Succumbing to pressure from a community which has grown tired of the exploitation and abuse of animals, the Russian River Rodeo Association has voted 315 to 3 to replace their traditional affair this year with a "Virtual Rodeo."
Using mechanical beasts when possible, or otherwise using people dressed in animal costumes, Rodeo organizers say, "It'll be as exciting as it ever was - without the unpleasantness."
Not being as dangerous is only one of the benefits, says Cazadero mainstay, Wall-eye Faryard.
"Think of what we'll save in feed bills," remarked Faryard, with his son Pike adding, "and think of the time we'll save, too - what with not havin' to muck out the tons o' crap they leave lyin' around."
15-year-old Pike raises tapeworms in his spare time and he and his friends enjoy getting together to race them and see whose is longest.
"They're easy to raise and easier to feed," says Pike, and when they die, we jest grows another one."
The Virtua-San Company of Yokohama is a pioneer in the field of virtual rodeo stock, and has been supplying politically-correct Rodeophiles with robotic "animals" since 1997. They're more famous for inventing and marketing the mechanical bulls that have been popular in bars such as Soupy's in Dallas, where the Country and Western crowd hangs its 10-gallon hats.
"That John Travolta movie where we supplied the bucking "bull" (Urban Cowboy) was what really gave our business a shot in the arm," said Virtua-San C.E.O., Hideo Gamera, in an exclusive to KOWSFM News Analyst, Stephen D. Gross. "No cow pies to clean up, no uncontrolled bellowing, no gored spleens - much more sensible all the way around!"
Apparently, the majority of the Association agrees with him, and says because they'll be able to rent the 'bots instead of paying a fortune to some Rodeo supplier from Laramie, they'll save a ton of money as well. Gamera, who bears an uncanny resemblance to a large turtle, has been invited to be Grand Marshall in the Rodeo Parade, but hasn't yet committed.
As an added option, 'bots will come equipped with scent-emitters for an added touch of realism, as well as stereo voiceboxes which have volume and pitch controls.
P.E.T.A. and other animal rights organizations are thrilled with the decision, but W.E.T.R. (Whiners for the Ethical Treatment of Robots is talking about mounting a protest. "They can mount each other for all we care," said Association secretary, Meadow Muffinz, adding, "I guess the squeaky veal always gets the grease."
Rodeo-bots More P.C., Less Tasty)
by SD Gross for PETA
(Pursuit of Exceptionally Tasty Animals)