When I was a young boy living in Iowa I would occasionally go horseback riding. Let’s face it, there’s not much else to do when you live in Iowa outside of playing hide n go seek n go wait for police helicopters to spot you in the 300 acre cornfield 18 hours later. I have a lot of fond memories attached to Iowa and riding horses so yesterday when I was driving along without much to do and I noticed a small sign outside a farm offering horseback riding I slammed on the brakes and decided to take a holistic view of the rest of the afternoon and check things out. Winding down the small road I noticed the requisite amount of dirt flying up and just enough of a large-animals-taking-a-crap odor in the air to certify that I was in fact heading towards a horse farm. None other than the lovely couple from the American Gothic painting came out to greet me and before I knew it I was being led to the stables. There was a quick discussion of finances but the number given seemed reasonable for an hour-long ride and soon I was presented with a long hallway with horse heads sticking out on each side. Apparently I was to choose my trusty steed at this point. First let me point out that when I woke up this morning riding a horse was not on the menu. When I set off in my car on errands I had not dressed with the idea that I would soon be throwing one leg over an enormous animal where I would spend the next hour riding said animal. I thought about explaining this to Nan Wood and her dentist father (inside American Gothic comment you’re not cultured enough to get it, don’t worry about it) but even if I wasn’t planning on going horseback riding I still couldn’t explain why I had chosen to wear corduroy pants in the first place. Corduroy IS coming back, snicker if you must, and when it does it will probably return in beige. Anyway, I went into the stalls a little apprehensive that perhaps I should have chosen another day for horseback riding.
It was too late for that now. Money had changed hands and a saddle was being readied for my adventure! Now it was up to me to decide which horse to go out on. I was asked about my experience with horses and I gave a small laugh, a casual wave of the hand and I let it be known, in a way that only a dumb male can do, that I had spent plenty of time on a horse. Of course, that was when I was 11 but I figured that was a detail that was completely irrelevant. I was quickly led past the stalls of Slacker and Mr. Happy and within a few seconds I was looking up at a magnificent animal named Thunder. This wasn’t a normal horse. This was a cross between a Clydesdale and a something out of Jurassic Park. Thunder obviously was working with at least 2.5 horsepower. Now any sane man would explain that it had been quite a while since his last ride and opted for a more reasonable mount but in a demonstration of typical male behavior I took this as a challenge to my manhood and immediately agreed that this was the horse I wanted. The earth literally shook as he was led out of his stable and outside to be saddled up. His shadow cast across me, down the driveway and over the nearby two-story house. This was a fucking huge horse. Now another thing that you as the reader of this should know is I am entirely unjockeylike in build. Whereas they are compact, I am gangly. It is fair to say that once I was atop the horseasaurus my head was in geosynchronous orbit over my ass. My center of gravity was about 3 feet higher than it should have been.
“He knows the trail” I was assured as they pointed towards the end of the driveway. It became clear that it was now show time, no one would be accompanying Thunder and I on our little jaunt. Once the two Grant Wood figures (again with the American Gothic references!) started back to the barn the real panic set in. It had been awhile since I felt real, honest to goodness panic but it all came rushing back as Thunder left the driveway and started down the trail. “He knows the trail” but it quickly apparent that he had little interest in following it on this afternoon. There were some other sights that Thunder wanted to see and he was going to see them despite any pulling on reins or kicking of flanks by me. Whereas in my fond memories of riding as a child the slightest tug on the reins would have my steed obediently going in that direction, Thunder wasn’t even aware of my tugs considering his neck was about 3 feet of solid muscle. Finally after walking off through a field for 10 minutes Thunder decided on a quick snack and stopped in someone’s backyard to start in on their shrubbery.
