ever tell you about the time me and Three Finger Charley were
on the National Rodeo senior circuit? Well Charley and me
were at the Cow Palace in San Francisco to ride in the saddle
bronc finals. We were down in the bowels of the stadium along
with the bull riders and the buckle bunnies a getting into
our riding duds. Now Ol Charley who ain't on today's riding
schedule is a rummaging around some dusty old shelves a looking
for some "free" souvenirs. I'm a sitting on the
floor with my bare feet a resting on my saddle eyeing them
size 11 white buckaroo boots that have to go on my size 12
feet. Suddenly Ol Charley lets out a whoop and a comes a running
over with a big grin on his semi-toothless face. "What
you find Charley," I ask? He proudly sticks out, firmly
clasped between three fingers and a thumb, an old dusty quart
bottle of Sanfords #291 Royal Blue ink. Now even I got pretty
excited about that so I commenced to sort of trying to take
it away from Ol Charley. Well folks we dropped it, yes siree.
right square on my foot and smashed itself to smithereens.
I seen tears run down Charlie's face. I could also see that
one of my custom deluxe tall top white buckaroo boots was
a turning Royal Blue. "Lookee their you old weather beaten
sun dried coot, you done turned my riding boot blue"
I hollered at Charley. He kinda smiled and said, "That's
OK cause now it matches your foot." I looked down and
sure enough my foot was turning dark blue, as in smashed,
and was growing in size pretty dang fast. I knew I was a going
to have trouble getting my size 12 feet in them size 11 boots
to start with let alone with one foot the size of a cow patty.
got on one boot and stuck a white tennis shoe on my banged
up hoof. I just grabbed a roll of 100 mile an hour duct tape
and affixed my big Mexican spur to that tennis shoe and figured
nobody would notice. I grabbed my saddle and headed to the
chutes, time to ride one for Texas. I had drawn a little sorry
sighted sorrel horse named Bullet. This little creature was
all skin and bones with ugly pig eyes and a flea bitten tail
that looked like a well used dust mop. This sorry excuse of
a living creature reminded me of one of those measly carnival
pony's the kids ride. Little did I know. I climbed up the
chute, threw my saddle on that miniature horse and climbed
was a running pretty slow in the ring with all those old timers
so I figured I had some time to kill before I was called out
to win my championship bronc busting rodeo buckle. I whipped
out my copy of Modern Maturity magazine and proceeded to do
the crossword puzzle a using my 1927 Sailor Red Dot Lifetime
Japanese fountain pen with the extra fine needle point nib.
I was particularly fond of the Bexley Lapis Blue ink I was
a using. Let's see, what's a three letter word for writing
instrument? HMmmmm? Suddenly I hear the announcer holler,
"Ladieeeeeeeeeeeeees and Gentlemen, number 51, coming
out of chute two wearing one boot and a tennis shoe."
Hearing that caused my head to jerk up. The cowboy on the
rope thinking that I had given him the go ahead flung that
gate wide open. Ol Bullet seeing his opportunity to escape
came out of there like a Hot Rod Lincoln. Suddenly I knew
why he was named Bullet.
really disconcerted me (you learn words like disconcerted
doing the Modern Maturity magazine crossword puzzle), I mean
really disconcerted me was the fact that my saddle seemed
to be slipping. OH MY LORD! I had failed to fasten the cinch,
that little strap that keeps everything affixed to the horse.
Now Ol Bullet was a shooting around that arena in high gear.
He was a bucking about every third step and I was a holding
the reins in one hand and my Sailor Red Dot Lifetime pen in
my outstretched hand like I was a waving to the crowd. I could
see little drops of Bexley Lapis Blue ink squirt from that
extra fine needlepoint nib every time we hit the ground. Suddenly
Bullet senses that I ain't exactly glued to his back and we
both knew what was coming. Bullet brakes, he sticks them little
horny cracked hooves square into the dirt, tosses his bug
bitten raunchy rear end to the lights and launches me and
the saddle towards the fourth row of the upper deck. I knew
this landing was not going to be pretty. Well as I proceeded
on my space journey, about 15 feet above the ground, a firmly
gripping that saddle with my knees, I spied it.
it was, right there in my landing zone. A big red fiberglass
rodeo barrel a laying on its side with that little eye hole
in the middle a staring right straight back at me. For the
second time that day I knew exactly what was about to happen.
I was also beginning to wonder what to do with that Sailor
Red Dot Lifetime pen with the extra fine needlepoint nib that
I was a still holding out there in the air. Little did I recognize
that I was about to discover one of them "Laws of Physics."
WHAM!!!! Me and that saddle impacted right square on top of
that red fiberglass rodeo barrel and all downward motion ceased,
instantly. All that is except for my right arm a stuck straight
out to my side a gripping that Sailor Red Dot Lifetime pen
in a perfect Palmer method grip.
arm proceeded to whip down at the speed of light and flung
that Sailor pen right straight through that little eye hole
in the side of that barrel faster than you can throw a dart
in an Irish pub. I knew that nib was a going to have to be
Mottishawed. Suddenly I hear a scream, a scream that eclipsed
all of the hooting and hollering of the crowd. That scream
was a painful wail of agony, sort of the sound you make when
a thousand pound horse steps on your foot. Awful sound.
some psychedelic creature came shooting out of that barrel.
Whatever it was it was a wearing more colors that a Carter's
Ink poster. It had on a Sherwood Green jacket, a yellow shirt,
a Tangerine Dream tie, a Cincinnati Reds baseball cap, Orange
Crush pants, a Fiesta Red tomato stuck on its nose, Plum floppy
shoes, and Florida Blue socks with little Hot Pink bunnies.
Bunnies? Oh my gosh, it's Rabbit the Rodeo Clown!!!!!!
he was, in the middle of the arena, with 15,000 people watching,
a hopping around and a jumping up and down cause stuck in
his right flank was my Sailor Red Dot Lifetime fountain pen.
I kinda smiled, Bullet kinda curled one lip and sneered, the
judges clapped, the crowd cheered. Rabbit the Rodeo Clown
just kept a hopping and a flapping at his rear trying to get
that hypodermic nib unstuck from his seat. Well eventually
he did. However, that injection of Bexley Lapis Blue ink was
going to be with him a long time.
to say me and Charley didn't win any big silver belt buckle
the size of a 1957 Chevy hubcap that year. However, every
once in awhile the bride of Rabbit the Rodeo Clown will say,
"Tell me Rabbit, just how did you come by that blue butterfly
tattoo on your right flank?" Rabbit the Rodeo Clown just
kinda smiles and says, "I have no O-Pen-Yen on that!"
cinch tight and don't squat on your spurs buckaroos and buckarettes.
© Will Thorpe 2001. All rights reserved. No part of this
article may be reprinted in any form without permission of
the author except for brief editorial quotes.