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Cowboy Take Me Away

So, I totally forgot to mention that last Saturday we took the munchkin to the rodeo. In Houston, the rodeo is a Major Event. Like, the center of the entire social season down here. Every February the trail riders come down the Salt Grass Trail and pitch their tents in Memorial Park and the whole town dresses up for Go Western Day and scrambles for tickets to the Chili Cook-off and every damn where you go people ask you who you're going to see at the rodeo this year (seriously, I went to the mall last week and was asked by no less than three separate sales clerks). So naturally I have avoided the entire event like the plague my whole life. I mean, there's only so many times I can be forced to wear a ruffled denim skirt and square dance with sweaty-palmed boys in elementary school P.E. before I start to go sour on the whole proposition.

But Mr. Sus got free tickets from a vendor at work, so we figured it was something the munchkin would enjoy and we should probably take her. And you know what? We all enjoyed the hell out of it.

Seriously, I had no idea how much fun watching cowboys wrestle cows and ride broncos could be. It's sort of like the Olympics, only if the luge were alive and trying to toss you into the stands. Way cool. The best part was the calf scramble, though. You haven't lived until you've seen 28 FFA students try to chase down 14 calves in a mud-filled arena. Martina McBride was the headliner that night, but we cut out before the concert and went to check out the livestock show. It's basically just a giant trade show for ranchers, but they had a petting zoo and a pony ride and row upon row of cows, pigs and goats for sale, all packed into the Reliant Center where I volunteered while Oprah and Bill Clinton visited with Katrina evacuees last fall. Weird. And the fashion! Lord. I started counting the number of pairs of above-the-ankle tapered jeans I saw walking around, but I lost count somewhere around 75. It's funny how redneck fashion is consistently 15 years out of date. Used to be only the 'kickers would be caught dead in boot-cut jeans, but now that boot-cut jeans are all in style, the 'kickers are stuffing their boots into the tapered jeans the rest of us tossed out with millennium.

There's also a big carnival set up out in the parking lot. Carnivals are cool, but I'd forgotten how little there actually is to do at a carnival if you're not so much into vomit-inducing rides or sinking all your money into fixed games for crappy prizes. When I was in high school I worked in the carnival games section at Astroworld one summer, so I spent the rest of the night torturing Mr. Sus with carnie adages. Say it with me, people: "Once a carnie, always a carnie." Good times. And we got deep-fried Oreos and deep-fried cookie dough. The Oreos were kinda lame, but the cookie dough? Oh. My. God. Words do not exist to describe the heavenly sensation.

In conclusion: Rodeo = good. Rodeo fashion = bad. And not a single cowboy was anywhere near as good lookin' as either Heath Ledger or Jake Gyllenhaal.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 9th, 2006 08:15 am (UTC)
I'm going to the rodeo next week! I want to buy a big belt buckle, and I was GOING to get deep fried oreos, as I was lusting over them last time I went, but considering what you say, sounds like I should switch it for cookie dough. Hmmm.

It's funny, last time I went I saw more people dressed like...well, like GAP ads and highschool kids than cowboys. This is possibly because it was so crowded that it was difficult to see anyone but the person in front of you, and we were there the night Bon Jovi was playing. I actually never listen to Bon Jovi before then, but it was fun anyway.
Mar. 9th, 2006 02:25 pm (UTC)
So who are you going to see at the rodeo?

The Oreos were okay, they just got lost inside all the dough and you couldn't really taste the Oreo part at all. They also had fried candy bars which may be good, but I wasn't brave enough to try them.

There were a lot of high school kids and normal-looking people walking around, but back in the depths of the livestock show where the serious ranchers and their families hang out you get a little bit different slice of Houston society.
Mar. 10th, 2006 07:03 pm (UTC)
I lied! I thought I was supposed to go next week, but my friend called me yesterday and was like, "Are you ready?" Turns out we were supposed to go last night! We saw Maroon 5--I don't really like the band all that much, but my friends do and it was the only night all of us were free.

I couldn't find the fried cookie dough, or even the fried candy bars! I only found fried Oreos, and since I was on a mission to get something disgustly deep fried, I ended up getting 'em even though you said they're not that great. I perfectly agree with your assessment, btw. But afterwards we went to House of Pies, and they have the greatest tater tots.

We didn't even have time to get to the livestock show this year; most of my friends couldn't get off until 5 so we didn't get there until after the rodeo part had already started, so we went in to watch the cattle roping and stuff. But you're right, the guys who look like REAL cowboys all had tapered jeans. How interesting.
Mar. 9th, 2006 05:14 pm (UTC)
Dude! We used to go to the rodeo all the time when we lived in Denver - it was an annual tradition. There are many a picture of me and my brother in cowboy hats next to various livestock. I loved it.

I've always wondered if I'd feel differently about it as an adult but if there was deep fried cookie dough I bet I'd be a happy cowgirl. :)
Mar. 9th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
Seriously, I had no idea how much fun watching cowboys wrestle cows and ride broncos could be.

ShanaP and I have made it to the Days of '47 bulls-only rodeo and the Oakley, UT, Rodeo Days or whatever they're called, not to mention my childhood excursions to the Snake River Stampede. And all I have to say is this: honey, if you're looking at the ankles, you're looking at the wrong part of the cowboy.

Am now obsessed with the idea of fried cookie dough.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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