photo by Henry Detwiler
About Bob Miller
Flying U's Rodeo Stripper
A thousand eyes are starin’
Loud speakers are blarin’
Rock n roll is thumpin’
Man that music is bumpin’
We will, we will rock you!
Everybody now we will we will...
BAM! A chute blows open
An everyone’s hopin’
That stud before ‘em
He won’t be borin’
Pitchin’ an’ buckin’
Twistin’ an’ duckin’
Bumpin’ an’ grindin’
Shaken ‘is hinden’
Leapin’ an’ hoppin’
That cowboy’s a boppin’!
His nostrils are flared
But man he ain’t scared
When all of a sudden
Doh!! the ground gave‘im a muggin’
Well some, they end in glory
An’ some they’re just plain gory
But give or take a few seconds of eight
His ride is headed for the out gate
And now… it’s his job to take it all off.. the Rodeo Stripper
Hey now wipe off that grin, an’ you, don’t you snicker!
Y’all get your minds outta the gutter
Foul words you needn’t mutter
His job is for real
Though the show he’ll never steal
Ya’see, he’s not out in a spot light tuggin’ a G-string
Man he’s slippin’ latigos behind the scene
Amidst the dirt an the piles of poop
His dance is performed… in the strippin’ chute
It’s a two-man show some call ‘em a team
Him an’ his partner they call it a dream
You see, every rodeo has a certain flow
The critters get bigger an’ meaner as you go!
Someone’s got’ta strip ‘em fast an’ clean
Or they pile up in the arena an’ Cotton gets mean
The wild horse racers, they come at him first
Sometimes he wonders if he’s been cursed
An’ then the barebacks, they got no steerin’ wheel
So it’s only the latigo he’s gotta peel
But before all else! Slip that flank strap loose
Man you could end up with a hoof in your goose
Now saddlebronc cinches can be mighty long
So the tail ends they tuck ‘em, somewhere’n gone
Sometimes they’re blown up an’ ready to fight
So he reaches in slow’n passes to his fingertips all of his might
Then up on the chute’n the saddle he grips
With the other hand the halter he slips
A fluid leap back an’ he comes around
Lines up them riggin’s as he hits the ground
Swings out the small gate to let ‘em go
Closes it quick to stay with the flow
His partner… the gateman extraordinaire
Calls out “nothing ‘tween us an’ the next one but air!”
As he finesses the big gate to snare the next beast
Like an ol’ black widow snaggin’ her feast
At 8 seconds a go they’re comin’ fast
But they done cleaned ‘em that had come to ‘em last
15 or 20 they’ve come in a row
Then of a sudden….they’re done.. an’ out in the area it’s… on with the show
Bull doggin’, calf roppin’
Barrel racers they’re a loppin’
All doin’ their jobs on those rodeo grounds
Even the bull fighter proves he’s no clown… as he clowns
So the stripper, he wipes his brow’n he takes a break
Catches his breath in the shade of a gate
Sits back an’ thinks about his job yet to do
Remembers a girl or two who were strippers too
NO, not that kind!
Y’all get that outta your mind
When all of a sudden he feels kind of humble
The announcer is screamin’ “Are you ready to Rumblllle!”
Into the chutes an out of the alley
Out come the bulls folks, it’s the grand finale!
Into the arena it’s riders they’re poundin’
Headed for the out gate it’s strippers they’re houndin’
Pick up riders bring em’ his way, WHOOP, WHOOP, HEY!
Sounds like a train wreck comin’ his way
Snakin’ out gut line… them lariats they toss
Inside the chute they’ll be hell to uncross
As that wreck hits the brakes
They’re slammin’ the gates
An’ now it’s a matter of who has who
But the simple task before ‘im is to jerk ‘at knot through
From the top of that chute
They don’t look quite so cute
2,000 pounds of reeeal unhappy
His horns an’ hooves are getting’ all slappy
Half an attempt’ll get ‘im in trouble
Half a pull an’ that knot it’ll double
But he takes ‘is shot
An’ he reaches for that knot
With all of his might he stands with a pull
When it snaps through clean man it feels so cool!
He’s up an’ he’s down an’ he rakes that rope
Man what a rush they could call this stuff dope!
He jerks ‘at gate an’ he slams it back
8 seconds is up’n there’s another in the rack
They’re comin’ so fast he’s losin’ track
He wheels for another an’…… it’s all over!?
An’ that last bull… it’s… it’s headed for clover!
Nothin’ to do now but wait?
When’s the next show man? Give me a gate!!!!
Year after year what makes ‘im come back?
Maybe, it’s when Cotton tosses that bottle of Jack
Nah. What really makes it worth his while
Is a tip of the hat’n “thanks boys”… from Cotton… with a smile!!
So one an’ all, hoist your liquor!
Here’s a toast to Flying U’s
© 2004, Bob Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's permission.
photo by Henry Detwiler
This is me stripping a bareback bronc at the Brawley Cattle Call Rodeo in November of 2005. "But before all else! Slip that flank strap loose...."
About Bob Miller:
I was born in Brawley, California, in 1956. The same year Brawley Cattle Call Rodeo put on by Flying U was born. One day the show started short-handed and Cotton Rosser asked if we could give a hand. Jeff Holt and I were in there in a heartbeat! Most hands wanted nothing to do with the stripping chutes but we got a thrill out of every critter that came through. Some were sweet and some were the devil in disguise. In the fifteen years that I played at it, we had a few train wrecks come in— think wild horse race—but no show was ever held up on our account! And when you are sitting at the bar after the show, and a lady asks what you do, "rodeo stripper" always brings up a smile!
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