Psst. I’ll let you in on a secret.
I have a pet peeve.
I’m not a man of many, tell the truth. I’m not usually bothered by the trivialities of other people’s behavior and idiosyncrasies. I haven’t always been like this, but I’ve evolved a lot over the years. At 56, the behavior of people has little effect on me, raging misanthrope that I am.
But a pet peeve lingers.
I hate an idiom, and really hate when I hear people say it.
“This is not my first rodeo.”
Blech. I want to strangle the next person I hear who says it.
Who “invented” it? Apparently, no one really knows.
This ain’t my first rodeo means I am not a novice to this situation, I have experience in this area and I am competent. The idiom this ain’t my first rodeo is mostly used in instances where a less experienced person is trying to give advice to a more experienced person, and is meant to establish superiority. Ain’t is a slang contraction for it is not. A rodeo is a contest staged to allow cowboys to exhibit their skills. Some of the categories of competition are bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, team roping, steer wrestling, calf roping, barrel racing. Mutton busting is often a popular event at rodeos, which is a competition between children to see who can stay on a sheep for the longest time. Most children have fallen off within eight seconds. The word rodeo is borrowed from Spanish, originally meaning round up. The idiom this ain’t my first rodeo is generally traced back to the movie Mommie Dearest, in which the character Joan Crawford says, “This ain’t my first time at the rodeo.” A decade later, Vern Gosdin wrote a song called This Ain’t My First Rodeo, having heard the idiom from a local carpenter. It is reasonable to assume that the carpenter did not learn this idiom from the movie Mommie Dearest, as the film was not seen by many people in theaters. This ain’t my first rodeo seems to have been used as a very local colloquialism prior to breaking into mass media.
OK. It’s not that important. The topic is officially beleaguered in my book.
By the way, I’m also not very OCD. To a fault. Whereas normal human behavior dictates that we possess at least minimal measures of OCD that enable us to get the job done or to responsibly persevere, I possess none of that. I’m the anti-OCD. I have no problem leaving any number of tasks or puzzles unfinished, unaddressed, simply because I don’t care. Enough.
Many people might find themselves consumed with the self-posed quandary of “where did ‘this ain’t my first rodeo stupidism’ originate?” and proceed to overturn all internet search boulders obstructing their curiosity path, I’m calling the search off now. The bottom line is no one knows and it’s not worth my time.
I just know I don’t like it.
Back to square one, anyhow. How did I get on the subject, how did this discombobulation begin, this bloody derailment? I wanted to let the reader know that, as part of my endeavoring to set up this new blog and get it running, I would impart an autobiographical tidbit about myself.
Ahem, yes. This is not my first rodeo.
I’ve been “blogging” since 2008, in various forms and levels and permutations. This verbal maze you, my dear reader, find yourself in, this creation before you, this thing called tragic dog video, is hardly my first. It is only the latest and, I hope, the greatest and most successful rendition of a failed writing career. What is blogging if not the final death rattle of every deterred author’s dwindling hopes and still-born aspirations to become part of the lore of timeless Literature?
That’s harsh. But true. I think. I’m anti-OCD, so I’m very close to being done ruminating over it.
And, in spite of this anti-OCD spiel of mine, I’m awestruck that I am able to maintain a not-for-profit, self-policing blog for so many years. What embodies the OCD mentality if not this? I can post almost daily snippets of my own private ramblings for months on end. There is no payoff, no orgasmic ego stroke, nothing. Other than my own delusional expectation that any of this shit really matters or will in about 350 years when our civilization is a fuzzy memory, having left its digital fossils embedded in the archaic silicon circuits of humanity.
Not my first rodeo.
Not my last either, if I can help it. But it is not to be helped.