When A Goat Is Not A Goat…

Those who know me well might say that I am gullible.  I prefer to consider myself trusting…impulsive in my inclination to believe.  There are times when that trait has led me astray.

One crisp fall day many years ago, I was enjoying the company of two good friends in the student lounge at university.  The talk was light, the mood was good and there was only one class left to be endured for that day.  As our conversation was winding down in preparation for our trek to our respective classes, several other members joined our little group in the lounge.  These individuals, although not well known to me, were familiar to my friends.

After  introductions were made, a casual comment was launched by one of the newcomers of the group to one of the males who had also just joined our conversation.  “Hey Rob, I see you shaved your goat” said the guy I did not know.  “Yep” said the other guy I assumed was Rob, “shaved ‘er last weekend”.  Hmm…interesting.  I knew that these individuals were from a more rural part of the area, but I had no idea that they lived on farmland.  What an observant guy to note that his friend had shaved his goat.

Not wanting to be anti-social (and being ever-so-curious about the aforementioned goat) I thought it was time to join the conversation.  “How come you shaved your goat?” I asked Rob as my friends were beginning to collect their belongings for class.  “Just felt like it I guess-needed a new look” he responded looking a bit perplexed as he gave his answer.

“Weird” I mused to myself.  These people must develop really close relationships to these animals-he is talking about this goat like it’s an actual person.  I pressed onward because the intrigue was becoming too much.  “What did you shave your goat with…probably shears or something?” I wondered directing my query to Rob.  “Shears…nah…it wasn’t that long.  I just used my Gillette razor” he laughed.

I was instantaneously horrified as the mental image of a squirming goat being held down and shorn by a Gillette razor flashed repeatedly through my head.  I glanced weakly over to my two friends who were engrossed in another conversation at this point.  I felt nauseated…my mental train was out of control.
“Did anyone watch you do it?” I asked wishing arduously that he would say that someone tried to intervene in this escapade.  After all, I deduced, he is a guy and guys do stupid things.  “No…I sort of like to do those things in private” Rob said slowly looking at me in a very strange way.

My face burned as I realized that I was conversing with a twisted goat-shaving maniac.  I grabbed my bag and motioned to my friends that I was leaving.  I began walking, and headed directly for my class unable to rid my mind of the revolting images.  Somewhere out there, a naked goat is running around.  As the day progressed, so did the mental pictures in my head.  By the time I got home that evening, I could see the headlines “Girl Singlehandedly Halts Goat-Shaving Ring”.

As I mustered up the courage to call my friend and fill her in on the day’s conversation (and to ask her to join my plight), I worried about her reaction.  After all, she was friends with this monster.  Nevertheless, I conceded, it must be done.  No other goat shall endure the same fate.

After an embarrassing conversation, a few laughs and a lot of shameful whining, I realized that there was an important lesson to be learned of my misinterpretation.  Sometimes a “goat” is just a goat, and sometimes a “goat” is a goatee.  Always check your “facts”.

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