Rodeo - Jane Martin


Farting Snowflakes
Premium Member
A young woman in her late twenties site working on a piece of tack. Beside is a Lone Star beer in the can. As the lights come up we hear the last verse of a Tanya Tucker song or some other female country-western vocalist. She is wearing old worn jeans and boots plus a long-sleeved work shirt with the sleeves rolled up. She works until the song is over and then speaks.

Shoot-Rodeo's just goin' to hell in a handbasket. Rodeo used to be somethin'. I loved it. I did. Once Daddy an' a bunch of 'em was foolin' around with some old bronc named Cinch got bucked off and mny Daddy hooted and said he had him a nine-year old girl, namely me, wouldn't have no damn trouble cowboyin' that horse. Well, he put me up on there, stuck that ridin' rein in my hand, gimme a kiss, and said, "Now there's only one thing t' remember Honey Love, if ya fall off you jest don't come home." Well I stayed up. You gotta stay on a bronc eight seconds. Otherwise the ride don't count. So from that day on my daddy called me Big Eight. Heck! That's all the name I got anymore...Big Eight.

Used to be fer cowboys, the rodeo did. Do it in some open field, folks would pull their cars and pick-ups round it, sit on the hoods, some ranch hand'd bulldog him some rank steer and everybody'd wave their hats and call him by name. Ride us some buckin' stock, rope a few calves, git throwed off a bull, and then we'd jest git us to a bar and tell each other lies about how good we were.

Used to be a family thing. Wooly Billy Tilson and Tammy Lee had them five kids on the circuit. Three boys, two girls, and Wooly and Tammy. Wasn't no two-beer rodeo in Oklahoma didn't have a Tilson entered. Used to call the oldest girl Tits Tilson. Nevere seen a girl that top-heavy could ride so well. Said she only fell off when the gravity got her. Cowboys used to say if she landed face down you could plant two young trees in the holes she'd leave. Ha! Tits Tilson.

Used to be people came to a rodeo had a horse of their own back home. Farm people, ranch people-lord, they knew what they were lookin' at. Knew a god ride from a bad ride. knew hard from easy. You broke some bones er spent the day eatin' dirt, at least ya got appreciated.

Now they bought the rodeo. Them. Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola, Marlboro damn cigarettes. You know the ones I mean. Them. Hire some New York faggot t' sit on some ol' stuffed horse in front of a sagebrush photo n' smoke that junk. Hell, tobacco wasn't made to smoke, honey, it was made to chew. Lord wanted ya filled up with smoke he would've set ya on fire. Damn it gets me!

There's some guy in a banker's suit runs the rodeo now. Got him a pinky ring and a digital watch, honey. Told us we oughta have a watchamacalit, choropgraphus or somethin', some ol' ballbuster used to be with the Ice damn Capades. Wants us to ride around dressed up like Mickey Mouse, Pluto, crap like that. Told me I had to haul my butt through a barrel race done up like Minnie damn Mouse in a tu-tu. Huh-uh, honey! Them is so screwed up they probably eat what they run over in the road.

Listen, they got the clowns wearin' Astronaut suits! I ain't lyin'. You know what a rodeo clown does! You go down, fall off whatever - the clown runs in front of the bull so's ya don't git stomped. Pinstripes, he got em' in space suits tellin' jokes on a microphone. First horse see 'em done up like the Star Wars went crazy. Best buckin' horse on the circuit, name Piss N' Vinegar, took one look at them clowns, had him a hear attack and died. Cowboy was ridin' got hisself squished. Twelve hundred pounds of coronary arrest jes fel right through em'! Blam! Vio con dios. Crowd thought that was funnier then the astronauts. I swear it won't be long before they're strappin' ice-skates on the ponies. Big crowds now. Ain't hardly no ranch people, no farm people, nobody I know. Buncha disco babies and dee-vorce lawyers - designer jeans and day-glo Stetsons. Hell, the whole bunch of em' wears French perfume. Oh it smells like money now! Got it on the cable T and V - hey, you know what, when ya rodeo yer just bound to kick yerself up some dust - well now, seems like that fogs up the ol' TV camera, so they told us a while back that from now on we was gonna ride on some new stuff called Astro-dirt. Dust-free. Artificial damn dirt, honey. Lord have mercy.

Banker Suit called me in the other day and said "Lurlene..." "Hold it." I said. "Who's this Lurlene? Round here they call me Big Eight." "Well, Big Eight." he said, "my name's Wallace." "Well thats a real surprise t' me," I said. "cause aroun' here everybody jes calls you Dumb-ass." My, he laughed real big, slapped his big ol' desk, an then he aid I wasn't suitable for the rodeo no more. Said they was lookin' fer another type, somethin' a little in the showgirl line, like the Dallas Cowgirls maybe. Said the ridin' and ropin' wasn't the thing no more. Talked on about floats, costumes, dancin' choreog-aphy. If I was a man I woulda pissed on his shoe. Said he'd give me a lifetime pass though. Said I could come to his rodeo any time I wanted.

Rodeo used to be people ridin' horses for the pleasure of people who rode horses - made you feel good about what you could do. Rodeo wasn't worth no money to nobody. Money didn't have nothing to do with it! Used to be seven Tilsons riding the rodeo. Wouldn't mind none of em' dress up like Donald damn Duck so they quit. There there's the law of gravity!

There's a bunch of assholes in this country sneak around until they ya hvin fun and then they buy the fun and start in sellin' it. See they figure if ya love it, they can sell it. Well you look out, honey! They want to make them a dollar out of what you love. Dress you up like Minnie Mouse. Sell your rodeo. Turn yer pleasure into Ice damn Capades. You hear what I'm sayin'? You're jus' merchandise to them, sweetie. You're jus' merchandise to them.