Crazy Cones And Cockroaches

Yaaaa-hoooo!! It’s Stampede Week here, and the usual happy insanity reigns.

I love the Calgary Stampede. If I had time (and if I wasn’t too cheap to pay the daily $18 admission fee), I could easily spend days there. The free exhibits are fascinating: circus acts, horseshoeing contests, tractor pulls, Superdogs, team penning competitions, art shows, native cultural displays, live bands, extreme BMX/motocross/snowmobiles; you name it. There’s even the Cannon Lady getting shot out of a cannon several times a day.

The giant midway doesn’t really attract me, though. The rides are expensive, and I can’t quite get over the knowledge that they’ve been knocked together in record time by sleep-deprived carnies fresh off the road. Or worse, fresh off their last party. I know they have a stellar safety record, but… I’m just sayin’.

The rodeos are fun to watch, too, but I rarely go to them. Tickets are pricey, and there are so many other things to see and do that I just can’t fit it all in. Not to mention I can’t help giggling at the thought that rodeo is clearly a sport designed by men, for men. A bunch of guys giving each other prizes for their ability to stay up for 8 seconds…? Boys, I hate to break it to you, but an 8-second ride ain’t gonna do it for the ladies!

Speaking of rides to remember, I noted a few years ago that the Stampede is a prime opportunity to get the gift that keeps on giving. Syphilis was the big winner when I wrote that post four years ago, but in true Stampede spirit we’re diversifying. Now gonorrhea and chlamydia are getting their fair share of erm… exposure, too. So before you ride that cowboy, you might want to slap a latex saddle on his pocket bronc.

If you’re looking for a slightly less risqué adventure, the Stampede offers lots of scope for risky business of the culinary variety.

Last year’s scorpion pizza was a big seller, and this year foodies were eagerly anticipating the cockroach pizza. Alas, they were doomed to disappointment: Apparently the shipment of dead cockroaches from Vietnam got delayed at the border. (There’s a unique first-world problem.)  But our indomitable pizzameister promises they should be in soon, so the pizza might get its cockroach crunch before the end of Stampede.

I dunno; I expend a considerable amount of effort to avoid eating food containing cockroaches, but I guess that’s just me.

And in case your stomach wasn’t upset enough after the rides and cockroaches, you can also get a cup of mini-doughnuts topped with cheese curds, gravy, and jalapeños. I’m not sure why you’d want to, but you can.

Or, if you’re looking for a treat that’s both risky and risqué, how about a Crazy Cone:

Oh dear...

Oh dear…

The last time I saw something like that, I was in a sex shop. (Doing research on Lola’s merchandise for my novels. Honest. That’s my story and it’s sticking to me.)

Anyway, no Stampede Week is complete without the requisite crazy-citizen stunt, so here it is:  Some folks’ll do anything to get high…

What’s risky or risqué in your neck of the woods this week?

32 thoughts on “Crazy Cones And Cockroaches

  1. What, nobody mentioned the two horses (so far) that had to be euthanized as a result of Stampede “entertainment”? I’m going to be a miserable little cloudburst, and rain on this parade …!

    Please don’t ban me from your blog. Please please please. I’m Canadian, too, and you do us proud with your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course I won’t ban you from my blog. 🙂 And you’re not being a miserable little cloudburst at all; the use of animals for entertainment is a bothersome question from the start. When the animals apparently enjoy it (like the Superdogs) that’s one thing, but the rest…?

      The heavy horse pulls are a bit of a grey area. The horses are obviously well-cared-for and treated humanely, but even so I’ve sometimes seen them get tangled up in their harness and get panicky. Same with the team penning competitions and barrel racing – there’s potential for the horses to be injured there, but they’re clearly working as a team with their riders and they seem to enjoy it. (But who knows for sure?)

      The rodeos and chuckwagon races and steer wrestling and so forth bother me. Despite the fact that the animals are well-cared-for before and after the events (and I do believe they are), the ugly truth is that they’re being frightened and potentially hurt or killed in the name of ‘entertainment’. Not okay at all.

      I guess I still love the Stampede because I don’t watch any events where animals are endangered. I’ve never seen the chucks and I’ve only been to the rodeo once, and maybe I classified it as ‘fun’ because nobody (human or animal) got hurt. (And I was cheering for the bulls. I figure the humans know the risks going in, so if they get hurt, it’s their own fault.)

      I know the rodeo and chuckwagon events traditionally formed the backbone of the Stampede, but I wouldn’t be sorry to see them banned. To me, they’re remnants of a brutal history that’s better left behind.

