Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 3: Laramie Jubilee Days Rodeo

I had the opportunity yesterday to attend the 69th (yes, everyone giggle) annual Laramie Jubilee Days Rodeo. It was preceded by a farmer's market, carnival, and meth bust. On a side note, I am always quite amazed at carnivals... the kids have so much fun, the adults seem like they just want to get away and have a few drinks, and the carnies seem like they want to jump off the highest ride as soon as possible. Perhaps being around kids having fun every day makes them anhedonic (read: unable to have fun) via constant stimulation of the happiness pathway in their brain... but more likely it's their frequent use of mind-altering drugs.
After a quick stop at Corona Village for some feeble attempts at Spanish, three pounds of queso in several semisolid forms, and a couple of the restaurant's namesake beverages, we proceeded to the Albany County Fairgrounds for the aforementioned rodeo. I quickly realized that my attire gave me away as an outsider. My jeans, first of all, were far too loose. The faded black also clashed with everyone else's bright blue jeans (evidently, chemical washes are NOT the rage amongst the cowboy crowd). People looked at the "Seven for All Mankind" label as if they'd never seen designer jeans before! I made a mental note to sew a "Wrangler" patch over my Diesel label.
Further betraying my alien status were my multi-colored Polo belt (without a buckle, nonetheless!) and gray T-shirt. The shirt came close to acceptable, except it lacked the requisite two or more guns pictured on it. One of my favorite shirt messages of the night, and there were many:

Lovely. Another favorite:

Those are some guilty-looking animals. I almost got a picture with the guy wearing this, but I thought better of it lest he think I was ridiculing him.
But enough about the spectators; the rodeo calls. First, concessions. Besides your standard concession fare of chili dogs, 64-oz. sodas, funnel cakes, and Super Ropes, there was a family selling blinky glow lights (evidently the Laramie Jubilee Days E-Rave was called off this year) They sold everything from blinking bull horns to blinking grillz to blinky-glow mini-lariats. For those of you unfamiliar with my obsession with glowing and blinking objects, this was quite a find for me. I dropped $49.73 on a pair of horns, a blinky light saber, and a glow-in-the-dark grill which I have worn out by wearing it and dancing in the dark in front of a mirror all night. They also had deep fried Snickers bars and Sham-wows.
The first event at this rodeo was the "mutton busters". This cruel event pits three to six year old children against a fairly aggressive sheep; the idea is that they mimic a bull rider and hold onto the sheep's neck for dear life. This kid is "bucking" the trend and riding the damn sheep like a bull: What a badass! Most kids wear a hockey helmet and cling to the sheep for a few milliseconds before falling on their noggin. Observe the sheer terror on this kid's soon-to-be sullied face:
This was perhaps the most exciting part of the night, especially when a small child got bucked into the tire of a promotional Dodge Ram.
The second part of the rodeo is the introduction, and if you've never been to a rodeo, this is more than a mere formality and Star Spangled Banner. Included are songs about America, moments of silence, more than several invocations of Jesus (they saved the Jewish and Islamic prayers for later, evidently), and tributes to each branch of the Armed Forces. As much as I love America, the intro lasted longer than barrel racing and tie-down roping (formerly calf roping but renamed due to political correctness) combined.
After that, they proceeded with the rodeo. Bareback bronco riding was followed by steer wrestling, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, team roping (very exciting), barrel racing (the only event for females), and finally bull riding, although no one managed to stay on the bulls for the requisite seven seconds. I ended my night with a chocolate-marshmallow milkshake and a ride through Laramie with the parents, followed by some stargazing and National Geographic reading. Tune in next time as the experts weigh in on current events. Methamphetamine and Rodeo Clowns: A Chicken or Egg Debate?

1 comment:

  1. I'll open the Meth/Rodeo Clown debate, as I feel this deserves a comment. No one could ever choose to dress like a rodeo clown if they weren't on meth. Thus, meth must have preceeded rodeo clowns.