The Casual Reporter: November 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Whatever you do, DO IT NOW!!

My good friend, ex-actor, ex-Buffalo Bill, writer, sculptor, and ever-creative Jim McMullan recently wrote that he's made this new video to inform folks about his inspirational book, "Do It Now! Book & Clock Set." Jim writes on his website,


Find inspiration to make all of your dreams come true in this handy book of motivational quotes about living each day to the fullest. Do It Now! Book & Clock Set will help you forge a new path leading to calm and serenity. This collection of quotations from such luminaries as Ernest Hemingway, Eckhart Tolle, and Goethe teaches us to live in the NOW—not in the past or future, but the present. Their wit and wisdom will help center the mind and give the NOW all of your attention. Just as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that’s why they call it the present.”

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Eleana Turns 90, Buffalo Bill Sings

A few weeks ago a guest of ours honored us by choosing to celebrate her 90th birthday at our show. Eleana, I learned, and 25 of her family members, took her to watch us in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (La Legende de Buffalo Bill), Disney Village, Disneyland Paris, France. To show my appreciation, I leapt up over the rail during the start of the Medicine Ball pass into the Red River Ranch where she was seated, and took her hand. She was clearly delighted. 'J'ai quatre-vingt dix ans!' she said with a big smile, her soft, arthritic hands grasping mine, 'I'm 90 years old!' I told her I'd heard as much and that we were honored she was at the show with us, and I wished her a very happy birthday. She glowed. Later, during the final review, I announced to the public, 'I have a very special announcement. One of our guests, Eleana, is celebrating her 90th birthday today, that's nine oh.' The public applauded loudly and I continued, thanking her for choosing to celebrate with us. Her family started singing 'Bonne Anniversaire' and I joined in, in English. After the singing had stopped I promised that I would personally sing 'Happy Birthday' to anyone who chose to celebrate their 90th birthday with us. Guaranteed. I'm no Opera star so I'm not sure if that was a promise that will lead to more or fewer such occurrences, but I stand by it nonetheless.

Red River Sings Brice 'Happy Birthday'

I made some notes on September 19, 2009 for stories to include on The Casual Reporter, but I got sidetracked and didn't publish them. Better late than never, here they are:

September 19, 2009 - First Show

Brice’s birthday today. After he won the roping contest I suggested Christian, the Red River Clown, celebrate by having Red River sing him Happy Birthday. They did and he raised his hat to them in salute. Nice moment.

Second Show

Annie started shooting out the candles and a dog started barking. My brain didn't know how to handle this information. Was it a person barking like a dog, or a sound effect of some kind, or was there actually a dog barking in the audience? Another round of shooting and it barked a few more times. No mistake or confusion this time. It was a dog. The lights went up and I could see him between the first and second rows of Gold Star, next to the stairwell, plain as day, a full grown chocolate labrador with a thick red collar, panting, barking, and watching the show with great enthusiasm. "Well, I see we have one fan at least" was all the improvisation I could muster to try to regain some of the focus. It worked. Further investigation revealed that it was a seeing eye dog. Usually seeing eye dogs are trained for everything, but apparently they overlooked 'watching a Wild West Show'.


A month or so ago the rodeo games started and I noticed there was no bunting anywhere in the arena. "Looks naked" murmurred Annie Oakley. It had been removed, my manager told me later, as part of mandatory maintenance for all the cables, lights and other things that occupy the rafters of the show.

It took more than a month to re-dress the arena, which leads me to wonder if 'bunting cleaning' had been deregulated like the phone industry. Between France Telecom and Free Telecom I waited over 6 weeks for phone and internet. Eventually the bunting and all the other decorations made their way back into the arena.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Latex Cowboy Stuns Halloween Audience

1 November 2009

There are some things in life it's better a feller never sees. Last night during the second show, a cowboy named Tell was one of those things. Up until Tell took the stage, the Halloween shows were indistinguishable from others save for some of the Indians' face paint: a skull, a jack-o-lantern, a ghoul, and so on.

But when it came turn for Red River's cowboy to compete in the Pony Express race, Tell trotted on stage and made Halloween 2009 one to remember. Tell is an uncomplicated, stereotypical ranch kid with a playful sense of humor. On a normal night he'd be dressed like all the other cowboys, in a western shirt and jeans, but last night he appeared in a skin-tight faux-latex black "cowboy outfit" two sizes too small.

The top, a sleeved vest held together in the middle by four straining snaps, was so short it barely covered his nipples. Where the bottom of the vest ended, his pasty white midsection bulged forth ever-so-slightly.

The pants were low-rise and skin-tight from hip to ankle, leaving disturbingly little to the imagination. More midsection skin bulged ever-so-slightly out above the waistband. My guess is the costume was designed as a sexy little number for a thin female, which Tell, tellingly, is not. When Tell raised his hat to Red River, I'd say a good 18 vertical inches of pasty Canadian flesh circumscribed his torso like a white inner tube gone flat.

Mickey and Minnie stared in disbelief at the spectacle that was Tell as did, I imagine, a fair number of guests.

Tell ran the race, the seams of the costume somehow not splitting, then executed one of his trademark celebrations: "The Worm," an 80's breakdance move where the dancer lays belly down and propels himself forward by undulating his body in a giant wavelike motion. He jumped to his feet, hands held high in victory, a layer of excrement-laden sand stuck to his white belly and faux-latex costume, and looked up at the judges stand with a big crooked grin.

As I was saying, there's some things a feller just never needs to see, and that was one of them. It's an image that will haunt me for a long time. But dang it was funny.