!!! MY FIRST URBAN LEGEND !!!
THE DEAD COW COFFEE TABLE
MOTHER-IN-LAW WRECKS ANOTHER MARRIAGE
For a few short months I had a neighbor from India. Happily
married to another Hindu, a lovely young lady. I always enjoyed
visiting them...and her homemade curries and chutneys were to die
One day after several weeks being my new neighbors, I visit them
Monday evening (as usual), to find a large, stuffed cow lying on
its side in the living room, and being used as a coffee table!
You know: a large square of beveled glass riveted into the dead
I know cows are sacred in India, but still, I think this is over
the top. However, I do find it humorous, and since no foul odor
seems to emanate from it, I think, what the hey; I won't even
bring it up, they're such nice people. And so they never bring it
up either, and therefore I become more and more amused, not to
Soon after the dead cow arrived, the couple became a little
unhappy, a little less loving...and even start to make snippy
remarks at each other (like theatrical asides) between their
otherwise loving dialogues. I grow accustomed to their new
personnas as somewhat cooler to each other, than during their
first month here.
Then one day I drop by for our usual Darjeeling and chat, to find
the wife isn't home, just the husband. (For all my many evening
visits over two months, she's ALWAYS been home...until now.) And
sitting on the dead-cow coffee table, is an open jar of vaseline.
But what the hey, lots of other stuff--paraphernalia and so
on--is clumped upon that table. In fact I had to shove aside a
small mound of paper-and-trinkit debris in order to set down my
But what catches my eagle eye, has NOTHING to do with anything on
TOP of the table. I just happen to notice how slick and shiny is
the area around the bovine's hindquarters, and nowhere else. But
what the hey, I figure he's adding a lacquer to his prize "objet
d'cow". (I didn't, at that time, put moo and moo together.)
However, his wife never shows up again, for any of my visits. And
soon after, the husband moves out, one rainy night.
And where's the dead cow table now? Who knows? Last I saw of it
was on that stormy night my Indian neighbor moved out...and was
lying, all tilted, piled precariously atop a huge heap of
junk...and chipped around the head (and, and, maybe vaseline
stains there, too). And the rain grew very, very heavy into the
dark, wee hours. So heavy, so dense, I could no longer see the
accursed coffee table from my back window.
But I was kept awake all night by a low, distant moaning that
sounded kinda like a grieving cow. "Mooooooooooo!" What, me
superstitious? Nah...I wrote it off to the creaks and groans of
an old, arthritic building suffering a big wet storm.
The next day, it's gone; the whole dumpster is gone. So beware of
the dead-cow coffee table. It's out there somewhere, at this or
that tres-chique, tchotchke-loving drag queen's yard sale in some
dusty alley of San Francisco. Don't, I repeat, DON'T take it off
the current owners' hands, no matter how BIG a bribe, how
enticing the offer. (Beef eaters and hackers, be especially on