This girl’s totally shot in the ass for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. It’s the perfect blend of shouting, gambling and mint juleps. Plus, there are the hats, the stupidly giant hats that look like someone ran an ostrich through a chipper shredder and then put it on their head. All of this stuff is pretty great; the horses I could give a crap about.
The equine apathy’s a little weird since I love horseshoes, cowboys and certain glues. But even when I was a weensy girl-style kid, I didn’t understand why my little friends would piss themselves over the prospect of owning ponies. I didn’t enjoy brushing my own hair, why would I want to run a comb through somebody else’s? Plus, they seemed to poop an awful lot. (This is also how I viewed babies up until about, oh… no I still think that.)
Years ago the boyfriend and I got roped into one of those touristy two-hour horse rides where you clomp along a wooded area on a old-timey dirt trail, clomp across the beach during sunset, and then clomp back to town along cobblestone streets littered with adorable, frolicking children holding handmade pinwheels. “It’ll be romantic and shit,” he said.
He got a tall, chocolate-colored beast. “The Best Goddamned Horse In Town,” I think his name was. I got the beige horse, a tubby, neurotic guy we’ll call “Ol’ Dirty Bastard.”
We set out on the skinny dirt trail, ODB trailing behind everyone, often stopping to eat as I gently requested he try to keep up with the group — they were already at the beach. After I gave up, he burst into a happy trot, far too close to the edge of the not-so-charming dirt trail that snaked the edge of a cliff. We landed on the beach just as the sun was setting, casting a warm light on that jerk of a horse who now alternately broke into full-out runs and then skidded to dead stops, flipping sand everywhere. Roaming charges be damned I thought, and called the boyfriend from my cellphone. “This horse is a real asshole.”
I could not have been happier to hear hooves hit cobblestone. But the streets were suddenly devoid of cute little children and instead filled with large, rabid dogs that began nipping at ODB’s legs. He just stood there until the boyfriend circled back and grabbed him. I was pretty happy when the romance was over and it turns out chafing didn’t get the boyfriend in the mood for love either.
It’s a little disappointing I’m not crazier about horses, since apparently my ancestor was a world-class jockey from Bavaria. He and I have many things in common including penchants for beer, lederhosen and being smuggled into countries by hiding in barrels. But I guess that’s where the similarities stop.
Thankfully, I am actually not expected to ride a horse during the Kentucky Derby. Instead, I can focus on the things that matter — drinking, shouting, betting. And the hats. I’ve got the crème de menthe already, I just need to find the julep. I’ve been practicing shouting all of the horses’ names whenever I can (especially ArchArchArch, which is equally hilarious whispered) and throwing monopoly money around the house and screaming, “Vito’s gonna break my kneecaps!” All that’s left is the hat. Maybe I will decorate it with some stinkin horses.
Jeanine Fritz doesn’t like horses each Thursday for the Colorado Daily.