The kids just have a little fun, bless their hearts


May 23, 2007|By LAURA VOZZELLA

So whose idea was it anyway to throw a mini-Woodstock in the middle of Maryland's swankest social event?

I ask because the Pimlico infield, long an enclave of depravity within the garden party called Preakness, reached new bacchanalian heights last weekend with "The Running of the Urinals."

There was a long line of portable potties, and young men raced across the rooftops while fellow revelers pelted them with open cans of beer.

You can see the video, shot by The Sun's Karl Merton Ferron, on YouTube. But really, it's funnier on the paper's Web site, because it's paired there with footage from what, by all appearances, is a completely different event.

In the other video, Sun society columnist Sloane Brown surveys the corporate village side of the infield: men in sports coats; women in broad-brimmed hats; giggles about spiked fruit juice.

The guy who brought these two worlds together? Chick Lang, Pimlico's longtime general manager, pushed the race course's former owners in the 1960s to open up the infield to what he calls "the beer crowd."

The first year, infield entertainment was the Hamilton Drum and Bugle Corps. Cab Calloway played another year. But soon it became apparent that "my kids," as Lang calls them, wouldn't need much entertainment beyond the beer.

"They came up with their own contests, like the wet T-shirt contest," he said.

And this year, the Running of the Urinals.

Does Lang, now 80, have any regrets about what he spawned?

"I'm not shocked at anything young people do today," he said, fondly recalling potty-related shenanigans of old. "Another thing they used to do, the guys would wait for some girl to go in to use a Spot-a-Potty. They'd ... tip it over and roll it while she was in there. Oh, what a mess! But they behaved."

And what about the adjacent corporate crowd, who might not call that behaving?

"They get along fine," Lang said. "Sometimes some of the executives at the corporate tents will come and bring their kids, and the kids are sort of bored with the senior citizens, and they go over to the fun side."

They call themselves `The Aristocrats'

A Catonsville social club got into the Preakness spirit, too, and not its starchy society side. Tabu Social Club, which bills itself as a private club for "consenting adults to enjoy their uninhibited lifestyle" sponsored "Freakness."

Contestants performed sex acts on stage, according to a news release that describes things a family newspaper cannot.

The club puts the "strip" in a neighborhood strip center near North Rolling Road and U.S. 40, dodging zoning restrictions on sexually oriented businesses because it is a private club. Community groups have complained, but the club has maintained that sexual activity is not actually allowed on the premises.

That doesn't seem to jibe with the explicit news release.

"We have only heard the craziest, sexiest stories about that night," says the release, which offers to make the contest winners available for "wild or mild" interviews.

I passed on the interviews, but I'm sure the Westview Park Improvement & Civic Association is all ears.

Connect the dots

Looks like Bob Ehrlich is getting down to business at Womble Carlyle. He will appear Friday with Jim Cooney, one of the firm's lawyers - not in court, but at a breakfast. Cooney, a defense attorney in the Duke University lacrosse case, will talk about the case. ... The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore has added an ex-senator and a Letterman regular to its Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project. They are former Sen. Bill Frist - who's a people doctor, not a vet, but whatever - and Jack Hanna, host of Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures, who often pops up on the Late Show. ... After riding Curlin to victory, Robby Albarado high-tailed it to Obrycki's. He washed his crabs down with - what else? - Dom Perignon.

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