It's that time of the year again and I was so pleased with the Blog I wrote about this subject last year - which barely flickered on any reader's Blog-Interest-O-Meter that I am running it again.
One of the best things about being in Vienna is NOT being in Australia for the Melbourne Cup.
For those of you who may not be aware of the Melbourne Cup – it is a horse race.
Horse racing is an Australian media-driven obsession – to the extent that some years ago a horse trainer won an Australian “Sportsman of the Year” Award.
The Melbourne Cup is a horse race which the media has turned into a ghastly, frothing, dribbling extravaganza of gruesome schlock which starts weeks before the event and culminates in an orgy of gambling, alcohol and offensive displays which on a normal day would merit public floggings or prison sentences.
On race day there are live broadcasts ALL DAY by TV and Radio from the racecourse.
There are Melbourne Cup lunches at which people get dressed up like drug crazed pimps and where they drink alcohol until they fall unconscious head first into their Pavlovas.
Women at the race get dressed up in funny clothes and hats. Poor tortured tarts with gigantic heels, grotesque hats and tits everywhere totter around the grounds and the bars displaying hats that look like they were designed by Edvard Munch on his second bottle of Absinthe.
People get blind staggering drunk all over Australia and especially at the racecourse and make complete asses of themselves on TV. People queue for hours to bet on horses. There are obligatory office sweeps where you choose a horse out of a hat.
At race time the nation stops and EVERYONE has to watch this gruesome spectacle – which lasts for about three minutes.
And in the end – a brown horse wins the race. The trainer is a hero and gets a prize, the jockey is a hero and gets a prize, the strapper is a hero and gets a bonus. The owner is a hero and gets a prize.
The horse….well the horse gets nothing except perhaps an extra helping of oats – which is much better than if it falls over an breaks a leg – because then they shoot it.
I would change the rules. If the horse falls over and breaks a leg they put the horse in traction and shoot both the jockey and the owner. This would encourage greater horse care.
Horses wearing Ugg boots would be walked gingerly around the tracks by the jockeys. No one would mind that - the added bonus would be that the races would go for much longer – probably 30 minutes. More time for alcohol, stripping naked and vomiting on the grass.
For me it was the single worst day of the year – every year. It is singly and uniquely the most fruitless, pointless, shudderingly grisly awful waste of time and energy in the entire history of humanity.
But then I am just a curmudgeon so don’t listen to me.
PS: I have nothing against horses. It's what they do to them that I dislike.