What? A Space Rodeo?
“A what?” I asked, trying hard not to sound encouraging.
“No, Harold, I don’t know. What is a ‘rodeo’?”
He tipped back in his chair and slapped his knee, which was Harold’s little way of saying, “Bernie, you sure are stupid!”
He then regaled me with some romantic description of crazy people catching, riding, and otherwise tormenting some half-wild mammals called ‘cows’ and ‘horses’.
“Rodeos were a form of entertainment back on Earth,” he said. “They were a big hit. Lasted for centuries. We’ll be rolling in it.”
“I don’t know Harold this is Chara 4—not Earth. We’ve tried playing with Earth trends before,” I wanted to let him down easy. “Remember what happened last year with that…hula poop thing?”
“Hula hoop…HOOP! You’re always saying poop instead of hoop. You never seem to get it right!”
“Ya ya, ok, fine—hoop, poop, whatever. We fabricated hundreds of the things, and we only sold ten.”
“But that was different. The hula hoop was just a fad on Earth…rodeo was a culture. I’ve been doing some reading…”
Ah-oh, he’s been reading again.
Here we go! Where does he find these things?
He pulled out his data pad and showed me some history article.
I humored him and read it, looking carefully for anything—any excuse to say, “we can’t do this because…”
“But, Harold,” I said, “it says here that rodeo wasn’t a culture at all, but a reenactment contest for people in the meat growing industry.”
“Ya, so? We grow meat.”
I sighed. “Look at this,” I said, pointing to a picture of one of the creatures in the article. “That animal…is huge! It stands…what…something like two, three meters high at the shoulder? Heaven only knows how much it weighs. And besides, we don’t even have any of these animals on Chara 4. Are we going to ship these beasts across twenty-seven light years? It’ll cost a fortune. Do they even still exist on Earth?”
He raised his brows. I never fully understood how logic could escape him so completely.
“What about strelich? We have lots of those!”
“What?” I exclaimed. “You want to start a game where people ride our strelich like folks used to ride…this thing.” I pointed at the creature in the article. The thought of a man sitting astride a half-meter high lizard nearly caused me to burst out laughing, but I bit it back.
“No, of course not, that’d be silly. They wouldn’t ride the strelich—they’d ride Krazzken.”
“Krazzken,” I repeated.
“Krazzken,” he said with a smile.
That was a year ago, and what an adventure it has been. Designing various mounting apparatus to fit a eight meter long, ten legged insect turned out to be the easy part. Teaching—or rather persuading—the Krazzken to chase after strelich was another matter entirely. So finally Harold hired someone to translate that history article into the Krazzkens’ language so they could read about it for themselves. They got right into it, and even had fun with it! It ended up revolutionizing Human-Krazzken relations.
The only problem was then we had to cut them in on the profits.
You just can’t fool a Krazzken.