Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bad-ass bulls, etc.

My mom, her boyfriend and I moseyed over to the fair a couple times Saturday, once in the afternoon to check out the exhibits and eyeball the rides, and again in the evening/night for the rodeo, which coincides with the fair each year.

The nighttime rodeos each day are the usual way for people to see the events, but people living on the cheap (night tickets are $10) could take in rodeo action during the day prior to the fair getting into full swing.

But then you wouldn't get the "advantage" of the harangue from the announcer, nor the genuinely entertaining antics of the rodeo clown. We're lucky to have a hyper, athletic and funny guy, JJ Harrison - a local dude who used to be a schoolteacher here - who pretty much horses around during the competition. Sometimes his timing is crap (i.e. capering around on one side of the arena while a competitor puts his butt on the line riding a feisty horse or a pissed-off bull. But he is hilarious.

Anyway, last night's highlight, for me, was one bull that after ditching its would-be rider, refused to be corralled and spent about 5 or 10 minutes killing time in the arena, feinting at the clown, walking around where it pleased, ignoring the cowboys who roped it and generally making a pest out of itself. A huge, scary, threatening pest.

I know, I know: Rodeos are a horrible scourge on animal welfare. But a) I'm pretty sure from having been to a bunch that's not true; and b) at least these critters aren't killed (bullfighting, cockfighting, dog fighting) and have a chance to win on their own (unlike horse racing, to pick an example at random).

I did wish a few times I was at a rodeo in a country where I don't speak the language, so that the announcer's nonstop commercials for trucks, trailers, home loans, bank accounts and anything else a sponsor had on offer would just be babble. But that's a pretty minor complaint, in the big picture.

On a side note: Although our city can be pretty segregated ethnically, the fair is not one of the places that happens, and neither is the rodeo.

1 comment:

SquirrelGurl said...

I really like watching rodeos and I do cheer for the bucking horses and bulls :o)

I always wanted to be in a rodeo, was always jealous when I read about the high school rodeo competitions they have out West... Buttercup and I would so have done that!!!