Part 10 of 30
The Mam & Pap
Royal Splendid Traveling Rodeo
This was the night of nights — Oh yeah, one year like Valentine's Day on steroids— when the oom-pa-pa of the rodeo’s orchestra gave way to the sultry, sexy sounds of Jerry Vale, Matt Monro, and the sexy, sultry sounds of Sarah Vaughan, who taught us in her inimitable sultry, sexy way to love again. That night no crowd’s were poking around, the smell of popcorn was down to a leftover hint, and the ever-present grating cadence of the “Getyer program!” guy was mercifully stilled. How would we know the players without a program? We’d simply have to feeeeeel our way.
Was there a rose at your door or some other personal sign that you had reason to hope, to break into a smile? And on such a beautiful, perfect night, the kind of night the gods only rarely bestow, so out of character for them — February’s usually a bastard — and the gods are normally uncaring and unwilling to give us even the slightest thing. People say we have life and breath, shouldn’t that be enough? No, life and breath's an everyday occurrence and even cockroaches get the same benefit.
Really, what we should do is pull the curtain on the whole thing and never open it to prying eyes. I am so ready to pull the curtain down, don’t think I’m not, because the things that lovers share should be private. I was there that night and there's things about it I'll never confess, even if you tried to force it out of me. "O yeah, baby, that's it, the small of the back's my biggest erogenous zone." And there with the rodeo folk, I could hear a lot of the language of love: “Oh, you can be soooo mean to little ole me. You don’t like me very much, do you? Do you even like me a little bit? Oh yeah, a lot bit?, you dirty boy!”
You know what would be fun? I probably shouldn’t say. But wouldn't it be great if I would've posted on the bulletin board all the expressions of devotion I heard and promises of love eternal? And this would've been a crazier prank, holding some of those Romeos and Juliets responsible for their words and actions with a whole non-romantic blackmail scheme. I could use some extra coin.
Believe me, I knew the ones who were guilty as sin. But, no, anyone who’d do that would be drawn and quartered and fed to a bull. The rodeo always has a way of exacting justice. One obnoxious newbie a different year got an idea like that. And it didn't work out very well. He got a semi-proper burial but that was it. Then Pap suddenly declared “Rodeo holiday,” they pulled up stakes and pressed on.
Not very sexy. And crap, now I lost my buzz, shouldn’t have sabotaged the sexy, sultry mood of that night with my scheming. But, ooooo, what a night. Probably shouldn’t even say her name. Just a hint, she sells popcorn. And like popcorn, when heated up she can realllllly jump. As in "Yowsa, giddyup! This rodeo’s goin’ places!