Thursday, October 18, 2007

John Henry's Irish Wake

This morning, my husband informed me "it’s been awhile" since my last blog entry. He also informed me that we are "out of coffee" and the dog "left a little present" in the living room.

Coffee and doggie gift notwithstanding, I actually have a somewhat legitimate excuse for not publishing since October 9th. And I’m sure that my loyal readers, both of you, will be completely understanding of the circumstances.

Recently, the passing of John Henry from the Earthly Paddock to the Eternal Winner's Circle provided a source of inspiration to write my own thoughts regarding the famous racehorse.

So last week Thursday, I poured a glass of cabernet savignon, sat down at the computer, and embarked on researching my eulogy for John Henry.

And this is what I wrote:
Frankly, I knew very little about John Henry. My thoughts of John Henry was that of the old folklore: the big, hulky, African-American man who challenges a steam hammer to build the railroad. Of course, John Henry defeats the steam machine but dies of cardiac arrest. Or has an aneuryreusm and survives, depending on the version of the tale. Or, according to my husband, changes his name and sells the candy, "Good n' Plenty," and as one can clearly see, my husband, although very prolific regarding pop-culture trivia, is confused about the "Good n’ Plenty" jingle, as it is "Choo-choo Charlie was an engineer" and not "John Henry was an engineer,"

Not a bad introduction, I thought to myself. I poured another glass of wine.

I continued to write,
Anyway, I'm useless with my personal experiences with John Henry. Our good friends at the Daily Racing Form were kind enough to provide his entire past performances. This was great. I downloaded the file and sure enough, all 83 lifetime starts were crammed onto one sheet of papper. What makes this so interesting is the fact that, (1) I needed a microscope to actually read 83 starts on one page and (2) in 1977, the year he won his first race, I knew nothing about thoroughtbred horse racing. Frankly, you could have run a bunch Lipizzaner Stallions around a track and I wouldn't have known the idffference. Not that the Lipizzaners are related to John Henry other than they are hhorses, And to my knowledge, poeple don’t actually wager on the Lippizaneures.

Hah! This was turning into some good stuff! I celebrated by having another glass of wine.

The words flowed easily,
B ut fron every thing that I have read amnongst my breathren ... Alana, Patrick, John, andh whomever I misssed unless you are Dan Illman bcause, quite frankly, I don’t weant to the link to your blog because you are really reallu really smart and intinimijdate me,. I could have seen John Henrry in his glory days, and he had many. I also hope that I too, like good ol’ JH, have at least 22 happy years of retirement being an ornery old cuss and living off of an income that reflects almost $7 million in winnnings. I could do that. Or at least let me try.

This was Pulitzer Prize winning material! I decided to have another glass of wine and continued to write,
Ansd in other recent news, the TbA has acquired another individual ... and she is very smart and has many many many many link s on her blo0g. So much so thast not onlhy is she list3ed on the TBA roll, IO ghave given her aN INDIVIDUAL; HORSE RACIBNG LINK BECAUSE IT IS VWERY apprent that sher know t6hs differebnce b etween a LIppenzer and a Throughbfred. She professes t5ro be green biu t I doin;t beli9eve her. Welcome Dana of Gamblign Green or Green and Gambling or Gamgbling gGGeldings ... whatever ...

I poured another glass of wine and toasted my creative prose. I planned to proofread and publish my masterpiece in the morning ....

Anyway, may John Henry rest in peace. And a big TBA welcome to Dana, who writes the fine horse racing blog, Green but Game.


John said...

Another well crafted posting but from the looks of it you must have had 77 glasses of wine before you finished it or your dog has learned to type.

If indeed, you have taught your dog to type the canine is deserving of his own blog. . . don't you think!

Anonymous said...

Marvelous! Maybe I should take drinking wine while blogging as well ...

Superfecta said...

Tremendous! I should have blogged after my beer club last night (yes, I am in a beer club), I'm sure I would have been very eloquent.

I could have backed it up with something from my Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.


Patrick J Patten said...

all ways w0rth t he weighhtt

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Wow, now I really know y'all are the group for me... that's the best warm drunken welcome I've ever received!

Anonymous said...

Next time I'm in Texas let's share a bottle of my new favorite, Caymus. If you haven't tried it yet you must. But do us a favor, start drinking earlier in the day and spend more time writing!! Enjoyed the post.

forego is my witness said...

Really cute--fun post!! JH was a damn ornery animal but he sure did compete hard.