Sheep-shearing in the Olympic Games? Watermelons exploding like land mines? Cows snoozing on waterbeds to slumber their way to better milk production?
The farm sure has changed since I lived down on the ... well, you know.
Sure, we suffered the occasional escaped steer cavorting in traffic and were afflicted by the odd zucchini in the shape of Lyndon B. Johnson's face. But the farm report seems to have grown a bit odder.
We start with the New Zealand Federated Farmers, who this past week proposed adding sheep shearing to the Olympic Games, at the very least as a demonstration sport.
The world's top baa-baa barbers are "athletes who take it to another level," according to the Federated Farmers.
New Zealand is hosting the Golden Shears World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in March. It's a big, woolly deal. And they think it's about time their cutting-edge sport takes its place alongside diving, boxing and gymnastics.
We never had sheep, but I remember competing with my cousins in hay bale stacking. We tried to beat each other's record of how many rows high we could stack the wagon despite Dad's dire warnings about blowing the tires.
And then one day by happy accident - OK, the cousin at the top of the pile wasn't so happy - we invented Olympic downhill hay bale free-fall tobogganing from about 17 feet or so above the hard, stubble-pocked hayfield. Dad called a halt to the games before we could introduce it to the International Olympic Committee.
Instead, we could play volleyball with some of China's exploding watermelons.
Last May, China reported overjuiced watermelons detonating in fields like juicy land mines.
A bunch of growers around Danyang in the Jiangsu province used a growth accelerator for the first time, and did so during wet weather. The combination blew up about 115 acres of exploding melons.
If we kids could have gotten hold of that accelerator, Dad would have had popcorn like he'd never experienced before. Running the corn maze could have been an Olympic sport combining all the fun of cross country and dodge ball. With snacks at the end.
Talk about a hot potato. Olympic events involving exploding fruits and vegetables would keep us guys entertained for hours while our female cohorts watched those gymnastic ballet routines.
After exhausting ourselves with all the laughing, we could head out to the barn before the cows came home and take naps in their waterbeds.
That's right, waterbeds for cows.
"You make them happy, they'll make you happy," dairy farmer David Conrad of Pittsfield told The Associated Press.
Ten months ago, he and his brother Richard installed Dual Chamber Cow Waterbeds for their herd of 240 bovines. The cows rested longer and better, bedding costs went down, and milk production went up so much that the guys think the jiggly cow padding will pay off the $70,000 for itself within three years.
I wonder if this is the first step in training cows to participate in the Olympic trampoline events. It wouldn't be the first report of a cow jumping over the moon.
So as we look ahead to the summer games in London beginning in July, remember this: Thanks to farm flavoring, they'll only get better.
---- Obviously, the cold January is freezing Cole's brain. Find him at the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org.