By Cameron Purcell, Columnist

It was a lovely, sunny day.

Though it was not the sun that made this day so lovely.

No, there was something far greater than the sun.

Today was the day that at Lone Star College-Kingwood there was a chili cook-off.

I had enlisted a fellow member of the newspaper to help me document this beautiful event, Emory. I could sense the chili the night before the cook-off, it’s delicious smells transcending the boundaries of time and alerting me to their inevitability.Upon our arrival, I was confronted by my greatest enemy: Paying for things. It turned out we had to pay money to sample the chili of the master chefs, and I felt bullets slice through my wallet and pierce my thigh.However, my love for chili overpowered my reluctance to pay for the event, and so I bought tickets for both Emory and me.

Love makes us do stupid things sometimes, but the wonderful feeling itself is well worth what you must put into it. I consider myself a romantic-For chili.

Every chili had its own unique taste and composition. One chili was even made without meat, and it tasted good! Unfortunately, the time came at the end for us to cast our vote on which chili we liked the best.

I was so immersed in the realm of chili, I had forgotten to remember which I liked the best! I looked back at the contestants, some of whom eyed me eagerly. I could see hope in all of their eyes. Yet, I still could not remember which chili I liked the best! All I knew is it was one of the more recent chilis I ate.

In the end, I chose the chili somewhat close by, based entirely on the fact that the girl who made the chili was gussied up in a nice cowgirl outfit. A petty way to choose chili, but I could not retaste the selection.

My guilt was eradicated and replaced by joy, however when one of the staff informed me of the mechanical bull inside of the PAC building.

Emory and I knew what I had to do.

I had Emory walk behind me and record a video, instructing her to make sure the shot was very dramatic, something one would see in the movies.

You see, I am a master of mechanical bull riding. I have developed a technique that has kept me on some of the meanest mechanical bulls for a solid minute at the least. I leaped onto the bull with the grace of an eagle and readied myself to show this machine who was the boss.

My plans were thwarted, however, when I was informed I would not be allowed to grab the bull’s head upon my attempt to do so. This was a key element to my technique, and I had realized it was all over before it even began.

Still, I would not be deterred. I am a man of my word, and I said I would ride this bull.

“He may not be the hero we need ,but he’s the hero we deserve,” Aguilar says. Graphic design by Emory Aguilar. Click on the picture to watch a video by Emory Aguilar.

And so, the bull started. There’s something magical about bull riding. Time seems to slow down, and one second feels like five or ten. What doesn’t last is the split second it takes you to fall off but the memory of it goes on for eons.

I hadn’t even lasted half a minute on the bull, and I ended up tearing off one of its horns by accident as I fell off. Thankfully, I could just stick it back in place.

My heart was not so easily fixed.

I had betrayed the chili gods, and I had left a stain on my mechanical bull riding legacy. It hurt, but these are sacrifices we must make in life. Whether a sacrifice is made for one’s morality, a newspaper, or both, it is a core foundation of life and all of the human society: Sacrifice. Sometimes that sacrifice comes in the form of failure, but like riding a bull, you need to pick yourself up and make up a hundred excuses as to why it’s not your fault.

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