Only In America . . . TM

Copyright 2002 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.


A farmer in Montana has discovered an infallible method of predicting election results: he lets the farm animals tell him.

Ellwood Carpenter has been predicting the outcome of local, state, and national elections for three decades with 100 percent accuracy.

"Actually, I don't predict anything," Ellwood says. "I give the animals all of the information and let them decide. So far they have never been wrong."

What Ellwood does is get pictures of the candidates and put one in the stall of each of his cows. Within three weeks some of the cows will begin to give sour milk, and you can be assured that the candidates whose pictures adorn those cow's stalls will lose.

"The animals have an uncanny ability to sense losers," Ellwood explains, "and if you make them stay around a loser long enough they get sick and start to act funny. That's all there is to it."

In addition to his bovine tests, Ellwood also subjects chickens to recordings of the candidate's speeches. He has a dozen separate chicken coops, and plays one candidate's speech over and over in each of the coops.

"If the chickens don't like a person, the continual sound of that person's voice will eventually make them quit laying eggs," Ellwood said. "Of course, as soon as one coop full of chickens quits laying, I change the speech that's playing there. Eventually I end up with only one candidate's speech playing for all of my chickens. Then they not only continue laying eggs, but their production goes up 25 per cent. When that happens, I know who to vote for."

He does much the same thing with his milk cows. He keeps changing the pictures in the stalls until all of the cows have the same picture and they start giving 30 to 50 per cent more milk.

"The uncanny part is that the cows and chickens always agree," Ellwood said. "I have never run into a single case where they didn't."

Professional pollsters have tried for years to get Ellwood to sell them the results of his animal polls, but he has refused all offers so far.

"I could probably make a lot of money if I let those folks know what my chickens and cows thought of the candidates," Ellwood said. "But it wouldn't be fair to the animals."

But, even though Mr. Carpenter isn't making any money off of this, a lot of other folks are. There are now more than a dozen companies selling pictures and tapes of winning candidates to farmers all over the country (after the elections, of course) as a way of increasing their production of milk and eggs.

Unfortunately, this hasn't accomplished anything so far except to make the entrepreneurs wealthy and a lot of cows and chickens around the country very sick.

It seems that before the election these people are perceived as winners, and the animals react favorably. But after the election they're all nothing but a bunch of politicians--and according to the animals, they're all losers.

Copyright 2002 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.