High on the hog at Houston Rodeo

ZZ Top
Originally uploaded by JaseMan.
I bought Dad a grown-up type birthday present after years of buying him dress socks, JC Penny underwear (it has to be from JC Penny) or sometimes nothing more than a card. We saw ZZ Top last night at the finale of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.

This wasn't my first Houston Rodeo, but Dad's a rodeo nut so this was the first time that I have ever checked out everything the rodeo has to offer. We started with sausage on a stick for breakfast and washed it down with Diet Coke. Mmmm good. I think meat on a stick is the national food of Texas. Fortunately the Livestock Show was only fifty yards and a bathroom break away.

The Livestock Show part of the rodeo kicks butt. You wanna watch little kids wrangle large mammals or birds? Gotcha covered. You need bridles for your horse, bride or child? Gotcha covered. Need a little something special for that little someone special? Yep, gotcha covered. How about a horse trailer slash apartment? Duh.

I was floored by the amount of gear being peddled at the event. I thought country folks were broke? That's what they say in the songs anyway. Must not be since many of the fancy horse and cuddle trailers were sold - some to the tune of $116,000. Esscuse me?

We slid by the Corral Club for a steak dinner prior to checking out the carnival. The steak was well seasoned, but well done; I like mine to moo. The beer was free and cold as was the AC inside the tent. I thought about keeping one of the free programs, but it had more ads than the middle of the newspaper and weighed at least five pounds.

The carnival is always a spectacle of great proportions, but show me a carnival that isn't a spectacle and I'll buy you the Midland Tridge. Kids were haul assing around singing a chorus of "I want this" while teenagers strutted around with their jeans hanging down off their knees looking miserable as hell but not wanting to go home. Put your fucking ball cap on straight already. You know when wearing your baseball cap all cocked up to one side was cool? Right after you won the lottery.

Mullet? Check
Originally uploaded by JaseMan.
Lines started building at the gates about an hour before the rodeo was set to start. I love waiting in line but only at the rodeo. I'm not kidding. The people watching is stellar, particularly if you're at the back of the line. You have the best excuse to check out the 1,500 folks in line in front of you, which is the perfect time to find great mullets in the crowd. I love me some mullets.

Extreme Bull Riding finals were on Sunday. Those kids are nuts. 2,200 pounds of bull versus 155 pounds of teenager. The bulls usually won, but those riders are fearless. I expected the guys to pack it up after one of their buddies took some horns to the back and face (he looked pretty OK for having just kissed a bull head-on at 20 mph), but they kept standing there and waiting their turn. What the?

In the chute
Originally uploaded by JaseMan.
The kid that won looked to be 20 at most. I've got socks older than him, but me and my socks didn't take home ~$16,000 for two eight second rides. He deserved it. The bulls he drew were tough. It looked like he was strapped to the top of a piece of popcorn that weighed a ton and smelled like bullshit. I hope his wife is a chiropractor.

ZZ Top took the stage just after six o'clock and blasted Ring of Fire to the 60,000+ folks in the crowd. The old kids can still rock their hometown crowd 38 years after they started. The set list was stacked with fan favorites: Cheap Sunglasses, Pearl Necklace, I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide, Legs, Sharp Dressed Man, Tush, La Grange, Just Got Paid. I'm pretty sure the show closed with Viva Las Vegas, but it may have been Tush. I was too distracted by the drunk lady in front of me who looked like she was about to fall into the dirt while she was chair dancing. NOA would eat her lunch on the Pro Chair Dancing tour.

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