Monday, November 03, 2008

I Haz a Fascinator!

Tomorrow is 'The Race that Stops a Nation" and it does. No, no, no, not the US Presidential Election, not the Formula One Grand Prix, not the superbikes, no marathon or swimming spectacular. Tomorrow, whilst Americans go to the polls and elect their first black president, we will be yelling and screaming at our TV sets in silly hats late in the afternoon and probably watching some Emirates or Irish interloper take our valued Melbourne Cup offshore once again.

Melbourne Cup is an odd phenomenon. People who have no interest in horse racing, dress in their black and white best, make or buy silly hats. Swan into Flemington Race Course into their corporate tents or if unable to afford the life of the rich and famous, gather in the car park and watch the whole thing on the BIG SCREEN . . .women all over the country attend "Melbourne Cup Lunches" watch fashion parades, ogle over handsome waiters and stuff their faces. They buy raffle tickets and sweeps and watch a race in which they have no interest in the hope of winning the "Pamper Hamper". God I miss those days. I used to get together with my mother in law and do some fantastically over priced lunch at a posh restaurant with the 'sisters'. A bunch of 'real ' Australians' who spoke in broad accents (although none ever said struth or crikey) drank champagne, except Auntie June who'd get loaded on Scotch and Coke and whinge about the price of the meal.

I digress. I have little interest in the Melbourne Cup other than it means a long lunch at work, usually a BBQ before the race, a few bevvies, wearing a load of silly hats which more often than not I supply. I am the minister for silly hats. Betting on the $1, $2 or $5 sweep and then reluctantly going back to work for an hour to sober up before heading home hopefully, with some booty that will justify taking the kids out to dinner at Arthurs and enjoying half a lobster or a hot rock sensation!

The Irish are here and their front runners. Septimus apparently is unbeatable. It comes as no surprise that the Irish horse loves a wet track and we've had rain but in true Australian style it simply washes off the top soil and doesn't soak in. Aiden O'Brien's horse is favourite and he's very pretty which is my criteria for choosing a horse, that and the jockey's colours or name. (why do they all talk like they've just sucked in a dose of helium?) So wish me luck . . the luck of the Irish perhaps? If I draw Septimus, I'll think of all you soggy Irish people in 3 degrees Fahrenheit and drink to your health!

Whoozza pwitty boidie den . . (the horse not the jockey)

God that Palin woman and her strident voice are penetrating my little computer corner whilst 4 Corners sagitates over who's going to win the US election . McCain is saying "Sarah Palin and I will not raise your taxes my friends . .we want you to get wealthy!" I'm sure that's great news for some dispossessed Hurricane Katrina victim who's still not able to return! Does that make anyone say "Only in America!" And that woman's voice is enough to break glass.

Plus there's a stinky, fishy smell coming from my ceiling which is either the waft of last night's tuna from the kitchen tidy or a dead rodent . . .digression yet again. . .

More important, in breaking news, the track may be too dry for the Irish Runner super Septimus . . ."Cup favourite Septimus in doubt for race . . ." Bugger, he's the only horse I know!

Well it's all in good fun and for 5 minutes tomorrow afternoon, the world as we know it will freeze.

And yes, I do have a 'Fascinator' to wear during the race . . .


33 comments:

Ces said...

Fascinating fascinator and a beautiful contagious smile. I'll ignore your comment on Sarah Palin. I hope you win money. Yes, they do have nice bodies, those hosrses.

Miladysa said...

Oh that's what those things are for! Well I never :D

Good luck x

Miles McClagan said...

My fascinator is just how many people end up in a video store at 10 in the morning...I have not a lot of interest in the Melbourne Cup, but the Hobart Cup, ah, is that another story...

Grannymar said...

You will outshine them all and be Belle of the ball!

I'm fascinated by the fascinating fascinator!

Ian said...

There's an episode of inspector Morse where he and Lewis arrive in an OZ town to find the place deserted. Everyone is in the bar to watch the Melbourne Cup

Quickroute said...

I love a day at the gee gee's or failing that a wee wager just to keep an interest is great. Best o' luck!

Stew said...

Facinating. Good luck with it.

jay said...

