So what do I do, what am I riding? Is it just horses and bulls? Do I have to supply my own? My friend Cheryl said she could loan me a cow but I’d need to borrow a van from my ex, but, honestly, I can get it here in, like, half an hour. You cover mileage, right? Or should I say “mooooolage…” Ha-ha-ha!

By the way, I believe it’s pronounced “ro-DAY-oh.” It’s from the Spanish, meaning “aardvark fun time.” How it got to mean a horse/bull/sometimes-cow event is shrouded in the mitts of time. No, the expression is definitely “mitts of time.” You’re thinking of Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Have you read that?

What’s your name, anyway? Don’t tell me; I bet it’s Tex. You look like a Tex. It’s Steve? No, I’m going to call you Tex.

So, Tex, is there a changing area? I was thinking of wearing my cycling gear for the riding events because of the butt padding, plus it makes my thighs look amazing. Did you know that bicycles also have saddles? We all have so much in common, we humans, if only we could put aside our differences and disgusting habits.

And I’ll be wearing my helmet, obviously, because from the looks of it, some of those animals seem a bit skittish. True, it’s not a cowboy hat per se, but we can call it a cowboy helmet. I can write “cowboy” on the side, if you want. I’m new at this, Tex, so I’m looking to you for guidance and the complimentary participant T-shirt.

Kind of dusty around here, don’t you think?

So how does this work? Do I, like, stand in line if I want to rope something? I’ve been practicing on my cat, and she scratches me only 4 out of 7 times, so I think I’m really, really good. A cat is a lot like cattle because they have half the same letters. You can look it up.

Oh my God, look at that guy over there! He is totally a Tex. He’s Tex now. You’re Zeke.

I hate to complain, Zeke, but do you think they could change the music on the PA? I’m just not so “into” country music. Except Johnny Cash, of course. Do you have “Hurt?”

I like the way you’re walking backwards like that, Zeke. Is that what they call a cowboy walk? In college, I saw a play called Cowboy Mouth. It was written by Sam Shepard and Patti Smith. She was close friends with Robert Mapplethorpe. You know: the one with all the penises? I don’t think there were any actual cowboys in that play. There was a Lobster Man, though. Or was I high…?

Anyway. Do I need my own rope? Should I call Cheryl?

I’m sorry for all the questions, Zeke. This is my first ro-DAY-oh! Last spring I did a Color Run in Colorado and it was awesome! Total euphoric blissfulness! I’m hoping this will be a similar experience except with cow poop. But don’t throw the poop at me, Zeke! Ha-ha-ha!

Oh look, there’s a little calf right now in the ring. Look at the little bugger run! Run, little calf! Now the cowboy is racing it on his horse. This should be close. My money’s on the calf—it got a head start. And now—OH MY GOD HE THREW A ROPE AROUND THE CALF’S NECK THAT’S NOT SAFE AND HE’S VIOLENTLY THROWING IT TO THE GROUND AND JESUS HE TIED UP THREE OF ITS LEGS SO IT CAN’T WALK WHY THREE THAT’S WORSE THAN FOUR WHAT THE HELL KIND OF CRUEL SADISTIC…

So, anyway, I’d like to sign up for something called “steer wrestling”? That sounds like fun. A steer is like a baby goat, right?

Also: can you point me to the gift shop?