I’m UnAustralian redux

Two years ago I posted both here and at LP about how I’m not all that keen on the Melbourne Cup.

I don’t bet on it, and I don’t deliberately watch it. As I’m not part of a socialising workplace, neither am I a lady who lunches, I’m able to do this unostentatiously without being nagged.

There was more sympathy than I expected, but there was also the inevitable slagger:

I realize it’s quite difficult for superior people to take any delight in the joys of the masses, especially at this time of impending climate apocalypse. However this does not diminish the fact you are in all likelihood humourless, thin-lipped, withered and pompous.

Oh yes, that’s me, totally. Anyone else find that American spelling of “realise” incongruous when tsking me for being UnAustralian? Anyway, that was otherwise rather predictable, but generally ignored.

Our own Hoydenizen Amanda won big that year, and it was suggested that:

I reckon tigtog should run another thread next year about her total disinterest in the Cup, get Amanda and Shaun to tip early in the thread and we’ll all clean up.

So, here it is, as requested. Who else is doing something else instead of watching the race? If you do enjoy the party and having a flutter, LP has an open thread where the tipsters are hanging out. I’ve also listed the comedy rooms around Oz which have shows on tonight over at Gagging For It, for those who might need some cheering up afterwards.



Categories: arts & entertainment, Life, Sociology

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32 replies

  1. At the risk of sounding like a thick American–it’s a big horse race? That there’s a holiday for?

  2. I’m going to my singing lesson.
    I watched the Melbourne Cup once. That will do.
    BTW, love the new blog design.

  3. @ Bene:
    It’s known as “the race that stops a nation”, Bene.
    It’s only an official public holiday in Melbourne, but nearly every workplace has a Melbourne Cup lunch party that goes on until the race runs about 3pm-ish, so not much work gets done on the day.
    Bah humbug sez I.

  4. Profound Beauty and Mad Rush have my money. Box them with Nom du Jeu while taking Obama for 330+ electoral college votes.

  5. It’s nearly lunchtime and I’m still in my PJs waiting for a bottle of champagne to chill while I find breakfast. TV is off, good music is on and I’m downright glowing with my bah humbuggyness from yesterday.
    http://www.pink-ink.com.au/mscrankypants/?p=300
    The new look of your site is excellent.

  6. It’s not the failure to gamble that’s unAustralian, Tigtog. It’s the failure to drink heavily at work.
    As long as you’re doing that, you have My approval.

  7. I haven’t worked out who I’m betting on yet, so I can’t offer any tips for people to clean up with.
    I always think of it as a family day, and now that most of the family I used to spend it with I’m at a bit of a loose end. I’m thinking I might have to start a new tradition.
    My partner always considers taking the day, or at least the afternoon off, to have a family public holiday. But being self-employed he always reconsiders at the last minute and goes to work to enjoy the peace and quiet.

  8. Hell is shitfaced people in fascinators and toppers screaming at horses, I reckon. I don’t mind watching eventing on the rare occasions it makes it to the telly.

  9. Tigtog, I think I’m with you. (Never seen the point of the Kentucky Derby/Belmont/Preakness, myself, but that’s not during a weekday.)
    I think I would probably hide out.

  10. I specifically took the day off work to avoid it all. Experience has demonstrated I’m at a workplace where prodding ensues until participation occurs.

  11. I used to be really into the Melbourne Cup, but in the last couple of years, I’ve just lost all interest. And I won’t be drinking today either, but I am looking forward to hanging out at the pub tomorrow. 🙂

  12. I’ve been Bitter ever since the year I heard racing legend Kevin Sattler say that whatever won the Mackinnon Stakes was a good chance for the Cup and decided to take him up on it and back whatever did — Rogan Josh at 25/1 (I think) — so its odds shortened to 12/1 for the Melbourne Cup, still pretty good, and I had every intention of losing my TAB virginity and putting a fair whack of money on it and then got distracted and didn’t and the bloody thing won. I would have won thousands.
    Still going to watch today though, though I do agree with Su about drunks in fascinators. If I were betting, I’d back Profound Beauty, for its name.

  13. I too have blogged about my general disinterest this year – and quite frankly the whole thing is a huge chunk out of my rapidly diminishing day.
    I’ll volunteer to lead the Western arm of the Melbourne Cup scrooges.

  14. Hell is shitfaced people in fascinators and toppers screaming at horses

    Well it’s not one of Dante’s Circles, but I like it, Su.

  15. I’m watching furrin news channels. Sign me up for the UnAustralian competition, stat!

  16. Oh ha. Thanks for reminding me. Go Delta Blues!
    This year I have $10 each way on Honolulu because …. Barack Obama is from Hawaii. Yes, that’s really the reason.

  17. Unless Thin-lipped or Pompous are running I’m not betting.
    (Talk about being un-Australian, I live in Melbourne and totally ignore the silly race. As for a day off, being self-employed means I’m down a day’s work – so why waste even more gambling?)

  18. The 100%-proof cure for Melbourne Cup fever is working at a TAB call centre for two years. OH GOD I HATE RACING NOW. Also, sports, and especially the Rugby Sevens.

