Today, the car-and-large-mammal-verse is all abuzz because of a news story that’s been making the rounds all day: around Norfolk, Nebraska, a man was pulled over for driving with a full-grown Watusi bull. That in itself shouldn’t really be a problem, especially in Nebraska, which probably lets you drive in the carpool lane if you have livestock riding with you. No, the reason the driver was pulled seems to be because he was taking his bull for a spin in a 1997 Ford Crown Victoria. Here’s the thing, though: I don’t think the man (or the bull) did anything wrong!
The man’s name is Lee Meyer, of Neligh, Nebraska, and the bull’s name is Howdy Doody, presumably of Neligh as well. There’s video of the pair driving so you can see that the Crown Vic has been pretty extensively modified to accommodate the bull’s unique automotive demands:
This isn’t a case of some bull just shoved into the right half of the bench seat in front of a Crown Vic; this car’s body has been sectioned out to make room for the bull, and a large, sturdy fence/ramp setup seems to be forming the right side of the car, allowing the bull entry and egress and keeping him secure in the car.
News Channel Nebraska spoke with the Norfolk Police department about the incident:
“The officers received a call referencing a car driving into town that had a cow in it,” Police Captain Chad Reiman said. “They thought that it was going to be a calf, something small or something that would actually fit inside the vehicle.”
The vehicle was big enough, technically.
“As a result, the officers performed a traffic stop and addressed some traffic violations that were occurring with that particular situation,” Reiman said.
Other articles mentioned “citable issues” with the car, but I’m wondering what those were, exactly? Is it horns? If so then this car would be in violation whether it’s hauling bull or not, since there’s horns mounted on the hood, and I’m going to say this is by no means the only car to sport add-on hood horns in Nebraska. It may be a pedestrian safety nightmare, but it doesn’t seem to be in violation of Nebraska codes.
A Crown Vic is a body-on-frame RWD car designed to haul six hulking Americans. There’s a reason these things were the choice of cop cars and taxicabs for decades. They’re tough, and under the skin, they’re not all that different than a pickup truck. A full-grown Watusi bull weighs between 1,300 and 1,600 pounds, it seems. You think a Crown Vic has never held that much mammal meat, divided between six healthy, robust Americans? Of course they have. I’m not even sure a bull and a driver is meeting a Crown Vic’s payload rating, let alone exceeding it.
— Takuro Spirit ???? (@TakuroSpirit) August 31, 2023
Okay, sure, the fecal management of this particular setup isn’t ideal, and I think it’s possible that for many people, this is the very reason Watusi bulls aren’t more popular as pets. They may have sweet dispositions and are ideal lap bulls, but for a lot of potential owners the colossal and tsunami-like sprays and gushers of semi-liquid bull feces are a deal breaker. To each their own!
But if you can look past the shit-streaked rear quarter of that car, you may notice a sign reading BEST CAR ENTRY for Nebraska’s Big Rodeo Parade. If there’s any organization I’d trust to evaluate bull transportation, it’s whomever is running Nebraska’s Big Rodeo Parade, and they gave Meyer a freaking award. That’s all I need to hear.
I attempted to reach out to Meyer by phone, but no avail. The Hartford Courant did as well, and had somewhat better luck, reaching Meyer’s wife Rhonda:
Rhonda Meyer told US92 that “Lee thinks he’s a movie star” after the video of his traffic stop went viral, but that he’s also a little shy.
Meyer said Howdy Doody is like a member of the family now, but she wasn’t always wild about how much her husband spent on the bull over the years.
“The amount of money that he’s spent on this whole darn project between the car and the bull I could’ve had a brand new kitchen,” Rhonda Meyer said.
Look, we all know the reason why Meyer was stopped is because seeing a bull riding in a Crown Vic just looks weird. Was anything really happening all that differently here than if the bull was in an enclosed trailer, other than everyone would be having a lot less fun? No. Both options would have transported the bull from one place to another, but in the Crown Vic at least the bull gets to enjoy the fresh air and feel like a Prom King.
Meyer has driven the bull in the car many times before, in parades and just getting around, sources state. It’s clear the Crown Vic works.
Yes, Meyer just got a warning and was instructed to drive the bull back home, but I think he needn’t have been stopped in the first place. Maybe he could place some amber position lamps on the bull’s horns at night, but beyond that, this setup seems to work. And if we start getting complacent and letting cops stop cars just because they happen to have a massive amount of mammal flesh in them and are covered in feces, then it’s just a matter of time before they start coming at you or I, in our cars, perhaps equally full of flesh and spattered in feces.
The man and his bull did nothing wrong.