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Never Bet a Bull Rider by CountryBoy

Chet was a born and raised farm kid. He loved to be outdoors and work hard. His hard work had made his muscles strong and had given him a good understanding of how tough the world can be. Something he loved to do to push the boundaries was ride bulls. He loved the sport and had gotten pretty good at it. He especially loved the camaraderie that surrounded it. Even though you are competing against each other, you can still sit down after a rodeo and have a beer with every guy you were just trying to beat.

That is, except Brandon. Brandon was a real smug guy that loved to rub it in your nose if he beat you. He also loved to make fun of the other guys when they messed up or didn’t get the ride they wanted. He also loved to show off his hair. Most of the other cowboys had buzzcuts because they were easy to maintain. But, Brandon had shoulder length brown locks that he loved to brag about to the other guys. He thought his mane made him look tougher and more manly than any of the other guys and was never shy on bragging about it.

One day, Chet was over Brandon’s bragging. He was in the middle of buzzing his own head when Brandon walked into the room and started ribbing Chet about how his hair made him get all the girls and how he was so much better than everyone else. Chet flicked his clippers off and said,
"Well, if you are so sure of yourself, how about your place a wager on it?"
"What do you mean?" Brandon said.
Chet said, "the next bull riding competition is three days away and we are both competing. If you win, I will quit bull riding and head back to the ranch. If I win, you will have to cut your hair."
Brandon responded, "you’re on! And good luck back home on the ranch! We sure will miss you on the circuit. But, ya know, you should’ve known this day was coming: I mean, I’ve always been beating you in riding anyways".

The men came up with the following agreement: if Chet won, Brandon would have to use the 1 inch guard on the clippers on his hair. But, bull riders have to stay on the bull for 8 seconds to get a perfect score so the men decided that for every second Chet stayed in his bull, Brandon would have to go to that number attachment. So, if Chet stayed on for one second, Brandon would have to buzz his hair to a #8. If he stayed on for 8 seconds, he would buzz it to a #1. But, Brandon was so confident he had it in the bag he said that if Chet made it the full 8 seconds, he would Bic his head down smooth. They shook on it and Chet finished buzzing his head.

Three days later, the competition had come. Brandon rode first. He had a pretty respectable ride and was able to hang on for 7 seconds. A pretty tough time to beat. But, Chet knew he could do better. He was nervous as he slid into the saddle and checked the gear. He did not want to leave bull riding. But, he had a point to prove to Brandon. So, he sent up a prayer and nodded his head to say he was ready to roll. The gate swung open and Chet was out of the chute. The next thing Chet remembered was laying on his back after being bucked off. He stood up, checked himself for broken bones and looked up at the clock. It read 8 seconds. He had done it. He yanked of his cowboy hat, looked up at Brandon and just smiled. Then he turned to the cheating crowd and gave a "ye-haw" and they all went wild. But, only these 2 men knew exactly what the time on that clock meant. It meant that Chet was going to get to continue to ride instead of go home to his parents farm. It also meant that Brandon was about to become a bald-headed cowboy.

After the competition, Chet went to his truck to grab a case of beer, his clippers, and his shaving kit. He could hardly wait to see all of Brandon’s cherished mane trampled into the dust. As he looked up, he saw Brandon headed to his truck. He was trying to get out of it! Chet grabbed his rope out of the back of the truck and sprinted across the parking lot. His buddies saw him running and came to see what was happening. He yelled, "Don’t let Brandon get away! I have a bone to pick with him!" His buddies ran to catch Brandon and Chet let his lasso fly. It hit the mark and settled snuggly around Brandon’s waist. He was caught. The other men caught up to Brandon and proceeded to hog tie him where he sat so he couldn’t get away. Chet sidled up to Brandon and said, "Thought you could get away, huh? Well, you will live to regret that." With that, Chet began to tell his buddies about the bet he and Brandon had made and how he was about to sneak away to get out of his shearing. That was all the men needed to hear. They were also tired of Brandon’s ribbing and collectively decided he was deserving of a good shearing. With that, they scooped up a defeated Brandon and took him over to the barn.

