A Double Date . . . to the Rodeo


Growing up with my dad was interesting. Mostly because I never knew what was going to happen. It's been fun introducing Jordan to the randomness and spontaneity that surrounds my family. This weekend was the perfect example of what I'm talking about.

A month ago, Jordan told me about the Fort Worth air show and asked me if I wanted to go with him. I'd never been to one, but I like supporting his love of planes, so I said I'd go. We planned to stay at my parents' house and spend the weekend there. 

Days have been flying by for me lately, and Texas air show weekend was upon us before I realized it. So after work on Friday we headed for my parents' house, who live about 30 minutes away from Fort Worth. We were twentyish minutes into our drive when I got a call from my dad. 

"Where are you guys?" he asked.
"Umm...well, we'll be there in about two and a half hours. Why?" I had learned long ago to be suspicious of my dad's random questions.
"Good. Okay, so here's the deal. I forgot to get a parking ticket for the air show tomorrow." (My parents were going to come with us to the show.)
"So," he continued, "I emailed my buddy, who's in charge of parking, and he said he had an extra ticket."
I laughed. "Of course you did, Dad." My dad knows everyone. It's at once annoying and beneficial. 
"And," he said, "my buddy also said he has four box seats to the Fort Worth rodeo. Tonight. Starts at 8:00. Wanna go?"

So that's how Jordan and I ended up with all-access passes to the rodeo on Friday night, sitting with my parents in box seats just a few feet off the...floor? Arena? I don't really know what it's called.

This was a "working cowboy rodeo," so all the men participating in the rodeo were actual men who worked on a ranch all day long. These same men would then come back to the box where their wives and children were sitting. This happened to be the same box where we were sitting. 

The cowboys had on chaps and dirty hats and pointed boots. The wives had on tight jeans and fancy boots and sparkly fake diamonds on their belts.

I had on jean capris and gray converse tennis shoes. Jordan was wearing cargo shorts and a Yankees cap. It was extremely obvious that we didn't belong. 

I'd like to think that, given advance notice of the rodeo, we could have dressed a little better. But really let's be honest; we didn't and we wouldn't have anyway. Still, my all-access pass was pretty legit, the rodeo was entertaining, so I didn't care all that much.

The best part of the rodeo was called "mutton busting," where a small group of 5- to 7-year-olds took turns riding sheep. This is a safer, smaller scale of bronco riding, where the kids score points based on how long they can stay on a sheep for 8 seconds. The kids wore protective gear--a helmet and a vest--and they sat on a sheep, grabbed a fistful of hair, and held on while it raced across the arena. Watching those kids hang on for dear life as those sheep took them for a ride was absolutely hilarious, and I wish I had taken pictures, but I was laughing so hard I couldn't focus. 

After the rodeo, we got dinner and walked around the stockyards, and then we headed home. It was an unexpectedly fun evening, and once again I learned that when it comes to my dad, there's no telling what will happen. If you're Jordan and me this past Friday night, you would have ended up at a rodeo. 

Anonymous said...

I can't believe this was your first mutton-busting experience! Was this your first ever rodeo? Do they not have rodeos in Illinois? Man, I love the rodeo. So great. So much fun. Glad you got to go, and it looks like you had GREAT seats!


Heidi said...

Dude, when someone tries to pull a fast one on you now, you can totally say, "I'm not fallin' for that, it ain't my first time to the rodeo!"

And, I have heard "Okay, here's the deal..." many times from my own father. Also, "This is not a panic situation..."

Amanda said...

Audra, they do have rodeos in Illinois, but they're super lame, and no one goes to them. At least, I never did. This, however, was NOT my first rodeo, but I've apparently never stayed long enough for the mutton-busting. Either that or the rodeos I've been to (in Texas and Oklahoma) didn't have them. Didn't know it was a rodeo staple!