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The race that stops a nation

Tomorrow is the first Tuesday of November, and Australians everywhere know what that means… it means it’s time to gamble.

Since primary school I can recall that day; the day where everything, everything, stops for the couple of minutes it takes for the horses of the Melbourne Cup to run the length of Flemington race track. The teachers would just stop teaching as they tuned in the radio to listen in. It’s nothing short of bizarre, this obsession we have; horse racing isn’t what you’d call a national pastime, but while those horses are running you ain’t doin’ nothin’.

Tomorrow I’ll be working, which isn’t out of the ordinary since plenty of people will be at work as they listen eagerly for the results; hell, I’ve never heard of anyone’s boss getting angry because you took a couple of minutes out of your day to stop working, go down to the break room, and watch the Cup being run. But hey, I work behind a bar most days of the week, a sports bar, so I can tell you now it’ll be pure fucking chaos. Big screen TV’s and decorations are already set up, and I gather we’re expected to wear colorful silk shirts instead of our usual black and white garb, but from eight o’clock tomorrow morning I’ll be pouring more beer and champagne than I’ve ever poured in my short career as a peddler of life’s guilty pleasures.

Then, I’ll get drunk.