When Luck Runs OutSubmitted by electrictoothsyndrome at 2005-08-02 00:33:17 EDT
Rating: -0.66 on 3 ratings (3 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
Howdy folks! How are ya?
Well, I’m glad to hear it.
Why don’t ya’ll come inside and settle down? Take a load off for a while?
Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Scooter McGraw. My friends call me ‘Tex’. If you’d all be so kind as to gather ‘round, I’d like to tell you all a story…
This here story is about a man named Lucky. I promise it won't take much of your time.
Now, Lucky wasn’t no ordinary man… No siree! You see, Lucky was more than that. Why, if a man took a notion to tell the truth, which I’m a-gonna, he might say that Lucky was the bravest, most toughest man alive! Well, either that, or the luckiest…but we’ll get to that a little later in the story.
For now, suffice it to say that Lucky was so mean and so rowdy that all the men feared him, all the women wanted him, and all the kids wanted to be just like him. Lucky was the kind of man whose reputation preceded him. Everywhere he went, people would come from miles around to see this invincible man they called ‘Lucky’. It wouldn’t be stretchin’ the truth one bit to say he was a bona-fide hero!
What no one knew then was that Lucky wasn’t always so tough…nor was he always so ‘Lucky’…
His real name was Orville, and when he was a little boy, Orville got made fun of a lot. That’s because he fit in about like a mangy mutt at a kennel show. Although he was bright, he never was exactly the handsomest pig in the litter. He had a nose that was crookeder than the Colorodo River and a head of frizzy hair that made Einstein look like he just stepped out of a salon. He also had probably the worst case of acne you’d ever seen and, to top it off, was a bit bow-legged. Overall, he looked like the ‘before’ picture on one of them there makeover shows. Because of this, all the kids used to tease him and call him names. Heck, they used to be downright mean to poor Orville. At recess they’d all stand in a circle and push little him around ‘till he was so dizzy he couldn’t stand up straight. Then when the bell rang, they’d leave him wallerin’ out on the playground while they all skittered back to class.
Then, when he was a teenager, Orville’s great aunt Erma, who’d won the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes some years back, died, leavin’ him her estate. That’s when all the kids that used to push him and call him names took to callin’ him ‘Lucky’ and bein’ nice to him instead.
The name stuck, but that was about all. They weren’t Lucky’s real friends. And it was really no surprise that as soon as he was old enough, Lucky up and decided to leave his hometown to escape the ruckus and find himself in the American West. He bought an old hollered-out school bus for $700 and hit the road.
And that, my friends, is where the real story begins…
Durin’ his travels, Lucky saw many things and met many interestin’ people. He’d been from the plains of Oklahoma clear to the golden hills of California, and from the open skies of Montana down to the painted deserts of New Mexico, and everywhere he went, it seemed Lucky was always makin’ friends that were willin’ to leave everything behind to follow him on his adventures…
There was Shorty; although diminutive in stature, Shorty was at one time considered, pound for pound, the strongest man alive. When Lucky met him, he was a short order cook at a steak house off the interstate somewhere in Idaho. One night Lucky came into the restaurant to eat and the two fellers sat down after closing and got drunk on the truth serum that is whiskey. As often happens when good folks get drunk together, they became friends.
Then there was Rabbit; he had been an Olympic runner in the past – even competed in the ‘84 games – but at the time Lucky met him he was one of those guys who gathered up the shoppin’ carts from the parkin’ lot at the supermarket. Although he was swift afoot, Rabbit wasn’t exactly the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. Nevertheless, he and Lucky took a likin’ to one another because they each possessed talents the other didn’t.
And then there was Trigger and Shooter; they were a pair of bisexual Siamese twins that had seen time in various circus sideshow attractions as the ‘Fastest Four-Legged Draws in the West’, but in their late twenties they’d been surgically separated and consequently fired from their circus job. Seems nobody wanted to come see a pair of surgically separated Siamese quick-draws, and by the time Lucky came across them, they were standin’ off an exit ramp, holdin’ up a sign that said: “Favors for food.”
Lucky, knowin’ the hardships of the road firsthand, picked ‘em up – but it wasn’t for the ‘favors’. That’s just the kind of feller he was – always tryin’ to help out them less fortunate. And although Lucky didn’t agree with their particular lifestyle, he figured ‘who was he to judge’, and made friends with them anyway.
Now Lucky had more friends then he’d ever had in school. Out here on the road, makin’ friends was easier somehow – like ridin’ a bike after you’ve fallen so much, you’ve gotten over bein’ scared of it. Separate, they were just a bunch of ordinary rejects, but together they felt they could do anything. So they hit the road again, without a care in the world.
