What began as a simple, honest way to measure cowboy tactics and skills has gradually evolved into a spectator sport with professional cowboys and cowgirls competing for some rather significant prize money.
So just what is rodeo? What has rodeo become? Where is rodeo headed? And because we have a vested interest, how can we, the residents of the Rim country, help it get there?
To determine the answer to these and other eternal questions related to rodeo, I have created, instituted and executed the...
THE RIM REVIEW'S RODEO SURVEY
I managed to get 17 Rimaroos to participate in my survey, which consisted of 11 questions. To make sure the results were absolutely scientifically accurate, I achieved total demographic balance by using eight males and nine females ranging in age from 15 to 74.
For each of the 11 questions, I first offer you the most normal answer followed by the most abnormal ones. I'm not sure what the survey says about rodeo, but I do know it proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the Rim country is home to far more abnormal people than normal people.
1. What is a rodeo?
"A competition among people skilled in roping and riding."
"A place where people with funny hats ride on horsies and things, and the cows go 'moo' when the men with the funny hats put the ropes on them."
"An event where the mentally challenged gather for primordial forms of entertainment."
"Cowboys showing how they tie cows up..."
"That place in Beverly Hills where you buy diamonds and furs."
2. What are some of the events in a rodeo?
"Bull riding, steer wrestling, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing, calf roping, team roping."
"Horsie riding. Moo-moo catching."
"Dung scooping, animal beating, back breaking, tobacco spitting, bleacher sitting."
"Synchronized dipping and molecular diffusion."
"Calf torture and imprisonment, horse slavery."
3. What events would you like to see added to rodeos?
"More bullriding, more women's events, and locals getting a go at it."
"More dangerous events."
"Horse beauty contest."
4. How do they keep score in a rodeo?
"Time, perfection, stamina. They use a stopwatch and points."
"They count the number of cowmen who fall off the cows..."
"No idea, but I'm willing to learn."
"They give cow chips to the winner of each event and the person with the most crap wins."
"I've never been able to figure it out."
5. How would you like to see score kept in a rodeo?
"Have the clowns keep score."
"By how cool it looks to the audience."
"I'm not sure what this question means."
"Use those speed detectors that the police use."
6. How can rodeos be made more fair to the cows?
"The animals only work several minutes through any show, and are well cared for."
"Attach laser beams to the heads of the cows."
"Participants should have to make friends with the cows and spend one night with them."
"I'm not sure that cows are used in rodeos, but if they are they shouldn't be."
"They have cows in a rodeo?"
"Give them a head start out the back gate."
"Let them rope the cowboys."
7. What changes should be made to rodeo to modernize it?
"Very little. This isn't supposed to be a modern sport."
"Give rides to the highest bidder."
"Get better announcers."
"Use mechanical cowboys."
"Give steroids to the bulls."
8. This is cowboy country, and rodeo is an important part of our cowboy heritage. Have you ever been to a rodeo in Payson?
UNABLE TO GIVE A STRAIGHT ANSWER: 3
"Yes, I'm on the rodeo committee."
"We have a rodeo?"
"Not really, because I don't want to accept the fact that I am in cowboy country."
9. Are you planning to attend the Spring Rodeo?
UNABLE TO GIVE A STRAIGHT ANSWER: 2
"Yes, I enjoy the bull riding and will be selling tickets at the main gate."
"I am not because I don't like to witness old people breaking bits and pieces of their bodies."
"No, because anybody reading the answers to my questions would rope me."
10. What is your favorite part of rodeo?
"When they ride by with the flags, and the clowns."
"The end, when I get to go home."
"The extra biz the town gets."
And now for the Best of Show Awards:
BEST SURVEY ANSWER: "I'm not sure what this question means."
MOST HONEST SURVEY ANSWER: "The beer."
MOST ABNORMAL SURVEY ANSWER: "Synchronized dipping and molecular diffusion."
MOST BEYOND ABNORMAL SURVEY ANSWER: "Nekkid cows."
So now you know the whole truth about rodeo.
As a friend of mine once put it with an absolutely straight face, "I've never been to the Spring Rodeo, but once I went to the World's Longest Continuous Rodeo."