I was at the Thomas and Mack Center for the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas and was seated four rows back from the bucking chute. You see, I’m a city girl, born in Boston, who spent 11 exhilarating years in Manhattan, the city of all cities. Clearly, I’d never seen a rodeo. My closest experience to a rodeo was a night out at Hogs and Heifers saloon in the West Village with a whole lot of table dancing and cowboys…and, well that’s another story. Joined by two cowboy-like “chaperones”, I was feeling… a bit out of place in my Sam Edelman boots, Rag and Bone jeans and Donna Karan top. EVERYONE around me was sporting Tony Lamas, Wranglers and Stetsons. So, I’m sipping my Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mocha Latte, snacking on my Almond biscotti and taking in the scene around me, which, well let’s be honest, was not 5th Ave. when they announce the start of the bull ride thingy.
Blissfully unaware, I thought this is going to be cute when all of a sudden, a piercing bell sounded and right from under me out shot out a wiry 150-pound cowboy on the back of a hulking, snorting temperamental 2,000 pound bull! And this cowboy was riding this beast with one hand strapped to the bull’s massive backside!!!! I nearly flipped the Latte all over the cowboy in front of me, my heart pounding for what seemed to be an eternal 8 seconds as the cowboy bucked off the bull and landed on his backside.
Then from nowhere appeared two lumbering ‘rodeo clowns’ in bright clothes – clowns?? – who proceeded to taunt the bull, grabbing his horns and playing catch me if you can. This bull was obviously (and understandably) raging — not a good choice people-clowns-whatever you are!! What kind of person signs up for that?? Within seconds they goaded the bull back to the pen and the cowboy walked off like he was leaving a picnic. My heart was racing, palms sweating, and my lips are moving in the shape of words without making sounds.
I will humbly admit, THAT was one of the more memorable, rocking, exhilarating events I’d ever experienced … outside of NYC that is!