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I was 15 when my Father died, I was getting in trouble with my best bud Gary, in Dallas, Texas. We wrecked my moms car and got busted smoking pot. His Dad decided to take me under his wing, "need to learn a trade" he said. That Summer, He put us to work at his ranch, The Double D, in a small town named Cumby. No TVs, no Girls, No Led Zepplin. It was gonna suck, we thought. Our boss was Pete, he cussed up a storm, wore the same clothes everyday and smelled like cow shit. He was fair enough though. Our time clock was the sun, as long as there was sunlight, we worked. I learned to drive a truck, ride a horse and spit turbacky. Converse became Tony Lamas. I sang along with Merl Haggard and that newcomer Willie. It was Hard work, "Mans Work" Pete claimed. I lost my pubescent pudge, grew muscles and a tan. We spent the days building barbed wire fences and plowing fields. At night we cooked over the fire pit and slept hard in big canvas tents. This went on for three hot months.
Summer was almost over and school was about to begin, we were ready for a real toilet and some Charlie's Angels. It was also time to split the heard into different corrals. A crew of seasoned cowboys were brought in to help out, guys with names like Goat, and Rooster, and I swear to god "Billy Bob". Here is where they decided which cattle to keep and which to sell to Burger King. Goat and Billy herded the cows on horseback. The keepers were pushed through cages, one by one, they were Tagged, Branded and Sterilized. Being the "Boy", Pete gave me the fun job of sterilizing. Rooster almost fell off his horse laughing , when he heard me ask if sterilizing meant giving em a hot bath. Billy tagged their ears with yellow numbered tags and gave em a shot with a big metal syringe. Gary got the fun job of branding the double D onto their ass. Their burning hair and hide smelt so bad we both threw up, a couple of times. Then ... I would then slip a big pair of shears that were shaped like the number eight over their balls and squeeze. Their big ass balls would drop into a bucket followed by a buncha blood. More vomiting ensued. The Bulls would scream allot louder and kick allot harder than when they were branded. It was pretty dangerous as a few managed to kick and jump their way to a temporary freedom. After a while we grew accustomed to this. By the end of the Day Gary had branded about 300 head and I made a coupla dozen bulls into steers.
At the end of that exhausting day, we sat down for supper around the campfire. Johnny Cash was on, singing about Prison. Gary and I were "purdy tarred", and sick to our stomachs. Pete offered us some relief in the form of Lone Star Beer, said "we deserved it" , said "we worked like Men". Thats when Billy said "Men?" "Have you Boys had yer Cowboy Bar Mitzvah yet?". "What the hells a Cowboy Bar Mitzvah?", it was Gary turn to ask the foolish question. They hoot and hollered as they scrambled drunkurdly towards the Corral. Rooster came back with a Bucket, Billy plugged in the Branding Iron. Pete pulled out a bloody set of balls and put em on the Double D's. In seconds the Mountain Oysters were cooked. They tasted allot like liver, not my favorite delicacy. The Lone Star was a real help at washing it down, we did allot of washing down that night. Cow Balls and Lone Star, That what these good ol boys called a "Cowboy's Bar Mitzvah" That was the night, this Boy, became a Cowboy.