I was in full-on pleading mode when I first saw it. At first I thought it was a hummingbird but then I saw it was a fly. A HUGE fly. My enormous powers of reason kicked in and told me that this must be one of those legendary insects called a horsefly. I was unaware, enormous powers of reasons aside, that horseflies actually ate horses. This fucking thing landed and the next thing I know Thunder lets out a whinny and this big fly has taken a chunk out of my horse! Thunder takes this rather poorly and starts galloping off across this stranger’s lawn. I later learn that a swarm of horseflies can pick a horse clean in under 5 minutes. The piranha of the farm they are called! Well, it takes 3 houses and 2 ex-picket fences before Thunder regains his composure. He’s obviously a little uncomfortable with the fact I saw what a wimp he was and he keeps looking back at me as if to ask if intend to keep this incident to myself. Finally I have some leverage on this giant fuckwad! I give the reigns a little tug and Thunder sheepishly obeys. Now we’re talking! As if to say that I am in fact a fair master I lead ol’ Thunder (ol’ showing how close Thunder and I have gotten) to an above-ground pool to get a quick drink. I look back and greet the face peering at me through the kitchen window with a quick smile. I imagine myself looking pretty damn much like some macho cowboy (do people say macho anymore?) and the woman, and proud owner of said above-ground pool, can only watch slackjawed as I let my new friend drink his fill. Suddenly my eyes catch a little movement behind me and what do I see? The same fucking horsefly landing on the ass of my horse. In retrospect this is where I probably made the key mistake of the afternoon. Thinking that Thunder would really appreciate it if I killed this horsefly for him so he wouldn’t get bitten again I presumed that he would understand if this involved a little slap on the ass. The problem was that I was a little too jacked up in my swing and, more importantly, I cupped my hand in a weird fashion that ended up making my slap on his hindquarters sound remarkably like a gunshot.
“This guy just shot me in the fucking ass!” ol’ Thunder must have thought to himself. Instead of simply rearing up and throwing me comically intro the pool or some such lighthearted nonsense, the horse freaks out and runs through the above ground pool! Who the fuck runs through a pool?! The thing rips and a torrent of water goes rushing towards the house and the slackjawed resident inside. I know that a moron sitting helplessly on a galloping horse is all very whimsical in the movies but let me assure you in real life it sucks ass. I would have shit my pants had I not have been preoccupied with slamming myself up and down on my own testicals again and again as he tore ass through a suburban development and back into the pseudo-wilderness. After about 100 yards I remembered to stand up in the stirrups to avoid getting racked by the saddle but by that time my penis, balls and sack were all one enormous swollen throbbing purple paste. Why couldn’t I have been simply thrown off like Christopher Reeves? The ride back to the farm from there was a blur. The next thing I know Thunder (note the lack of ol’ proceeding his name) has made it back home and was headed to his stable. Well, a stable. In retrospect this is where I probably made the bigger of the 2 key mistakes of the afternoon. Being in the agony I was in I wasn’t paying much attention to his destination and before I knew it he was in the stall of another horse… with that horse presently occupying it. I’m sure there was a sweet and tender background story between these 2 horses involving flirting and sharing of oats and stuff but I soon found out that when a male horse feels that a relationship has reached a certain point with a female horse he will help himself. Next thing I know I’m mounted on a horse that has mounted another horse. I can’t even begin to soak in the feelings of being in an equine ménage a trios because when ol’ Thunder (the ol’ being purely sarcastic at this point) reared up to mount his four-legged friend he once again drove the saddle cleanly into what remained of my junk.
I’ll try to wrap this up because I’m certain some of you are starting not to believe this. I understand completely, especially when I tell you that in retrospect this is where I probably made the monster mistake of the afternoon. Attracted by the ruckus, and don’t fool yourself, this was a full blown ruckus, the 2 elderly caretakers hurried back into the barn, their faces the picture of concern. What greeted them was your storyteller sitting atop a horse fucking another horse while clutching himself and screaming “ooooh my balls!”
It took the arresting officers some time figure out exactly they were charging me with but I thought I’d explain my side of this story before it undoubtedly hits the papers. Doctors were able to save one of my testicals but it will be forever carried, due to the heavy scarring, in a sack that appears to be made of corduroy. How macho is that? El corduroy sacko es muey machol!