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Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Pink Slip, Orange Hair

I was let go from my job last week. The rodeo clown industry—like everything else—is in sharp decline. It is sad to see that the most American of activities, tormenting livestock, is on the verge of extinction. I blame the Republicans. The truth is that I was fired. They ostensibly cited several rodeo clown dress code violations. Things like the wrong shade of orange hair and shoes too big. They said I was too gaudy for American Rodeo Association standards. They were looking for more dignified, more conservative clowns. I blame the Republicans.

I took my job seriously, as seriously as one can be expected to take a job where a bike horn is a fashion accessory. I saw myself as a sort of secret service agent for cowboys. Now I’m a civilian after 25 years of taking bull horns where the sun don’t shine, 25 years of getting kicked in the face by bucking broncos. I endured a lot of pain. You can bet your happy ass that I was one of those “crying on the outside” clowns but I loved my job. Now all I have to show for my scars is a gold carnation that squirts water.

Even with all of this downsizing in the rodeo industry and with safety going out like a baby with the bathwater it seems there is no shortage of hicks willing to go for a ride on a very pissed-off 2,000 bull.

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