Did you know? No fainting goats were harmed in the manufacture of this column.

Just say no to goats

By Paul Viau | Jun 28, 2012
Photo by: Stina Sieg JUST SAY NO — Fainting goats, petting zoo goats, even Carl Sandburg's goats, are too cheesy for me. These goats at the Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration were pretty cute, though.

The other morning, I was awakened by our two cats at 3:15 a.m. Believe it or not, this is their normal wakeup time, as of late — when the hunger pangs of our new kitten are so strong that she attacks our older cat, wrestling in, around and under the bed to get our attention.

Actually, I should say "my" attention, because my wife (and love of my life) mostly ignores the cats’ morning shenanigans, so it has become my job to arise, feed the cats, take the dishes out of the dishwasher while finish eating, then let them outside onto the screened-in porch.

I can make as much noise as I want during this morning ritual (and usually do) without waking Carol. So I found it quite odd last Saturday morning, when she arose (sometime during the third hour of  the "Today Show") to tell me that during the night, I had talked in my sleep.

“What did I say?” I hesitatingly asked.

“You said the word 'goats,'” she replied.

“Anything else?” I queried.

“No," she reiterated, “just the word 'goats.'”

Very odd, I thought to myself.

I am a bit of a stubborn, old goat, these days, but I can’t recall having any goat-like thoughts or dreams. I haven’t eaten "goat" since the one time during my memorable Miami years, when my brother insisted we dine at a Haitian restaurant in South Beach.  I recall him saying quite emphatically, “Now that is good goat!”

My oldest son, Josh, is married to a wonderful Trinidadian woman, who is reputed to cook a great curried "goat." But not when we’re visiting.

Here in North Carolina, I see goats often, but the subdivision where we reside does not permit goats. Our bylaws restrict domestic animal ownership to one (lonely) horse, or one, well-behaved, cow. (I assume that excludes steers.)

I frequent the farmers markets on Saturday, where there is an abundance of nice, local goat cheese. But I don’t have a fetish for chevré.

I admit to only one fascination with goats — specifically, fainting goats. I’d love to do a column on them, but alas, the accompanying photo would look like a dead goat.

Other than that, I have no Idea why I would say the word "goats" in my sleep. Unless this is just Carol’s way of convincing me to take her to Carl Sandburg’s home in Flat Rock, and see Mrs. Sandburg’s prize-winning goats.

But I’m too smart to fall for her, because I remember one of Sandburg’s most famous quotes — "Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you."