I saw this article the other day, and the guy said that one day, he was gonna be a cowboy. I thought it was pretty funny, given that he says he's a "successful Indie Films maker". I'm not sure why that struck me as funny, but it did. I guess it's cuz when I hear people say "I wanna be a cowboy", I'm pretty sure they don't have a clue what that means. I mean, have you ever met a real cowboy? Have you ever seen what they do on a daily basis? Do you have any idea how much work it is? Not to mention the toll it takes on your body. Those guys are tough cookies. Tougher than football players. Tougher than karate masters. Tougher than John Wayne (OHHHHHHH! DID I SAY THAT OUT LOUD?!) I'm talking about the kind of tough that most people would consider Godly. I know. I used to have one of my own (a cowboy, not a god)
Movies make cowboys look pretty romantic. They're all soft spoken and gentlemanly, with their easy manners and their "yes, ma'am. no ma'am" stuff. They don't say a whole lot. And when they do, it's always some kind of profound thing that makes everybody stop and go "wow...that was deep." Yep. That's what the movies do for cowboys. Hard not to wanna be one.
In 'real life', cowboys aren't quite all that. At least, not many of them are. In real life, cowboys can be pretty hard to take. Their single-mindedness can drive a person crazy. All they care about is their belt buckles and their Skoal. And let's not forget all that beer. Cowboys LOVE to drink beer. They're also quite fond of big trucks, shotguns and brawling. On any given night, you can mosey on down to the local Honky Tonk, set a spell...and just wait til the band takes their first break. You can pretty much count on some asshole pickin' a fight. Next thing you know, chairs are flyin', bottles are breakin' and the gals are runnin' for cover. (and so are the guys who aren't cowboys. Pansy asses.)
Okay. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little. Not all cowboys are that way either.
Truth is, being a cowboy is a tough way to live. And, to be totally honest, they're among my very favorite people on the planet. I've never actually met a cowboy I didn't like. They're mostly good ol' boys who try to do the right thing. They'll open your door, pull over and fix your flat tire, and even drive you home when you get too drunk. Cowboys are a fine breed. A dying breed, sadly. But a fine breed of men who oughta be honored for all the things they do, without glory, without motive, and with nary a "thank you" most of the time.
So next time you think you wanna be a cowboy, go take a look in the mirror. Ask yourself how kind you can be. How selfless. How gentile. Because being a cowboy is more than just wearing a cool hat and a pair of boots. Being a cowboy is a matter of heart.
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