Let ‘Er Buck!

Here’s what I think of the election.

We got all dressed up to go to the ball, and we ended up at a rodeo.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with a good rodeo. A good rodeo can be very entertaining.

There’s a bunch of guys and even a few gals out in the arena who don’t look like us, wearing some kind of clothes and boots that most of us don’t wear, and then right in the middle of them is this guy with the painted up face and weird-looking colored wig, usually red or orange.

The clown tells an off-color joke, with the assistance of the announcer, like,

Clown: “My car won’t start.”

Announcer: “What’s the matter with it?”

Clown: “Well, the spark plugs won’t spark . . .”

Announcer “Yeah.”

Clown: “The carburetor won’t carb . . .”

Announcer: “Yeah.”

Clown: “The pistons won’t . . .

Announcer: “Whoa, hold on a minute there!”

Clown: “Sorry, overheard that from one of the cowboys in the locker room.”

But mostly what you get at a rodeo is some good, clean fun, a whole lot of bucking and snorting and huffing and puffing and ornery critters kicking up clouds of dust, but nothing much really happens in the end because all those buckers and snorters are all inside an arena with 8 foot high fences where they really can’t do any damage to anyone except themselves.  As for us spectators, well we just drink our beer and clap for those we like, knowing that the ones who perform well will be back at the next rodeo and those who don’t will be shown the gate.

Well, I’ve been to a lot more rodeos than balls—this certainly isn’t my first one—and I can tell you that they’re most enjoyable when you just sit back, relax, read the program, have a few beers, and acknowledge that all those people doing that strutting, and waving their hats, and puffing up their chests, down in that arena, are just doing what they get paid to do, even that clown in the middle with the red nose and the funny-looking hair. Some are better at it than others. Some will be around rodeo after rodeo, and some go home after this one.

So let’s remember that every rodeo starts with a prayer, the traditional Cowboy Prayer. Let’s stop right now and say that prayer, because we need it more than ever.  Here it is. Seriously. This is how rodeos start.

Our Heavenly Father, we pause at this time, mindful of the many blessings you have bestowed upon us. We ask, Lord, that you will be with us in the arena of life.

We do not ask for special favors. We don’t ask to draw around the chute-fighting horse, the steer that won’t lay, the bull that is impossible to ride, or to never break the barrier.

We don’t even ask for all daylight runs.  

We only ask that you help us to compete as honest as the horses we ride and in a manner as clean and pure as the wind that blows across this great land of ours.

We do ask, Lord, that you will help us live our lives here on earth in such a manner that when we make that last inevitable ride, to the country up there, where the grass grows lush, green and stirrup high, and the water runs cool clear and deep, that you’ll tell us as we ride in:

“Welcome to Heaven, cowboy. Your entry fees are paid.”

Isn’t that a good prayer? For everybody in the arena? Including those struttin’, chest-puffin’ cowboys, and the clown with the orange hair and the funny hat?

So, enjoy the rodeo. Ride ‘em cowboy! Let ‘er buck! Yeeeeeehhaaaawwww!

9 thoughts on “Let ‘Er Buck!

  1. Thanks Jim. I needed that. It’s been a rough few days. Shock and awe, tears and anger. I need a Zanax the size of a golf ball.


  2. Strange Therapy: North Dakota State Offers Counseling to Students Aggrieved Over Trump Election Victory

    Psychology professor Clay Routledge (who actually works at NDSU, as it happens) has written extensively about the coddling of students on campus. The victim protection campaigns many colleges are engaged in, not only underestimate human resilience, they may actually cause the problems they are designed to solve. Because they suggest to students who wouldn’t otherwise feel like victims that they are, in fact, victims.

    As far as the rodeo analogy goes, how about wrestling? It’s all fake. Roll it.


  3. Growing up, Gillette, WY was my ” second home” so I’ve attended a few rodeos during one of which I watched a cowboy get pinned against the fence by the horn of a Longhorn steer. Warn’t purty but it could happen on a real (not TV) western ranch or rodeo. And the clown was usually the fool but occasionally the hero when he diverted the attention the raging bull. We’ll soon know whether Donald Trump is the clown, raging bull or, hopefully, a real President in the American tradition. Your commentary deserves to be on the front page of the NY Times along with the “fun and games” comment.


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