As I was attending the fair on Thursday, I found two “crazy” jobs I would never want to do: rodeo bullfighter and carnival hand.
I found out from Jerry Howell, the owner and operator of Howell rodeo, that the difference between a rodeo clown and a bullfighter is that one gets paid really well, the other works really hard.
“Rodeo clowns are there to entertain the audience,” Howell said. “Bullfighters are there to save the lives of the bull riders.”
Watching the two bullfighters prepare for Thursday night’s Bulls and Barrels event at the Curry County Fair, it was obvious that they took their jobs seriously, and were just a little bit crazy.
While the bull riders were expected to go out once or twice per night on the back of a half-ton of angry muscle, the bullfighters had to face down that angry mass and put themselves between the horns, hooves and anger of the bull and the bucked-off rider.
They had to try and distract the bull while the rider gets himself up off the ground and back over the rail.
You couldn’t pay me enough to do that. I don’t think you could pay me enough to ride a bull either, but to subject myself to all the slobber that comes with facing down a raging bull; uhhh, no thank you.
The other job I don’t think I could do would be that of a carnie.
It takes a whole different breed to live on the road for nine, 10 months or more at a time and try to get people to spend their hard-earned money on junk.
Not just junk, but junk that they will have to overpay to get by playing the game.
In talking with one of the carnies close to closing time, I found out that they get paid based on how much money they bring into their booth.
If you get stuck with the worst booth at the fair, you make zilch. Of course, if you’re good at hawking the experience then you can make “bank,” according to the carnie I talked to.
I did my stint on the traveling fair circuit with Jerky Hut International, not as a carnie, but hawking jerky at state fairs and sporting events.
You have to be just a little crazy.