Chet ran back to his truck to grab his supplies and grabbed 2 cases of beer instead of his original 1 since he figured his buddies would be thirsty too. He brought back the supplies, handed out some cold beers and popped one open for himself. With that, he plugged in the clippers and grinned as Brandon’s eyes got big as he heard them buzzing away. He pulled off the #2 guard he usually used for himself and looked at the shiny bare clippers. Brandon was basically hyperventilating at this point and was begging Chet to not shave his head. But, a bet was a bet. The buzz of the clippers was coursing through Chets hand and the buzz of the alcohol was coursing through his veins. Winning the competition was exciting but not near as exciting as wiping that smug look off of Brandon’s face. He put the buzzing clippers up to Brandon’s forehead. In response, Brandon tried thrashing around to get his mane out of the path of the clippers but to no avail. With a steady, strong, working hand, Chet mowed a chunk of Brandon’s hair off and let it fall in front of his eyes. Utterly defeated, Brandon went limp. He knew he had been beaten. The men took turns shaving strips of Brandon’s hair off...lock by lock reducing him to a bald headed, defeated, cowboy. Everyone had their own smart aleck comment to say like, "Welcome to the family baldie." or "Hey, this is a lot like shearing a sheep." or "Maybe you shouldn’t of been such a show-off." and "Well, you were a hot shot with the ladies. Maybe they’ll like you just as much with nothing under that hat of yours." Pass by pass, the hair that Brandon had touted as his pride and joy was sheared off and tumbled down his button-down shirt, onto his jeans, and eventually stomped into the dirt.

The razzing continued as Chet took out his shaving lather and spread it over Brandon’s newly shaven scalp. He really didn’t look half bad bald. He had a good shaped head with broad shoulders and strong muscles. But, he was still mourning the loss of his locks. As Chet pulled the razor across Brandon’s head, he thought it was such a good look, he would try it himself. But, he still had work to do. In one deft move, he slid the razor down and sheared off one of Brandon’s eyebrows. This brought a new shockwave of thrashing out of Brandon as he screamed, "What the hell!? We had a bet and the eyebrows were not part of it!" "Well, that was before you tried to run away," replied Chet. Brandon went limp again and Chet drew the razor across his other eyebrow.

With the shearing over, and most of the beer drunk, the men let Brandon go. As soon as it was free, his hand flew up to feel the smooth skin where his hair used to be. He was sure he would hate it but as soon as his hand hit his bald scalp, he couldn’t keep a grin from coming to his face. "Wow." Was all he could say. The other men were pretty drunk by this point but could still tell that Brandon actually liked his shearing. They were about as surprised as he was. Originally, Brandon was planning on kicking Chets butt as soon as he was free. But, as soon as he felt his smooth head and saw his reflection in the mirror, all he could do was give him a firm handshake. Chet was surprised with Brandon’s reaction but shook his hand right back and handed him his cowboy hat. Chet threw his hat on his head (which slid down over his eyes because it was WAY too big. This elicited a good laugh from the other men.) and yelled, "y’all hand me a beer!" With that, the men drank the night away and decided Brandon wasn’t that bad of a guy after all. In all the years since, Brandon has made it his routine to shave his head every Sunday evening. He doesn’t bother with the shave gel and razor but has decided that the shaved head is much cooler and easier to maintain (and actually made him more popular with the ladies...one of which fell in love with him and they got married). He and Chet are now the best of friends and often hang out on weekends at each other’s homes and have cookouts with each of their respective families. Brandon and his wife had 2 boys and Brandon is sure to shave their heads on Sundays with him because he does not want them to be arrogant like he was at their age. They, of course, don’t mind their sheering because they are cooler and it is easier to maintain. It has even inspired the oldest son to join the Marines when he is done with high school and serve his country. They also want to be just like their dad and love riding bulls just like he did in his day.

So, I guess you could say 2 things came from this story:

1. Brandon lived to learn from his mistakes.
2. Never bet a bull rider.

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