Wednesday, July 21, 2010

From The Left: Rhinestone Cowpeople

Our family unit just returned from a brief, frantic visit to The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, aka the Calgary Stampede.  Mindful of my mother's edict that everybody should go at least once in their life, and clearly gluttinous in respect to punishment, we attended on what has historically been the busiest day of the whole event.  True to form, there were tens of thousands of us strolling the midway, all willfully forking over outrageous sums of money for transitory pleasures under the scorching sun.  We caught the chuckwagon races, heavy horse pull, grandstand show and a wide variety of agricultural exhibits.  The latter really anchors the whole affair and provides a link to the true historical relevance of The Stampede.  Then, returning to the midway and viewing the astounding variety of faux cowboys and cowgirls given license to "dress western", I was reminded once again just how much genuine denizens out here differ from those I observed on said stroll.  As with so much of human nature, our propensity to want to belong to a group, which most in attendance had no personal connection with, overrides what little dignity we may have.  Frankly, I'd rather hang out in the barns with the real people any day.  The midway minions?  Once in a lifetime is more than enough.