Is that really you? You look so chic and elegant! You'll stun them all!

I agree with you on Sarah Palin. That woman is nails down the blackboard for me. And that's being totally apolitical about it.

kj said...

so this is you, baino! i can see your desire and ability to see starfish instead of seaweed from your smile.

i love your hat choice. air conditioned and fashionable.

sarah palin's voice: please dear God, spare me that. i heard a quite weightless stump speech by her last night it was mainly that voice. screech...

TCL said...

The worst is the news in the States are pumping Palin up like she'll be the next Republican superstar.

1) I hate hyping politics like it's a horse race or wrestling.
2) Superstar she's not. Dick Cheney with a skirt and a wink.

Geez I'm pleased I'm leaving the country.

I'll give you a report about the Melbourne Cup from the Oz Embassy in Washington, DC. Been there for footy matches but never for the ponies.

Nick said...

Yes, horse racing seems to be just as much a flamboyant fashion parade as a test of the horses.

I love the new hat. Though it's making a bit of a mesh of your hair....

Ropi said...

Oh, I was guessing F1. I was pretty upset though. I am cheering for David Coulthard from Scotland and he had his last race so I was hoping he has a nice race .... well ... he had to give it up in the 2nd Curve (not lap). So that's about it. So far I had been cheering for Hamilton to win the championship but then I turned side because I thought it would be unfair to me that my friend will be happy and I will be sad. Until the last curve I was happy and he was sad but at the finishing line I was sad and he was happy. Does it make sense?

Moon said...

We have a similar thing at home with the grand national, and here, the Kentucky Derby .....

Just meant 30 mins off work in an Adelaide Wool Store ....

Excellent Adventures said...

Haha! You and your headwear!!! That blog was great, you sounded like you were getting distracted by shiny things! So who you gonna buy a hot rock sensation for? Can I take a raincheck on that if you do win???

You'll have to fill me in on the world's events in a month because I've been living in a bubble for 10 months without SBS or ABC. I know nossing! NOSSING!

Megan said...

I am still kicking myself for not wearing a hat to the Breeders Cup.

(Ian, I remember that Morse episode!)

Enjoy your long lunch. I hopes you wins some swag!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Baino, why are you wearing a sieve on your head - do you need draining? Has your brain turned to spaghetti?

As for tomorrow - I don't want to know about it. Any of it. Someone can tell me about it when it's all over.

Melissa said...

Oh, dear, I'm terrible at this sports thing. I was wondering why there were photos of horses ... here I thought it was a football/soccer match! Love the hat -- great smile! :)

It's election eve here and I can just about stand it ... the suspense ... ack.

TCL said...

vanilla,

Tomorrow the Melbourne Cup or the American horse race?

Ropi said...

I mean cool gongs to those golden crosses and whatevers on Franz Joseph shirt.

Baino said...

It's my best hat and my best horsey smile(shame about the haircut, it was taken last Christmas with my Adam induced 'trim') Sarah who?

Indeed Miladysa - keeps the flies out of your eyes as well!

There's a Hobart Cup Miley? My we mainlanders are out of the loop!

Thanks Grannymar, I have a collection of rasta wigs, sombreros, akubras, fascinators and others that will be worn today!

Ian I think I've seen it but it is a bit like that. Woe betide the client that rings at 3:40 this afternoon!

Get the to the betting shop Quickie . . .it's raining . . Septimus may rule again!

Hi Stew! mmmm n00bs, we loves n000bs. Welcome aboard the banality that is Baino . . have a flutter on your Irish nags, you might get lucky!

Jay that is one of my mercurial poses yes. In a delightfuly classy DJ's T shirt. I dress to impress! And 'reet' 'strident' doesn't cut it!

Thank you kj, the best horsey grin I could muster!

TCL, mixing it with the hoy paloy! Good for you . . .well this is one race no self respecting Aussie would miss!

Hardy har har Nick . . .I'm a mesh at the best of times!

Yep Ropi, know exactly what you mean, I watched the end of the race, very much touch and go. Thank goodness for those dry weather tyres. He did very well to come back and win!

Only 30 mins Moon? . . slave drivers, infidels! Absolutely unAustralian.


