Sunday, June 21

This Aint My First Rodeo

“It’s the girls’ version of steer wrestling,” my friend offered after seeing the look on my face.

Having grown up a city girl in Seattle, I missed the whole—livestock—rodeo thing. Even as an adult my knowledge of saddles, steers, Wrangler jeans, and Texas bling, is pretty much nil. Within the past few years, however, thanks to a few country friends and the many Podunk towns my occupation has dropped me into, I have, at least, been to one.

“Poor little guy is no better than a sitting duck,” I pointed out during the goat tying event. Goat tying, if you don’t know, is basically baiting a rope with a goat. A kid is tethered to a stake in the middle of the arena with a rope no longer than 10 feet long. On top of that, the goat is held facing its opposition as horse and girl head full speed toward it. The handler releases the goat to let it squirm about before the rider jumps off her horse, runs to the goat, slams it on its back, ties all four legs together, throws her hands in the air to indicate that the clock can be stopped, and steps away. The goat must remain in this awkward, subservient position for six seconds. If it gets up … no points are awarded.

“Where’s the sport in that?” I asked, a question that would only receive a chuckle. But I honestly expected an answer. I know, each of us thought the other equally absurd: I with my sensitivity to animal welfare, and he with his right to slaughter cattle and hunt. Granted, goat tying is not a “match to the death” like bull fighting. They even swap out ducks, I mean goats, every third competitor. But perhaps the fresh meat satisfies sportsmanship more so than humanity. At least let the little guys make a run for it, for God’s sake.

It’s not as though I want to change the “sport.” Shoot (country explicative)! I don’t understand baseball either. But I sympathized with the goats, maybe because, a lot of the time, I feel hog tied too. By the time I wiggle out of one jam or knot, life has another headed straight for me. It’s just the way it is, a fact that emphasizes the importance of attitude and temperament. We can either lay down and assume defeat, or struggle to get back up again—repeatedly.

I want to be the goat that earns the name of “little bastard” and is the target of cowgirl vengeance. I want to get up despite the odds, piss off those opposed and inspire the disadvantaged ... in less than six seconds, of course.


John said...

Having lived with a goat at one time (named Fleetwood…long story), I can tell you for certain, that unlike cattle, goats don’t really need to be roped in order to accomplish whatever it is that one does with a goat! They are fairly easily persuaded with a small handful of grass to do whatever or go wherever you want them to.

With that said, the whole point of rodeo, at least from my limited understanding, it to practice, hone and demonstrate those skills that are needed for cowboying in general. Since by nature, cowboys are men, when the women decided they wanted to get in on the action, something slightly smaller than a 2000 lb. steer probably seemed in order.

Not that that may really be necessary or fair! Seems I have heard that there are some women out there that can fly just about any size airplane with the best of them! Or be President. Bulls however do a pretty good job of trashing the men who ride them, so perhaps it really just boils down to the fact that cowgirls are much smarter then cowboys, and figure why get pummeled by a bull when you can wrestle a goat and still go home with a big shiny belt buckle!

Goats are tough little creatures. However I have to think that the sight of a cowgirl riding a horse bearing down on them at full speed while they are tethered to a post might be a bit disturbing. The goat I knew (and he was a little bastard!) used to love to have me grab him by the horns and then push at me with all his might, but he knew it was a game he would eventually win, and hence considered it sport. He also used to love to sneak up behind you and butt you in the ass, which was decidedly unsportsmanlike! Definitely not as dumb as he looked.

Maybe if we gave the goats a fighting chance, this would be more of a sport, but from my perspective, Rodeo for goats seems a bit one sided!

Bicycle John

Choc. D said...

Nicely said Bicycle John. And I agree. An African Pygmy -- goat -- I once had, would do just about anything for you short of fueling up your car before he'd return it. I never once though it would be sporty to tie his legs together regardless of what held my pants up.

Thank you for sharing your insight!

aislinn said...

fawner i think you felt a special connection to those goats considering your childhood and rocky (I hope that was his name Im not positive) but none the less it sounds hard to watch, growing up with a pygmy goat or not. I went to my first rodeo last year and the one thing I did enjoy was the mutton busting not sure if you saw it... but it consisted of kids probable 6 years old or so with helmets and full padding holding on for their dear life to the back of sheep. One of the more ridiculous things I've ever seen. Looking around at a rodeo though I just don't think anyone in the mcmanigal family can fully fit in... just not one our things. I mean the barely clothed beer girls may be nice but I kinda wanted to smack some sense into most of them.

Aside from that however I am still thinking about this ice age three thing, sorry Im going off topic but your killing me in John Day!!

Choc. D said...

Perhaps, Aislinn, it would be more sporty to put those scantly clad beer girls on bulls and watch them hang on for dear life. At least we might get a kick out of such event.

I know what you mean Ice Age. I am highly disapointed that Pixar did not release it a couple of weeks ago.
... don't they know it's fire season?