THE STORIES I TELL ABOUT WYOMING PART 2: AMERICA, HOME OF THE BRAVE
More chronicles of the place where I grew up.
- •Every year in Jackson, WY we have* a demo derby on the rodeo grounds.*While talking to a friend I grew up with to confirm details, he told me they cancelled the derby in 2011. RIP. I will miss you as one of the horrors and greatest joys of my youth.
- •Do you know what a demo derby is? No? Let me explain:
- •A demolition derby (at least as I witnessed it) is when local businesses sponsor scraps of metal they call cars and convince idiots to ram them into each other until only one is running*. That is the winner.*you may see it differently. You may know the "rules" but this is my story and sort of how I remember it, so don't disillusion me.
- •There were usually about three thousand or more drunk people and their children there to witness this, myself included. Basically, the entire town.
- •And every year, for as long as I can remember, at the Teton County Fair Demolition Derby, someone ran naked through the dueling vehicles. This is commonly known as "streaking"
- •If you've read my other story about Wyoming, you know that the Sheriff's Department in Jackson is a bit headstrong. They lay down the law and screw the consequences. They are all John Wayne.
- •The year was 2005 and Sheriff Bob Zimmer had a mission: to rid this pinnacle of community congregation of those dastardly naked troublemakers.
- •But one renegade was willing to stand up for the right to parade his penis in front of the town.
- •He was fast and he was nude but he hadn't counted on one thing, a taser.
- •That night the long arm or the law reached out the long arm of the taser, and shocked a naked man in the dirt in front of all of us. Men, women and children collectively cringed.
- •The cries rang out of police brutality. The sheriff's department was under fire. The hippies and Cowboys had finally found something they could agree on, drunk, public nudity, and they were unanimously for it.
- •So how should the sheriff's department respond?
- •Simple, they just needed to prove to the people that tasering someone isn't brutal, indecent, or at all obscene.
- •How did they do it? They tasered themselves at a town hall meeting.
- •And I still have the front page clipping of the Jackson Hole News & Guide with Sheriff Bob Zimmer quaking from his cowboy boots to his handlebar mustache with electrodes attached to his burly 6'5" frame.
- •Someone streaked again the next year.
- •God Bless America.