In fact, the last 3 times that we've gone, it's been as guests of the bank or, my John Deere dealership. Thursday, we were invited to a whole supper, with complimentary drinks and then attended the rodeo slightly buzzed on extra spicy Caesars. And then during the performance, our sections in the stadium were mentioned and it did, in fact, feel a little bit good to be part of that group.
I know if you do the math and add up all of the money that was spent at these places, I paid for the tickets to these things many times over, but it's not really about that. I appreciate the gesture. Tractor dealerships are pretty big these days and the same name can be found in a lot of towns, covering a fair chunk of the Province. While we were at supper, I looked about and estimated there to be between 250-300 guests. Some of those were John Deere employees and the number of farmers that I recognized as my neighbours, was really quite small. I know that our area has many, many more farmers than I saw there, so I was pretty happy to be on the list. I'm certainly not going to be like the idiot who decided it was a good idea to wear his Case tractor hat to the John Deere function. It's going to be a while before he gets invited back. I wore my John Deere jacket, that cost me 3 tractors to get.
I own a cowboy hat, and I own cowboy boots. I wore neither to this event. Partly because of the weather. We are coming off the grip of a winter storm here and the driving is frankly, THE SHITS! I chose footwear, that if I had too, I could walk, or keep from getting the black foot, and loosing my toes if I had to dig my wife's car out of the ditch. Cowboy boots have relatively no grip on them whatsoever, and while it probably would have increased my awesome quotient to actually show up at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in cowboy boots, doing the arms flailing, legs going in all directions windmill, as I eventually land on my ass on the ice, played a big part in my decision.
Also, I'm not really a cowboy. I'm a farmer. Cowboys and farmers have a bit of difference in my mind. We try to achieve an end, that falls in the same general area but I think we get to that point by different means. I always picture a cowboy sitting out on a hill somewhere, on top of a horse, rolling a smoke from tobacco out of a leather pouch while he surveys his herd of cattle. I don't really like horses all that much. They scare me a bit. I check my cows with an ATV or preferably, the pick-up truck. Cowboys are rugged and tough and get a thrill out of leaping off the back of a horse at full gallop and wrestling a calf to the ground by hand, or catching it on the end of a rope in a combination of riding skill and hand-eye coordination that I can't quite achieve. I get queasy trying to play my kids video game. The only success that I've ever had with a rope is by herding the calf that I want into sequentially smaller and smaller pens, until the area that the calf and I are in are so small, that I can actually put the rope over the head of the calf, because he has no other option, as we're only 8 inches apart. Of course, I then throw the calf down in a flourish that would, in my mind at least, rival any champion cowboy.
I also don't really have a cowboy name. I think that I might have an accountant's name. Or maybe the name of a toll booth operator. If you're going to be a rodeo participant, as a rule, you have a bitchn' awesome name. Here's a few out of the program from Thursday night line-up. Ty, there's a few Ty's in the rodeo. Or Tanner and Garret. One fellow was named Steele. I imagine if you're named Steele, you shave with a wood rasp. I saw a Zane, and a few Dusty's and a barrel racer name Trula. There was a fellow named Trygve. Trygve? If your mom and dad call you Trygve, you wear cowboy boots even if it is 20 below zero, and if you slip on the ice and someone snickers, you just east them. Bones and all.
The name that caught my attention though, was K's. I've been thinking of the wonderful foresight in giving your kid a name with a built in apostrophe "s" on the end. It lets you lay claim to anything that you put after it. Like K's straight razor, or K's leather wrapped toe-nail clipper. Although, I would imagine a cowboy named K's probably doesn't own a toe-nail clipper. He most likely just has a pack of rabid wolves, chew them from his toes.
...........I sort of wish that my parents had though to add an apostrophe "s" to the back of my name. As in Ken's comfortable footwear, or Ken's recliner. Or, considering the weather, Ken's battery operated socks.
I am submitting this post to Dude write this week. It's where guy bloggers come together to submit posts, that get voted on from Sunday to Tuesday evening to see whose was most popular. I encourage you to pop over and take a look at them and maybe come back and vote on your favourites.
You can get there by clicking on THIS LINK