Tuesday is Melbourne Cup Day. I get the feeling that people in other parts of the world don’t really believe the truth about Cup Day. The way that (a) it’s a public holiday in honour of a horse race, and that (b) the nation stops when the race starts at about 3:20pm.
As I see it, it’s a great idea for a public holiday. It’s one of the few holidays that people actually participate in. I mean, on the Queen’s Birthday, we don’t sit around drinking toasts to Her Maj. And on Labour Day, do we march in honour of our ancestors who fought for our rights to work accident compensation and the eight hour day? Heck no!
But Cup Day is a holiday that everyone gets involved in. It’s the one day that everyone in Melbourne, even if they only bet once a year, puts a few dollars on a horse. And everyone watches or listens to the race.
And that’s why the nation stops. Okay, I can only speak for Melbourne, but it really does. For example, I live on a reasonably busy main road. Cars whiz by at all hours of the day. But on Cup Day, you can look out of the window for the four or so minutes that the race runs, and not see anything moving out there.
So, who am I betting on? Well, as per usual, I’ve chosen four horses to place a few dollars each on. And no doubt, as per usual, they’ll all come fourth or later.
And I’m betting that the TAB computers will break down!