Yesterday was a medley of firsts for me.
First time I’ve ever ridden a Houston city bus.
First time I’ve ever been in Reliant Stadium, home to the Houston Texans.
First time in the approximately twenty-five years I’ve been living in this city that I’ve made it to the Houston Rodeo.
Turns out, I’m not much of a rodeo girl. Apparently the Houston Rodeo is the biggest rodeo in the country and the biggest carnival in the state of Texas. And my husband got us tickets during Spring Break, on Family Value Day, so the place was crawling with people. Basically, I felt like the carnival part of things was a tawdry, disorganized DisneyWorld. The Hall of Mirrors took my kids about five seconds to work their way through and when they emerged at the exit, they couldn’t help looking around, befuddled, wondering when they got to the good part.
As for the rodeo part, it felt like the whole thing was tainted with animal cruelty. Although…I have to admit, I did enjoy watching the Mutton Busters: helmeted five and six-year-olds that latched themselves like ticks onto the backs of sheep and held on until they either slid off or the sheep stopped running out of sheer exasperation. Once released from the child’s clutches, the sheep hurried over to his buds on the opposite end of the little corral for some much-needed moral support.
And as I am still in the early stages of my new book, I’m throwing character names around on the page and in my mind. So I was very interested in the list of rodeo competitors…Tyler, Cory, Wes, Wyatt…even a Taos. But my favorite, by far, was Howdy Cloud. That just sounds so happy. Sadly, it’s not quite right for my purposes.
I can comfortably say that I could go another twenty-five years before visiting the rodeo again.