Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Desperation Situation

Last time I purchased life insurance, the salesman had a long list of questions to help him determine my eligibility for the policy and what my monthly premium would be.

At first the questions he asked were ones I was eager to answer no to.

“Do you smoke?”


“Are you currently taking any medications?’


“Do you use any illegal drugs?”


As the list progressed, the questions started to get less obvious.

“Do you skydive?”


“Do you white water kayak?”


“Do you hang glide?”

“Umm...Not really.”

“Do you do any kind of Winter Mountaineering?”

“Not since the accident.”

“Base jump?”


After admitting I didn't participate in about ten different Mountain Dew sponsored sports, I was starting to wonder what was wrong with me.

“Do you race moto-cross?”

“We owned motorcycles when I was younger? Does that count?”

“Do you own a motorcycle now?”


“Do you race any other type of motorized vehicle?”

“If we get a red light next to another mini-van, I will sometimes rev my engine and see if I can get the other driver’s attention.”

“I’ll mark that as a no.”

I was starting to get desperate. It appeared I was an insurance company's dream. Was I going to have to go through this whole list without answering yes to one single question? Where was the surfing or mountain biking question? Was I really living that boring of a lifestyle?

Then finally, it came…

“Do you participate in rodeo?”

My face lit up, “Yes….yes I do!”

Just to be able to answer yes to one question from the life insurance survey was well worth whatever it adds to my monthly premium.

Enter Strawberry Days Rodeo 2009 Wild Cow Milk.

Though ‘The Bold and Gold’ doesn’t go to the formality of assigning official positions on our team, most years Bram and I end up doing the Bull-dogging. Those are the guys who basically take the cow in a headlock and try to hold on until the cow finishes imposing her will on you. This is totally different than a wrestling headlock in which you are on the offense, this is straight defense. You try to dig your heals in and sit back into the cow to take some fight out of her but really it’s mostly survival.

That's an angry cow folks.

This year after letting the cow buck off as much nervous energy as I could bear to watch I clamped on and got ready for the ride. I was taking a pretty standard beating. All our fans said she was the meanest cow out there. (They say that every year. It’s getting harder and harder to believe.) I was doing a decent job of staying on the cow’s head and out of her way at the same time. I had just made another feeble attempt to get my feet out in front of me and dig my heels in, but this time she turned into me and my feet started to get tangled with hers. As she continued to move forward I tried to keep my feet, but her four hooves were far superior to my oversized pair of thrift store boots. Still clutched on her head, I was being overtaken. It appeared inevitable that all 1000 pounds of angry Slim Jims would soon be trampling right across my back. It was what we call in wrestling a “desperation situation.”

Bram and I lock on.

Digging my heels in but soon to be going to the ground.

Feet in tangles and nowhere to go but down!

I was going down, but I was going down swinging. I had no choice but a last ditch effort to go on the offensive with the only thing I had left, my headlock.

It is said that a wrestler with a good headlock is never out of a match. I was never that wrestler. The only effective headlocks I ever used were to give Rocky noogies back when he was four weight classes smaller than me.

After what feels like two lifetimes of wrestling, this would be (if it worked) my first ever headlock in competition and it would come against an opponent who had out grown my weight class some 800 pounds ago.

Pulling with everything I got!

No time to calculate angles of leverage, just throw my hips in on instinct and apply as much torque as is humanly possible by a 34 year old ‘has been.’ To my surprise as I was falling to the ground I felt the cow's head following me. For a second I even believed I was going to put her all the way on her side, but the fact that she had four legs saved ole Bessie some face.

It was a moderatly sucessful headlock and definatley the most successful one I had ever thrown. True she wasn’t pinned but given my opponent I felt pretty good about the result and it did save me from a trampling that would have left a mark (or two.) Unfortunatley it happened about 10 seconds too late and we were left grasping for third again.

And so I’ll have to go to church another 52 Sundays without a buckle for my belt. (Sara will be happy about that.) At least I have this sweet picture to show the insurance salesman when I have to renew my policy. (Thanks Rach for documenting.)


the bigbam said...

At least the life insurance will give Sara somewhat of some peace of mind while you are out there trying to kill yourself.

Rachey Smart said...

Ha Ha!!! I LOVED this post. One of my all time faves. So funny about the insurance. Im proud to have such a tough older that can headlock 900 lb cows to the ground:)

cheryl said...

I loved the post too. Pretty funny! I just wish you would get the belt buckle so you could tell the insurance salesman you have retired.

Darrell said...

Wow! That has got to be the funniest post I've read in a long long time. You write well... And for the record, that was a very impressive head and arm--Darian Caldwell (the NC State wrestler who gave Iowa's Metcalf a ride with a head and arm in the NCAA finals this past year)eat your heart out!