18 January 2013

6 the mad cow

in the mid-90s, i was something of a news junkie. this was back in the glory days of cnn, when judy fortin and chuck roberts and kathleen kennedy and my beloved don harrison were anchoring. every morning from 1992-1999, i'd get up, get my yogurt from the fridge, climb into my parents bed and watch the last 10 minutes of the 6:30 a.m. headline news and the first 10 minutes of the 7 a.m. headline news. so i ultimately wound up getting sports and entertainment and then also news, while handily avoiding the boring business junk that came in the middle.

so you'll understanding where i'm coming from, it would behoove you to watch this.

i mean, RIGHT?! look at his "computer." and his glasses. and their work space (which, i swear, must have been created by the makers of the set for buns of steel). you guys, that was the good old days. back when news was real.

it was also the days of mad cow. do you remember mad cow? it was a huge big deal right at the time that my parents were going on an anniversary antiquing tour of england, so i remember it very well.


except that's kind of over now. british beef has, allegedly, been safe to eat since 2006. we're in the clear. we can eat british beef until the cows come home.

so why am i so afraid of british beef?

mind you, there was lots o' coverage of mad cow and enough footage of dying, demented cattle to scar anyone for life. i think this also combined, in my mind, with the ensuing foot-and-mouth disease epidemic to form this beef-related super disease that affected hands, feet, mouths, and minds, and rendered british cattle one of the great villains of the 90s.

but i think it's also something to do with the reputation of british cows. american cows have a pretty awesome rep. they're happy and incredibly eager to share their milk and cheese. british cows seem dickensian in contrast. and that's a pretty tough stigma to correct.

and so i find myself irrationally afraid of contracting mad cow. but, more than that, i fear not just contracting it, but how i will contract it (because, in my mind, there's no chance that i won't). i'm slowly making peace with the fact that, given my recent diet and the general unaffordability of restaurants here, my mad cow will not be transmitted through The Burger of My Life, but is, instead, more likely to come via reduced calorie supermarket prepared food- a.k.a. the british equivalent of lean cuisine.


Osutein said...

I did a summer in Cambridge program during the height of the Insane British Cattle Syndrome Panic. Being me, the thought of contracting Demented English Bovine Illness did not persuade me to avoid eating beef. In fact, in the middle of Cambridge there are, at night, two what we in America call food trucks, referred to (perhaps?) euphemistically as "The Van of Life" and "The Van of Death." Apparently, one's college decides one's van loyalty, and being at Christ's, we were obligated to eat from The Van of Death. I usually got the beef kebabs. I've never felt more alive.

oline said...

DUDE. there's definitely a short story in there.

Lara Ehrlich said...

Osutein, did we ever compare British food vans!? I think I was in a summer in Oxford program at the same time, and I totally ate at the van every night. Except I'm not quite sure what kind of meat was being shaved into my pita...

oline said...

gosh you guys were bold, eating kabobs and pitas in the 90s!

mak said...

Um, hey, so apparently there's some scandal about horse meat in English beef all over NPR (not independently verified, totally going off of Facebook at this point). So, maybe you stick to other stuff like poultry.

mak said...

Also, HA. "Behoove" in a post about cows. HAHA.