And it turns out, there we were, standin' smack in the middle of a goddamn herd of cattle. Well, you never heard a baby pipe down so fast in your life.
The Old Man tells a story to May about a time when she was a baby. Because the Old Man's story takes place before May could possibly remember it, the story reveals some insight into May that she could not know herself. He tells the story to May when she is crying, overcome with the sadness of her torn emotions for Eddie. The Old Man seems to riff off of the idea of crying by telling her a story about one time when she cried as a baby and would not stop. Neither May's mother nor her father, the Old Man, could stop her from crying but a loud noise in the middle of a pitch black field that turns out to be the mooing of cows shut her up for the rest of their car trip. The Old Man takes great pleasure in telling May this story and enjoys this punch line so much it is as if he does not know the ending until he tells it. The comment about May piping down fast foreshadows her abrupt change in her disposition to Eddie. After crying all around the room during the Old Man's story, May abruptly stops crying when Eddie returns to the room from outside. The story reveals some compassion that the Old Man has and once had for May. It is probably the most fatherly he ever behaved toward her that she knows of. The story forms a bond in the audience's mind between May and the Old Man though at this point in the play the audience probably will not yet know the nature of their relationship.