A farm animal faked me out. Totally broke my ankles. I’m not proud of it but it’s true and it happened. Let me set the scene so you can really appreciate the beauty of this story. The greatest-of-all-time goat. That’s right, the G.O.A.T of goats. It was way back in 2005, I was a film school sophomore in Chicago. My roommate invited me to California for the summer to visit his family. I declined because I was too broke but my buddy had a hook. His mom was running an event and needed extra help. We could go work for a few days and that would pay for the rest of the trip. I was in.
The event was the Solano county fair in Vallejo, California. Those who don’t know Solano, it’s the stretch of land wedged between San Fransisco and Sacramento. All I knew about Vallejo was that it was home to rapper E-40 and at least three of the Zodiac Killer murders. Or wine country. Whatever. We flew west and made our way to the fair where we would stay in an RV on the grounds. Working a carnival, living in a trailer. I was 20-years-old and it was my first day as a carny.
My buddy got some cushy indoor gig running the vendors hall. I got stuck with security. But it was cool. They gave you a walkie-talkie and access to the golf carts. Plus a hat and a few t-shirts. Everyone loves free shirts. Stationed at the “director’s gate,” my main job was to let in the fair directors with their gold parking pass. This was the VIP access. And no one got past me and my cones unless you had the proper credentials. Until that hooved bastard shit on my integrity.
This is how it all went down. I was diligently guarding my cones when I got a chirp on the walkie. “Attention director’s gate, there is a loose goat headed in your direction, don’t let it leave.” Before I could respond, I looked down the path and saw something coming towards me. I focused my eyes in the bright sun and saw these horns barreling down the asphalt. Running for its life. I’ve never seen an animal move so quick. It was the Usain Bolt of goats. Usain Goat, if you will.
Now, growing up in Detroit, I didn’t have a lot of hands-on goat training. Or any farm handling skills. So I had no clue what to do. The goat was almost on me. I got in the middle of the road, bent my knees and stretched my arms out. Trying to occupy as much space as possible. Thinking I could stop the beast and turn it back to wherever it came from. Wrong.
It dashed to my right side. I collapsed hard to meet it but it spun beautifully back to the left. Like classic Barry Sanders bouncing a run away from the linebackers and into open space. I tried to recover but as I lunged, the goat faked again and I fell on my ass, holding air. The goat ran free into general admission parking.
I sat there, defeated. I couldn’t even attempt standing because, you know, the goat broke my ankles. Just then, a pair of pickup trucks full of 4H cowboys pull up. And I mean, full-on cowboy hats, boots, belts, buckles, the full nine. They look at me and I just point the direction the goat went. Now this part, I can’t remember if it’s what really happened or just how I felt at the time but I’m pretty sure they all shook their heads in disgust as they cruised by.
Thinking back, fuck those 4H dicks, they are the ones who let their prized goat get away. It’s not my fault. Also, I never went full game speed, at least that’s what I tell myself. I didn’t want to hurt it. But honestly, I never had a chance. The goat wanted freedom, I wanted to not be fired. One of us was working harder. I can acknowledge now, that the goat, was one of my greatest athletic opponents. And cheers to that. We all need goats in our life, to push us and make us better.
Juked me baddddddd!