I assumed he meant in size… He didn’t… He was a ninja character assassin…
Starting with Amelia, the boss asked ballsack to go get ‘Red’. He warned Amelia that Red would keep stopping and trying to eat stuff – she’s perfected the art of fridge grazing…
He even gave her a food based nicknamed – ‘butter cup’…
The Boss was clearly psychic…
Ross was wearing all black. In fact, he’d been wearing black every single day of the holiday. For the last 3 years he’s looked like the grim reaper – but sponsored by Slipknot.
Whenever Ross opened his suitcase at the hotel, the room got darker. It looked like he’d packed a black hole.
His clothing and skin tones are at opposite ends of the light spectrum, and calling Ross pale skinned does an injustice to ghosts. I once forgot to take my sunglasses off as we walked into a dark casino, and I was surprised to see the head of Casper the Ghost floating along beside me.
The Boss looked him up and down and called for ‘Taitor’…
I half expected Taitor to be dragged kicking and screaming from the stables still wearing PJ’s. Instead it meandered slowly across, still chewing hay, in a kind of ‘couldn’t give a rats ass’ sort of way. Bingo!
Angela had dressed for horse riding in her own unique style… “Are you going clubbing?” the Boss asked her. When someone asks Angela if she’s going clubbing, they are usually referring to her response after I’ve said something daft.
“Go get Bailey” he said to my nemesis. Angela’s face lit up. I couldn’t decide if she thought she was getting a coffee, or because Hank was going to mount her. Probably the latter…
Hank also brought her a riding crop, and with a smile said “you’ll be needing this later”… I scanned the ground around me looking for something to perform a bit of ad-hoc dentistry…
Realising I was distracted, my suicide gene ambushed my mouth and chirped up with “She’ll need bigger stirrups, her shoes come in crates, not boxes”.
I had stupidly forgotten she was armed with a crop, but Miss Whiplash hadn’t…I just pretended it didn’t hurt…
For my horse, I had hoped for something in McLaren’s colours, but a bit more reliable.
The Boss looked me up and down, looked at Bob, smiled and said, “Go get Luke”. He then turned to me and said, “Luke is short for Lucifer”.
WTF! I started wishing I had read the disclaimer form more closely. Maybe he was in cahoots with Hank, or maybe Angela’s fairy godmother was still interfering.
Lucifer was summoned…
I was disappointed, I half expected a cloud of red smoke, or at least a pentangle and a chicken sacrifice. Instead, a fairly normal looking horse was led across. It didn’t have cloven hooves, and I couldn’t see a 666, but he was different from the others, bigger, slightly scarier, and had white snot – like it’d just been caught snorting cocaine in the stable. It also had a slightly mental stare, like the guy that gets on the bus and everyone silently says, “Please God, not me”… but this was me… and we were going to be on the same bus for the next few hours.
We stared at each other for a while, like boxers do before a fight. A dust cloud appeared as it pawed at the ground. I wasn’t sure if it was excited, or preparing a shallow grave.
Before we mounted, the Boss asked us what experience we have had with horses. I was tempted to say “Only ones that Tesco’s sell in their meat pies”, but I played safe and kept quiet. As the moment of truth approached, I checked out the saddle hoping to find the safety leaflet. I had at least expected to be shown the brace position and where the life vest was. Nope… On a plus note, it didn’t have ‘Abandon all hope’ written on it either.
The Boss shouted out equine setup instructions…
“Grab the saddle horn” – Nothing looked like it would go ‘honk honk’, so I assumed he meant the lump at the front of the seat.
“Stick your left foot in the stirrup” – That must be the thing that looked like a Bransholme earring; Angela studied her hands, working out left from right.
“Pull yourself up” – Hank helped Angela up, and her face lit up like Debenhams have a sale on.
“Up you go Miss Angela” he said… WTF!… ‘Miss Angela’? He hasn’t even got his hand off her arse yet and she’s already single!
Instead of ‘hunk’, I got scrotum face helping. I weigh 14 stone… He’s built like Woody from Toy Story… If I’d fallen backwards, he would have shattered like my heart did when Kylie got engaged.
“Reigns” – I assume the boss means the flappy leather things, and he’s not giving us a weather forecast.
Good start… No one has died… yet…
Being sat twenty feet from the floor on a French steak that doesn’t want me there is scary. Especially when it turned its head, looked back at me, and grinned.
I had always sworn that I wouldn’t get on a horse again until it was fitted with an ejection seat. I would feel a lot safer if the saddle had a big yellow and black handle I could yank on when I wanted to make a quick exit. Instead, all I had was a shiny chunk of leather that once belonged to the contents of a Big Mac.
Mankind has had a thousand years to optimise equine seating arrangements, yet saddles still feel like they’ve been designed by someone with a CSE in drama.
I compiled the saddle snag list:
- They’re hard; FFS… What’s wrong with a bit of padding?
- There’s nowhere to charge your phone
- They’re slippery; WTF… I’m expected to stay on a moving bag of muscles over rough terrain sat on something that my arse slides around on. One fart bubble and I’ll end up having to walk back.
- I must have been given a girly saddle by mistake because my nuts did not fit it. I know I’m old, but I haven’t got granddad balls yet… Yet I just might, after a couple of hours sat on one of these.
dogs of whoa
I really wished we had taken our mutt with us on holiday. I’ve seen plenty of cowboy movies where the riders are lovingly followed by their faithful canine companions.
Falling off a horse wouldn’t be as dangerous if riders had a nice soft mutt to land on. A cowboy’s dog is just an archaic form of airbag. Yeah – you would have to wash off the squished bits, but… as a bonus prize, you get a pre-tenderised meal. Just add some petrol, a match, and Rover would go ‘woof’ one last time…
fixtures and fittings
My horse’s kit list was fairly sparse. It didn’t even have a bell. Even bikes have bells. What’s the protocol to tell people you’re coming through? In the UK, even if you haven’t got a bell on your bike, you still say “ding ding” loudly. What the hell am I supposed to shout if my impending cat food goes rogue?
Bob’s horse had more stuff; it had ropes, a medical bag, and a rifle. Knowing how my humour can be misinterpreted, I decided to limit my conversations with Bob to safe topics. That way, I was less likely to influence him into using anything hanging off his saddle on me.