April 27, 2011

The Derby forecast

The National Revelry Service in Louisville has issued a severe carousal warning for the first week in May.

A widespread rowdy front will remain nearly stationary across Kentucky and Southern Indiana through Saturday, May 7. There is potential for a perfect storm of merrymaking that will move slowly throughout the region, causing widespread pagan rituals, erratic thinking and partial-to-full nudity.

Associated with this front are conditions that may lead to substantial gambling losses, severe hangovers and, in some cases, unexpected sexual reproduction.

Be advised that lodging, dining, recreational drugs, munchies, adult beverages, gasoline and most goods and services could cost as much as 20 percent to 35 percent more than normal, with locally higher amounts possible.

There is also a potential for encounters with numerous B-list celebrities, including but not limited to reality-TV stars, ex-rappers, boy bands, professional athletes and swimsuit models. Should you encounter a celebrity, squeal and ask for an autograph, even if you’re not really sure who the celebrity is or if he or she is even a celebrity at all. If a celebrity signs your boob with a Sharpie, do not attempt to wash it off until you reach full and complete sobriety and deep shame begins to set in.

Throughout this event, conditions are ripe for unusual and in some cases ill-advised behavior, such as chasing mint juleps with shots of Jägermeister, which can lead to projectile vomiting and/or sex in a Porta-Potty, neither of which is comfortable unless you are a jockey. In such cases, be prepared to monitor the advice of your best girlfriend and/or wingman and take action accordingly. Be advised that no amount of mouthwash the next morning can completely compensate for a trip through the White Castle drive-thru the night before.

In the likely event that someone offers you pari-mutuel wagering advice, be advised that this person is a liar or a fool or both. Seek immediate shelter with your wallet in a basement, inner hallway or closet and bet instead on either “the gray one” or the one whose name reminds you of your childhood sweetheart. You’ll still lose, but at least you’ll have lost on your own terms.

Until this warning expires on May 8, this event is capable of producing outlandish fashion choices, including but not limited to ridiculous hats, hideous jackets and obese men wearing nothing but diapers and Crocs. It is advisable to gleefully participate in these fashion catastrophes, if for no other reason than to amuse your future self.

If your own fashion choices reach disaster proportions, two kinds of alerts may be issued via Facebook and Twitter: “Imminent” or “Elevated.” An “Imminent” fashion disaster means you have crossed the line even for Derby week and that your friends should avoid you at all costs. An “Elevated” fashion warning simply means that the clothes you are wearing pose a more general threat. This system replaces the old color-coded warning system implemented after you wore only puka beads, a jock strap and a beer helmet to the infield back when you were in college.

If history is a guide, this line of party storms can cause widespread outages in productivity, including “sick” days, four-martini lunches and empty offices at 4:20 p.m. If you are a manager intent on keeping productivity high, you are advised to suck it.

If you are caught in a low-lying area, such as the waterfront, take shelter in a tent and consume fried dough, burgoo and outrageously expensive beer until the garage band covering The Eagles starts to sound good and the people around you become attractive. Resist the urge to run naked across a row of portable toilets.

For continuous updates on this evolving situation, please turn on your TV, where you’ll be able to watch news anchors and meteorologists wearing pretentious clothing while trying desperately to fill huge blocks of airtime by making trite observations about perennially tiresome events. To enhance the experience, drink a shot whenever one of these announcers mentions the words “bed racing,” “steamboat,” “Kid Rock,” “Baffert,” “twin spires,” “backside” or “Pitino.” If you live in a mobile home, you don’t need to take special precautions because, unlike God and tornadoes, Derby has nothing against you.

In the unlikely event that you set eyes on an actual physical horse or a sober person or your waitress or a parking space or a winning ticket at any time during the week, please keep it to yourself. Nobody likes a braggart.