Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Chicken ropin'

I can think of no more evocative phrase than "chicken ropin'." A friend who grew up in SA and its environs told me last winter about a magical rodeo where the cowboys took up their ropes against chickens. After seeing his imitation of the chickens getting roped, including a flapping of the wings and much squawking, I was hooked. I had to see this myself.

****Please note, animal lovers, that the chickens probably aren't fond of getting roped, but they are not harmed by it. I admit, none of the animals at a rodeo would probably be there by choice, but there you go.****

Anyways, my friend called me up last week while we were still in SF. He excitedly informed me that the following weekend was the (in)famous chicken ropin' rodeo, which, thank god, we would be back in Texas for.

So Saturday, The Texan and I struck out for Pleasanton, a little town maybe 20 miles south of SA that prides itself on being the birthplace of the cowboy. As such, every August they hold their "Cowboy Homecoming Weekend," where cowboys on the rodeo circuit converge on the city for one last gasp.

When we got there, we realized two things very quickly: 1) It also prides itself on being the hottest festival in the United States (no contest, in my mind), and 2) they didn't have an ATM, which meant our meager cash reserves would not be able to keep up with our need for crappy American beers in a vain attempt to stave off the heat. (Does anyone really use cash any more? I never have more than a couple of quarters on me.) Still, the most important thing was to rush over to the chicken ropin' area, where they were in the midst of their competition.

We got there in time to see three cowboy pairs try - and fail - to rope a chicken. Apparently it's not as easy as it looks. A bit anticlimatic, but I did get to pet a buffalo (NOT A EUPHEMISM later on in the day and I bought a purse, so all was well with the trip.


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