When I was about 7 months pregnant, I made the mistake of getting into a lift in a shopping centre. I should have known it would be a mistake, because since my first ever panic attack on the way up to Level 25 of the UTS tower building, I have not gotten along well with lifts. If crowded, they make me feel claustrophobic, if empty, trapped.
This lift was not crowded. Nor was it empty. Unfortunately, it had a crazy old lady in it. She took one look at my pregnant body and decided that we were friends. People do that. For some reason pregnancy makes you public domain, and people feel the need to talk to you.
And boy did this lady talk.
She started telling me about a man she knew – a dairy farmer, by trade – whose wife had triplets. Triplets! Gave birth to them on her own, she did. (That woman was freaking hardcore.) They were early, but that’s to be expected with multiple births, and all three of them were healthy girls. He was a dairy farmer, she reminded me, so naturally he was very pleased. Then she kind of began the story again, while I started wondering “Why should a dairy farmer naturally be more pleased than any other father?”
And then it became clear to me. The old woman was not talking about the farmer’s wife. She was talking about his cow.
She took one look at me, and was reminded of a cow having triplets.