Then one night, while they were all merrymakin’ at a titty bar somewhere outside Reno, Lucky stumbled to the bathroom to take a piss. There on the counter by the sink were some tickets to a local rodeo. Lucky eyed the tickets suspiciously. It wasn’t so much that he thought it strange that someone forgot the tickets, but that there were exactly five of ‘em he thought was a bit too much to be a coincidence. So Lucky went and told the others: “We have to go!”
If there’s one thing that he knew, it was that Lady Luck don’t come knockin’ often, but when she does, you best open the damn door or you might piss ‘er off – and bein’ a woman and all, Lucky figured that probably wouldn’t be too hard to do.
So off to the rodeo they went…bellies full of peanuts and whiskey. And, boy, were they ever glad they did!
Never has anyone felt so at home as them boys did that night at that rodeo. To them, the rodeo was more excitin’ than a downed hornet’s nest – the kind of excitement you just can’t get workin’ as a short order cook or a shoppin’ cart retriever. They loved watchin’ the calf ropin’, the barrel-racin’, and the bull and bronco ridin’.
But the one spectacle they loved watchin’ most was the clowns.
In the clowns they immediately recognized the adventure they’d been searchin’ for, and the very next day Lucky and his crew entered themselves in a genuine clown school to learn the trade and become professional clowns themselves.
Now some folks might say that any old fool can be a clown, but they soon found out that it takes a very special breed to become a real rodeo clown, and there was no one that better embodied that breed than Lucky himself.
Right away, everyone knew that Lucky was goin’ to be the star of the show. He had it all: the energy, the fearlessness, and the comedic timin’ for the job… Shoot, Lucky was so good, he even graduated from clown school early, a full week-and-a-half ahead of the rest of his crew. The instructor said there was nuthin left for him to teach Lucky, and turned him loose in the arena.
Now, your average rodeo clown might make $100 a night, a good one $250 a night, but it didn’t take long before Lucky was pullin’ down $600 a night. Everywhere the rodeo traveled, people would come from miles around to see Lucky and his crew’s famous clown show, so it only stood to reason that Lucky would command such a kingly sum.
Yep, everything was going great. Lady Luck was smilin’ wide, and, over the years, Lucky and them managed to stake their reputation as the baddest rodeo clowns around. This was a far cry from the boy who got pushed around at school. Lucky could put on a big, fake, red nose that was even uglier than his real one and some outlandish orange hair, that was even frizzier than the real stuff, and people would still love him. The crowds would still cheer for him. As a clown, Lucky got respect – and for seven years straight, Lucky won the Coors Light Man in the Can™ award hands down.
It seemed the sky was the limit for him and his rag-tag band of misfits…until one day, they rolled into Greeley, Colorado for the 15th Annual Carnie Britches’ All-Star Country & Western Rodeo Jubilee.
At first there was no reason to believe that this year’s Jubilee would be any different than last year or the year before, but it soon became apparent to Lucky and his crew that this wasn’t gonna be no typical rodeo. There was somethin’ in the air that didn’t quite sit right with ol’ Lucky.
As they entered the fairgrounds, an ambulance, wailin’ louder’n a pack of timber wolves, screamed past.
“’Scuse me, son, what’s that all about?” asked Lucky of one of the young spectators.
“Well, sir, that there was an ambulance,” replied the spectator.
“Shit, son, I know it was an ambulance. I mean what happened?” snapped Lucky.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” the boy stumbled. (He was a little slow, if you know what I mean.) “That there was Chuckles the clown. He got hurt real bad by one of the new Brahma bulls. From what I hear, the bull put one of his horns clean up his rectum… Tore poor Chuckles plum open.”
Lucky was not amused. Chuckes wasn’t even supposed to be here. He was coverin’ for Lucky because he and the other clowns were runnin’ a little late. He’d known Chuckles from their time together on the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit, and to hear about what happened upset him to no end. He headed off toward the announcer’s booth with his four trusty sidekicks in tow feelin’ both angry and responsible for what happened.
“What’s this I hear about Chuckles gettin’ his rectum tore up, Rory?” Lucky said to the announcer.
“Yea, Lucky, it’s an awful thing…a darned awful thing. He just couldn’t hang in there with this new bull. Ain’t no one who can, I reckon – not even you I reckon, Lucky.”
I don’t think I have to tell ya, Lucky and his crew were not amused. In fact, hearin’ this made Lucky madder’n a long-tail cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs – prideful as he was.
The announcer continued, “It was like watchin’ a tiger take on a polecat. There just wadn’t no contest a-tall. And when he got Chuckles down on the ground, why, he didn’t stand a chance. Gored him for a full 10 minutes before anyone could help him.”
“Where’s the bull now?” asked Lucky.
“They done took him back down to the pens. Gonna put him on the next truck to the slaughterhouse, I reckon.”
“I’ll be a steer’s missin’ balls if they do!” exclaimed Lucky.
