We christened the Bubba in Eric’s Bubba-mon(iker) at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth last weekend.

Now, those of y’all who lack the good fortune of personal familiarity with Billy Bob’s, let me ‘splain. Billy Bob’s holds the title of world’s largest honky tonk and has done so for thirty years. It’s smack in the center of Rodeo Plaza in Fort Worth’s historic stockyards, where you’ll see cowgirls on horseback and cowboys lassoing fire hydrants. For reals. We even saw a man leading a rat on the back of a cat on the back of a dog, which was oddly cool, but had nothing to do with the stockyards themselves.


Look up -- do you see it? The twinkling lights of the disco saddle!

The sheer size of BB’s is amazing, but it’s what they pack under its roof that makes it a Texas tradition. I mean, hello, at how many bars can you adjourn to watch live professional bull riding? And then two-step a few turns around the wooden dance floor under light reflected off the disco saddle suspended and rotating above you, sweat flying off foreheads under cowboy hats pulled low, boots shuffling, skirts twirling, yee-ha’s resounding?  At 10:30, the other half of the several acre building comes to life as the main act takes the stage. What’s a tuckered out dancer to do? Grab a beer from the bartender uncapping five Budweisers against her cleavage? Rest her tired feet and enjoy chicken fried steak and taters? Or try her luck in the casino area? The place is countrified Disney World.


We were THIS CLOSE, y'all! (That's bull riding for you non-Texans)

So, Bubba-mon, armed with five dance lessons and a bride who learned the Cotton Eyed-Joe before she wore her first training bra, hit BB’s with a vengeance. The first lesson he learned was that traffic moves fast and in a prescribed direction, like a NASCAR track. If you mess up, you don’t stop, unless you fancy death by boot stomp. The next lesson? Don’t watch the other dancers. Distractions range from wardrobe malfunctions on women too old to dance in miniskirts anyway to intimidation from show-off urban cowboys who picked up their skills at some fancypants dance studio (can you IMAGINE???).


Stylish! And expensive, ha ha. We paid "souvenir" price, but I would have given a kidney for one, at that point.

I hadn’t worn my cowboy boots in years, and I had open wounds within 15 minutes. Luckily, the gift shop sold Western-themed bandaids (see picture), so we kept dancing for two more hours. Eric’s casualty was his pride. Now, I have permission to tell you guys that he is a perfectionist who doesn’t laugh easily at his own mistakes. Uh-oh. But he kept at it, with me chanting quick-quick-slow-slow at his request through every song. As a bass player, Eric had trouble wrapping his head around the 3-count nature of the two-step set to a 4 beat measure. (Didja get that??) And we didn’t learn two-step in dance class; we did fox trot. Similar…but, well, worlds apart.

After a half hour of me reassuring him that no one even noticed him in a place this size, a gentleman leaned over to me and said, “Honey, he sure is getting a lot better already.”



I would never try to mislead my husband; perish the thought. Bwah ha ha ha.

But, directionally, he was! By the end of the night, Eric was laughing and singing, spinning me, going sideways, forward, backward, and had even learned to lean back against my encircling arms while I did the same in his, and twirl together. My island boy was country dancing like he was born to do it. Shhh, don’t tell him that 75% of the boys I grew up with refused to ever really learn. I had convinced him that it was a citizenship requirement in Texas.

Want to capture the feeling at home? Throw some sawdust on the floor, spin this new tune (Bubba-mon loves him some Brad Paisley, and I love me some old Alabama), and try a little quick-quick-slow-slow around your kitchen.


Have a good one, y’all,


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36 Responses to Boot Scootin’ at Billy Bob’s

  1. Eric Hutchins says:

    I love that Brad Paisley song. Who would have ever though that of me?

  2. Love it! You two just have too much fun. I’m jealous. Ever heard of “Gilley’s” in Houston? I doubt it’s still there, but back in the “Urban Cowboy” days it was and it sounds a lot like Billy Bob’s. My (then) husband and I were stationed in San Antonio, so of course we had to check out Gilley’s. We went with some friends who knew what the Texas Two Step was. We just kinda liked country music. My husband never ventured out on the dance floor, but my friend’s hubs got me out there and it was pretty hilarious. They did some line dancing, and I got the hang of that, but that two step kicked my butt. It didn’t help that I was wearing heels either. Duh
    Keep dancin’! I love Alabama!

    • Pamela says:

      Gilleys, sadly, is history. I’m so impressed you went and got out there, and a little jealous! Astro-World is history, too. As is the Astrodome. All the good stuff gone.

  3. Irene says:

    Polka is a big thing out here in PA. No, I’m not learning it.

    I used to square dance when I was younger. The neighborhood kids and I would go to the local church and they’d have square dancin’ night. That’s the extent of my country music stompin’. I’m lucky I was able to do the macarena. I have two left feet when it comes to dancing.

    But you two definitely had a great night!

    • Pamela says:

      My parents square danced in small town Texas (complete with the costumes) for years. Then, when I was a teen they took ballroom dancing. And my father is an amazing two-stepper and dancer in general. My mom has always been good (high school drill team) but it’s noteworthy when you know a really good male dancer, and that’s my Pops.

      Square dancing rocks!

  4. Alexandra says:

    THis does sound fun.

    All we have in Milwaukee is the beer barrel polka.

