Shannon & The Marvelous Milking Cow


Shannon O'Donnell

Normally I can’t stand email spam, and delete such items from my inbox (which I suppose means I will have countless decades of bad luck for not forwarding each tidbit about the meaning of life to my 10 closest friends within 3 minutes, but you have to draw the line somewhere). However, I do admit to reading through the ‘You know you’re a child of the 1970s when…’ lists. You know, the ones that take you down memory lane with quips like ‘all skaters, change directions’ and nods to Dorothy Hamill haircuts and Schoolhouse Rock.

So recently on the 10AM newscast, we were talking about toys from the ’70s, and I mentioned my memories of a toy cow that you ‘milked’ by pumping its tail. Apparently, I was the ONLY one with this memory, because I got three blank stares back in return.

I don’t know that I so much remember the toy itself, or even the commercial. But I do remember my interpretation of the commercial, because my mother told me about it roughly 557 times. She loved to tell the story about the time my grandparents were visiting, and I explained to them (in the deadpan, serious tone that only a 6-year-old can muster) that to milk a cow, you simply poured water in its mouth, pumped its tail and voila! Out came the milk! I guess they laughed their you-know-whats off and made me explain just how to go about extracting a bovine beverage, well, ’til the cows came home, as they got such a kick out of my ignorance-er–innocence.

So how in the world did I come up with such an idea? In this case, you really CAN blame your television for the dumbing down of America. As you can see by clicking the link below, I was the unwitting victim of the boardroom geniuses at Kenner toys:

Well, at least it wasn’t just an overactive imagination at work! On the bottom of said link, you’ll find yet another link, courtesy of YouTube, to the very 1970s commercial that incorrectly informed me in the ways of cow-keeping. But. Maybe that will jog your memory, too. And maybe the next time you get that ‘You know you’re a child of the 1970s email spam, it will include the line ‘you were under the impression that you milked a cow by giving it water and pumping its tail, thanks to the Milky the Marvelous Milking Cow commercial’.

{On a side-note, since I really AM a genuine, in-the-flesh child o’the 70s, I am a bit behind on the wonders of Youtube and MySpace. Wow! Looking for this commercial online, it was as if I’d opened up a portal to my childhood. You can find all kinds of commercial jingles and now-vintage 1970s toys on there. Snoopy Sno-Cone machine, anyone?}

Shannon O’Donnell
NBC11 WeatherPlus Meteorologist


3 Responses to “Shannon & The Marvelous Milking Cow”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I was checking out the link and it seems to explain that you pumped Milky’s tail to get her to *drink* the water, but to milk her you still had to pull gently on her udders.

    Just wanted to share what I read!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Hi there,

    Yes, I saw that when I read it on retroland, too…! But my interpretation of the whole thing as a small child (4? 5? 6 years old? something like that) was that you pumped it’s tail. Or, at least that was how my Mom said I explained it. I really don’t remember the toy or the commercial at all, but I’ve heard the story from my Mom SO many times over the years, that it’s stuck in my head anyway! Take care, Shannon

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t know for Milky but who can resist Gobbles the Garbage Eating Goat?

    Or maybe I should say who couldn’t resist Gobbles. He’s pretty gross actually.

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