I lay on my back dazed, the whole room was spinning, I had just been thrown from the mechanical bull for the 18th time that night. My friends had long since moved on to another bar. They were supportive at first, cheering and chanting. But with each new attempt to break the illusive 3 minute barrier they became less and less interested. I had only popped in for happy hour and now there I was, it was past midnight, £40 down and demoralised. Things had become personal between me and the man operating the bull. I had lost my temper after he had gone easy on the speed setting with a girl earlier in the night.
“Things need to be equal else the high score is meaningless, have you no integrity?” I’d protested.
He came back with some vague answer about the girl only being 11 years old. How the mechanical bull is ever going to be taken seriously as a sport with cretins like this in charge I have no idea. I felt like a Western boxer, robbed of Olympic gold by a corrupt Soviet judge. I was totally demoralised. *
I’m going to be honest with you right now, I thought about walking away there and then. Giving up, heading home, I was sore of heart and groin and needed to a pep talk and some Savalon. But I got back on that Bull and rode it hard, harder than it had ever been rode before, refusing to let go even when I was flipped 180 degrees and my face was pressed against the plastic beast’s anus. As my faced bounced repeatedly against the motorised buttocks (a unnecessary extra detail) and my grip waned, I thought about both sides of my family, my forefathers who had served in wars and borough councils respectively. Would they have given up under enemy fire or a dispute over a shared drive way? I think not.
Eventually after exactly 3 minutes and 14 seconds I was thrown triumphant onto the inflatable crash mat. I had done it, I had defeated the odds. I was exhausted but ordered a bottle of champagne at the bar. I phoned my friends who had left me there, who had doubted me. I screamed down the phone that I had done it, I had beaten the bull. I also cried that I’d made it through to judge’s houses, (I’d been watching a lot of XFactor that week).
My mate Pete was very underwhelmed stating that he didn’t care and that I was the worst best man ever, something about me making the night all about me and completely ruining hisstag do. I didn’t care.
NB I later found out after looking back through some CCTV footage that the 11 year old girl’s time was recorded after 9pm. Someone of that age should not have been in a liscenced bar at that time unless eating a meal and so her score was void anyway. A further moral victory.