The trouble with buying cattle in the mart these days is that there are too many buyers, and not enough sellers. It’s as simple at that.
Last Monday week, I took myself off to Bandon Mart, in the hope that I might snap up a bargain.
It was the bank holiday Monday, you see, and I thought that the day off might quieten the sale for bullocks.
In particular, I was hoping that the cattle dealers, who descend upon the spot from all corners of the country, would stay at home, thus leaving the field wide open for the likes of me.
Sadly, my hopes for a quiet sale were soon dashed when I peered into the main ring and saw it packed to the rafters with the usual suspects.
Bank holiday or no bank holiday, the cattle dealers were out in force, all ready and eager to do business.
Needless to say, ’twas a depressing afternoon, with the prices being paid for animals at a depressingly high level.
’Twas impossible to buy cattle when competing with the cattle dealer, indeed the only affordable beef I found was on my plate in the mart canteen.
Teary-eyed, I returned home later in the day with my trailer just as empty as it was when I left. My bidding finger never once having risen to the occasion.
Mulling over the unsuccessful trip, I had to wonder, do cattle dealers ever take a holiday? Do they really have to attend every mart, every week? Surely cattle dealers must be worn out from all the bidding they perform. Their hands must be falling off them. They should take a break.
With the June bank holiday coming up so very fast, surely this would be a good time for them to start. After all, there’s no point in being martyrs to the mart.
They not being too familiar with holiday brochures, here are a few places I can recommend for their June bank holiday getaway.
How about bungee jumping off Niagara Falls? I hear it’s very popular at this time of the year. All you really need to do there is fasten a rope around your feet and let yourself go. Provided the rope doesn’t snap, great fun should be had by all.
Or how about running with the bulls in Pamplona.
If cattle dealers simply cannot bear the thought of being separated from bovines, this surely would be a excellent choice.
Of course, like jumping off Niagara Falls, there are dangers here also. But what holiday is risk-free? The bulls of Pamplona have a nasty habit of trampling over the slower runners and of going after them with their horns if the occasion presents itself. But sure isn’t that part of the fun?
The Bermuda triangle is another obvious destination that springs to my mind when I think of the poor overworked cattle dealers.
For those dealers unwilling to leave Ireland, we have an abundance of mountains to climb, and plenty of deep lakes to dive into over the June weekend.
So there should be no excuses, the choices are immense. And cattle dealers needn’t worry one damn bit about the mart while on holidays. With farmers like me standing by, the bidding on cattle will continue, and the mart will keep rolling away without any great difficulty.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved