I have a rule about riding mechanical bulls. I’ve stuck to that rule faithfully over the last 40 years. So faithfully, in fact, that I never even tried to ride one until just a couple of months ago.
My rule is a simple one. Never, ever, for any reason, ride a mechanical bull in the town where you live. You don’t want to have anyone you know see you looking stupid on one of those contraptions. I don’t care if you’re the NFR champion bull rider, you’re not going to be able to stay on if the operator knows what he’s doing.
Back in March, I found myself in a bar in New Orleans that had a mechanical bull. I’ve always secretly wanted to ride one, just to see how long I could last on it. But because of my rule about never riding one in a place where people know me, I’ve never had the chance. You don’t find those things just anywhere you go on vacation.
But nobody knew me in New Orleans. Plus, it wasn’t that expensive to ride. On top of that, I admit I was a tad lubricated on adult beverages. That’s how I ended up wrapping my hand in the bull rope on my very first mechanical bull ride.
But now I have another rule about mechanical bulls, and this rule pretty much guarantees that my first ride will also be my last. My new rule is never ride a mechanical bull if you’re over 40. I instituted that rule shortly after I nodded my head in New Orleans. As soon as the bull started to move, I squeezed with my legs, and I felt something pop just south of my belt buckle. I finally went to the doctor on Wednesday, and it turns out I gave myself a hernia.
So avoid mechanical bulls if you’re more than four decades old. Go fishing instead. You’re much less likely to cause yourself serious injury.