Friday, July 18, 2008

A Hog-Killin' Good Time

Check another life goal off my list. I attended the rodeo. Technically, attending the rodeo wasn't on my "Go The Big Figure Before I Die" list. It was more on the "Things I Have No Hankerin' To Participate In" list. Especially in the rain. In the cold.

It ended up being perty dang excitin'. Those saddle stiffs did a bang-up job. Even the ones between hay and grass. I can't even ride a rocking horse without being dusted. If I had to ride that rocking horse while trying to rope a moving object, like a hyper, out-of-control child, I would surely be knocked into a cocked hat. But those buckaroos and bull nurses made bulldogging and tie-down roping look like licking butter off a knife.

Not that there weren't some close calls. There were several instances of man versus beast in which the beast lathered the man a good one. And the man limped or hobbled his way out of the arena after being grassed. Hoof in the stomach, face, or groin anyone? No thank you.

But, apparently that is what the clown is for - to distract the animals long enough for the rider to get to safety. Call me loco, but I'd have a hard time putting my safety in the hands of a man with a painted face, oversize pants, and wearing a humongous bag shaped like a hand and filled with Frisbees. Clint Eastwood he was not. Bennie Bob ended up being the life of the party and playin' to the gallery in fine fashion. He entertained the kids. He signed autographs. He told politically incorrect jokes. He threw Frisbees into the crowd, two of which we caught. And he may have even come to the rescue of a bronc buster or two, proving he's someone to ride the river with.

Being a person that loves to eat and wanting to get the full rodeo experience, I was excited about the prospect of the promised cowboy food and eating at the Chuckwagon. I wasn't the only one. I had stood in line for 15 minutes and still had a long slipe to go. The food smelled fine as cream gravy. But when I saw the price tag on some of the items, I knew that the shave tails were getting bilked and I lit a shuck for my seat. Guess I'll have to stick with Bandanas.

I'd have to say the highlight of the night was the mutton bustin'. These cute little shavers, who were under 5 years old, were placed on muttons and then sent off to be bucked and thrown and put through the mill. And they did this voluntarily. Only at the rodeo. If a parent put a child in harm's way like this anywhere else, they'd end up in the hoosegow. I watched as the tiny cowboys and cowgirls put on helmets. I watched as they climbed onto their muttons. I watched as the muttons were released. What in the Sam Hill? Most of the junior cowpokes were bucked immediately, only to be stepped on and have dust kicked up in their faces. And what did they get for this? A ribbon. And maybe a trip to the doctor. There were a couple though that stayed on for the allotted four seconds and then some. They were either mutton busters to the manner born, or were squeezing so tight they were asphyxiating their muttons which prevented them from being thrown off. When their muttons took off, burnin' the breeze so fast that the adults that were supposed to run along side could not keep up, the baby bronc busters held tight and earned standing ovations from the crowd. I didn't know if I should clap or call child services.

I have to say, we took a cotton to the rodeo. But watchin' all the action dragged us out, and we got a wiggle on out of there to go bend an elbow in the comfort of our cushy digs.


Anonymous said...

We went to the National Western Stock Show in Denver many years ago and it was nothing short of an "education." I enjoyed it, but they damned near lost me when one of the bucking broncos snapped its hoof off right out of the gate. I kept expecting to hear a shotgun blast from out back. Gah. We'll take the boys this winter.

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...