And with that, Lucky went down to the pens to speak to the bull’s owner. When he got to the pens he saw the biggest bull he’d ever seen in his life. This thing was taller than a buffalo and wider than a rhinoceros, and had horns the size of station wagons. A sign hung on the gate indicatin’ the name of the bull was Lucifer.
Lucifer’s eyes were cold – colder than a mother-in-law’s love – and everyone around could see that he was sizin’-up poor Lucky.
“He’s a tough-un!” said a man hitchin’ up a trailor beside the pen. “Best damn bull I ever raised, I believe. Now they’re tellin’ me he’s TOO good. Won’t let him back in the arena on account of that other circus clown gettin' hurt.”
“He ain’t all that, mister,” said Lucky as he spat in the direction of the bull. He was talkin’ more to the bull than to the owner, and he knew the bull heard him too.
“Is that so? And what’s a little circus clown like you know about a bull like Lucifer? This here is one hunnerd percent Grade-A Brahma bull, son! This bad boy wasn't raised to graze.”
When the owner said that, Lucky coulda swore he saw Lucifer smile, which pissed him off even more.
“I ain’t little, and I ain’t no circus clown! Besides, I know plenty.” Lucky’s face was redder’n a baboon’s ass.
“Is that a fact?”
“Yessir it is! And I got $1200 says this bull don’t get the better of me in the arena.”
“Well now…$1200 is a lot of money for a circus clown! You sure you know what you’re doin’ boy?”
Lucky stopped and eyed the man up and down. “I ain't no boy! The name's Lucky...and I already told you…” Lucky grabs the man’s string tie and pulls him close. “I ain’t no circus clown!”
At that, the owner bellowed out in laughter. “HEHEHEHE…you got some balls, circus clown! Tell you what, I’ll talk to the rodeo director, and we’ll see what we can do about gettin' you that date with death. How's that sound? Then you can join your little friend who they carted out of here in that ambulance."
Lucky figured that was just about the last straw, so he punched the man square in the nose and jumped on top of him – clown suit and all. There was dirt and manure flyin' everywhere as Lucky proceeded to beat the living snot out of the bull's owner. It took two cowboys, four rodeo clowns, and a hot dog vender to pull ol' Lucky off him, and when they finally did, the owner was a bloody pulp. Lucky, on the other hand, mighta had to adjust his red nose and orange hair, but other than that didn't have so much as a scratch on him.
"YOU'RE GONNA PAY FOR THAT, CIRCUS CLOWN!" hollered the man. "I'm gonna see to it that Lucifer stomps your ass in the arena!"
"Bring it on, you redneck sumbitch! I look forward to it!" yelled Lucky.
That night, Lucky couldn't sleep. He kept thinkin' about his date with Lucifer…kept thinkin' 'bout those cold eyes. The rodeo director had okayed the showdown for Saturday night – the last night of the weeklong rodeo. It promised to be its grand finale. They were billin’ it as "Bozo vs. Goliath", and were already sellin’ out of tickets for the event.
When he finally got to sleep, Lucky had a dream...
He was back in his old school. All the other little children were laughin’ at him. Then all of a sudden, Lucifer appeared. He was laughin’ at him too. Then they proceeded to pushin' Lucky around the way they always had...only now, Lucifer was a-helpin' 'em.
When they were done, all the children skipped off to play leavin’ Lucky dizzy on the ground. Lucky watched as Lucifer slid down the slide and played on the merry-go-round with the other children. He was a-runnin’ on his hind legs laughin’ like a schoolgirl – balls flapping as he ran.
'That's a hell of a bull,' Lucky thought.
The night of the big event had arrived. At one end of the arena the gate opened up and out stepped Lucky, lookin' all fancy. He had traded in his clown suit for one of them snazzy gold and red matador numbers. To him this was serious business, but at the same time, the way he saw it, this might be his one true shot at rodeo clown immortality, so he also wore the big red nose and fuzzy orange wig that had become his trademark.
The crowd cheered loudly as Shorty, Rabbit, Trigger, and Shooter all rode out on unicycles, encircling Lucky as he stood there with his head held high.
'This is it,' Lucky thought. 'This is the day I stop being a clown and start being a real bullfighter.'
A short time later, the antics were over and Lucky was left in the arena all alone. The house lights went out and the spotlights swirled around the spectators.
"LLLLLLADIIIIES AND GENTLEMEEEEN, boys and girls... now for the event you've all been waiting for! In the left corner weighing in at 153lbs, the man you all know and love, the King of Clowndom, the President of Pranksters, the undisputed Ruler of the Rodeo, LUCKY THE CLOWN!"
The spotlights all converged on Lucky and the crowd let out a humungous cheer. Lucky could feel the pressure mount as beads of sweat started formin' on his brow.
