On the platform
above the bucking chutes, the rodeo announcer, Don Endsley, is saying: "And
now, ladies and gentlemen, we come to that premier event in rodeo, the one
you've all been waiting for—cowboy bull riding."
In the outdoor
arena in Weatherford, Texas, the crowd of some 8,000 stirs expectantly, because
this is mainly what they've come for. They want to see a 150-pound cowboy set
himself down on a one-ton beast made out of muscle and gristle and bone and
horns. And win.
"But now let me direct your attention to a very important gentleman who is
stepping into the arena, Leon Coffee. Through the evening you've heard Leon and
me joshing with one another. Now is the time when he's fixing to earn his
paycheck. We've kidded around earlier, but now they've run the bulls into the
chutes. And this is the most important part of this intrepid gentleman's job,
protecting the cowboys who will be attempting to ride these bulls, and, in some
cases, saving their lives.
"Leon, take a
"I didn't mean
that low a bow. Leon, get up out of the dirt. The bulls will have you there
soon enough, and get up here by the chutes and watch over these cowboy bull
In rodeo, during
the repartee between the announcer and the clown, the clown cannot be heard by
the crowd, so the rodeo announcer speaks for him.
"You say you're going to quit? That you're leaving town? Why, Leon?
your mother? Oh, you want to save her a trip to the hospital. Is she sick?
sick? But if you fight these bulls she'll have to go to the hospital. Why