April 05, 2007

The Sad Thing about Wednesday

Last Wednesday I went to a luncheon at a horse racing track. It was supposed to be a fun lunch where women where hats and network. I wasn't crazy about the hat part, I went for the networking.

I only bet once, a Quinella on the 4th race in which both of my horses came dead last. Ah, well, not traumatizing. At least they were pretty and had nice uniform colors. What happened two races later, now that was traumatic.

During the 6th race, something happened to horse number 7, and he tripped, falling to his knees, wrenching his head and neck to his breast and throwing his rider. Horse number 4 was so close behind him that he tripped over the rider, also fell and threw his rider. Both the horses got up quickly and dispersed, number 7 running after the rest of the horses down the track and number 4 just kind of getting away from the scene.

Number 7 was fine. But number 4, he limped. And I knew that very second that his leg was broken and he'd have to be put down. I just didn't realize they'd do it right there. Right then. In front of me.

Some track people gathered number 4 and held him by the reigns. Two other workers were bringing a green tarp and began to raise it to sheild the horse from public view. My colleague started to ask "what is the tarp fo-" and before it was completely raised so that Club Level couldn't see beyond it, a man pointed a gun at the horse's head and the horse fell to the ground. Seven minutes from leg break to dead.

Now THAT is traumatic. I'm happy the track is closing this year. I don't think I could ever go back. It's just too sad that once a horse has a broken leg he's a gonner.

Ocean, Faking, & an Axe

A few years back when I lived close to the beach, my roommate-slash-best friend and I would often walk down there and lay around if the weather was half decent. Usually it was a lazy time of reading and smoking cigarettes and laughing our arses off about nothing.

The problem with San Francisco's beaches on half-decent days is that they are public, and our un-beloved homeless people consider them a nice place to "freshen up."

Minding our own business and hiding behind sunglasses, we were approached by such a character. He was in his mid-50's, had grey scraggly hair and a scraggly beard to match. He came up to us with his backpack on and started talking:

"Would you gals watch my bag while I go in the water?"

Immediately Best Friend and I spoke in French. "No English. Francais. French..." and we began chatting bull to each other and went back to our reading.

But he was unphazed; still there. "Hola. Watch-o my bag-o por favor. I swim." And then he pointed to the ocean, did the breast stroke, and pointed to himself.

"French." That should do it!

It didn't. He started to take off his shoes and said "I swim. Bag-o," pointing at us, then pointed to his eyes, then pointed to the bag. I looked at the bag: it had an axe tied to it. I shook my head "no." He walked toward the water and started taking off his pants.

"DUDE! He has a fucking AXE! What should we do?"

Best friend: "Move?"

Me: "But what if he gets pissed and comes after us?"

Best friend: "Move, but not so far that he gets pissed?"

We tried that. Obviously, since I'm alive to tell the story, it worked.