PBR: Steers and Queers at the Casino

We get up close and personal with Wiley Petersen('s carboard cutout).

Every once in awhile the PrissyBitch likes to go slumming and she always drags me along for protection. But I was quite surprised when she suggested I accompany her to a…get thisProfessional Bull Riding (PBR) competition at Mohegan Sun. She must have found a particularly kicky combination of Valium, gin, and Ticketmaster last week. (PrissyBitch is always looking for a good excuse to wear her “cowgirl costume” so that might have something to do with her sudden interest in livestock.) Since I love nothing more than to watch her say things like “Yee-haw!” and try to choke down cheap beer, I agreed to go with her as long as we could pay for the cheap seats and sneak up to the front (my idea of civil disobedience at an event my militant side might normally try to protest).

So, Friday night we headed up to Mohegan Sun and arrived fashionably late so we didn’t have to wait in line for our beer and nachos, listen to the national anthem, or mix with the unwashed masses. We made the enormously fat people with bad hair in our row stand up to let us into our $10 seats, and then commenced mixing with regular people: by which I mean, we pounded a few Budweisers in plastic bottles, ate cheese-product on overly salty chips, and started cursing up a storm.

Our foul language was mostly aimed at the gayest rodeo clown in the history of man. He didn’t run around shaking his butt at bulls so much as he performed elaborate dance numbers to R&B songs, and Vanilla Ice. At some point, he was even so bold as to tell us all about how he had degrees in history and math, and had once been a teacher. When we weren’t busy complaining about him, we were getting worked up about the music choices. Somehow, we just didn’t think Beyonce was appropriate for a rodeo.

Eventually we left our seats to pee and find more beer. We were very confused to find a mass exodus from the arena upon our return. It was over.

We headed down to the ring where we decided to try and get autographs from people we knew nothing about and who regularly get their testicles stepped on by cattle. Along the way, we met a Rodeo Groupie. She told us we should get our picture with Randy. I said, “Who the hell is Randy?” Apparently, he’s the CEO of PBR. She then gave us the low-down on every bull rider, completely destroying the ignorance that would have allowed me to happily make out with married men for the PrissyBitch’s vicarious thrills. She then pointed out the Brazilian her friends hooked up with last year, and another one she’d hooked up with at some point. (A disturbing number of these guys are Brazilian, and therefore there were a lot of very energetic people in the audience screaming in Portuguese and literally wrapping themselves in Brazilian flags.)

McKennon Adorable Wimberly

McKennon "Adorable" Wimberly

After we’d managed to get a few signatures, and all the information we could handle from the Rodeo Groupie we headed out into the casino. As usual, my eagle eyes came in handy when I spotted a row of cowboy hats and a Brazilian sitting at the bar in the Summer Shack. We pulled up a chair next to them at the bar, ordered some food and drinks, and waited for the right moment to pounce–which was, oddly, when we both found ourselves horrified at a video on the news of a stroller falling onto train tracks with a baby in it. The gentleman beside me kindly informed me that the baby in the stroller was fine, and we made fast friends with the adorable, 21-year-old, McKennon Wimberly of Cool, TX.

Say what you will about random towns in the middle-of-nowhere, but they know how to grow cute, well-mannered gentlemen, who are completely willing to answer all of our dumb ass questions. For instance, he told us that he got into riding bulls because he grew up riding with his father. He also told us the rodeo clown is on crack, that they play pop music (instead of the Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson we were hoping for) because that kind of thing gets boring to the crowd, and he even explained the helmets. You see, we noticed that some of the riders were wearing helmets instead of cowboy hats, which prompted us to repeatedly call them derogatory names and question their manhood. So, when we got the chance to chat with one of them we started asking questions and realized that we had once again rushed to judgment. This was more or less how the conversation went:

Us: “What the f*ck’s with the helmets?”

McKennon: “We get kicked in the face a lot. We can either wear the helmet, or wear a cowboy hat and end up with one lopsided eye.”

Us: “But how does a helmet help protect your face?”

McKennon: “There’s a titanium mask on it.”

Us: “Really?”

McKennon: “Yeah, what’d you think we were just wearing bike helmets?”

Us: “Pretty much.”

McKennon: “Nah.  You see this face? I don’t wanna risk this.”

Us: “Fair enough.”

In the end we decided to fully support the helmet. I mean, look at his face and look at that bull. It would be a damn shame if he ended up with a lopsided eye.

Once we’d decided a brief but tumultuous affair with me would inevitably ruin poor, sweet McKennon’s life (and that his parents would HATE me) we paid our bill, got back in the car, and returned to Fairfield County, land of luxury SUVs and argyle–leaving behind the smell of bull shit and leather forever.

But if we’re ever passing through Cool, TX you better watch out!