"It's college night! Drunk co-eds undulating on a mechanical bull!" I said enticingly. I was hardly sincere about my enthusiasm, I must admit, but I needed a story.
My friend, I suspected, was a little worried about how such an outing might reflect on his Porsche-driving rock-star image. But with a little reverse psychology ("No, really, I'll be OK... I drive down to Hollywood late at night by myself all the time") and a hint of unspoken desperation (the biggest, most vulnerable look my blue eyes could manage), I finally roped him.
"Call me 'Bob,'" he insisted in the car, to prove that I hadn't entirely broken him.
So I got a sidekick, and "Bob" got his anonymity, and before we even ordered our first drinks, he had loosened up.
"She's hanging on for her life!" he squealed as a young woman clung to the thin fabric on one side of the saddle, her knee hooked around the bull's hump while her mount twirled to toss her.
Then the mechanized beast slowed. Its slender rider was laughing so hard, she was still having trouble sitting up. She'd barely righted herself before the bull began toying with her, jostling her just enough that she finally slid to the padded mat where she continued to spasm with laughter. Then the steer sobered her by nosing her in the ass until she crawled away on all fours.
There was no lull in this show.
The DJ spun Justin Timberlake's "Sexyback," and the next hottie hopped on. With a bounce, bounce, hop on the cushioned floor, she mounted her ride and raised her left arm to signal her readiness. The tauro-robot began to buck again, and she rose and fell with it, arching her back as it kicked and grinding into it as it reared.
It was more than the standard Urban Cowboy stuff, and not just because of the hip-hop music. The bull master in the "Meat Market" T-shirt was really putting a Dirty South spin on things. Bouncing the beast until its hump was positioned in that critical pleasure point between the rider's legs, the beast master provided the young woman a series of quick, rhythmic bounces as she collapsed over the hump, her thighs still gripping her mount.
Meat Market had a devilish grin on his handsome face as he similarly pleased each young woman to music by the likes of Jay-Z and Fergie. As they rode, a camera snapped photos of the most compromising and sexiest moments and displayed the best images on notebook-sized LED screens.
"Those are some really good shots!" Bob exclaimed, giving me a little nudge. "You should get up there."
After seeing the hot brother with the well-defined cheekbones so obviously enjoying translating the standard bucking bronco into his own bump-and-grind bull ride, well, it was more than a little tempting. It would take more than two margaritas to convince me it was a good idea, though.
I shook my head. A safety-first girl (it's true!), I'd Googled "mechanical bull, injuries" before I'd made the trip. Whether you want to call it "Urban Cowboy Syndrome" or "Empty Saddle Syndrome," I certainly wasn't signing on for sprains and contusions or worse. I love my lady business too much to sustain "urethral injury and significant retroperitoneal hernatoma" for one good ride.
That was my excuse, anyway. The truth was, I wasn't keen on the idea of the public stimulation of my private places, especially in front of Private Bob.
It sure did look like fun, though. One woman had taken off her shirt and lay back on the bull, giving the audience the best view of her wobbly bits as the mirrored ball, which hung from a huge, illuminated wagon wheel overhead, sprayed light over the scene. She writhed there with her long hair falling down the sides of the creature, whose handler now provided a slow, satisfying ride.
"You looked good up there," I told her later, when she was basking in the afterglow.
Jennifer happened to be a law student who had come down from Providence for her spring break. The afterglow, it turns out, was actually only partially the result of her exertions. The rest was a nuclear sunburn.
"You have to try it!" she gushed of her bull ride.
I explained my reluctance to risk it.
"They do make you sign a contract, but I read it, and I'm like, 'I hate to break it to you, honey, but that's bullshit,'" she said, her bravado aided by both a legal education and a healthy dose of hootch.