Humor Therapy — Jockey: A Horse Tale (Pt. 2)

Circa 2011

In Part 1 of our story, Felipe yearned to be a great jockey, But shiny Avocado, the lazy horse Felipe’s father gave him, refused to budge-until it thought a bumblebee was on its tail. That’s when the horse reared up and took Felipe on a wild ride that ended with budding jockey face down in creek.

Felipe awoke on a beach under a leaking sewer pipe. The liquid stench flowing down his face brought him out of his coma. As his horse, Shiny Avocado, came into view, Felipe reflected on how he and the beast had never gotten along.

As fights escalated between them, the horse and his jockey both played the blame game. Felipe was fed up with the horse’s carefree lifestyle of drinking and staying up ’til the wee hours, while Shiny Avocado was tired of listening to his master’s whiny tirades about conquering the world. No longer able to work together, they sought marriage counseling.

“He lays around all day and does nothing!” the jockey screamed to the female counselor. “I think he smokes crack.”

The horse threw his head back and released a neigh.

“You see that? He’s laughing at me,” Felipe complained.

“Maybe he’s laughing with you,” the counselor said.

“Yeah? Well, I wasn’t laughing,” the jockey said, leaning over the desk, baring his teeth.

“Don’t be getting all up in my face, little man,” the counselor snapped. “What you two need is a bonding activity. Something to bring you fools together.”

Felipe listened for a while, and then ended the session by flipping the bird at the counselor and storming out the office.

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The session represented a step forward for the pair. Deep down, they knew they could only succeed as a team. Alone, one would only be a lazy farm animal, and the other a circus freak without a circus.

Money was tight. They were living in a truck, and snacking out of a Walmart dumpster. If only they could win a race, or even finish one.

The two later found themselves in a watering hole called the Post Time Bar and Grill. As they blew the little money they had on cocktails, they overheard a drunken jockey brag about his horse.

“I’m telling you, he’s the bestest there is,” the man said. “He can beat the pants off any horse.”

Felipe noticed Shiny Avocado snicker to himself. “What’s so funny?” Felipe asked.

The horse obviously couldn’t talk, because, well, he was a horse, so Shiny Avocado jotted his thoughts down on a napkin. “His horse is a drug addict,” Felipe read from the paper.

An idea struck Felipe. “Do you know much about the horses you race against?” he asked Shiny Avocado. The horse winked, and Felipe smiled.

The two got up bright and early the next afternoon and headed over to the track. Shiny began schmoozing the other racehorses. It wasn’t long before he got the dirt: Three of the thoroughbreds had been up all night playing poker, two were hung over, one was going through a divorce, and yet another had diarrhea.

Only one horse, named Hoof Licker, was fit to race. Felipe bet on him and, sure enough, Hoof Licker came in first. Felipe and Shiny Avocado worked this scam at tracks around the country, amassing huge sums of money. Life became one big party.

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They bought a mansion with a stable and acquired some thoroughbreds. Deep down, the jockey still wanted to win a big race—or any race, for that matter. He knew he couldn’t win with the slothful Shiny Avocado. So Felipe began to spend more time with his new horses, especially with an Arabian stallion named Smooth Hussie.

Shiny Avocado simmered with jealousy. Everywhere he turned, he saw Felipe and the home-wrecking horse galloping and giggling. Shiny could handle a hangover, but watching this new relationship made him sick to his sagging stomach.

When Shiny heard Felipe and Smooth Hussie had entered a race together, he flew into a rage. He circled his stall, kicked his legs and chewed his saddle. Felipe was his friend and drinking partner. This wasn’t fair. Why should Shiny Avocado be left to wallow in a pasture of manure while this other horse lived high on the hog, off money that Shiny Avocado earned?

Shiny Avocado wasn’t going to stand for this. Felipe and Smooth Hussie weren’t going to make a horse’s ass out of him.

The night before of the race, Shiny Avocado polished off a trough of grain alcohol, and weighing his options.

Felipe couldn’t believe his eyes when he entered the stable the next morning. Smooth Hussie was gone. Shiny was slumped in the corner, a cigar dangling from his mouth. The horse had a devious look on his face as he attempted to blow smoke rings. It was then that Felipe realized what had happened. He rushed over to the four-legged lush.

“Where the hell is Smooth Hussie?” Felipe shouted.

The horse pointed his snout towards the door.

Felipe slapped the cigar out of the animal’s mouth. Shiny Avocado just smirked. Felipe flew into a tantrum, kicking walls and throwing hay.

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“All right,” Felipe snapped. “Put your shoes on, fat boy. You’re racing today.” But the horse was in no condition to stand, let alone run.

“You wanna take a ride to the glue factory?” Felipe threatened.

At that, Shiny Avocado leapt to his feet. Felipe did his best to sober up the beast, but it was no use. The jockey knew his only option was performance-enhancing drugs. They were illegal, but so was prostitution, and that had never stopped Felipe.

At the track, the horses were being put into the gates. Shiny Avocado circled about, hyper from amphetamines. Seated in his saddle, Felipe discreetly pulled out a whiskey flask and gave the animal a few nips to calm him. Eventually, trainers managed to lock Shiny in the gate.

