Thursday, May 11, 2006


Jim The Young Child Nephew has a new word. It's "go!" He could do worse. "Go!" is one of your more useful English commands. You can use it to begin a wrestling match, or scream at a person arranging nose hairs in font of a red light, or scare away French people.

He learned "Go!" this week when my sister sat him in front of the Kentucky Derby. Well done, Julie The NephewMama! Now Jim has managed to add to his busy schedule of consuming jelly and throwing things a habit of yelling "Go!" while running in small circles. It is excellent career training; at thirty-two pounds, Jim's jockey career is already dead, but fortunately Guy Who Hits The Starting Bell is still available.

Speaking of career changes, Gary "This Microphone Is As Big As I Am" Stevens did not ride in the Derby for the first time in quite a while, having retired in December, having decided life is far more excited when one sits in front of an NBC camera in a peach tie. Seriously. Peach. Why not? It's not as if there's going to be heaps and heaps of red roses lying around to clash with!

I saw the Derby on tape delay, at my Tape Delay Derby Party, because when the race actually took place I was fulfilling the vital task of sitting on the lumpiest folding chair in the history of the world, wearing a mortarboard and ten layers of robes and wishing for death, first for me and then for the people in the audience who were under the impression that what a graduation ceremony really needs to underscore its dignity and solemnity is air horns.

But when the party participants were in place, I shoved in the tape and handed out shots of borboun, the unique, spew-inducing taste of mint juleps having not improved in the past twelve months. Scott The Taller had one, and Ryan the Rocket Scientist, and Fletch the Extremist, and me, and Flipper and Friendboy Andy--they were going to share one-- sniffed wussily at the glass for an entire four seconds before dumping it down the sink. "BLASPHEMERS!" I yelled into the toilet some two hours later.

The best part of the pre-race broadcast arrived when the jockeys began making their ways to the paddock. They were shot from below so as to make them appear taller, which had the effect of making them seem a towering four feet high. Look out! That one is going to start reaching for the sink without pulling up a stool first!

The jocks had been posing for a group portrait and needed to go down an escalator in order to reach the walking ring. Gary began waxing eloquent over his inaugural Ride Down The Escalator, which clanks on my archivist's ear in an enormous way. The main attraction of Derby Day is that it holds a timeless quality: ladies in hats, big ol' silver trophies, rich people sitting down and regular people stinking and drinking up the infield. Escalator… no. It is akin to shuttling the horses out to the gate on one of those moving walkways.

Oh, and an undefeated colt named Barbaro won, by the way. I'm pretty sure he rode a Segway.

running in circles at:


Cbell said...

Ahh... MB has commented on the Derby. All is well in the world again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. And Friendboy Andy should thank you as well. Because of you, I have found a wonderfully eloquent, and TOTALLY hilarious author (aside from yourself) :) AND your wonderful Friendboy has gained a fan.

(It is wonderful, right? Or wonderfull? <--that looks wrong)

I read Reality Blurred DAILY, and look for both of you on MSN. All you have to tell me now is that Gael is a personal friend as well, and my love/hatred (again, spelling?) of you will be complete!

Keep up the good work, you are a ray of sunshine on a rainy Michigan day!


thatsnutty said...

Huzzah! I have gotten my Derby commentary!

What I want to know is A) How many times do we have to hear the Michael Matz vs. The Flaming Airplane story in the pre-race shows..I counted 4...add to that the eight billion times they've done it when he rode in the Olymipcs and every other show jumping event that gets televised..

and B)Why is it that when I just pick the pretty gray horsie for fun it wins on 50-1 odds, but when I put down $40 in a combination of plays on every gray horse except the one that come in the money they all run like they're in the Special Olympics?

HelloBettyLou said...

Did you not want Barbaro to win? He seems like a perfectly likeable horse. I spent me greatest 2 minutes in racing at a bar, with the Derby on. It was glorious.

Anonymous said...

A) Eight billion is never enough. It was an AIRPLANE! A FLAMING AIRPLANE, YOU HEAR ME?!

B) The grey is there to look cute. Never bet on it.

Oh, I'm perfectly thrilled for Barbaro. This was just a very talented field and it was tough to pick a favorite.

Anonymous said...

This year's Derby was my favorite since I started following when I was a kid (which...actually wasn't that long ago...). There were a lot of great horses, and it took me forever to pick a favorite. When I finally did, Barbaro actually won! My favorite NEVER that was awesome.

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