Ok, so the responses I got from the “two cows” post were good, but also comparatively few.  So, here’s my attempt at humor.   I apologize a) if any of the references seem obscure, b) for the occasional use of ellipses to denote words unfit for polite company (they are more-or-less appropriate for their subjects), and  c) for any part of these jokes that don’t work (a given, me being,well,  myself).

Essential background: Last night, starting at 10 p.m., I had ahead of me a 12-hour train ride from Chicago to Rochester, and, not at that point being able to study OR sleep, decided to use my time profitably. As you can see….

Again, with apologies, and clear renunciation of normativity…


A Norman Knight: You have two cows. They stitch historical tapestries for you, and plot revolt in the North. They and their cousins suddenly start appearing in great numbers in Byzantium, where in 1084 they get their revenge for Hastings. You create post-colonial studies.

A German Knight: You don’t need two cows, you take whatever you want from Italy. One day you’re going to track down and kill the b*** that lampooned you in Aymeri of Narbonne.

A Spanish Knight: You have two cows. With other knights, you make your cows compete in ceremonial dancing. They appeal to the king and form communes.  You accuse them of heresy, and take their lands. NO ONE expects the Spanish Inquisition.

A French Knight: You have two cows. You spend the evenings telling them about the glories of Charlemagne. They produce the Song of Roland instead. You love it, and create masculinity studies to ensure it’s never, EVER forgotten.

A French Knight (redux): You have two cows. You wish they were imperial cows, so you take up crusading. You bitterly dispute the Norman knight’s claim of founding post-colonial studies.

An English Knight: You were forced to have two cows by the king, but are only allowed to keep 1/4 of the milk. You complain anyway, and dream of Jerusalem and Giants.

A Scottish Knight: You want two cows, but only have one sheep. ****ing Baliols…

A Cataphract: You used to have two cows. One was taken by your Turkish neighbors, who kept sending you fanatics in return. The other was taken by your Italian neighbors, who insist you got a good deal. You discover baklava.

An Italian Knight (so-called, anyway):  You have two cows. You make them learn double-column accounting and purvey spices from the Black Sea. They come back with bubonic plague instead. You buy gilded armor, and make out with a Grecian statue of Aphrodite.

A Hospitaller: You have 4 cows. Two used to belong to the Templars, but your navy needed navigators. Humphrey Bogart stole your flippin’ falcon.

A Templar: You had two cows. You have a list, with the names “R. Scott,” “D. Brown,” and “Philip IV” on it.

A Teutonic Knight: You have two cows. They used to be pagan cows, until they discovered Soviet composers.

John Hawkwood: Cows? **** cows!! I want WAR!!!

Bohemond and Tancred:  You steal Greek and Turkish cows and pretend they’re goats. Songs are written of your prowess.

Edward III: You have two cows. You declare them your boon companions, and bring them to Normandy with you. One kills thirty Genoese crossbowmen by itself; the other captures Geoffroi de Charny. You wonder what the Countess of Salisbury is doing tonight…

Robert Bruce: You have two cows. One’s a gift of Edward I, the other you stole from Wallace. You think they’re inferior cows, and want better ones. You create frontier studies.

Edward I: You have two cows. You order them to produce twenty offspring in a year. When they point out that that’s impossible, you load them on trebuchets and launch them at Sterling Castle.

William Wallace: You had two cows, but they were cruelly taken from you by Edward I. You lead a life of murder and pillage, mercifully forgotten till 1995.

Geoffroi de Charny:  You have two cows, the Oriflamme, and the Shroud of Turin. Not content with that, you decide to imitate the Song of Roland, but not before answering every possible question about dividing up loo–D’OH!!

Joan of Arc:  You have two cows. At first they don’t trust you, but you win them over to your cause by calling the English “roastboefs.” To avenge your death they give England “mad cow disease.”

Richard the Lionheart:  You have two cows. One night, your servants kill them and serve them to you as dinner. You pronounce them the finest pork you’ve ever tasted. Trouvères praise your wisdom.

Richard the Lionheart (redux): You have two cows. While you were away on crusade, they robbed the rich AND the poor, and thereby paid your ransom. You ask mom for advice on how to spin this conundrum to the trouvères.

Philip Augustus:  You have two cows. You want more cows, but the Pope forbids you and Henry II restrains you from getting more. You beat the s*** out of Germany.

Frederick Barbarossa:  You have two cows. Unsure of their loyalty, you exile them to England, where they live well and prosper. They found cities and promote trade. You take the cross and drown.

Henry V: You had two cows. You no longer have heretics.

Marshal Boucicaut:  You have two cows. At least, you think you do. Prison makes one forgetful.

William Marshal:  You have two cows. They used to be your business partners, until they accused you of sleeping with the boss’s wife. Cow-tipping…

Arthur de Richemont:  You have two cows. Despite gender differences, you’ve never been attracted to your cows. They are bon bon gens d’armes.

Bertrand de Guesclin:  You don’t need two cows; you’re Bertrand f***ing de Guesclin.


  1. Seb says:

    Well done, sir.

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