Lee Pitts: It’s the Pitts 1-17-11
There are two things I’ve always wanted to do before I saddle a cloud and ride to the great beyond. I want to run with the bulls in Spain and mush across Alaska in the Iditarod sled dog race. My wife says that I’m just fantasizing. “Don’t let your ego write checks,” she says, “that your body can’t cash.”
Whatever that means.
The running of the bulls takes place in July in Pamplona. Bullfighting is the major sport in Spain and, while I’ve no desire to try that “sport,” I would like to run ahead of the young bulls with the other young daredevils in the Plaza de Toros. My wife thinks I’ve gone weak north of the ears and don’t have sufficient sand in my craw to run with the bulls. But I figured out a way to do it without having to see the Spanish scenery or buy a tourist class ticket to Spain. You see, I bought a set of cows and with the deal came five of the meanest bulls I’ve ever wanted to MEAT. They were meaner than a cross between a biting boar and a freshly shorn sheep.
I could easily understand why the bulls came with the cows. No one had the courage to separate them. I tried it once mounted on my trusty steed, Gentleman, but when the bulls attacked I believe Gentleman set a new land speed record in the opposite direction. If we would have been going around a track at the Kentucky Derby instead of in a straight line I believe I’d be a famous horse trainer now.
For safety’s sake my wife (and horse) thought we should get rid of the bulls, so I devised a plan that would call my wife’s bluff and prove my manhood. I would run ahead of the bulls as human bait and they would follow me. (But not too close.) Then I’d run into our corrals, through an alley and into a gooseneck.
The problem was the bulls were in the front pasture and to get them into the corral meant our route would take us through the front yard, by the chicken coop, with a hard turn at the barn and a straight run to the corrals. All uphill.
My wife naturally thought my plan was insane, implying that I was “slower than a snail on crutches.” But the only alternative was to shoot the bulls where they stood which would bring in no income. Then I showed my wife on paper where 2,000 pounds apiece, multiplied by the price of bulls equaled enough to pay for two days in the hospital. My wife suggested that “the branches of my family tree were too close together and that I was probably related to myself.” But when I reminded her that she was the beneficiary on my life insurance policy she agreed to supervise my training and suggested we start attending church on a regular basis.
The big day arrived for the running of the bulls. I strapped on my running shoes, put on clean underwear in case I ended up in the morgue and placed an aerodynamic bicycle helmet atop my head to reduce wind resistance and to prevent my brains from being scrambled should the bulls overtake me. One stumble or one wasted second could mean I’d be deader than a can of corned beef and the hazardous bulls would be forever loose in my wife’s front yard.
I didn’t need TV cameras or adoring crowds to witness my confirmation of manhood. Although I did have the paramedics on call. I waited until the bulls had watered so they’d be a bit sluggish and then I attracted their attention (not hard to do) and soon they were in full pursuit. I was throwing dust, the dog was nipping at my heels and the bulls looked like they were going to have me for breakfast. But then I turned on the afterburners, ran through the corrals, down the alley, through the escape hatch in the trailer and yelled at my wife to “shut the door.” Then I engaged in another Spanish custom … I took a three-hour long siesta.
Next up: the Iditarod sled dog race. I think I could win it too … if I had a bull or two chasing me.