"And in the right corner...weighing in at 2350lbs, the largest, most dangerous, killer bull ever to set hoof in the rodeo arena, the Bovine Brawler, the Catastrophic Cow, the Murderer in the Moo Morgue himself...LUCIFER!"
At the far end of the arena the gates opened and the spotlights shone on empty ground.
Then, all of a sudden, Lucifer unexpectedly darted out of the dark beneath the bleachers past the spotlights like a Mac Truck toward Lucky!
Lucky was pissin' in his pants like an out of control lawn sprinkler. All the lights were still out! He couldn't see shit! He couldn't see Lucifer; he couldn't see any of the clown barrels! He was a sittin' duck in an open arena! Just then, the houselights came on, and Lucky saw that he was right on top of him!
The crowd gasped!
Lucky jumped straight up in the air and, puttin' his foot on top of the great bull's head, leapt over him slicker'n otter snot, much to the delight of the crowd. They cheered loudly. A smile sprang up on Lucky’s face, and he waived at them in acknowledgment. This made Lucifer angry as he puffed and fumed, turnin' around for another charge.
After diggin’ his hoof in the dirt a couple times and snortin’ at the ground, Lucifer charged again as the crowd inched to the edge of its seat.
This time Lucky sidestepped the animal's attack, but as he did, the great bull's horn tore a piece of red fabric from the ass of Lucky's costume. The crowd oooooo'd.
Lucky, though, was not amused.
"You sorry sumbitch! You have any idea how much this costume cost!?" Lucky snarled, shakin’ his ass and his fist at the animal.
The crowd thought this was hilarious, but the bull was obviously in no mood to talk economics. And who could blame him?
So he set himself again for another charge as Lucky dove ass-end-up into a nearby barrel. The crowd let out an unanimous “OHHHH” as the great bull crashed into the barrel harder than a blind lesbian's nipples at a fish market. He hit it so hard that it went flyin’ in the air a good 30 feet before crashin' back down to the ground, this time on its side.
You could almost see a smile on Lucifer's face as he took to rollin' that barrel around the arena with Lucky inside – bare ass stickin’ out one end. He rolled it so fast and hard that Lucky was on the verge of passin’ out from dizziness. In his mind, he flashed back to the playground when everyone would leave him and skitter back to class. At any moment Lucifer would find the exposed ass and it would be Chuckles all over again!
It seemed his luck had finally run out...
If there’s one thing Lucky knew it’s that when Lady Luck runs out on ya, you sure better have some good friends to back you up, otherwise you might just get your ass kicked. And with one phrase, Lucky was reminded he now had such friends.
"I said, why don't you pick on somebody your own size!"
It was Rabbit! He was standin’ opposite Lucifer shoutin’ at him like he was a worthless stepchild.
Lucky felt the barrel slow to a stop as the strained to focus on what the dickens was happenin'. When he finally came to, he could see through a hole in the barrel Rabbit runnin' 'round the arena in his full clown regalia and Lucifer not far behind. He knew he probably didn't have long so he tried to get out of the barrel to make it to a fence. The problem with that was, Lucifer had hit the barrel so hard that it was dented in on all sides. Lucky was trapped!
Seein’ this, Shorty sprung into action, liftin’ the barrel and Lucky up over the fence.
As he struggled, he could see out of the corner of his eye that Rabbit had climbed out of the arena and now Lucifer was comin' for him!
"POP!!! POP!!!" Shorty and Lucky could hear pellet guns firin’ and see that Trigger and Shooter were doin’ their best to distract the animal. They didn’t have time to even notice that the shots had struck the animal in each of his eyes.
“BULL’S EYE!” yelled someone in the crowd.
“LOOK OUT!” cried another.
Lucifer, though temporarily blinded, was still chargin’ hard.
In the nick of time, Shorty threw himself and Lucky out of the arena. Just as he did, Lucifer smashed into the fence, wedging his head in between the bars. His ass end sank to the arena floor, and for a moment Lucky thought he heard him whimper like a schoolgirl.
The crowd let out a deafennin’ roar as they gave this rag-tag band of misfits, Lucky, Shorty, Rabbit, Trigger, and Shooter, a standin’ ovation. They knew had just witnessed a battle between a legendary bullfighter and a legendary bull.
It took rescue crews nearly 3 hours to free both Lucifer and Lucky.
One of the rescue workers turned out to be a pretty woman, and, in six months time, she and Lucky were married. It never bothered her that she’d seen Lucky’s ass before she ever even saw his face.
Lucky quit the clownin' business and today works as a school teacher back in his home town. He watches the kids close at recess.
Lucifer lived a long life out on the range. He died of natural causes.
As for the rest of the rag-tag crew... Well, that's a whole 'nuther story.
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