Fencing with a cow is my favorite euphemism for dealing with stupid people who should really have a clue about the power that I, as a network admin, can wield if I so choose. When dealing with reasonably intelligent people, you can make subtle threats, pointed suggestions, and direct a conversation without having to actually demonstrate the power that you hold. This is how deterrence works IRL. No-one actually has to demonstrate their available means of retaliation or enforcement because it's understood by all. However, when dealing with lusers who haven't a clue, the only way to get them to understand that you could LART them is to in fact do it. This is like fencing with a cow. If you perform an elegant feint with your epee, the cow will look at you and perhaps, if it is feeling eloquent, say "Moo". Your only means of manipulating the cow with an epee is to stab it, at which point it's dead, and then you have to move it yourself. Cows are too stupid to understand or properly appreciate implied massive retaliation.

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