I often forget that I’m a Westerner by birth. I was born in Colorado, which while not exactly Texas, is certainly West of the Mississip. And as was pointed out to me this week, by the end of residency I will have spent a full decade in West, between Arizona, Utah and Idaho. Add in four years in the Mid-west, and quite a few hours watching Hey Dude, and I’m pretty much a cowboy.
Since I have inadvertently lost my city slicker status, I figured I should go whole hog and visit the rodeo. A couple years back at the Demolition Derby I made up the Redneck Pentathlon. I’d already visited the Demolition and Roller Derbies, so Rodeo was next on my list. I’ve already got takers on my upcoming visits to Monster Truck and NASCAR, so I’ll keep you up to date. In any case, I discovered a group of folk heading to the Payson Rodeo, so I thought I’d seize the day.
I wasn’t completely willing to give up my yuppie cred, so I bought a USB drive on the way to the rodeo. I wanted to make an offering to the urban spirits so they wouldn’t abandon me. But after that, I put on my famous belt buckle and met up with the group.
Turns out the group was all female. Maybe I’ll write a post about ideal ratios at some point, but let me just say that 7:1 is not an ideal ratio. At 7:1 you’re really just a passenger at Girls Night Out. But seeing as Girls Night Out was at the rodeo, it all worked out. I picked the car that agreed not to play country music and we were on our way.
The Payson Rodeo is the oldest continuous rodeo in the US. I’m not entirely sure what that means other, but I know that it doesn’t mean it’s the biggest or the best. Though honestly, I couldn’t tell if it were. I was there for the people watching much more than the rodeo watching. And I wasn’t disappointed. As expected, there were a lot of belt buckles, camo, denim and mullets. But there was also a lot of Abercrombie, which seemed doubly out of place. A lot of the audience was sporting injuries, which I imagine were from their own rodeic exploits, but could have just been from domestic violence.
The whole event was oddly patriotic. I think it was odd to have something be so pro-America, when it was something I didn’t particularly like. But there was a lot of flag waving, military promoting and just general pep rallying. The only thing they talked about more than America was their corporate sponsorship. At least half the words out of the announcers mouths were brand names. Sometimes they were so busy naming companies that they neglected to name contestants.
As for the rodeo itself, honestly it was pretty meh. There were some impressive feats of daring do, but they were pretty few and far between. I imagine if I were more animal-rightsy I would’ve had issue with the concept of the whole thing, but my conscience was minimally bothered. My 7 companions were convinced that there was a loudest fan award, so threw their collective hat into the ring. Sadly, the award was fictitious, but I’m pretty confident they would’ve won it. I don’t think I would’ve.
To complete my trashy weekend, I attended Best Worst Movie. I’d heard about this documentary, and was pretty pumped. My standard rule on documentaries is that the stranger the subject the better. A documentary about a font or an animatronic band is always going to trump one on the Civil War or whales. Best Worst Movie is about Troll 2, considered by many to be the worst movie of all time. And it was awesome. I knew it was going to be awesome when one of the previews before the movie was this:
Turns out this movie theater basically specializes in horrible movies. This made me extremely happy. But it turns out the documentary we were seeing wasn't horrible; it is scored at 95% on Rottentomatoes, while the movie it documents scores a 0%. I laughed more in this documentary than I do in many comedies. And it actually made some very interesting points about movies, about fame, about people and about trolls. I heartily recommend it. I wanted to stay and watch Troll 2 which aired afterwards, but sadly my co-watcher had work the next morning so we had to go. Thankfully, Troll 2 can be found on the internet, and also on Blu Ray. Tempting.