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A real cowboy’s advice to an ethnic-Russian cowboy wannabe

07 november 2011, 13:21
0

My friend Yuri in Almaty is a great character to hang out with.

When the Web page designer is feeling particularly frisky, he dons a cowboy hat, grins and says, “Let’s go out for coffee.”

I don’t know where he got the hat, but it’s authentic – and the girls sitting around us in the coffee shop are invariably intrigued with the hat and Yuri’s good looks.

In fact, I can see many of them listening closely to our conversation. When they hear Yuri’s excellent English, a lot of them become convinced he’s a Texan – hopefully even a rich oil tycoon. That’s despite the fact that Yuri has a Midwestern American accent and not a Texas twang.

At a certain point, Yuri bursts the ladies’ bubble by speaking to them in Russian. They are truly shocked, believing that he HAD to have been an American. But the fact that he’s a pretend cowboy instead of a real one usually doesn’t prevent at least one of them from agreeing to give him her phone number.

I was thinking the other day that Yuri might do even better with the ladies if he were a real cowboy instead of a pretend one, so I called a real cowboy friend, Mike Slattery, for advice.

I explained Yuri’s ploy of donning the cowboy hat. Then I told Mike, a 24-year-old Nebraskan who runs a ranch three hours north of Astana, that we needed to help Yuri by giving him pointers on becoming an actual matter-of-fact cowboy.

Mike was laughing the whole time I was making my pitch. But, being the good sport that he is, he agreed to send me an email with tips for Yuri. It was a fairly long list – 11 items – and some of the pointers weren’t suitable for a family blog, so I’m boiling them down.

Yuri Bibikov with his favorite SUV

Yuri Bibikov with his favorite SUV

Even so, the revised list is a good one. Here are Mike’s best tips to Yuri for becoming a real cowboy:

1.  Develop some attitude. “Cowboys usually have a cocky and tough attitude” that women love, Mike said. In fact, women wonder how that attitude translates behind closed doors, he added.

2.  Become fearless. “Cowboys have this wild side and fear nothing. Women are attracted to this because it is not boring like the average Joe in the corner.”

Expanding on his thoughts about fearlessness, Mike added: “Women are not attracted to a man who backs down from someone. Sure, there are exceptions, but she already thinks she has met a tough cowboy from the United States, not a (word deleted because this is a family blog).”

3. Although you must be fearless, “be polite and have manners wherever you go. This does not mean forget the attitude. You have to understand how to mix the two.” The bottom line on being polite: Women don’t like rough-edged fools.

4.  If you’re going to wear a cowboy hat, you need to wear cowboy boots, too. “Otherwise, women will know you are a poser,” Mike said.

“Do not wear those real pointed-toed boots, either – those just look stupid,” Mike added.

Let me give you my interpretation of the point Mike was making about the pointy-toed shoes, Yuri:  They’ll make you look too much like an Italian pimp.

5.  Do not wear your cowboy hat “pointed upwards on your head like a baseball cap. Pull your hat down on your head” so you can “look respectable.”Yuri Bibikov with his favorite SUV

6.  Make sure no one but you touches your cowboy hat. If they do, be prepared to fight, Mike said. He didn’t mention this, but from what I know about cowboys, he might have added: “In fact, be prepared to fight over the slightest insult, real or imagined.”

7.  Learn the swing dance. A woman loves a strong guy who can dip her head and shoulders down almost to the floor, then swing her through his legs and quickly pull her back to an upright position while continuing to sashay around the floor. “Cowboys have very good rhythm (on the dance floor) from spending many long hours in the saddle,” Mike noted.

I hope you like this “how to be a cowboy” list, Yuri. I could see, as I was chuckling through Mike’s list, that he’d really warmed to the task.

In my never-ending quest to help a friend, I thought of a tip I’d like to give you as well, Yuri. Now, granted, I’ve never been a real cowboy like Mike. But I played a lot of “Cowboys and Indians” when I was a kid, so I have some credentials for giving cowboy-related advice.

And my best tip, Yuri, is this: Never, ever tell a lady you’re flirting with that your favorite movie is “Brokeback Mountain.” (If you remember, that’s the one about two cowboys falling in love with each other.)

Just trying to be helpful, Yuri – just trying to be helpful.


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