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Mr. Wrong


By Joe MacLeod | Posted 2/25/2009

So they (and you know who They are) have decided to ban the rabble (customers) from bringing their own beer into the Infield at Pimlico during the Preakness, aka Middle Jewel of the "Triple Crown" of horseracing, held right here in beautiful Baltimore, America. They're also gonna have, like, ZZ Top play in there somewhere and there's gonna be a beach-volleyball tournament. Sounds kinda awesome, kinda stupid, I know, let's see, what should we do on the one day a year when everybody goes to the track and the Infield is a seething mass of drunks? Let's have a volleyball tournament and ZZ Top. I dunno. maybe it will be great, maybe it will indeed be totally fucking awesome, I'm not gonna judge, I hope it's great, I'm gonna Be Positive for My City and hope this is a big success, seriously, in my brain I am taking one for the team, you know?

As an American, as a Beer Drinker, and most importantly, as a frequent contributor to the revenue of horseracing tracks such as Pimlico, I feel I must vociferously register my complete, utter, abject, and ambivalent lack of interest in the Beer Decision, because seriously, who gives a flying fuck about the "tradition" of shitfaced drunkeness that occurs in the Infield? I mean, I totally understand all about how it is a Tradition for people to bring in lots of beer to the Infield so's they can get blind-ass bombed outta they gourds, do stupid shit, and have a good time, and I also understand how in these Uncertain Economic Times people might not want to pay half a Benjamin for that advance ticket to the Infield hijinx and then have to cough up $3.50 per each delicious, refreshing dose of beautiful beer, but you gotta understand the people in charge of the horse racing track are flailing around right now trying to find ways to squeeze more dough outta the patrons, and quite frankly, the patrons who jam the Pimlico, the Infield, on Preakness day? They don't go to the track the rest of the year. There's nothing bad about that, only going to the track one day a year, but I mean, this whole Horse Racing thing at Pimlico is totally fucking doomed unless it starts pulling in more dough, and sticking people up for beers in the Infield one lousy day a year means whatever dollars they pull in this year will be a huge increase from last year, but it ain't gonna save the Horseracing Industry in Maryland or whatever, you know? Right?

Again, I don't care either way, because I don't go to the fucking track on Preakness day. Hells to the No, I go the day before, when there's a nice-sized, but not insane-sardine-packed crowd bringing in lotsa money to make the payoffs better (assuming I win, which I do not want to discuss because it is a painful subject), and I can get an advance bet down on the Preakness and never have to deal with the traffic and masses of Preakness-Pimlico attendees. I go to the track when there are lots of people there who want to fucking Gamble, you dig? I don't go to the track the day errbody wants to have a pigpile in the infield and get fucked up, although it is their Right as Americans to do so, and I understand the Tradition, that's just not my Scene, you know? I'm at the track to hit the Daily Double, you know? On the day of the Big Race, I watch it on teevee, and usually before that I catch a little of the radio broadcast from the Infield like I did last year on the 98 Rock, where they did a play-by-play on all the bad decisions, vomiting, and inadvertent nudity. Good times.

If people are pissed about not being able to bring in coolers, they need to get organized and Boycott the Infield. The track ain't gonna ever go back to The Way It Was, but maybe they could be convinced to compromise a little. I'm sure there are lots of people who go to the track once a year who drink 30 beers and knock down half a bottle of hard stuff, but let's do some conservative beer math: Personally, if I was committed to doing the cooler-full-of-beer all-day, blazing-sun-heat Infield Party FUBAR thing, I figure I would want to drink, like, at least three sixers of beer to get in the right frame of mind. At 12 ounces a can times 18 cans, that's like 216 ounces of beer, I think. So if I go cheap and buy 24 or 30 cans of Natty Boh to stuff my cooler, that's gonna run me somewhere around what, 15 bucks? And if I try to drink that much, 16 ounces at a time at $3.50 a pop, it's gonna take me about 13 beers to get near my magic 216 ounce mark, which will cost me about 47 bucks, without tips. So even if I brought way more el cheapo beer than I could drink in the BYO-cooler scenario, it's still about 30 bucks cheaper to lug my own cooler to Old Hilltop, hoping after I empty it I don't forget to take it home with me, providing I can remember where I live, because I slept through ZZ Top, but I emptied that fucking cooler, OK?

So just with this cheapass beer-only example we're talking about 30 bucks difference between BYOB and standing in a line in the Infield. The reasonable compromise I'd look for from whoever's running the show at Hi-Ho Pimlico would be to split the difference, and lower the beer price in the Infield to like $2.50 a pop so's I could get wasted in the manner described above for about 32 bucks.

So it's like, if you are a one-time-a-year Pimlico Party Person, you are totally entitled to bitch about the change in rules, but maybe you should just take one for the team and get shitfaced anyway at the new Infield Prices since it's the only way you're gonna be able to tolerate being in that crowd all day. Hi Ho!,

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