To anyone who may not already have doubts about my sanity, please review the following email which I'd sent to a group of friends when I was on a computer consultancy business trip in the summer of 1999.

This bit of whimsy was composed piecemeal as I was waiting for programs to compile (and re-compile, and re-compile) in the frigid central room of a windowless warehouse in Pompano Beach, Florida which was being used as programmers offices:

Subject: On the Vice of Orking Cows

In this ever-so "politically correct" post Victorian neo-puritannical American era, one must speak very circumspectly about sensitive issues which may cause censure or abridgment of certain privileges of communication. However, I feel that this issue, in the age of such ghastly diseases as Aids, Ebola and personal disrespect, needs closer examination.

One may wonder who came up with this unsavory vice in the first place. On first examination, this often unspoken vice is not very appealing. I mean, who in their right (or more probably drunken) mind made the transition from tipping cows to orking them? The images it brings up are faintly distasteful, or positively obscene if one is uptight about personal physical matters.

However this vice is not nearly so uncommon as we like to pretend. Although it started out in the open farmlands, where and when cable TV was rare (and therefore cannot be blamed), it quickly spread to the cities. Where can one find a cow to ork in the urban environs? Well, one supposes there are private clubs, such as those which enable and encourage the other vices featured in the Kinsey reports, Peyton Place, and cable TV.

How common is it really? Just try addressing any memo to your colleagues identifying yourself as a participant in this vice and accusing them of being participants in this bovine perversion. You may be surprised how many will cheerfully respond. Just begin the memo:

"To my fellow coworkers..."

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