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A new definition of a ladies’ man, thanks to my friend Charlie

23 november 2011, 15:42
0

There are a lot of ways to spot a ladies’ man.

Look for the guy who dresses flashy – as opposed to wearing conservative clothes that impress male business clients. You know the guy I’m talking about: the one with the half-unbuttoned silky red shirt exposing the hair on his chest.

Or the guy who’s always complimenting a woman. Or giving her flowers or candy.

Recently I discovered another sign of a ladies’ man, one that I wouldn’t have thought possible. And that’s the subject of this blog.

But first some background.

I’ve got a friend whom I’m going to call Charlie who is working on a ranch north of Astana.

The ranch is at the vanguard of Kazakhstan’s energetic effort to become one of the biggest beef producers in the world. For that reason, its herd consists of pure-bred cattle imported from the United States and Australia.

The ranch hands working with Charlie include about 20 men and 10 women.

And the women, Charlie said, are better at working the cattle than the men. They understand the animals better, he contended, and they’re gentler with them.

But when a television crew came recently to film what was going on at the high-profile operation, someone decided to shoo the women out of the picture.

Charlie thought it was unfair, given that the women were the better cowboys – er, cow people.

But those who decided that the television show needed to depict ranching as a he-man profession prevailed. If you watched the program, Charlie said, you’d think the women were back home in the kitchen making beshbarmak and baking cookies. Maybe walking around barefoot and pregnant, too.

One of the main reasons for having American advisers like Charlie at these cutting-edge Kazakhstan ranches is to obtain the animal-husbandry technology that has made the U.S. beef industry one of the most productive in the world.

And the women, Charlie said, have been the most eager to embrace his tips on caring for the cattle.

Because Charlie has come to respect the hard work that the women put in, and their eagerness to listen to him about developing a world-class operation, he has pitched in to help them with an unpleasant chore.

The operation has what are called holding chutes that allow ranch hands to immobilize cattle while they’re being worked on– artificially inseminated or vaccinated, for example.

If you were in an enclosed space where someone was fiddling with your privates, it might scare the you-know-what out of you.

That’s exactly what happens with the cattle on Charlie’s ranch. So some of them drop a few ounces without having to work out on a treadmill.

At the end of the day, someone has to deal with these leftovers. And on this ranch, Charlie said, it’s the women.

While the ladies are filling two wheelbarrows with cattle panic, the men are heading off to afternoon tea. Except for Charlie.

“I feel like it’s my duty to help the ladies out on this,” he said modestly.

And for that, the women adore him.

Charlie doesn’t see himself as a hero, though -- he’s philosophical about it all.

“I’d rather be shoveling poop with the women than drinking tea with the men any day,” he told me by cellphone recently. Although being a real ranch hand, he didn’t use the word “poop.”

After I stopped laughing, I realized that what Charlie had done to gain points with the ranch women has expanded my definition of a ladies’ man.

It now includes someone who can shovel out a lot more than compliments to a lady.

 


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