I went to see a couple of high school plays at Michigan's regional theatre competition today. (It's called the Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association Theatre Festival.) It was held at St Johns High School.
At first I noticed the giant 'Got Milk' sign by the lunch lines. They also had coolers for milk painted black and white like Holstein cows. You couldn't help but notice it - they really drew your attention. I went into the play feeling good about dairy in high schools.
Then I went to see the next play - Into the Woods. One of the characters in it was a cow. As soon as the cow entered the scene, it was all I could stare at. They had sewed an udder and ... the udder had five teats!
I thought about the process that the play had gone through to get this far. They'd had the design, sewed it, presented it to the director. They had been through months of rehearsals, performed it for their school, their parents, and at the district competition. And not one person questioned the number of teats on the cow. They didn't know, didn't care, didn't notice, most likely. They were probably focused on things like acting, singing ... ha!
I couldn't let this go on for any more performances. After it was over, I grabbed one of the judges and said, "I'm a dairy farmer. Could you please tell them that cows have four teats, not five?"
She burst out laughing. I laughed with her.
I was really doing them a favor. I didn't want anyone else who's concerned about facts to be distracted during an otherwise really plausible play ... about witches and magic beans.