Hello Darls. Yep hats a plenty today. I'm feeling a little "Nepalese" or may wear one of your Sombraros depending on the background music! Of course you can raincheck. News? there isn't any other than I think some small country on the other side of the world is about to have an election.

Megan, hats are mandatory at any horse race. The more ridiculous, the better.

AV it was part of my Christmas booty last year (yes I asked for a pasta colander, one of those conical ones but my MIL bought me a sieve instead - GAH!)

Good luck Melissa . . I'm not much of a fan of the gee gees but this ones an excuse to skip work for a few hours and that's got to be good yeh?

Erm thanks for clarifying Ropi. I wish you many cool gongs!

Miles McClagan said...

Not only is there a Hobart Cup, sometimes people pose openly with Asian hookers and sit with them on top of a ute...

It's a classy day

Bear Naked said...

Oh how I wish I could be there at the race.
I promise to put on my fanciest hat and cheer like mad for *your* horse.
I usually put my bet on the jockey with the best colours.
50/50 chance of winning.

You have a GREAT smile!!

Bear((( )))

Annie Ha said...

I want to come over and eat some BBQ.

Baino said...

Miley . .boguns everywhere! Actually I've been to Tassie and it's lovely. Despite the rivalry between you six fingered bush dwellers and the mainland!

Hah . . hamming up a bit there for the camera. I'm actually a bit of a grumpy face!

Bear for us, it's live streaming on the data projector at work and a nice lunch and a few bevvies and a sweep! Actually it's now all over, the Irish were a no show and a good Aussie horse gave veteran trainer Bart Cummings his 12th Melbourne Cup win. Best of all, I just about broke even . . $4 short of my 'investment'.

Well Annie, you know where we are .. 12,000 miles south west, the little island shaped like a Scottish Terrier, next to New Zealand and just above Antarctica!

Kath Lockett said...

Love your hat sense and hope you took home some moolah from the sweeps today Baino. As a 'work from home aloner' it was just me and Milly and she wasn't too keen on putting her paw in the hat (my sweaty power walking cap) to pull out a horsey.

conortje said...

'it means a long lunch at work, usually a BBQ before the race, a few bevvies, wearing a load of silly hats' - Good grief that sounds ridiculously fun :-)

ian said...

What a dream day for the bookies!
40/1,20/1,20/1

Was there silence in the grandstand as they crossed the line?

Christopher said...

Moon already mentioned the Kentucky Derby, although in my home town we also have the Steeplechase. Ain't it funny how these races draw out people who otherwise have no interest whatsoever in horse racing?
By the way, Baino, I'd just like to add to the chorus praising your hat. It's very nice and looks great on you.

Baino said...

Aww poor Kath . . nah just shy of even, I lost $4 but won back $21 so not too shameful but lunch was nice!

Connor any excuse for a long lunch and to dodge work for 3 hours and I'm in fun or not!

Long shot alright Ian, it was a photo finish and the little Aussie Battler won. The Irish contingent were nowhere to be seen! $5 million pot! It paid $45 per unit so someone cleaned up!

Christopher, it's just a big fashion parade. Then there's 'Ladies' day at the Oaks on Thursday which is even more of a pose! Thanks, I have a hat fetish!

Miladysa said...

Sounds like you had a great time :D

Babysis said...

Well I dodged the fascinator for a big flower, got grossly pissed and fell into bed at 7.30. I did back Septimus as it reminded me of September, the month by boy was born....little irish fucker came home with NOTHIN! Didnt win a brass razoo! God I love Melbourne Cup....bring on 2009!!! I'm ready for you Bart!

TCL said...

Baino we did it! I posted pictures of the street in DC after the results were declared. It's a lovely night and I'll have one less bottle in my apartment tomorrow morning!

Baino said...

Miladysa, fun but not 'great'.

Doo Doo, yer a git! No wonder you're sticking magnets onto cards . . you blew your dough! I bet $25 and came away with $21 so no shame!

TCL I saw, I've been watching and/or listening all afternoon and IMing with fellow Americans. (Not all too happy I might add!). You needed a change. And you're up very late! Hope you've got tomorrow off! I'm heading over now.