Photo by Nicholas Zalud This, preceeded by mutton busting and followed by the likes of Usher. Does it actually make sense? Probably not.
In the decades since it started, our annual rodeo has rolled along and become, quite frankly, a rather weird amalgamation of our country past, our cosmopolitan present, all things Texas with some solid love for giant American flags and shout-outs to the armed forces.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo -- aka Rodeo Houston, aka Houston's Answer to Mardi Gras, aka that thing that ties up traffic every year -- has been around since time immemorial (really 1931.) Back when it started Houston was still more of a wide spot in the road and it made sense to put together a setup to showoff your livestock raising abilities and cowboy skills.
We hang onto our roots -- or our supposed roots, even though most of us grew up in the suburbs and some of us aren't even from Texas -- and we pull out our cowboy boots and hats to go be part of the rodeo. At the same time Houston is a modern city so there's all this stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with the cowboy life and the rodeo way. But even as life in and around the city have changed, the rodeo hasn't let go of old traditions.
Why would they do that when you can pop in everything but the kitchen sink? Which is what they do. The results are often awesome, usually entertaining but also what we're pretty sure a surrealist's fantasy of a rodeo would look like. Here are five things that are weird:More »