Sunday, April 15, 2018

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy (revisited)

The smooth-mouth team roping finals

By Julie Carter

All it takes for someone to decide there needs to be a new club, association or way of measuring skill among peers, is for a couple of forward-thinking individuals to decide it needs done for an assortment of reasons.

Such was the birth of the Smooth-Mouth Roper Association, at one time known as the old-timers association followed by a more politically correct name upgrade to "senior" ropers association.

Jim and Ned were genuine highly qualified lifers at ranching, roping and rodeoing. Blessed with a number of similarly competent and similarly aged friends, they decided to create a place to compete for only those with their same lifetime of experience.

The consensus was that cowboy attire does not include ball caps, tennis shoes or bling bling and answering a cell phone while in arena during competition was not an attribute to anyone's roping skill. They formed this association tailored to the requirements of full-grown men that had lived to see 45 years or older. Maturity was optional.

Familiar with the structure used in an assortment of associations ranging from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association to the Sunday school class, Jim and Ned made an executive decision to avoid too many fools making too many rules.

To solve the problems associated with that process they included every rule they had ever heard and then, showing that with maturity comes the wisdom of flexibility, they declared only the rules that seemed appropriate at the time would be enforced.

Jim and Ned gave the new cowboy member, Jesse, the full rundown of rules and regulations including the specified number of approved ropings he must attend. If he placed in enough of them and qualified for the Winner's Ropings he could also qualify for the Smooth-Mouth Finals at the end of the year.

The only other requirement to make a run at the year-end awards was to gather up all the entry fees, roper numbers, fill out the forms and have all the documents and cash to the association office in plenty of time - or he couldn't rope.

Jim and Ned left out the "flexibility" feature of the rules when they indoctrinated him into the smooth-mouthed bunch.

After a successful season, Jesse, arrived at the four-day finals to the sounds of the loud speaker announcing that if anyone wanted to enter, they just needed to go to the office. There were extra headers, heelers, extra ropings and hey, if you wanted to join the association at that time so you could rope, that also would be arranged.

Jesse and his partners gave each run their best shot, taking dead aim at the trophy saddle that was to be awarded to the top ropers. In spite of a necessary rerun because one heeler roped the flagman who happened to be a little close to his work, Jesse was the likely candidate to win the whole deal - and did.

With the flexibility rule in full play, one of the other saddle contenders offered a bribe to one of Jesse's heeler and then was overheard complaining because he was out four dollars and still didn't get the saddle. Nobody said these guys were high rollers.

Roping early so they could compete before their daily pain killers, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers wore off, the finals rolled to a close. The cowboys went home with complete respect for one another's competency and competitive abilities, along with the flexibility of the rules.

The only rule Jim and Ned enforced was the five dollar fine for whining. No money was collected for the multiple infractions of that rule; validating just how flexible this association of mature whiners is.

© Julie Carter 2006

No comments: