Show No. 29: Swansea, Wales
Overheard on the commons in Swansea, Wales:
Mrs. Cow #1: Why, helllooooo, Mrs. Cow!
Mrs. Cow #2: Why, helllooooo, Mrs. Cow!
MC1: All right, then. Well, I'll just stand right here, then. Huddle-up, huddle-up. Let's get warm. Block the wind.
MC2: Oooh, indeed, block that wind. 'Tis quite cold out here on the commons. Quite cold indeed.
MC1: Indeed. (Munching grass.) I must say, this grass is a bit al dente today.
MC2: That's the winter coming on, luv. Lower temperature stiffens the blades. (Munching grass.) Oooh, I've got a bit in my teeth. Quite unsightly.
MC1: Oh, don't worry about that, Ms. Cow. We don't stand on ceremony here. This is the commons, after all, and we're just common cows. Common proletarian cows grazing on common public land. That's our right, as it was the right of our forebears centuries ago.
MC2: Forecows, you mean. Not forebears. Forecows.
MC1: Forecows? What? Oh, oh, ha ha ha! I've gotten it now. Good joke! Good joke! You are so funny, Ms. Cow!
MC2: Well, my mother always said, a bit of humour brightens the darkest knoll, moor, or hedgerow! (Munching grass.) But you, Ms. Cow, you are so knowledgeable about the history of the commons!
MC1: 'Twas me father that taught us about the commons. He was quite the revolutionary cow, that one.
MC2: Quite a red cow, was he?
MC1: Well, no, he was piebald...oh, Ms. Cow! You've gotten me again. A red cow! Revolutionary red! Good joke, good joke!
MC2: Ha ha ha ha ha!
MC1: Yes, well, father was quite a red cow then, as you put it. You see, the enclosure of the English commons plays quite a role in Marx's understanding of primitive accumulation and the development of capitalism. Before the poisonous concept of private property found its way to our fine isle, farmers could bring their herds to places like this and set them out to graze for no cost. But, through enclosure, most of this land was deeded to private owners. Thus, the small farmer was bankrupted and forced into plague-ridden cities. There, farmers faced a lifetime of tedium performing Adam Smith's "one simple operation" on a factory assembly line and battling ennui.
MC2: Quite miserable.
MC1: Quite. Indeed, my father was fervently anti-capitalist. Did you know that he fought the forces of Franco during the Spanish Civil War?
MC2: Oooh! How daring! Did he see battle!
MC1: Indeed, he was wounded. Lost two of his four stomachs.
MC2: Quite gory, was it?
MC1: Well, I suppose it's not an appropriate topic for the dinner table.
MC2: Or the dinner field, as it were?
MC1: The dinner field? You mean...oh, oh, the dinner field! Because we eat our dinner in a field! I've gotten it! Good joke, good joke, that! Good one, Ms. Cow.
MC2: Ha ha ha ha ha ha! (Munching grass.)
MC1: Well, father lived quite the life. Helped Churchill and Roosevelt plan D-Day. Negotiated the decolonization of India with Nehru. Helped Malcolm McLaren engineer the Sex Pistols. In fact, he used to regularly breakfast with Dylan Thomas.
MC2: He did, then?
MC1: Indeed. Said Mr. Thomas got the idea for "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight" after watching my father trip on a haystack coming into the barn after sundown.
MC2: Well, all the younger cows always said that your father had a stellar repmootation.
MC1: A what? A repmootation? Oh...oh! Oh! Ms. Cow! You mean my father had a stellar reputation, but you've gone and changed it to "rep-moo-tation" because my father was a cow, and cows say "Moo!" I've gotten it! Ha ha ha ha ha! I've gotten it! Oh Mrs. Cow! You are simply too much!!!!