On my way back I drove up 83 toward Rosebud. In between Valentine, NE, and North Platte, there is not a whole lot save some sand hills and cows. The one town on the map was a place called Stapleton, NE. Why it was on the map is anyone's guess. You drove in and read one of those green signs that read "Stapleton, Nebraska...Population 4."
I stopped to get some gas at this garage/gas station next to the corn silo. That was about the extent of Stapleton. It occurred to me as I was pumping gas (and lamenting the fact that I was probably going to get about 3 dollars change from a crisp 50 dollar bill) that by standing there, I had increased the population by 20%.
I was attempting to go into to pay, but the door to the office was locked with an "Out to Lunch' sign in the window. They had left the gas pump on, but gone off to lunch apparently. I debated whether it was ethical to just drive off because I had, in fact, attempted to pay. By chance I noticed a post-it note on the door that read, "For those getting gas: if you need lunch, change, or a receipt, please drive a half mile up the dirt road. Turn at Elmer's red barn."
I did need a receipt since I was going to get reimbursed gas mileage. So I trekked off. The pavement turned to gravel and the gravel turned to dirt. I finally came to what was apparently Elmer's barn. At the end of this
Bellowing from the general direction of the cow, I heard, "Can I help you, sir?"
Archer: "My...you have nice manners for a cow."
Cow: "Excuse me?"
Archer: "The gas station said I needed to come here for a receipt."
Cow: "Oh, right...first customer I've had in a while."
Archer: "You just leave the gas pump running?"
Cow: "You gotta milk, you gotta milk. Besides the people around here are honest."
Archer: "I am so going to blog this."
With that, the man who had milking the cow finally came around the cow and wrote me out a receipt. Nice chap, he gave me some milk. So, there you have it. My ordination process now involves a story about a talking cow.