Surreal scenes from the Preakness infield

May 15, 2010|By Baltimore Sun

In the infield, three blondes sat with green cloths draped around their necks, as if they were about to get haircuts or a touch-up on their roots.

Their images were projected onto a screen and, through the magic of "green-screen technology, their heads appeared atop three shimmying bodies dancing to the Black-Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow."

They left with free DVD copies of their performance.

Meanwhile, young people bellied up to an oxygen bar and willingly strapped on the sort of plastic facial tubing that looks so sad in a nursing home but passed for hip in the Preakness infield.

They breathed in and got what was supposed to be an energizing breath of fruity, fresh oxygen.

"Lavender was OK. Spearmint burns your nose," declared Mark Rettig, 31, an arborist from Baltimore County,. "I think it's a farce but you've got to try everything once."

Mike Schifano, 23, a Penn State college student who lives near Scranton, took a breath of the allegedly almond-scented oxygen. It was billed as an appetite suppressant.

"That's a good thing. I'll save money," he said.

But he didn't pick up on the scent, much less it's reputed hunger-curbing qualities. So he tried wintergreen.

"It was, like, chewing gum," he said. "I looked incredibly goofy doing it. I guess it's all part of the experience."

-- Laura Vozzella

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