|1||The Hillbilly Handshake||+8.34|
|After a slow third quarter, the world's most recognizable rope trick is off to a rip-roaring return thanks to increased repertoire inclusions from top names like Cowboy Carl and Tiny Bettis.|
|2||The Pensacola Pinwheel||+4.14|
|Whispers of a proposed merger with The Palmdale Pinwheel bring this newcomer to a strong close.|
|Cynical investors pushed this dastardly trick to an amazing close as rumors of its impending banning made every performance a national event. "The deaths must stop," opined a misty Cowboy Carl, cradling the dripping trunk of his newly dead friend Angus Princeton.|
|4||The Gentleman's Agreement||+2.52|
|Sophisticated New England repackage of the Hillbilly Handshake turns beaucoup heads in lobsterland.|
|5||The Rapist's Feast||+1.53|
|High-profile rapes on the lasso circuit give TRF mucho name recognish. Big tourney wins for Rapist Jim speed things along.|
|6||The Cockney Grift||+1.06|
|Tabloid controversy surrounding the trick's frequently jailed creator, Folsom Ladd, leads this psychedelic twist on the classic 60-40 to a rollicking good week. "No publicity is bad publicity," says Ladd, sometime heroin addict and Kate Moss armtoy.|
|7||The Giant Clicking Worm||+1.04|
|Decreasing gains lead pundits to predict a plateau for Ruth Duke's much-hyped johnny-come-lately.|
|8||The Millionaire's Mustache||+1.03|
|A rare readmittance of a trick once banned from the pro circuit, the Mustache rides controversy to a brilliant close in its first week back. Formerly named The Cockatillo, this dangerous over-under snapped one too many ankles in the late 80s.|
|9||The Lament of Johnny Longarms||+0.99|
|A solid week for one of the most heart-wrenching tricks in the sport. As Cowboy Carl slowdanced through its caramel waves on NBC's Ropefire, there wasn't a dry eye in the judging box.|
|10||The Seinfeld Curse||+0.95|
|Continued fallout from the Michael Richards incident makes this trick play big with irony-drunk college crowds.|
|11||The Troubadour's Boner||+0.83|
|Make no "bones" about it: the Troub is on a winning streak. Look for more gains as national talent picks this trick up from the underground scene and parades it at the Big Show.|
|Following Shelly Jones' performance of this unusual multi-rope trick on Fox's Ropestar, its stock took off like Pegasus. "I couldn't avert my gaze," said notoriously cranky Ropestar judge Mark D'Arensbourg.|
|13||Murder, She Roped||+0.73|
|Rumors of Angela Lansbury's impending death sent this elegant late 80's twirl lumbering to the top. Even though the rumors turned out to be false, the trick stays in the picture.|
|14||The Constable Checks Out||+0.68|
|Forget the name, because the Constable is definitely in! After instructions for this trick leaked to the Internet a full month ahead of the scheduled release date, fans from Tehran to Texas have been giving it a whirl.|
|15||The Connecticut Proxy||+0.60|
|The State of Connecticut's recent PR blitz is paying off big time, thanks in part to a nod from Cowboy Carl, who wowed crowds opening Game Six of the World Series with this landmark trick.|
There's no easy way to put this, so I'll tell it like it is. Bouillon is died. He went missing before the weekend and yesterday I found his skeletonized remains at the bottom of the #3 soup vat during one of my swims. I thought the cream of mushroom soup had an especially nourishing taste, and a lot more clumps of fur and skin than usual.
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