The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

3 April 2005

Bovine intervention

Michele recalls Gelett Burgess:

I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.

Which reminded me of a prank once pulled by the late James S. Moran, described by Steven Phenix as "The Last PR Samurai". Phenix recalls that "to help a dairy get a cow into print, he dyed it purple," which is true, but it's only half the story. H. Allen Smith, a friend of Moran's, recounted the rest: after the paint job was complete (including metallic paint on the udder), Moran heard that Burgess was in New York. He tracked him to his hotel, led the cow into the lobby, had Burgess paged, and when the poet appeared, Moran simply pointed and yelled: "THERE!"

This happened, incidentally, well after Burgess had issued the following quartet:

Ah, yes! I wrote the Purple Cow;
I'm sorry now I wrote it!
But I can tell you anyhow,
I'll kill you if you quote it!

Oh, well, you can't have everything.

Posted at 7:19 PM to Almost Yogurt


Good ol' H. Allen. I'll bet that stunt provoked quite a rhubarb...

Posted by: McGehee at 9:06 AM on 4 April 2005