Every cowboy has a "secret weapon" that gives them a competing edge. Their
arsenal for the illusion, or delusion, of luck runs the gamut of
superstitions.

With rodeo and roping season moving into the heat of the year, both by
thermometer and by calendar, cowboys are plotting, planning, driving and
surviving while taking their best shots at making the finals. 

A cowboy's belief in what brings him success, while often falling short on
factual verification, will never lack in creativity.

Jim was a calf roper who carried a gallon jug of water in his camper in
which to wash his lucky rodeo shirt, never pouring the water out all summer.


"Don't want to wash out the luck so you have to keep it in the water," he'd
say. 

By the end of a long rodeo season he was noticeably a loner. Apparently, the
smell of luck was not as socially rewarding as the possession of it.

As a team roper, Walker always believed that hard work paid off and he
endorsed the theory that "perfect practice makes perfect." But lately, he'd
begun to wonder if he wasn't standing in the wrong line.

A similar "wrong line" feeling had occurred to him when he was in college.
Walker recalled that incident landed him erroneously in the military corps.
Repeating that lesson, even hypothetically, was not a good plan. Walker had
spent his entire adult life pasture roping in all kinds of weather, most
often riding a green colt with no one around to help. Every loop had to
count. 

        

When he reached a point in life where he could rope for fun, he built a good
arena, kept a supply of fresh Corriente steers, bought exceptional horses
and ropes by the boxcar full. And, he practiced non-stop. 

He was dedicated to eating right, exercising, regular strength training and
of course, took his vitamins. He was selective about the ropings he entered
and even more discriminating in choosing his roping partners.

Most of the time, the results were as favorable as the game of team roping
ever allows. Win some, lose some.

In his good-natured way, Walker made a lot of friends and was gradually
making his way into that elite club of the ropers labeled as "wolves."

Wolves are just ropers too, but ones with impressive, inarguable winning
records. Walker's new partner, Les, drives down the highway in the proof of
his skill with a rope. 

Les' trophy truck has advertising on all four corners that declares him to
be a champion. He proves his dedication to the sport by practicing late into
the night and would stay at it until it was time to go to work if needed.

Les consistently catches two feet on his end of the steer, keeping his
success percentage impressively high. On the rare occasion that he misses,
you hear none of the usual litany of excuses --bad cattle, bad flagger, bad
barrier, the header's fault, it rained in Brazil, the neighbor's mother's
cousin's dog died - you've heard them before.

After watching the duo stop the clock time after time in the practice pen in
100 degree heat with humidity to match, Walker's wife thought she'd ask Les
what his secret to success was.

Too late to take it back, Les' answer made her wish she hadn't been so
inquisitive. 

Proudly Les told her, "Absolutely every bit of ability and success I have, I
attribute to my lucky polka dot under drawers."

With that tidbit of information out to the general population, there is
likely to be a run on polka dotted BVDs down at the mercantile. A particular
color wasn't detailed as necessary.

Although, I do wonder if a trendy zebra stripe or leopard print would be as
effective.

Julie can be reached for comment at  <2095/cpsess3921465767/3rdparty/squirrelmail/src/compose.php?send_to=This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="color: rgb(0, 0, 204);">mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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