unlimited would be a bit high (you apparently need a really big box) However, when they send it back it’s not so bad because they detach the horns from their mounting and it fits in a much smaller box. In the end though, it’s decided that it’s definitely worth the investment.
Now he just has to make sure that this large, horned buck doesn’t do any bodily harm to the other buck on the farm (a rent-a-buck that has come from a different farm) who doesn’t have horns.
I guess the buck rental (and buck rental insurance business) will have to wait for another post.
‘Till next time, may the oddities keep coming our way. There’s never a dull day in the cheese business!