After counting the days and holding my breath, the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo has finally arrived. Four days of wanna-be cowboys, people from out of town and country music. What could be better, huh?
Normally I would rush for the safe haven known as my parents' house, waiting out the rodeo hustle-and-bustle in the comfort of their swimming pool. But this year will be different. Instead of dreading the rodeo, I want to embrace it. That's right, I want to become Mr. Rodeo.
But before I can go to the rodeo, I have to dress the part. I was told that my normal attire of khaki shorts and flip flops wasn't appropriate for the rodeo. So I had to ask a few friends for some advice on the proper attire.
The first thing I was told was to get a pair of jeans. Of course, not any pair of jeans will do. The jeans have to be Wranglers, preferably in a dark color. If I really want to look like Mr. Rodeo, I was told the jeans need to be tight. Apparently wanna-be cowgirls like seeing their men in snug Wranglers.
Next comes the shirt. While I like a nice polo shirt, I was told that wasn't going to make me Mr. Rodeo. In order to become Mr. Rodeo I need a snap-up long-sleeve shirt. The shirt must have two breast pockets and be tight. Here we go again with things being tight. You would think cowboys would wear loose-fitting shirts with all of the throwing ropes and getting thrown off bulls. Then I was told the shirt needs to ironed and have no wrinkles. Obviously being Mr. Rodeo will be harder than I thought.
Once I have my shirt and jeans I was told to get some cowboy boots. As I said earlier, I prefer flip flops to any other shoes, so wearing cowboy boots is a big leap. But picking cowboy boots is hard because there are a hundred different kinds. Of course, I knew I didn't want a pair of snake skin boots. I can just see me walking out in the yard with a pair of snake skin boots, ticking off all the neighborhood snakes. Next thing you know I have a yard full of angry snakes ready to turn me into their human-skin bandannas. No thank you. A pair of plain-jane boots will be fine.
Once I buy the boots, I was told I need to buy a belt to match. Why I need a belt I don't know since my pants are so tight it takes me an hour to get in them, but that is why I ask for advice. Keep in mind, I have belts. As a matter of fact I have a brown belt and a black belt, but neither of these are belts Mr. Rodeo would wear. No, Mr. Rodeo would wear a thick leather belt with Mr. Rodeo stitched in the back. That way when the cowgirls are checking out my tight jeans from behind, they'll know who I am.
But the belt isn't enough. To draw attention to the belt and to myself, I was told I needed a silver belt buckle, the size of Texas. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit. The buckle only needs to be the size of Rhode Island. On this belt buckle should be something cool, like my initials or a bull rider trying to stay on a bull. I want a belt buckle with "Does this belt make me look fat?" designed on it
The highlight of any outfit for Mr. Rodeo is the cowboy hat. Typically I prefer a fitted ball cap but the only time guys really get to dress up is at Halloween and rodeo, so what the heck. Everything was fine until I tried on that first hat. It looked like somebody got a traffic cone, painted it white and gave it to me to wear as a hat. It looked ridiculous. As a matter of fact, I looked ridiculous.
I guess trying to transform myself into Mr. Rodeo is
n't the best of ideas. Just because I live in Sikeston doesn't make it necessary that I like the rodeo. Besides, as everyone else is swatting mosquitoes, watching cowboys getting saved by clowns, I'll be swatting mosquitoes while staying cool in my parents' pool. Ahh, I love rodeo.