Tony Vagneur: Saddle Sore |

Tony Vagneur: Saddle Sore

Tony VagneurThe Aspen TimesAspen CO, Colorado

It wasnt that long ago a small group of us traveled to Boulder for a football homecoming weekend. Some were alumni, some football aficionados, and others just simple party animals. We stayed with a good Aspen friend, an engaging young law student who lived in a very stylish, 1930s redbrick two-story with his longtime girlfriend.Space was tight and some of us planned to sleep on the floor, but before we could throw out our bedrolls, there was the Friday night kick-off party to get everyone in a football mood. Or a mood, at least.About midnight, an obviously intelligent, but rather common looking, middle-aged woman from a few houses down took her place on the couch next to me and, after the usual pleasantries, began to get a little derogatory about my attire. Why do you wear cowboy boots? Isnt that rather extravagant in todays world? Im sure you realize animals had to die for the leather, and boots take a lot of leather? What can a guy say, but Hell lady, I wear em cause I dont like going barefoot, or in my socks, either.It soon turned into a tug-of-war, and not a particularly friendly one, either. I reminded her that there are many things that come from sheep and cows, including such by-products as: leather, candles, cellophane, deodorant, detergent, perfume, paint, shaving cream, wallpaper, piano keys, mouthwash, some plastics, shoe polish and more.To which she turned a deafened ear, saying maybe so, but further, we could learn to do without or improvise those things, because in an increasingly civilized and educated world, who would eat red meat, anyway?I really wasnt in the mood for a conversation of such seemingly one-sided momentum, and tried to deflect her continued negative comments about my footwear (which now included my belt) with grunts and disassociated uh-uhs, while looking around the room for a polite escape.Well, my dear, perhaps you dont realize that cows contribute to medicines that we need on a daily basis in this country, including insulin for diabetes, blood plasma for hemophilia, bone marrow for blood disorders, intestines for surgical sutures; and they also provide hormone products, including vitamin B-12. And thats the short medicinal list. Furthermore, red meat protein plays a role in preventing osteoporosis; its nutrients provide memory enhancing zinc, and help to maintain the bodys immune system. And if you need iron, meats the place to get the best.As we talked, she inched closer and closer to me on the couch, until at last our knees and arms touched, which began to put a new spin on our relationship. Her torturous demeanor relaxed a bit, and with a sexier and softer tone, mentioned that since the sleeping arrangements were a little crowded in the brick bungalow, maybe I should wander over to her place for the night. But please, she said, whispering in my ear, leave your cowboy hat here. Being astute to the nth degree, it finally became clear that I was the second in a hardened city girls dance of emasculation and detente, all choreographed together in one potent formula, designed with unerring accuracy to entice unsuspecting, but willing partners into a night of mixed blessings.I poured her another glass of red, and while gently setting the bottle down, casually mentioned that the condoms in my wallet were made of only the finest Wyoming sheep gut, for a more natural experience. Shortly thereafter, she excused herself, saying shed be right back, but clearly, she never found the couch again. Maybe it was the wine?

Tony Vagneur writes here on Saturdays and welcomes your comments at

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