Horseplay

May 16, 2008|By Peter Jensen

Word leaked out this week that the folks running the Preakness have washed their hands of the "Running of the Urinals," that unplanned footrace atop the port-a-potties lined up so conveniently in the Pimlico infield (above, in 2007). The johnnies-on-the-spot will be in staggered formations so the only long lines will be from the well-lubricated revelers trying to get in them.

This will likely disappoint many of the wannabe steeds who, while they may not be able to pee like racehorses, could have at least run like them above it - with the added challenge of getting soaked with beer, something you can bet even the noble Secretariat did not attempt, at least not with any domestic brand.

So what's there to do to fill the gaps between debauchery, drunken debauchery and the occasional horse race? Here's what to bet on:

50-to-1: Spontaneous outbreak of chamber music. It's possible someone will bring a piano, violin, cello and viola, but the appropriate sheet music? Hence, its status as long shot.

20-to-1: Running of the Urinalysis. At one end a small plastic cup, at the other a portable laboratory with the ability to detect trace amounts of human growth hormone. Think of it as a warm-up for the Olympics.

15-to-1: Duck, Duck, Goosed. Participants are chosen as either lawmakers who tax or state residents who must avoid them. Anyone employed by computer services companies is exempted.

10-to-1: Running of the Coolers. Less dangerous, perhaps, than sprinting eight feet above those malodorous stalls, but jumping from beer cooler to beer cooler could still prove eventful, particularly when one hits the cheap Styrofoam variety.

5-to-1: Ultimate Fighting: Slots Edition. Anti- and pro-slots volunteers must wrestle in the mud - literally this time. Winner gets a weekend at a Delaware, Pennsylvania or West Virginia slots emporium. Loser gets two.

3-to-2: Human Steeplechase. Contestants must vault a series of infield obstacles while carrying a jockey. Vets will be advised not to shoot the injured.

1-to-2: Running Away of the Urinals. Teams lift and move urinals to form the outline of a giant Black-eyed Susan that can be seen only from outer space. Track officials mull making it a regular event.

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