My adventure of the week: riding a bull. Not a real one, of course, that’s just silly. One of those swizzle-you-around, animatronic bulls; oh wait, that’s just…well, silly.
Though D.C. is certainly a tourist town, one of the things I’ve loved about it is that our attractions are deeply rooted in culture and history, i.e., museums and monuments. But every town must have its center of faux fun tourist glam, which in our case is the National Harbor. The “National Harbor”, that sounds like a respectable place, right? Centered around the Vegas-wannabe Gaylord Hotel, National Harbor basically feels like a gated community complete with a pirate ropes course and a Peeps store. So naturally I’ve avoided it like the plague.
But then my friend’s birthday party brought me to a place called the Cadillac Ranch, a chain restaurant based on, I believe, the Texas installation art of the same name. Funny that they have no actual restaurant in Texas, but one in the Mall of America. The Cadillac Ranch sports one of these:
Upon seeing this, I obviously jumped in the line to do it immediately. I had never ridden one before, which seemed to surprise people since I’m from Colorado and all. Yeah. I’m from the part of Colorado where people have copious amounts of dreadlocks and listen to lots of reggae. We don’t ride bulls or wear cowboy hats, thank you. Turns out one of the hardest things about the bull is getting on. There seemed to be two popular methods: one is to throw your leg over the side and hoist yourself up, and the other is to hop on from the back. Both methods ended badly for most people, and a few gals gave up before actually getting onto the bull.
The young lady in front of me tried both methods and failed. She failed again, and again, and again. You could feel the crowd getting uncomfortable, because everyone wanted so badly for her to succeed and she wouldn’t give up. It look her probably 20 tries or more before she made it, and the crowd exploded in applause.
Going up after that was intimidating and scary. I didn’t want to be humiliated so I pulled out my gym-style squat, jumped, and made it up on the first try. Which made me look like a total dick, as if I were showing up the last girl. Oops. I’d like to say I rode that bull like a champ, but I fell off after one little swizzle.
And that rope you hold onto hurts, by the way. I think I still have a bit of rug burn.