Monday, August 22, 2005

Wild Cow Milking

So we know some bull riders....

Talked to one yesterday. Sounded fine (if anything, a little more coherent than normal). But halfway through our conversation, I asked him how his ride was on Friday. Well he "falled off" and got "smacked around some". So I'm like "shit, are you okay". Turns out the guy got his head smacked/kicked/(who knows) so bad that they thought his jaw was broken, and he got carried off to the hospital. Asked him if he got hurt anywhere else, but no, it was just his head. Which means if that bull only knocked his head, that his body was flapping around quite helplessly like a little noodle. Needless, he got up, and walked out of the arena (though he doesn't remember any of that), and still proceeded to have a normal conversation with me the next day, with half of his face swolen and black and blue. AND, he had no intention of telling me, or complaining to me about it, until I asked. I guess that's a real bull rider. Imagine what else gets messed up on them that you never hear about??

Now here's the question? Are they stupid (below average yes, but stupid?) to do this sport, or are they just adicted adrenaline junkies like most men. I imagine that when the ride's good, the ride is really good, and the high is amazing. I suppose it's just got to be in their blood, and you know, who can blame them for doing something they love.

We met these boys a year ago, at a local competition. On top of bull riding, they could earn $50 if they won the wild cow milking competition, where a bunch of wild cows are let out in the arena for a herd of wanna be cowboys to wrangle down and get trampled, and hopefully to get a squirt of milk out. Oh yeah, they can also earn another $50 if they play cowboy poker, a game where 4 men sit in a circle with a little table between them (pretending to play poker). A bull is let out, and the last one still sitting is the winner (a lot of chairs broken here). Now a year after our first encounter with the boys, only 2 out of 12 we met are still kickin in the bull riding arena. The others are off shoeing horses, working on farms, driving trucks. While they may not be the brightest, they're good men, say grace, pay for girls when they can, and take off their hats at the table. So I wish them all luck. We'll see how long the last two last.


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