In one of those rare moments of weakness, I've agreed to go to South Dakota, or one of those places up there, and round up cattle in June, for our COWBOYS show. Luckily, I already have a cowboy hat, so I'm 50% there. It's really going to be tough on our host, Tequila, who hates horses. That's right...he's from Texas...he's a cowboy shooter...he looks like a cowboy...but it nada horsey!
Although he is game. When we were in Canada, freezing our butts off on the Great Buffalo Hunt, he was on horseback much of the time, albeit frozen in place. A couple of times I thought he was so frozen he'd crack when he tried to get off the horse (which was, as they say, spirited, which is an equestrian term for "possessed by Satan"). This will give him another opportunity to become one with our four-legged friends.
I actually did one of those cattle drives, back before City Slickers outed 'em. It was for a week or so before TNN filmed a special out in Montana, and the execs at the network thought it would be funny to invite me, then your basic celebrity journalist, to ride the trail until I was too chaffed to walk. After about three days riding, the execs from TNN were, indeed, too chaffed to walk, too sore to stand and complaining bitterly. They kept giving me the Evil Eye, especially after I'd stopped trying to assemble the Rube Goldberg cots and canvas tents and started sleeping in a blanket out with the wranglers. "It's just not right," one of the execs said over the morning coffee and tequila. 'Why aren't you crippled with the rest of us?" I stood up and dropped tro', revealing a set of Lycra tiger-striped bicycling tights. "I'm very adaptable," I said.
I loved my horse, Jeff-The-Couch, who (like Ann Curry) couldn't meet all the criteria of a living organism. He was like a stuffed animal on Thorazine, sentenced to the Sysiphusian task of hauling my fat ass around the mountains. I fully expected to wake up one morning and discover that in the night he's put one of those Artist Formerly And Once Again Known As Prince "slave" marks on his cheek. I swear, the whole time we were riding he was mumbling something about, "tearing down the Massa's barn..." After a week, one of the wranglers said, "Jeff likes you."
"How can you tell?" I asked. "I'm not even sure he's alive."
"Has he tossed your butt into a creek?" he responded.
"Piece of carrot, Jeff?"