Monday, 2 November 2015

My Thoughts On The Melbourne Cup.

Howdy folks!  Well, here we are on yet another Monday. And not just any Monday. Yep, you guessed it. It's that time of year again. The time when the entire nation pauses (and apparently goes stark, raving bonkers) over a horse race. I simply don't understand this. 

For those who are unaware of what I'm talking about, Melbourne Cup Day is Australia's most well-known and popular horse-racing event. Completely rational human beings, (who otherwise couldn't care less about such things) suddenly find themselves wearing odd hats and participating in office sweeps. Such is the absurdity of it all, that it has become known as 'the race that stops the nation'.  At around approximately 3 pm on the first Tuesday of every November, the nation holds it's collective breath while this takes place 

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My thoughts about this phenomenon were aptly summed up by Mr 14 the other evening.

"I couldn't give two shits about the Melbourne Cup!" he stated. 


Yes, he swore. Which may seem frightfully rude for the more prudish among you (considering his tender age) , but in reality I couldn't agree more with the sentiment. Besides, where do you think he learned such colourful language? His father, of course. Not me. Nope. No way.

Anyway, as I was saying, I totally agree. Plus, in recent years I seem to recall hearing reports of more than one horse dying immediately after the race.  I don't recall specific details, but it all seems a tad nuts if you ask me. 

If that isn't outrageous enough, the event marks a public holiday in the state of Victoria, but it's off to work for all other states. How rude. The fact that I don't have a job is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT.

In some ways it's a shame that I don't celebrate this dubious occasion. I mean, I would look quite fetching in a stupid hat. And it's a good excuse for a drink or two and a feed. Oh who am I kidding? I don't really need any excuses for those things. Details.

My only fleeting interest in horses began and ended with a brief period of reading 'Jill' books when I was a child. They were written by some one named Ruby Ferguson. 

And oh I say! They were a jolly good read. They revolved around a young horse-obsessed girl named Jill. (Thanks very much, Captain Obvious). She lived in the quaint English country town of Chatton with Mummy (as she still called her mother, despite being well into her teens). Jill went on to acquire her own horses and compete in Gymkhanas. Jill said things like 'do buck up' and 'smashing' and 'Mummy didn't have a carrot to spare!'. 

These books had titles like:

Two Ponies For Jill
Jill Enjoys Her Ponies
Jill's Riding Club

They were perfectly sweet and innocent. I don't know what YOU were thinking. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Melbourne Cup, really. It's just that my mind wanders from one pointless topic or anecdote to the next... 

And what on Earth was I talking about? 

Oh yes. Jill books. I did love those books. That's why it's frightfully horrid to think of Black Boy and Rapide (Jill's horses) being whipped into shape for our entertainment. Apparently in later editions the name 'Black Boy' was changed to the more politically correct 'Best Boy'.

But getting back to the Melbourne Cup. The other thing I don't get is the gambling mentality. I don't even take out lottery tickets. Occasionally I joined in those office sweep things many years (decades) ago when I was working outside the home. But it was honestly just to be polite. My parents would also have a bit of a bet. It was the only day of the year they did. They were otherwise uninterested in horse-racing. It was just a bit of 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' fun for them. They would ask me to pick out a horse and I'd pick the name I liked the best.

Which brings me to another point. Why do the horses always have such odd names? 

I just Googled the list of horses for 2015 purely for this post and one of them is called Beaten Up. Gulp. Not literally, I hope. 

Yet another horse has this interesting title: Gust Of Wind. I assume that's a reference to the horse's speed not it's flatulence, but I couldn't be sure.

So there you have it. In summary: I won't be celebrating the Melbourne Cup tomorrow. Instead, you can find me celebrating the fact that I don't give a shit about it. 

I might revisit my childhood by rereading those Jill books again, though. 

Shut up. They were smashing! 

Linking up with Kirsty, Alicia and Eva.

Do you celebrate the Melbourne Cup? 


  1. Racehorse names have to be registred and unique - so that's why they're so stupid! I loved quite a few horsey books as a kid and still have them all. I can't quite give them away.

    1. Ah - thanks for the explanation. Yes, it's definitely hard to part with certain books. I get that.

  2. Well I love the race that stops a nation and for the first time ever I am actually heading to the cup - I am very excited.

    1. Have a great day and be sure to show us your photos of your, I mean classy hat!

  3. God I love your random tangents Ness! I won't be celebrating Melbourne Cup either. No doubt I'll be doing something boring like watching ABC Kids or trying to get a toddler to nap.

    1. Oh god have a nap with her. MUCH better.

  4. I'm another one that is highly amused or is that bemused by the horse names. What the!

  5. My thoughts echo yours know if you hear them.
    I don't buy lottery tickets either , I do buy raffle tickets only because they are for a good cause.
    I read some kind of horse book as a teen - cannot remember them at . I did like the Horser whisperer though.

    1. I found lottery tickets we'd been given as a Christmas gift in 2012. I'd never checked them, so hoped we were sitting on a fortune. Alas, nothing. Never read the Horse Whisperer. Sounds interesting.

  6. Those books sound very Enid Blyton-esque Ness. I bet Jill had supper and tea and a smashing time!

    1. Oh yes jolly smashing, I must say!

  7. Isn't there one called Who shot the barman? A long shot I think. If I had the spare moolah to throw away, I'd have a bet myself tomorrow. I don't have a good track record.
    I've just heard that Enid Blyton's, The magic faraway tree is to be made into a movie. Now I bet there'll be some political correcting going on in that script.

    1. Who Shot The Barman? Bahahahhaha!

      Oh yes that will be a very interesting script/movie.