      Maybe we could harness up the cowboys and let them run around the track pulling the chucks? I’d pay good money to see that! 😉


      • Hah! So would I! But wait, cowboys are animals, too … although maybe I need to word that differently before your agile brain kicks in … aw crap, it’s too late, innit?

        I do appreciate your thoughtful analysis, Diane. You’ve got me thinking. Always a good thing.


  2. Is a colonoscopy risky or risqué? Not if it’s done right I guess! 😉 Had my second one today, my first was several months ago. I even audio recorded the entire thing. And they found… nothing. Still anemic though, and so the mystery continues…


  3. I’ve just had an image of the cannon lady being misfired into a bucking cowboy eating one of those crazy cones. I don’t know if they allow food in the rodeo, but in my imagination they do. My imagination allows all sorts.
    But cockroach pizza?!? Diane… GAH! They’re like mini scuttling pizzas in themselves… well, the one I saw once was… blech! 😉


  4. Wasn’t that lawn chair balloon trick insane? I means literally insane? The things some folks will do for advertising. Yikes! How sad to miss out on eating cockroaches. I had a hard enough time just taking photos of the scorpion pizza last year let alone eating it. 🙂


    • Yeah, I looked at the scorpion pizza last year and went, “Nope!” But you’re right about the insanity of the lawn chair stunt. He figured it would be cheaper advertising than a billboard, but after he pays all the fines he might just decide to go with a billboard next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. If you were a volunteer you could be there all week for free. Just watch for cowboy pickup men. There are more of then than just at the bronc riding
    As to staying up 8 seconds, I’m reminded of the Englishman who won the amateur bronc riding contest much to the surprise of his wife. Where did you learn that? Remember that summer when you had the whooping cough? There is also “spousal” rodeo event. The guy mounts doggy style, take abreast in each and and says “This is how your sister likes it”, then tries to hang on for 8 seconds.
    Why would people eat a cockroach pizza? I do like the ice cream cone and the chapter introducing Lola was my favourite in all the books. You did your homework well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, and I didn’t even mention the popsicles made of broken mini-doughnuts and ice cream. Or the deep-fried Reese’s peanut butter cups. Or the $100 hot dog.

      Stampede is a lot more than rodeos, though – the free exhibits alone can keep you occupied for days. If you get a chance, give the Stampede a try!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We have the big Ector County Fair over in Odessa every year with the midway and big rides and pavilions full of live stock and car clubs and over-the-top RVs and quilting club displays and crafts and cooking contests and boats and car dealer exhibits and everything else you can think of, and we have our big annual rodeo with all the big names in all the events competing for all the marbles. Sounds like the Stampede has all that rolled into one event.

    But every two years, we have the Permian Basin Oil Show. Every oil patch service company in the world has every hotel, motel, and B&B within a hundred and fifty miles booked solid for two weeks every two years. Giant RVs full of hookers from all over North and Central America show up for that. Then again, sounds like the Stampede has that covered, too. 🙂

    Ninety-one per thent? Thatth THO theriouthly phabulouth, thithter!!


    • “Giant RVs full of hookers…” I just had a vivid mental image of that, and I laughed and shuddered at the same time. I get the impression that the Stampede activities are more in the line of amateur talent, but I could be wrong. Never really had the urge to delve deeply into that area…

      And thankth – I’m getting there!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Years ago, there were honest-to-gosh ScenicCruisers full of hookers around here and there at the Oil Show, the old timers say. Of late, the organizers apparently are trying to keep the image of the Oil Show a little more family friendly. The RV’s are more like camping trailers now, but they’re still around.

        My boss at the college and the other instructors and I offer extra credit to our students for going to the Oil Show. Attendance is by invitation only, but we always get free passes. We teach courses in Energy Technology, so why wouldn’t we, right? It’s a hoot to watch that happens when a group of our students rounds a corner and sees two or three of the ‘business women’ working a booth at an energy company supplier’s display. The term ‘professional attire’ takes on a whole new meaning at those events. 🙂


  7. What an intestinal challenge the Calgary Stampede must be! I suspect the cockroach pizza is high in fiber though, so that’s a bonus. I think…

    People still get shot out of cannons? Who would’ve thunk it?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yaaa-hooo! I miss the Stampede. I happened to catch some action on telly out east here in On-ta-ri-a-rio: Barrel Racing and Wild Miniature Horse Riding…. for GIRLS! The cowgirls get to have some fun, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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