Alas, a Rumble is not what he wanted. Perhaps the mile and a half is too long for a smoker in a wife-beater. Perhaps he feels too pretty, witty, and gay. Perhaps he can’t get out of the West Side. Perhaps Uncle Unchie wants him to make the keilbasi. Perhaps Michael Jackson dressed up as him and sung (and rumbled and snapped his hooves) to “Beat it.” Perhaps he is dueting with Barbara Streisand. Perhaps James Dean has risen from the dead to play a role that was meant (and intended) for him. (Come back to mama and not the five and dime, Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean.) Well, slap my ass and call me Maria!
"But when you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way," ‘ole boy! So I will forgive you this once. But first go chew some grass and think about what you have done to me. (I'll be watching West Side Story.)
What I am trying to lay out here (for them bettin’ folks and not the quittin' folks) is another round of This Is How You Do It. THIS is how you bet on the horses, in this case this weekend's Belmont Stakes. What is behind the horse's name? I'll tell you - it's turning into a race of inanimate objects and general ephemera.
But first, let’s talk refreshments! The peeps are saying that the official drink is the Belmont Breeze, which I think is just whiskey punch in a prettier costume. Whiskey doesn’t do pretty very well (at least not in high heels, just trust me on this). And I had to look this up but when I tell you about this drink, you are going to go pour yourself one in tribute because this is me tugging at your heartstrings. The head bartender of the Rainbow Room created it. Rainbow Room - of Windows on the World - of World Trade Center of - No Fucking More. I might call you a terrorist if you don’t drink that. Or un-American.
According to legend and the old-timies, the Belmont Breeze replaces the White Carnation, which has cream in it. Cream. I don’t do "cream drinks" and frankly it doesn’t have enough alcohol in it to justify frilly cream. That is one button, ruffle, or accordian pleat too many is what I'm saying. So just pour you a Long Island Iced Tea. I’ll look the other way when you say, “New York.”
OK. Now, music. Obviously, the theme song is “Georgia on my Mind.” Alright, alright. This below is about to get very “yankee”-heavy so I am just tempering it with some Southern Comfort. The theme is New York, of course – NOT New Jersey and not anything that rhymes with "bets." The key word is York - Upstate, in fact.
The song isn't - but could be - Ryan Adams’ New York, New York. If not for this lyric alone: The world won't wait and I watched you shake * But honey, I don't blame you * Hell, I still love you, New York * Hell, I still love you, New York * New York. Then consider that the video was shot 4 days before 9/11 with the NYC skyline in the background. Then punch in Ryan fucking Adams in the calculation.
And it UNFORTUNATELY isn't REM's Leaving New York. Stipe considers NYC a second home and wrote this song in an airplane flying out of his beloved. (Which could be taken and re-appropriated any which way you see fit. Like Losing My Religion will always be Losing My Virginity to me.) Back o/t: the song is a tribute to New York. And, what's more, the song is even better with the Mike Mills arrangement because he is butter to Stipe's bread. Captain to his Tenille. Iggy to his Stooge. Hall to his Oates. The two of them rock a sweet melody like NO OTHER....It's pulling me apart. Change....Find it in your heart. Change....Leaving was never my proud. Excuse me while I get all tingly listening to that song. It's THAT kind of song for me.
And it is not Bob Dylan's Talking New York, one of the first songs he actually wrote. While it isn't necessarily singing the praises of New York per se, I think it truthfully represents a New York experience, and subsequently a Belmont experience. The "City" (pick a place) can kick you in the ass. Yet it is a place to go to and make your dreams happen and Bob did just that - in this song, in cutting his first record there, in making it happen. Isn't that what the horses are doing? And like 'ole Bob, they leave town after either getting beaten down or making it. So long, New York.Howdy, East Orange.
Alas, those songs are not what it is. Traditionally, the song was an old folk song from way back when old-timies existed called, Sidewalks of New York. Tripped the light fantastic on the sidewalks of New York. It has been covered many times, by the Grateful Dead for one - so I hear. But I might prefer the Duke Ellingon rendition. Alas, that song was replaced in the 90's to make room for THAT song - THE New York song. Start spreadin' the news...
New York, New York as song by...............David Hasselhoff. I kid you not. Sung to the tune of “I want a….ham…bur…ger.” (New york. Yum. New…..ham.....york.....burger.)
I did. I just messed with the Hoff. I’ll lock up the liquor cabinet.
So you got your drink and you've got the juke box humming. Or your ipod, but take the buds out of your ear and put it on surround sound because watching the horses - the Triple Crown - is a social thing.
Here we go, in post position:
Imawildandcrazyguy - AKA The SNL Catchphrase
Tiago - AKA The Brazilian
Ladies, cross your legs. A cult of pain has swept the racetrack this year. Hot wax getting all up in there. Frankly, there's not much hope for "Tiago," he's going to be busy with his legs over his shoulders, wincing in not-quite-but-close childbirthing pain. But he'll be the sexy one as he will be bare ass except for an exclamation of hair to cover his lady bit. Prediction: Guy's choice.
Curlin - AKA The Perm
I've retired the Canadian athlete bit. Our Preakness winner has reinvented himself. He took his winnings and marched over to Truvy's Beauty Parlor where the latest glamour technician gave him his current look. He's bringing perms back!
CP West - AKA The Monogram
That Monogram is EVERYWHERE. He's adorning your luggage, your clothing, your towels, your Tiffany charms. This is what you will know him by on Saturday: CWP. He makes me want to bring back the "L" for Laverne shirt.
Slew’s Tizzy - AKA The Trumpet
You take Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis' Bitches Brew and you've got yourself a horse! As they say: Have trumpet, will excite. This is the horse to do that. Like his "parentage," he is known for fast runs and venturing into his upper register. Is he a cool melodic improviser? Or an aggressive explosive one?
Hard Spun - AKA The TightAss
Is he uptight? Or does he have an exceptionally attractive bootie? You tell me.
Rags to Riches - AKA Little Orphan Annie
He’s the horse with the little mop of red, curly hair and will be accompanied by his ever-faithful canine companion, Sandy, tagging along beside him. Right off the gate he might be yelling, "Leapin' lizards!" as the other horses take lead. But he will pull himself up from the spoils like he knows best. He’s got spunk, street smarts, and clown hair. Don’t be surprised if he breaks into a number...the ever optimist.
What are you betting on this time?