Tuesday, April 15, 2014

This is my first rodeo

I’m going to come right out and say it. This is my first rodeo
I drove here in a Volvo for christ’s sake. But when Ron who is kind of your boss invites the team to go to the rodeo you do what you have to: try desperately to come up with an excuse and fail miserably because Ellen from accounting beats you to it. Have fun at that “bah mitzvah”, Ellen. If that’s even your real name. Are jews even named “Ellen”? Whatever. Later, you give serious thought to faking some sort of illness to get out of it. Then there’s a surprisingly long period of agonizing over it, even wondering if you really need this job that bad, before finally you put on your goddamn dungarees and chambray shirt and you get in the Volvo. 
So here I am. 
The first thing I notice is there’s more than one event tonight. I figured some guys would ride some bulls and I’d be out of here in half an hour. Oh no, there’s riding horses around barrels, there’s lasso’ing little cows (calves?), there’s tackling bigger cows, there’s guys riding what seem to be wild horses (with and without saddles), there’s women circling the arena waving flags (an event?), and then finally there’s bull riding. Oh, and their are clowns. Great. Just great. Next you’re going to tell me my only drink option is Miller Lite. What’s that? It is? Huh, you don’t say. 
On a side note, is this the music that’s going to be playing all night? And is literally every song about losing a girl because you were too busy drinking, trucking and/or cheating? Throughout the first two dozen or so that’s been the predominant theme so it feels that way. 
Now, the scoring system for bull riding makes figure skating’s seem pretty straightforward. The rider apparently has to stay on for 8 seconds (short program?) but there’s a whole battery of style points with which I’m not familiar (wardrobe? poise?). Waving one’s free hand appears to be a quite popular move. Seems like someone would come up with a new one like a two-handed clap or slapping their boot or something. I don’t know, I’m spitballing here but look for an edge, guys. 
And apparently the cowboys now wear helmets instead of cowboy hats. Right, because now you’re concerned about safety? Look at me! I’m just gonna ride on the back of this 1000-pound beast but this plastic hockey helmet should keep my noggin safe in the event I’m kicked by any of the beast’s massive, furiously kicking hooves! How do I get into the rodeo insurance game, right? 
A scrawny kid from Oklahoma won with a ride that to my untrained eyes looked just like the others. But good for him. 
I enjoyed the rodeo I guess but on a sad note, Ron and I are no longer friends nor co-workers. Apparently I “embarrassed” him in front of his cowboy friends by saying things like “some people say this is kind of inhumane” and asking questions like “anyone else catch Ira Glass’s show last week?” and “are these vegan?” 
Then again, it was my first rodeo. 


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