A shot rang out. The horses were off. But as he approached the first turn, Shiny did not follow the track. Instead he continued on, leaping the fence and darting through the parking lot.

“What the hell are you doing?” Felipe yelled, holding on for dear life. The wired horse tore through town, into a mall, knocking over kiosks. He paused briefly to grab a pair of sunglasses with his teeth, then ran up the escalator, bumping into old people and knocking over teenage punks.

The relentless journey lasted four days and covered three states. Somewhere around Bucksville, NC, Shiny Avocado ran out of gas and collapsed at Skeeters Fishing & Tackle One Stop Slop Shop. A swarm of hillbilly cops ran out and bum-rushed the fugitives.

After using taser guns on the horse, the police pulled out their batons and beat Felipe as he screamed “No mas!” A beer-belly, red-necked officer just replied, “We speak English down here, boy.”

The horse was handcuffed and stuffed into the back of a squad car, his back hooves sticking out the window. He soon fell asleep. Beaten and bruised, Felipe was transported to a nearby hospital.

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To pay for his medical bills, Felipe had no choice but to sell Shiny Avocado. After that he gave up on horse racing and retired to his mansion. A trainer bought the horse and later sold him to a circus owner, Captain Quinby. Quinby prepared Shiny to work as a dancer and paired him with a husky brown bear that went by the stage name of Blackie. At first, the duo stepped on each other’s feet and bickered, but they were committed to perfecting their craft.

Blackie and Shiny Avocado spent day after day rehearsing, and their night after night watching Dancing With The Stars. Soon the two began to mesh. Tripping turned to prancing. Choking to dipping. They were floating on air. Quinby knew a horse and a bear cutting the rug would be a draw.

On opening night in Cedar Falls, IA, the horse and bear sat in their backstage trailer. Blackie was completely unaware that Shiny Avocado was head over hooves in love with her.

Approaching Blackie, Shiny Avocado got down on all fours, released a soft neigh, and held out a diamondstudded horseshoe.

Suddenly, Captain Quinby rushed in, wrapped his arm around Blackie, and gave her a big kiss and bear hug. Shiny’s mouth dropped open. That explained the late night belly rubs, the basket of salmon on her dresser, and the nibble marks on the captain’s neck. The horse stormed out in a rage.

Like a man of war, the crazed steed fired kicks into the cool night air. He heard the audience laugh under the circus canopy. That’s when the pained horse noticed a light was on in Quinby’s tent. In no time, the beast bucked past the door, ravaged the ringmaster’s domicile, and headed straight for the liquor cabinet. He drank Captain Quinby’s Captain Morgan, and then found comfort in his Southern Comfort.

Meanwhile, Captain Quinby made his way under the big tent. He held out his arms, taking in the applause en route to center ring. “Ladies and gentlemen!” the windbag bellowed. “You’ve seen Ginger and Fred. But you’ve never seen a horse and a bear waltz together!”

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The crowd gasped as the lights went down. A spotlight followed Blackie as she twirled in a red tutu to the strains of Brahms. She reached the part at which Shiny Avocado was supposed to prance in from behind a curtain with a gigantic, black bowtie wrapped around his neck, but the horse didn’t post. Nervous, Blackie continued with her ballet, which had now progressed into an awkward mixture of salsa, foxtrot and rumba.

Suddenly Shiny Avocado emerged from backstage, bumping into a tray of plates used in the baboon-juggling act. His head seem to bobble as he sported a crooked smile to go with his glazed eyes.

Quinby started the music again, desperate to keep the show rolling. Blackie grabbed Shiny Avocado and began to lead. The horse was so hammered that he tripped several times. Then Blackie held him tight, not letting him fall again. The two clenched each other as they tripped the lights fandango. The sloshed stallion looked deep into the bear’s eyes, dreaming of living in a cabin high in the Rockies and singing songs by a campfire to his grizzly gal. He wasn’t settling for a door prize—tonight he was going home a winner.

Shiny Avocado twirled Blackie around and, while her back was turned, pulled her in close. Then, in front of an audience filled with children, he attempted to have sex with her. The kids screamed as parents shielded their eyes. Captain Quinby managed to grab a tranquilizer gun, which he kept for salesmen and Bible thumpers who knocked on his door.

As the pair tussled, Quinby took aim, pumping a round into the flabby caboose of Shiny Avocado. Avocado swatted at the air in slow motion and then collapsed. Some time later, he awoke abandoned on the side of the road outside of Ogden, UT.

Shiny Avocado decided to move to New York, hoping to be cast in a Broadway revival of Oklahoma. But the only work he could find involved hauling carriages of romantic couples around Central Park. One night, a cab pulled up and, through the foggy rain, a large silhouette emerged. It was a lady in a hat. Or, upon closer inspection, a bear in a bonnet.

Shiny Avocado’s heart stopped. It was his Blackie. He ran to her, yanking the terrified couple in the carriage behind him. Later that year, Shiny and Blackie were married in Massachusetts—the only state to recognize the union of a horse and a bear.

Bygone Buffoonery written by Jeff Charlebois

Jeff Charlebois

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