SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS, SOMEWHEN IN THE SEVENTIES
“I remember my first rodeo. What an exciting day: my daddy took me and I rode a little sheep and stayed on the whole time. I was 26 years old and 6’3”. Plus, I wrapped my mutant legs all the way ’round that sheep two or three times.
“I could still be on him today, if it was of my choosing.
“So, when Big Bucktoothed Pete and Skippy Joe came by and asked me to invest in a rodeo, well: my checkbook was open. And it’s one of those old-fashioned rich-guy checkbooks with the leather case and the real long checks, because I’m Roy Head. Yes, that Roy Head.
“You should have heard of me.
“Big Bucktoothed Pete rented the land and Skippy Joe built the stands and the gates and the chutes and then a small medical building next door. Skippy Joe took amphetamines and built stuff, man. Guy’s drug addiction was useful: bought him an eight-ball one weekend and by Monday morning, the Mrs. was soapin’ up real good in her new steam shower. He also built a treehouse for the kids.
“It should not surprise you that Skippy Joe is dead.
“Me? Well, I threw some bucking broncos in my robin’s egg blue Lincoln Continental and hit that open highway to the show. First of all, that says a lot about the roominess and comfort that one can only find in a Lincoln Continental: Roy Head only drives cars Presidents done died in. Second of all, I did crash that robin’s egg blue Lincoln Continental, killing all them broncos.
“Horses scream just the same way men do.
“Now, I will admit freely to carousing with these broncos before we got in the car to head down to the rodeo: Roy Head ain’t never told no lie, ‘specially when it comes to carousing. All’s I need is a strong drink and a dumb woman and I’m happy. So I will state before the Lord and y’all today that them horses and I were having a party and drinking Triple Crowns. That concoction is two parts whiskey, one part carrot juice, one part oats; then a midget jumps on your back and rides you around in a circle.
“I should have let one of the broncos drive.
“Their deaths are on my conscience! I hear their hoofbeats behind me, stalking me, running me down to Hell! They shall bear my soul down to the netherworld, I have seen it and plus a gypsy woman once agreed with me when I told her the story! The world shall remember my freakish flubber-legs, but the horses will remember a monster!”
“Sir, you’re going to have to leave the petting zoo.”
“DON’T MAKE ME LEAVE THE RODEO, DADDY HEAD!”
“You’re scaring the children and goats, sir.”