Tuesday, November 02, 2010

#220: Get On The Snake

Horses? What do I know about horses? They come from Antwerp, right?

Seriously, all I know about horses is gleaned from the knowledge that they are often used as pet food, Meals On Wheels, glue and wigs for feral women. I have seen the skin of Phar Lap and it was impressive, and I did once see a bloody great Clydesdale piss a river to the amusement of many Japanese tourists and the utter disgust of my father. He was shocked that the tourists were taking photos of the Clydesdale doing his business and muttered how the little Japs had probably never seen a cock that big before. Truth be known, they weren’t the only ones. Other than that I know I can ride a horse but can’t make it gallop, and I know that my older brother once placed me on a horse in a paddock and rammed a twig up its arse to see what it’d do. I think I flew about twelve feet into the air before I hit the ground, all to the sounds of “Ride ‘em cowboy!” in my ears. I know that Lou Costello rode what looked to be a combination of cardboard and wood pretending to be a horse called ‘Teabiscuit’ in a bad movie back in the 1940s and Shirley Temple danced on the head of a pin. I also know that at this time of the year women Australia over wear the most ridiculous hats and cheap clothing. It’s the perfect excuse for females to throw on outfits that look utterly insane – in most cases they merely look like ten pounds of shit bashed into a five pound bag.

I was in Melbourne last weekend. I wasn’t there to attend the Spring Carnival, but now I wish I had. For the most part of Saturday we remained in our hotel room – when a city had 50mms of rain in a day it’s not the brightest idea to wander about the streets. They teach you these things in Adelaide, but clearly not in Melbourne, as there they were, the gaggle of gals, wandering the streets with hats that looked like brain slugs from Futurama crossed with sulphur crested cockatoos. One woman was struggling to keep her neck straight as she wandered the roads with what appeared to be a semi-conscious peacock on her noggin. She did make it halfway across the road before slipping over on a wet tram track, much to my great amusement. And it didn’t stop there.

Most of the girls that dressed up looked to have adopted Paris Hilton as a role model and did their shopping at Target. But what stunned me was the sheer stupidity of most of them as they continued to brave the elements and attempt to run across flooded streets in spindly heels that more often than not got caught in tram tracks, road works, pot holes and those cobblestones that Victorians appear to love to keep as gutters, trip over, crack skulls, lose hats, tear dresses and watch their handbags run down the drains. Absolutely brilliant. On a cold, wet Saturday afternoon this was better entertainment than anything on TV.

But what does this have to do with horses? Absolutely nothing, same as the Melbourne Cup. Gone are the days when the Cup was about going out, sinking some tinnies, losing the weeks wages on the nags and smoking a packet of Winnie Blues. Now it’s about looking good and consulting the ‘form guide’, that nebulous document that changes with the wind and only serves to guide people on which horse not to bet on at any given time. Many a family fortune has gone by the wayside to this ‘form guide’.

Now I’m betting that there are plenty of people out there who love the nags and love nothing more than to bet on them on this day. I’m also betting that those same people wish that the media would concentrate on the actual horse racing than what whatever C-List celebrity that’s being paid to stick their head out of a beer tent on any given day – this year it’s Enrique Iglesias, last year it was some other empty headed peanut like Paris Hilton or her sister. I suppose that, unlike the Son Of Julio, Paris kind of resembles a horse, what with her long face, large man hands and a tendency to slobber down on carrot shaped things in the dark on camera.

Ahhhh the Spring Racing Carnival, the national excuse to gamble, get drunk, sexual assault co-workers and to waste productivity by taking either the afternoon off, if not the entire day. Remember, don’t bother to gamble responsibly, just throw the house and life savings on the long shot – it’s your only chance!!!

Oh, and there might be a horse race at some point during the day, but if you blink, you’ll miss it.

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