back to the Black Table

e's the new Fabio," gushed my co-worker. "He's every housewife's dream!"

Flabbergasting. The picture of the shirtless Dairyman on the back of the flatbed pickup truck was supposed to be ridiculous, not sexy. The image of the Dairyman squinting into the morning sun was intended to embarrass him, with that water hose held at crotch level like a large green schlong. By god, he was posing in front of an outhouse!



Okay, so the picture had romantic qualities, with its cornflower blue sky and yellow fields filled with grazing horses, but there was also an outhouse. How many outhouses do you see on the cover of a romance novel? And what about the way he was standing, with his hip cocked and the hose between his legs?

Certain city girls weaned on metrosexuals would reject the Dairyman like a bad kidney, I emailed the picture to another girl in my office.

"Hook me up, this guy is HOT!" she squealed, pressing her fingers to her computer monitor. Another female co-worker looked over. "He is hot," she confirmed. "He's got a nice build, though I'm not sure how I feel about men who have bigger breasts than me."

I leaned forward, struggling to see Dairyman as the girls saw him. Yeah, I guess he looked pretty studly. Goofy, for sure. But studly.


There was no denying Dairyman had a nice build. And my co-worker wasn't exaggerating when she said he had bigger breasts than her. They weren't saggy man-tits, however -- they were the sort that belonged to the barrel-chested.

"Who is this guy?" my coworkers demanded. "And


why do you call him Dairyman?"

The Dairyman is Burt Haugen, Jr. and no one knows for certain who started calling him "Dairyman," but it probably has something to do with the fact that Dairyman and his father, Burt Sr., run a 400 acre dairy farm in the small town of Buckley, Wash., a sprawling grass-filled valley nestled close to the base of the famous Mt. Rainer.

Dairyman is a 27-year young man with the look of the quintessential American farm boy -- fresh and healthy, with tan skin and sandy blonde hair, broad shoulders, sparkling white teeth, and blue eyes permanently crinkled from laughing at fart jokes. He positively reeks of vitality. He is a walking testament to the benefits of drinking milk.

But for all his vigor, the Dairyman's rough around the edges, far from the city slickness that is so en vogue these days. Consider my first meeting with Dairyman, at a polo match in the nearby town of Roy, Wash. Amidst the pomp and class of a polo match, the first thing I noticed about him was not his manly chest nor his unusual nickname, but that fact he had the words, "Flash Me" scrawled in white paint on the back of his dingy brown horse trailer.

"How's that working out for you?" I said, pointing my mallet towards his cowboy graffiti.

Dairyman grinned sheepishly. "Aw, not too well. I've only had one girl flash me so far, and she wasn't even that pretty," he drawled, in a semi-southern sort of way that ads an "aw-shucks" quality to everything he says.

He Hits The Ball For the Nookie.

While the production of milk is Dairyman's livelihood -- and polo his preferred hobby -- women are his obsession. It's because of women that he started playing polo in the first place. Just how does a simple dairy farmer become a polo player? According to Dairyman, it was quite by accident. While wandering through a field owned by a neighbor, a local polo celebrity named Mark Danes, he saw his neighbor taking swipes at a small white ball. He wasn't interested -- at first.

"It looked okay," he confesses, "but what got me real excited was when Mark told me polo was a great way to pick up chicks. I was a lot more interested in trying it then."

It's been a few years since that fateful encounter. In that time, Dairyman has learned not only how to score at polo, but with the ladies, too. "Yeah, they think it's pretty neat. It's a lot better than telling them I'm a dairy farmer," he says.

The recent success hasn't been all fun and games, however. Dairyman has found that women don't always fit into the life of a dairy farmer and polo player. The main problem is the fondness women have for sleep. In his experience, "women don't like to wake up before 11am." Sleeping in is a luxury Dairyman can't afford. On weekends, when he plays polo, Dairyman is up by five or six in the morning so he can do his chores, load the horses, and drive to the fields before noon.

During the week, his days usually start at the ungodly hour of 3 a.m., at which time he drags himself out of bed, slips into a pair of jeans and work boots, and shuffles off into the frigid, ball-shrinking, pre-dawn air to chase cows into the barn for milking. Usually, the milkmen and their machines are already in place, clamped onto the udders and busily pumping milk. There are over 300 cows to milk daily. The entire process takes 5 hours and yields about 24,000 pounds of milk, or about 3,000 gallons. And that is just the beginning of his day.

After a brief nap, he wakes up to a list of chores that is "about a mile long." To give me a taste of what is typically in store for him, he reads me part of the list: "Rotate heifers, fill water tanks, haul compost, clean grain tanks, de-horn calves, breed cows -- "

"Wait," I interrupt him. "You breed them?"

"Yeah, but we don't, like . . . you know. We do it artificially."

"I bet that's pretty fun."

Dairyman is silent, chewing on the idea for a moment. "Naw, not really. And it really sucks when girls stay over because the fresh pen (where we put the pregnant heifers) is right outside my bedroom window, so the cows are bleatin' and mooin' all morning, trying to birth, and it wakes the girls up. I try to ignore them, but after ten minutes or so I get fed up and run out there and pull the babies out."

