McGee: Be choosy when talking carcasses

The Lady of the House and I visited Earth, Texas, last Saturday.

At lunchtime we stopped in a barbecue joint. The eatery also doubled as a livestock and game processing business. On the wall along with the prices for barbecue were killing fee prices and fees for processing your pig, your goat or the deer you nabbed in season.

“You can come in with a live animal and walk out with it in packages,” marveled The Lady of the House.

“I took a tour of a processing plant one time,” I said.

“I’m sure you did,” said The Lady of the House.

It was long ago, back east. I worked at a radio station that had the ear and admiration of a meat processing business in a town about 30 miles away. Every now and then the owner would call up and have me drop by to pick up a box of various cuts of meat to give to the station staff.

On one such visit I was given a tour. I had arrived just in time to see the crew clean up after slaughter. One of the crew had even taken pictures of the job with his new camera.

The beef carcass, missing its hide and stuff was hanging and swaying.

While I listened to the owner chat with the meat inspector, I thought I saw the carcass shake.

“Something wrong?” asked the meat man.

“I thought I saw that carcass tremble.”

“You did,” he said. “It’s a big animal, it takes a while for the nervous system to shut down.”

The Lady of the House just stared at me.

“Later on the guy with the camera showed me his pictures.”

“I’m sure he did,” she said.

“The pictures even showed…” my sentence was interrupted by a hand in my face.

“Let’s just wait for our sandwiches, dear,” said The Lady of the House with a smile.


Grant McGee is a long-time broadcaster and former truck driver who rides bicycles and likes to talk about his many adventures on the road of life. Contact him at:

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