Ramblings From an Apathetic Adult Baby

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Owning A Racehorse

When I used to think of owning a racehorse, I thought only of being in the winner’s circle, my cummerbund being twirled over my head to get the crowd psyched up as my jockey, myself, and my horse guzzle champagne out of our new trophy, the flowers and jewels raining down upon us.

From there it would be nothing but spokeshorse work for various soda and medication brands. Naturally, there would be some stud work too. The other horse owners and I would sit on a bench in the waiting barn, sipping bourbon, and I’ll be all, “Hey, do you come here often to impregnate your horse?” And then pretty soon we’d just be two drinking buddies talking, talking about things that aren’t even horse pregnancy.

Now, the non-blinking Mennonite cleric did share my giddiness as he attached his loaded horse trailer to my van. You couldn’t tell from his cold, dry-eyed poker face, but I reasoned that he had already made enough best friends from horse breeding and, thus, now preferred the hours of sparked conversation initiated from owning my baseball that had been autographed by Al Gore.

Of course you’re going to get Al Gore’s autograph, even if you only have a baseball handy.

On the way home, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Why did I trust the weirdest guy I’d ever met?” It wouldn’t matter, though; soon me and Jellybeans (the name I’d given to the jockey I’d found hitchhiking) would be living it up with Isaiah Cornfoot (the horse’s given Mennonite name).

I realized we would need to race almost immediately. Isaiah body wasn’t built to eat table scraps forever. Jellybeans, too, said he needed to make some cash or some junkies had threatened to set him on fire. “Oh, brother,” I said, wishing I’d hired an accredited jockey instead of this pill-head hitchhiker searching for “big-ass, primo horse meds.” “Slow down,” I had told Jellybeans when we’d met in that rest-stop bathroom, “he’s not a spokeshorse yet.”

Our local racetrack had been initially unreceptive to us, but the owner changed his tune when I offered them a baseball that George H. W. Bush had once emptied a spittoon on. “Okay,” the owner said, “you’re in the fifth race, position nine.” He looked into my unblinking, horse-owner eyes and, sensing my hesitation, pointed to the chute and said I needed to get the horse in that half-cage thingy by two-thirty.

After luring Isaiah into the gate with a heap of racetrack garbage, we were ready. I beamed with pride from the owner’s box, watching Jellybeans grind his teeth atop my beautiful beast. The gun went off. The gate opened. Isaiah panicked. “Oh, God; his cornfeet!”  I yelled as Isaiah let out a whinny that sounded more like a scream before collapsing on the track.

The racetrack owner said Isaiah’s front cornfoot was sprained. He could offer me a rich severance of of glue and meatballs, but I refused.

Jellybeans skipped town once our prescription for horse sedatives ran out. He never writes so Isaiah and I aren’t sure if he’s still not on fire. Isaiah’s all healed now. Our days are filled with bourbon, but we don’t drink it out of trophies like flashy spokeshorses. No, we drink it out of buckets and troughs like the World’s Greatest Drinking Buddies.

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