"You pull them out?"

"Sure. Cows aren't as delicate as horses."

Having witnessed many horse-births, I'm curious about the difference.

"I don't know how to explain it, exactly," he drawled. "Cows and horses are just different, you know? It's like . . . fuck, I don't know. It's like they're two different animals."

I beg him to elaborate. I want to learn as much about dairy farming as I can stand.

"I guess you could say cows are easier than horses. They do whatever you tell them to do."

"Like when you tell them to 'give milk'."


He returns to the subject of birthing calves. "Sometimes, if they're real stubborn, I'll hook a jack on them."

"A jack?"

"Yeah. It's this machine that attaches to the cow's back and then you kind of crank them out -- "

I can picture the girl upstairs in Dairyman's room, recently awakened by the sounds of the cows and still rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. She peers through the upstairs window and gasps in horror as she watches Dairyman hitch a machine to the tiny legs of the baby cow and crank it out of its mother's vagina like he's pulling a car out of a ditch.

Dairyman laughs. He has a big, hearty laugh, rich and frothy, like the cream off a pail of fresh milk. "They don't like it much," he says.

The Nameless Horse Awaits

Polo is a different game, a beautiful sport, a regal sport, a sport with champagne, small sandwiches, and divot stomping. It's the kind of sport a girl could get into. Dairyman agrees with me on this, but thinks polo's attraction is a threat to his independence. "I don't like to have girls come out and watch me play," he complains. "They might like it too much and want to come out and see me again. I mean, once I'm done with them, I'm done with them."

Another problem Dairyman faces with women is his own lack of sleep. Years of careful study has taught Dairyman that the pretty girls don't arrive at the bars until later in the evening, so if Dairyman goes home with a looker, he knows he's not going to get more than an hour or two of shut-eye. Some nights it's just not worth it to Dairyman, and on those nights he employs a technique he terms "going fat early."

But even this strategy is not foolproof. "It's still tough, even with the fat ones, because once you suck a few down" (note: he's referring to beers, here, not women) "and you get the girl back to the house, you still have to talk to her some more and tell her she's different from all the other girls."

"That's rough," I say sympathetically.

"And then they ask me all sorts of questions."

Like . . .

"Like, 'why do you like me?'" Dairyman snorts. "And I'm thinking, 'I don't.'"

The best place to score girls in Dairyman's town is a place called the Yellow Beak. Much to Dairyman's chagrin, the Yellow Beak burned down several months ago. Since then, Dairyman's luck with the lady's has been a dry as the udder of a twenty year old heifer. One night Dairyman was so desperate, he decided he would name his new horse after the next girl that went home with him. He thought girls would get totally excited by the idea.

"I've had that horse for two weeks and it still doesn't have a name," he says, groaning and laughing, ending his consternation with a sigh. "It was a dark day when the Yellow Beak burned down."

Dairyman grudgingly concedes the delay may be his own fault. "The horse-naming thing sort of made me raise my standards a bit. I mean, I'm not going to name my horse after any old bar skank."

The Urban Wonderland?

With the Yellow Beak gone, where can Dairyman go to find non-skanky women? There are many towns around Buckley, including the city of Tacoma, a bustling little metropolis with dozens of bars. The thing is -- those bars are too fancy for Dairyman. He hates going out in Tacoma because he has to "get all dressed up like a girl." He'll pass on the Greek herbal shampoos and the leather banquettes with fur rugs. He likes the kind of place he can go with cow shit on his boots.

"Do they have bars like that in New York?" he asks me.


"Because you know they have more cows in New York than they do in Washington. They have more apples, too. Did you know that?"

I didn't know that. Dairyman is a wellspring of agricultural trivia.

"I bet they have more pretty girls in New York than they do in Washington, too," he muses.

"There are tons of pretty girls here," I say. "The prettiest girls in the world."

He grunts, then is silent for a moment. I imagine he is thinking. I imagine I can hear the gears of his mind churning like the gears of the machine he uses to pull out baby calves.

"Say," he says, an idea popping free, "I should come out to New York. Do you think the girls will like me?"

I think about the girls in my office, quivering with lust, begging me to tell them about Dairyman. And then another thought comes to mind, a moment from a few weeks before, the same weekend Dairyman posed in the back of his truck. Dairyman was in a polo match and had the ball, dribbling it down the field. He wound up and delivered a tremendous hit, blasting the ball high into the air. The crowd went wild.

"Hello!" yelled the announcer. "Will you look at Dairyman hit the ball? Who would have thought a dairy farmer could play polo like that." Dairyman rode up and hit the ball again. "Just look at him!" said the announcer. "Just look at what Dairyman can do."

Just think of what a Washington dairy farmer could do in The Big Apple…

"Sure, Dairyman," I say. "I bet the girls will love you."

"Alright, I'm coming out there. Say," he says, sounding worried. "Will I have to dress up like a girl when I go to New York?"