my high horse (a Broken World story)
I believe the idea will come from a simple exchange between supporters of rodeos and people who are concerned for the well-being of the animals involved. An exchange of someone with blue hair and someone wearing a cowboy hat. The blue-haired individual carrying a sign that has some very derogatory statements about those who participate in rodeos and those who attend such events. The guy in the cowboy hat, to all outward appearances, about running out of patience.
And then he will.
“Get off your fucking high horse!” he will bellow into the face of the blue-haired animal lover.
And there it was (hold on… switching tense… there, that wasn’t so hard). Light bulbs were going off all over the place. You could hear gears grinding and pieces falling into place. A silent metaphorical cacophony.
“If you must ride horses and bulls and do unpleasant things to them” the thinking went, “at least get them high first. Really high. The good stuff.”
So simple that nary a word was spoken against the idea. Bills flew through Congress and local permits and licenses for rodeos were suddenly handed out like beads at Mardi Gras.
Despite being listed by the ASPCA’s animal poison directory as being toxic to horses, marijuana actually has the same effect on horses as it does on people with blue hair, wearing cowboy hats or attending a Phish concert. Throw in the fact that rodeo riders were now also encouraged to be high during events and suddenly the popularity of rodeos boomed.
Despite, or even because of, the fact that most bulls left the chute (eventually) at a slow walk. Despite, or even because of, the fact that sometimes the rider fell off anyway. When there was even a rider aboard. Sometimes the bull would wander out from the behind the gate riderless, as somewhere in the line at the concession stand someone with a #23 pinned to their chest and wearing chaps kept having the nagging feeling that there was somewhere they needed to be.
And the announcers? All Old West and high as a kite.
Don’t get me started on the rodeo clowns. They were far and away the biggest draw at the rodeo. They would typically find someone in the audience who was trying pot for the first time and spend the rest of the show trying to freak them out. “The guy in the barrel keeps looking at me.”
All as great music poured out of the many speakers surrounding the arena; Neil Young’s “Roll Another Number (for the Road)”, Bob Marley’s “Kaya” and Willie Nelson’s “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” were all staples of the new rodeo. Of course, most of them opened and closed with The Beatles “Got to Get You Into My Life”, a song Paul McCartney wrote as an ode to weed, not a girl.
There were a few rodeo purists who argued that having an entire evening pass where not a single horse or calf is successfully lassoed is not a rodeo. Those people were quickly drowned out by the people who pointed out that until you’ve seen a dozen horses forget to jump and just plow through a series of obstacles, you haven’t lived.
Fun for horses, riders and viewers alike.
Of course, the naysayers would quickly (and indignantly) point out that obstacle jumping wasn’t even one the eight events that made up the old-fashioned rodeo and just the fact that it was wedged in simply because its funny just illustrates the total disrespect being shown to the sport and the countless athletes that gave their blood and sweat to make rodeo an American institution.
These people really need to get on their high horses.
“I’d been a rather straight working-class lad but when we started to get into pot it seemed to me to be quite uplifting. It didn’t seem to have too many side effects like alcohol or some of the other stuff, like pills, which I pretty much kept off. I kind of liked marijuana. I didn’t have a hard time with it and to me it was mind-expanding, literally mind-expanding. So ‘Got to Get You Into My Life’ is really a song about that, it’s not to a person, it’s actually about pot. It’s saying, ‘I’m going to do this. This is not a bad idea.’”
(Now you’ve read the premise of the story, I invite you to go back and look at the picture that accompanied it on the home page. Hysterical.)