    Which you do NOT want to youtube.

  5. LBDDiaries says:

    The only dancing Alpha Hubby and I do is swaying, clutched in each other’s arms. Some people call it slow dancing – we tend to call it foreplay.

    • Pamela says:

      We do that kind too :) In fact, that’s my favorite kind of dancing. They don’t actually want our bodies to touch in most of the dances we do in ballroom dance, and even in two-step you aren’t pressed up against each other. What’s the point!!!

  6. Lori Dyan says:

    Ok. I subscribed to your blog just now without reading a single post. “How to screw up your kids????” “Middle-aged Mediocrity?!??!” I already love it all.
    So happy I’ve found you via the one and only Empress…

    p.s. I did a triathlon, too…I suspect we share some disaster stories…

  7. Pat says:

    How fun! I’ve spent many hours in Billy Bob’s! So glad you two had a blast. I’ve always liked Alabama…and Brad Paisley is a new favorite. ADORE George Strait! Lots of others I won’t list here.

    I’m in Bedford…I figure you must be close. Good luck with the Triathalon!

    • Pamela says:

      Yep, I’m not too far, although we were visiting Fort Worth. we’re down in Houston. Used to live in Grapevine, though.

      BB rocks.


  8. Pamela says:

    From the Padre

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Pamelot’s Dad
    To: Pamelot
    Sent: Fri, Mar 18, 2011 9:58 am
    Subject: Re: Road to Joy: Boot Scootin’ at Billy Bob’s with Bubba-Mon, Baby

    Sounds like fun.

    In a message dated 3/17/2011 11:15:17 P.M. Central Daylight Time, Pamelot writes:

    Road to Joy: Boot Scootin’ at Billy Bob’s with Bubba-Mon, Baby

  9. Ally says:

    I’m in awe of Billy Bob’s. I think my sister is holding out on me when I go visit! And frankly, I’m kind of in awe of Eric. What a trooper that guy is! I can’t stop laughing over the gentleman noticing him getting better!

    I’m sure my boots are at the back of my closet somewhere. I’m sure they could be dusted off. I’m just not so sure any of the dance steps that I knew for a tiny blink in time, during my country phase, would come back to me.

    • Pamela says:

      Re “Frankly, I’m kind of in awe of Eric.”: you don’t know the half of it. I was in end stage PMS…just as likely to cry as laugh…and doing both liberally throughout the weekend. Ah, I married a near-saint (notice I said NEAR).

  10. Susie says:

    Sounds like you had a blast. I am envious. No big dancing area around here- except for the Monday night senior citizens dances and I refuse to show my ID (which would qualify me for entrance)!!

  11. oh my gosh. you guys are soooo cute. it kinda makes me wanna barf, pamela. LOL! secretly though, it’s just because i wish i could dance. i suck at dancing—all kinds of it. le sigh. but i can totally picture you two tearing it up! woohoo!

    • Pamela says:

      Erin, everything makes you want to barf right now, but I’m happy we are one of the things.
      You have to learn to dance so you can twirl all those kids around in the living room to “Holiday” dressed like Madonna!

  12. liz says:

    Billy Bob’s sound like a life experience vs just a giant honky tonk! I think those of us who haven’t been, haven’t fully lived. 😉

  13. JennyBean says:

    I wanna go to Billy Bob’s!!! And I know Jax would covet that bandaid if he were to see it!

  14. The place is countrified Disney World.

    That is a great line- loved it. Back in the 90s when line dancing and Country music hit LA with a passion I made a point of learning how to Two step. It ended up working out pretty well for me.

  15. Nicole says:

    Hi! (Destination Unknown) – Billy Bob’s? Fascinating!
    Open beer with your cleavage – even more fascinating. LOL

  16. This was so funny I just about went cross-eyed giggling as I read it. There were times when I hear Uncle Jesse from Dukes of Hazzard narrating this piece. And it made me want to get up and try 2 stepping to the tripelet four count or something er other. Loved this. So fun to read. Musta been a super fun night. I’m jealous!! Dancing? So fun!!

    • Pamela says:

      I love Uncle Jesse! And they played the theme from the Dukes that night, how funny. I love to dance. I can’t believe I am married to a man that will get out there with me. And that quit drinking so he could keep me safe. I really won the marriage lottery with him.

  17. Nikkolish says:

    This sounds like SO much fun! I think I will put it on my list for my next visit to TX! I love the cowboy bandaid too. 😉 And dance lessons or not, who wouldn’t want to twirl you around the dance floor, Pamela…you’re adorable!

    • Pamela says:

      Sadly, I had to use 6 of the 10 bandaids on my feet on the first night, and I used the rest in the next few days so I could continue wearing shoes and walking ha ha. I was thinking they were pretty cute myself and would jazz up my outfits as an accessory next time I had a little oops. NO such luck.

  18. […] video is of us in the worst outfits ever, dancing in our garage.  It’s super long; you’ll die of boredom after about 30 seconds, if you […]

  19. Dan Johnson says:

    Funny Funny Funny….I’m impressed Pamela. Now if you ever get Eric to go DISCO dancing, I just want you to know two things:

    1.) you win the big prize….Inspirational Motivator of the World Award


    2.)Eric would never be able to live this one down from his SUMMIT buddies

    And THIS is no Jive Talking! Whooop Whooop

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