Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Kathy made me do it.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it. She and I went to lunch one day at "The Saddle Ranch" chop house. They have a mechanical bull in an arena. For some reason everyone was super nice to us that day. They let us ride the bull for free. Kathy was all excited about riding this thing and sort of guilted me into it. If she was going to do it, I knew I had to do it too and yes I would jump off the cliff if everyone else was doing that. Kathy went first; she looked terrified the entire time the bull was moving. She went up and down once than began to holler for them to stop and let her off. They take pictures of you as you ride and her's are super funny cause she clearly is scared to death.
I found getting on the bull as big of a challenge as riding it. You walk across this puffy air mattress to the bull in the center. I thought it would be easier to walk if I took giant steps. I think it took me 3 of them to get there. At this time I looked to Kathy for support and noticed she was doubled over and having trouble breathing. She didn't look the least bit concerned. Now these mechanical bulls are a lot taller in person than they look on the movies. My cowboy kneeled down in the classic "will you marry me pose". He told me to step on his leg then throw my leg over the bull. I asked him if there was a weight limit on that thing. He said no, it will take some really big guys. In hindsight, I think he was talking about the bull. I was talking about his leg. So I stepped on his proffered knee and tried to sling my other leg over the bull. His knee sank into the air mattress right at the critical moment. I didn't get my leg all the way over. I now know how Spiderman does it. I found myself clinging to the side of that thing and praying for a boost. The cowboy jumped up and gave me a shove so I ended up on top of it. Unfortunately, I was also about 1/2 inch from sliding off the rear. They're a bit like a teeter totter so when I sat on the back, the front popped up.
Kathy shouted encouragement from the sidelines. Something to the effect of "oh my God, your killing me". The cowboy shouted at me to scoot up. Scoot up? I was clutching this thing with my legs so I wouldn't fall off. Scooting up meant performing a miracle of levitation. I had to scoot forward and quite literally, up.
I thought I'd use my arm muscles to pull myself forward. Since the front end of the bull was close to smacking me in the nose I just leaned into it and wrapped my arms around the part where his neck shoulda been. As I struggled to pull myself up, my cowboy had managed to stop laughing long enough to get behind me and push. With one hand on each buttock he gave a mighty heave and I was in the saddle.
I didn't even look at Kathy at this point as she was making these funny queeping noises. I was pretty sure those weren't sympathy sounds. She told me later she laughed so hard she thought she was going to hurt herself.
The cowboy returns to his post at the controls. I grab the handle, throw my arm in the air in the professional bull riders pose and hope for the best. I'm sure I made the 8 seconds, I think it was closer to 2 hours before I was finally unseated. They take a series of photo's of you as you ride. Mine shows a great picture of my smiling face and even has my arm thrown back. But I was minus the top of my head. Really from the middle of my nose up was missing by the automatic border. The next one has me from the side, then there is the pose I put on this blog, (bummer that it's blurry) and the final shot is an empty bull with my shoe oddly stuck in the air off to the side.
That's right, I got thrown. Nothing hurts! I think that's nothing short of miraculous. You know how cats always land on their feet? Well I always end up on my back. As I struggled to my feet on the air mattress the sounds of applause, hoots and cat calls filled the air. I had drawn a crowd. I guess they aren't used to seeing someone ride with such penache. I can hardly wait to do it again. I'm hooked now.
Yippie Ki Yo Ki Yeah. Get along little doggies.