Thursday, May 04, 2006


I started this post back in February after a visit to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo BBQ. I enjoyed writing it, but I didn't have time to do much editing, so it never got posted. So three months later, here it is in all it's glory:


I have a difficult time explaining the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. As long as I've lived here, I have not yet assimilated enough to give any kind of insider's perspective on the event. So to any natives who might take offense, and any outsiders who may take me seriously, I offer the previous sentences as full disclosure.

The first time I went to the Rodeo, I had just moved to Houston from Skanky-little-shithole-where-everyone-was-on-welfare-and-taxes-were-more-than-your-house-payment-twice-over, NY. It was as close to a life-changing event (where no one died) as I'll ever experience. There were people wearing cowboy hats that actually looked as if they served a purpose. That was my first impression and the confirmation of the Myth of the Cowboy was thrilling. There are no cowboys in NY.

Over the years, my impressions have become slightly less myopic. I can see now that the rodeo is like the Renaissance Fair for rednecks. They can don their fancy cowboy duds and pretend they don't work in construction, or auto mechanics, or software testing. Sure there are authentic country folks who live the life, but mostly it's just ordinary Texans getting their cowboy on. And that's fine. Most of them have history in the country anyway, so it isn't as if it's a total sham.

I'd been to the Rodeo only a few other times before. I went during the first year we had moved here. I remember feeling awkward and out of place because I didn't own any cowboy paraphenalia (not that I wanted any).

The second time I went was with Jethro. Someone had given us tickets to Alabama's last show. I loved Alabama even though I am a Yankee. A teacher had turned me on to them when I was in fourth grade. Imagine being a kid in the middle of the '80s listening to Alabama.

This past year, a friend of ours who works for a beer distribution company, got us tickets to the BBQ. It was a pretty cool set up. All these corporations sponsor tents where privileged members of their workforce and their friends get to eat BBQ and drink all night long. They have bands, and liquor, and more liquor, and tarty cowgirls, and more liquor.

The tent was crowded, and everyone was drinking and dancing. There was hardly room to move, so everyone was kind of wedged into groups around tables. That didn't stop the good folks in front of us from doing some dirty dancing. It actually would have been impossible to dance anything other than dirty. I had to do dirty dancing just to get to the port-o-lets.

But the folks in front of us are what kept me amused all night. There were four or five men in cowboy hats all drinking MGDs. One of them was really hot. Couldn't have been more than 21 or 22. He had sandy blonde hair and blue eyes, and you could tell he was ripped even though he was wearing long sleeves. He was wearing the cutest little cowboy hat you've ever seen. He was too pretty to fuck, but the gals were trying.

There were three of them dressed in varying degrees of sluttishness. And they were doing what drunk girls usually do when four or five guys are standing around drooling over them. They pretended they were lesbians. When you think about it, it's really the most ingenious way of playing hard to get without looking like a prude. I've done it myself and very nearly ended up going home with a woman. Unintentionally, of course.

One of the girls was wearing mardis gras beads decorated with penises and testicles. One of the other girls used it as a prop. I must say, there is nothing like a girl sucking little plastic penises less than an inch away from another girl's nipples to make men thrusty. They were, of course, delighted, and one even high-fived me over the penis sucker's head.

I had a pretty good time. And while I don't get drunk and suck plastic penises too much anymore, I still think it's fun to watch other people do it.

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