So there I sat at the computer and contemplated how far behind I was in everything, I owe an review of an independent movie made about the youth of Aragorn, son of Arathorn called Born of Hope to my fantasy Guild, I owe two articles about world building to my gamer’s site, and I’m horrendously far behind on my Good News Wednesday articles. Since I can look in the mirror and tell my editor on the other two sites to kiss off I put them on the back burner. Good News Wednesday and pieces about fibromyalgia are pretty much the only guaranteed enjoyment I have left at Newsvine, so I’d feel like a real ass if I didn’t support those endeavors. The FM piece is in the books, so that leaves my GNW thoughts.

But, the silly screen stayed blank. I hate it when that happens. So I did what I always do when I need to let my mind free-form ramble to look for inspiration. The Insane Clown Posse didn’t do anything for me, Abney Park gave me an idea for a Stem Punk Article, Celtic Woman gave me a few thoughts for a poem but nothing that fleshed all the way out. Then a tune performed by Asleep at the Wheel hit the shuffle, Big Balls in Cowtown, and a memory danced before my caffeine-deprived eyes, so I cranked the volume and dashed to the kitchen to toss some coffee together in the French press. Speaking of which, I need more, so here’s my inspiration for you to contemplate while I java up.

Returning again to the early 80s we find me in a football game against the neighboring town and a good friend of mine played across from me in the same two basic positions, cornerback on defense and wide receiver for offense. At the time I was under 5’6” and the program listed me at 100 pounds because to put my weight in the 90s would throw the column alignment off. He was a tall sumbitch, about 6’1” and around 180. Luck would have it he lined up across from me on both sides of the ball and he was working my last nerve on long passes because he could get over me and break them up. I was working his last nerve because his quarterback got flushed out of the pocket and I picked off a low pass. He drilled me hard that play and we shared a few friendly smart-assed comments, and since he was ruining my deep game I was getting crossing patterns, which is the perfect place to have your limbs rearranged. Sure enough, I caught one and had two linebackers right in front of me, so I spun and started to reverse my direction and my own old buddy old pal clothes-lined me.

That really hurt, it was right before the half and when I decided to answer nature’s call I was passing blood when I peed. Before anyone panics, it was nothing really, just a bruised kidney; but, it hurt and brought out my more evil impulses as the trainer strapped extra padding over my lower back and told me to try not to get hit there again.

Easy for him to say!

So, a few plays into the second half his QB lobbed one deep, high and into traffic and seeing my old buddy old pal stretched way up for the ball I ran full steam into his legs, wrapped him up tight and spun his ass into the turf. It was a beautiful hit, I heard the air rush out of him and things rattle and pop. I came back to my feet and saw his eyes rolled back in his head and thought for a moment that I’d killed him, which worried me. First of all that might cause at least a game ejection, it would make his sister not want to go out with me anymore, and he was a pretty nice guy off the field and I didn’t want to see him dead. Pain was fine though, give him character. So, they stuck smelling salts under his nose and finally got him to his feet and he saw two of me and flipped both of us off and called us dickheads and missed a game or two with a concussion.

We continued to hang out and I swung by to see how he (and his sister) were doing to find him getting ready for rodeo. He rode bulls and I thought that was the silliest thing ever, I don’t think its good manners to play with your food and as far as I’ve ever been concerned cows are good for nothing but beef. Well, leather too, gotta have boots and belts. He was explaining the process to me, and demonstrating how you jerk your curved arm back over your head and I mentioned it looks suspiciously close to ballet.

“I ain’t never seen no bally-reenie last no eight seconds on the cyclone deck!” He scoffed with a broadly exaggerated accent that I can still hear in my head, he was selling it though, visions of revenge dancing in his head.

It shames me to admit that he convinced me to try it for myself. Well, not too much shame, I’d actually always wanted to try it just once. I’ve always been like that, I like to try things that scare the crap out of me, and I like to try everything (within reason) at least once. So I was tied in, the rope wrapped tightly around my hand and turning down the cowboy hat. I rarely wore them, in fact the only picture of me as a teenager wearing a cowboy hat is not publishable. Well, in these days it might be, but I ain’t a-gonna do it, nope, nope, nope.

So, arm curled like a prima ballerina over my head I gave the nod for them to open the gate, the gate flew open and this big bold bull trotted out like a horse at a canter. I was here to ride a bull but dammit man, this was embarrassing! So, he whistled to his sister and pantomimed tossing a dirt clod, and she used her softball pitching eye to boresight a shot that screamed along at major league speed to connect with the bull’s hangie-downs. It was a fine shot that rang his bells and he went from zero to insanely pissed off instantaneously.

First we recall that I weighted about a hundred pounds, I’ll give myself a little credit and guess the bull weighed ten times more than I did, and so when he performed some psychotic bucking-spinning-hyper-twist motion I wound up stretched from the rope that didn’t give a bit, up across his shoulders for a horn to graze my butt cheek as I draped over his face. This irked him and he tossed his head back and I landed sort of on his back and he spun again and I have no idea what I was going, I was spinning and changing directions so many times I couldn’t identify which was my head and which was my ass with any certainty. But after several bounces I felt something large and solid make a firm, make that completely solid impact with my very personal region. Apparently I came around to the side as the bull turned again to charge the fence and his foot was the irresistible force that connected with my very movable objects.

Fortunately they got my hand free at that point, and all of the bone in my body had transformed to over-boiled spaghetti and I was an oozing mass that tried to will myself to flow to the fence and out of this silly place, but that wasn’t to happen. First things first, my boys were expanding at a shocking rate, but lucky me, his dad had this happen to him a few times so he knew what to do. Yes, I said a few times, apparently bull riders aren’t the sharpest axes in the shed. Also working in my favor was the presence of a vet, he was out treating horses and hustled over and between all of them they managed to cut off my jeans and free my poor purple buddies from their crushing confinement.

Ah the memories, his mom looking them over and deciding I needed to see the doctor, riding in the back of a pickup down gravel roads, bare-assed with my head in his sister’s lap and his mom holding a big ice bag over my overstretched minions or mirth. Then the blessed painkillers, the anti-inflammitories and not being able remember any of the procedures that were involved in putting things back into come semblance of order. I do remember waking up back at his house and his mom presenting me a little cup with a lid on it and telling me that in a few days, when I was up to it, I needed to put a sample in the cup and take it in so they could make sure my tadpoles still swam. I think that was a little revenge on her part for suspicions she had about me and her daughter.

Yeah, that’s as good of a place as any to wrap this up, purple parts and a mother’s evil cackle, but if its any comfort to you, gentle reader, everything did return to normal, and I did much better on my second and last ride.

© 2010, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

I was born in the Midwest and grew up in Iowa, Missouri and Texas. I guess you could say I had an eventful childhood, at least it was a helluva lotta fun! I enlisted in the Air Force in 1984 and retired in 2007. I saw a whole bunch of the world and racked up a lot of experiences in the process. Now I'm retired and enjoying life to the fullest!