  19. Usually I watch it, not because I like horseracing but because I like afternoon teas and they are, or used to be up until this year, pretty standard for the public service on Cup Day.
    That is because – I have to correct you tigtog – Melbourne Cup Day is now a public holiday in the ACT – hilariously enough, it’s been named ‘Families and Communities Day’.
    I would have missed the arvo tea this year if everyone had been at work anyway, because I’ve just gone on a year’s leave, but thanks to the ACT government I just get an extra day of paid public holiday leave.
    I could have watched the race, but kind of couldn’t be bothered to get off the bed and away from the internet…
    Cup Day has always been kind of ‘meh’ for me since year 7. Early, I know. But two boys from my highschool died around Cup Day, getting drunk and crashing a motorbike. One lot of their parents had gone to Melbourne for the race and left a sister (in year 12) at home in charge. Of course it could have happened if the parents were at home. But still. Sad memory.

  20. The office provided free booze and nibblies. I understand horses were involved. I won a prize.

  21. There was a cup race today? Cups were racing how?
    Cup day – I thought was a drinking holiday.

  22. I don’t even seem to be able to remember it’s on for more than an hour at a time. I had several conversations today which went more or less like this:
    “*non-specific reference to the cup*”
    Me (genuinely puzzled): “What?”
    “The Cup! (what rock are you living under?)
    Me: “Oh, yeah, I keep forgetting.”
    The last time I went to a Melbourne Cup lunch we almost forgot to watch the race.

  23. I love it. I love the beauty of the horses. I love the fun of the punt. I love the narrative of going to the races every week and seeing who blooms and who withers. I love the statue of Makybe Diva and the statue of Bart Cummings and the memorial to dead jockeys. I love watching the strappers fuss over their horses. I love seeing the faith and love they work with. I love watching the woman who walks down the straight before the races with a raptor on her arm to scare off the seagulls. I love how green the lawn is and how gorgeous the roses are. I love how brave the horses are.
    It’s nothing to do with being Australian or not. It’s simply to do with what you feel. For me, it’s about the beasts and having a relationship with another species. It’s watching Makybe Diva stand in front of 100,000 people after she won her 3rd Melbourne Cup and just absorb what she’d done. And understanding that she knew she’d done something great.
    I frankly don’t care whether that’s shared or not, although the attitude of dismissiveness does fit into the category of smug, I think. The television coverage gets the meaning all wrong, as it does many things. You actually have to be there every week understand what’s going on.

  24. Fine, I can totally see how people who enjoy the races week in and week out get a thrill out of the big events on the calendar. That makes sense to me.
    I just don’t really understand how it became this huge thing to everybody else who otherwise never goes to the races at all, or how it became this thing whereby those who’d rather not take any notice are shamed for it.

  25. I don’t watch or participate, because I like horses, and don’t like how they are treated.
    So it’s an animal rights issue for me.
    I’m sure that fits into the category of smug 😀

  26. tigtog, people just like a party – a drink and a bet. But, I don’t get cricket at all so I sympathise.
    Y, I do get the animal rights side to it, even though I’m more to the welfare side of of the spectrum.

  27. I actually went to Flemington yesterday – and had a fantastic day! Getting all dressed up, random public drinking, and actually winning a little bit (came out of the day a whole $11 in front!) (my strategy? Number 5 for all the races. Made it easy to remember who I was cheering for. Came up trumps in the 9th!)
    Anyway. I can see how it can be un-fun – the drunken bogans next to us were a bit of a downer – but it was lovely.
    My attitude has always been – its a public holiday for drinking, dressing up, and gambling. Whats not to like?! 🙂

  28. Iit has always been big in Melb – huge crowds and a carnival atmosphere in the 19th century. And always a big day in my family as I grew up, and my parents’ families before that (Methodists all, apparently) who would always have a flutter.
    I’ve always loved it, and the TV focus on marquees and celebrities hasn’t managed to kill the pure joy of the event for me.

  29. I think I got spoiled for the Melbourne Cup through living in Western Australia for the first twenty-six years of my life. Due to the difference in timezones (and the previous lack of daylight saving over here) the race was broadcast at about midday over here – so a Melbourne Cup lunch was just that. Then I moved east for eight years, and got thoroughly annoyed by the three hour delay between the start of the lunch and the finish of the race (particularly since I was living in Canbrrra at the time, and there wasn’t a public holiday there – so I’d be the only person actually *working* in the whole damn office, or so it felt at the time).
    Now I’m back in WA, and the race is broadcast at about 1pm here (time zones again – even though we’re on daylight savings time, there’s still this pesky two hour difference between us and the Eastern States). I paid this year’s race the same amount of attention I’ve paid to all the major sporting events this year – a brief acknowledgement that yes, it was happening, and then ignore it.

  30. I’ve always loved it for the same reasons as Fine, but as I have become more educated over the years in the darker side of the industry and in particular these fine and generous beasts who make it all possible.
    And I’m not picking on racing. I am hugely conflicted about the establishment where my daughter learned to ride. Horses are incredibly fragile, generous, forgiving, abused creatures.

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