April 4, 2011

Just a Load of Bull

I admit, I often have terribly preconceived ideas about things. I'm old enough to have thought a lot of thoughts about a lot of things, and if you say a word to me, I am likely to immediately tell you my thoughts. On that word.

Twice now, I have had instant ideas about what a certain place would be like, and twice now I have been proven wrong. The first one was Dawson City, Yukon. I thought it would be campy and fake and it was awesome and fun. A little campy to be sure, but that's what made it so awesome. In Dawson City, I played pool on a pool table that looked like someone had been murdered on it. Actually, it also looked like someone might have had sex on it, but in Dawson City, you kinda want to go with the murder scene. The ick factor is a little less. Tells you everything you need to know about Dawson City. It's where I also learned to only order a beer in a bottle. I mistakenly had a gin that I think was lighter fluid.

Anyway....I had similar ideas about Key West. It would have to be a corny tourist trap, right? Oh my, no. I love Key West. Touristy, yes. But remarkable and lovely and crazy. I was down there with Kia last week - driving some terrific Optima Turbos - and spent one night in South Beach, and the next in Key West. South Beach had some...interesting...people watching. But after spending 40 bucks for a really big bad daiquiri thing, the best part was trudging back to the hotel on the beach. Totally dark, the tide coming in, I cranked up my jeans and waded through the surf. Fabulous. I also made a sand angel, and then took all that sand back to my room. I forgot that sand gets everywhere, especially when you lie down and thrash around in it.

But on to Key West...my favourite part of Key West was before the sun came up. I snuck out early and drove around in the quiet and dark. It was just....lovely. Roosters and chickens running around, and me worried about running them over and pulling over. I watched the sun come up; no small feat considering I'd gotten to bed at 2:30am.

Back in Miami, I'd made the mistake of telling some colleagues that I'd always wanted to ride a mechanical bull. I babble. One of them, Brad Horn, piped up. "There's a mechanical bull at a bar in Key West! We'll all go! You can do it!" I nodded that this would be great. Sure. After a day spent at Homestead Raceway in Miami, I figured everyone was as tired as I was. The cocktails and dinner that night on the boardwalk of Key West were really nice. And calm. And as it drew to a close and I reached for my room key, a group of 20 or so announced we would be walking up Duval Street - to hit the bars.

I don't hit bars, much. I'm past it. But my blathering about riding a bull had not been lost in the tide, as I'd hoped. I was ordered upstairs to change from my rather lovely dress and back into jeans. And off we went. I will note at this point that Brad Horn knows the words to every Johnny Cash song ever recorded.

Key West is very cool, and very relaxed. You can just trundle along from bar to bar, wandering in and out holding a traveler. They don't get crazy if you're holding a beer from another bar; they realize you are likely to buy another one from them. The music was insanely good, and we walked along, popping in and out as the music drew us in. And then I heard the announcement I'd been fearing. "There's the bull!"

Yeah. I rode the bull. We watched for an hour or more, as one person after another was tossed into the pads. It didn't look painful to fall, but it did look humiliating. There is no graceful way to have your arse over your head, and these people were half my age with far better arses. A colleague who shall remain nameless (Michael Bettencourt) promised me that if I went, he would go. So, I went. I reminded myself of two things: I'd always wanted to do this, and I didn't know anyone here. What's to lose?

8 seconds. You have to last 8 seconds to 'win'. I lasted 8 seconds. Bettencourt never went. I shall remember this, Michael.

A few hours later in the shower (remember, I had that 6am call), I discovered bruises in some very odd places. I'd been so determined not to be flung off, I hadn't realized how hard I'd dug into that bull. Fake bull. Whatever. Thank you, Key West.

There is video, which I don't have. Yet. If I get it, I'll post it.

In the meantime, I have a physical tomorrow. I think I'm gonna have some explaining to do.

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Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Optima turbo.

Hmmm. I've seen one on an ad. I lusted after it immediately e'en though I know nothing about it. Now that I know there's a turbo I may have to launch an all-out love affair. I'm assuming you'll be reviewing it in a future Wheels article.

Congrats on the 8 seconds. Good thing I wasn't there. I've always wanted to try and I am positive I would have embarrassed myself horribly. Grown men aren't supposed to cry.

"councel" is my word. Something you probably could have used at 2 am.

April 04, 2011 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Roz said...

When I read Chris Brown's comment, I missed the subject line. I thought he was talking about lusting after the mechanical bull.


April 05, 2011 10:31 AM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

A love affair with a turbo mechanical bull. You are obviously confusing me with "that other" Chris Brown. Bruises for everyone!!!

April 05, 2011 11:11 AM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Love affairs with turbo mechanical bulls? sounds like a Judas Priest video.
So you made sand angels and discovered sand gets everywhere and lasted 8 seconds on a mechanical bull (congratulations) Are you still walking funny?

April 05, 2011 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope that you got the sand out before riding the bull! I guess the "poor sod" will have some splaining to do after the doc gets a peek at the bruises.

My word is prostr. I'll let the usual commentators take it from here.

April 05, 2011 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Roz said...

Why don't you tell them the Barbados bathroom sand story Rainey.

April 05, 2011 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you tell us Roz? I am sure that "Rainey" is probably on her way to makeup at CHCH.

Use my word "pterse", that should be a good one to start with.

April 05, 2011 1:48 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Hey Roz? No.

Just, no.

April 05, 2011 2:31 PM  
Anonymous PJ said...

Telling Roz no is probably like waving a red flag at a bull.....hhmmmm we're almost full circle here.

April 05, 2011 8:57 PM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

You know what's really spooky? I finally got around to reading the review on L'Ami Louis. I would give my left... well almost anything, to be able to write like that. So instead I will let others do it and just enjoy the read. But there, skulking around at the bottom of the page, was an ad for Vanity Fair. And that picture of Rob Lowe was on it (for a minute I thought it was me, and I was all, "Hey, who took my picture and why is it on the cover of Vanity Fair?") . Now how did the Web Gods (not you, Jeff) put together the fact that those two items were in the posting that had sent me on my way to that review?


What else is spooky is that my word is "scroti." Now any man who has the gonads to write a review that bad about a restaurant that popular must keep those gonads in more than one... well... you know.

April 05, 2011 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Roz said...


no can do. on fear of death.

(but it was funny as hell)

April 06, 2011 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand Roz. I once recieved a "cat scratch" signature. The response to your offer was really frightening. We will just have to wait for the video of the bull ride.

(I'll bet Barbados was funny as hell)

My word is ekyla, would that fit in "the story that can't be told"?

April 06, 2011 9:41 AM  

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