Musings of Navigating The Finite remainder of life from Porchville, with the hope of a glimpse of The Infinite

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Three Misfortunes On The Fifth of May

Links To My Other 2012 Horse Racing Posts:

Navigating the Finite, Ill Have Another Wins 137th Preakness

Navigating The Finite, Union Rags Wins The Belmont Stakes

Battle of Puebla, Cinco de Mayo
Yesterday was the Cinco de Mayo, the commemoration of the Mexican victory over a superior French force on May 5, 1862 in the Battle of Puebla.  Although the Mexicans won the battle, they lost the war the following year and the French backed government of Maximilian I called the Second Mexican Empire was established and lasted three years.  With US help after the Civil War, the Second Mexican Empire was overthrown and Maximillian was executed by a firing squad in 1867.  
Cinco de Mayo is not the Mexican Independence Day despite popular belief.  The Mexican Independence Day from Spain is celebrated on September 16.  Ironically the Cinco de Mayo is a nationally observed holiday in the US as decreed by Congress back in 2005.  Yet it is only a local holiday observed in the Mexican state of Puebla.  The battle was critical in helping to delay the French invasion of Mexico.  The French had designs on aiding the Confederate States of America and thus fracturing the United States and its future power.  By the time the French succeeded in Mexico, the tide had turned against the South in the Civil War, thus the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla had helped to preserve the American Union. 
Daily's Margarita Mix, Made In Nearby Verona PA.
To celebrate the Cinco de Mayo, I bought some margarita mix, nachos, and salsa.  Neither my wife or I drink and we have never had a margarita. The plan was that we would have a non-alcoholic margarita by substituting water for tequila.   Well that was the plan.  Bletch!  The plan was poorly executed.  Because of the horse race, I bought our traditional Saturday dinner (pizza--you don’t mess with pizza night regardless of what date it is) and the margarita mix late, and didn’t get mix into the refrigerator until well after 8:00 PM and never thought of the ice.  We were running out of time for the Cinco de Mayo so we tried making our margaritas.  The ice trays had little tiny hunks of evaporated frost in them. The mix had barely cooled down.  We poured a small bit of mix in a glass with 1/4 parts water.  Yick!  Sweet sickening battery acid that almost set us on our ear with sour.  Experimenting, we needed 3 parts water to one part mix and it still tasted like hell.  So much for non-alcoholic margaritas...I should stick to diet coke. 

Yesterday, was also the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.  The race was won by “I’ll Have Another” jockeyed by Mario Gutierrez.  My favorite horse was Union Rags.  Poor Union Rags was slow out of the gate and got boxed in by the pack.  Bodemeister dominated the race until the last stretch when “I’ll Have Another” streaked out of the pack and passed the top rated Bodemeister for the win.  Gutierrez, from Mexico, was quite pleased to win the Kentucky Derby on the Cinco de Mayo which I thought was kind of cool in some existential sort of way.
Phyllis Wyeth, Owner of Union Rags,
I chose her horse because I like the hat. horse, Union Rags, came in seventh, actually a pretty good finish when you consider that he was 18th in the first stretch.  However, the pain of my loss was minor--I don’t bet on these things.  I picked him as a favorite based on the horse’s name and the fact that I liked the Union Rags ball cap that the trainer and owner wore.  Turns out the owner is Phyllis Wyeth, who is married to Jamie Wyeth, son of Andrew Wyeth the famous painter from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.  Jamie like his father and grandfather is also an artist. While I have always loved Andrew’s works, Jamie’s has never quite done it for me.  Well their damned horse let me down too.  As much as I would love Union Rags to win the Preakness, because I like his name and owner's ball cap, I am hoping that “I’ll Have Another”, which is a decidedly a dumb name and requires quotation marks so the reader does not get confused, will take the triple crown.  So sorry, Union Rags, the best I can do is root for you in the Belmont Stakes if “I’ll Have Another” loses the Preakness.

So my horse lost the Kentucky Derby and my margaritas were a bust but what really topped the fifth of May off for me was the first event of the day.  Monumental events always happen in threes.  I heard my beloved mockingbird out in my hemlock, so I went    out to have a look at him.  The sky was over cast and threatening rain.  I was standing on the sidewalk visually searching the hemlock for the mockingbird singing away, when suddenly a huge rain drop hit the crown of my head.  I thought, how strange to be hit with one large rain drop.  My left hand reflexively reached for the top of my head, and simultaneously the fact that this rain drop is unduly warm entered my awareness.  Too late, in slow motion, my hand smeared into the warm viscous mess further confirming beyond hope the sickening fact that yeah it is warm.  My hand then appeared into my field of view removing all doubt...OH GOOD GOD, ROBIN SHIT.
  My brain immediately flew into a hyper-spastic state of hysterical terror.  Foreign proteins, bird viruses, and horrific bacteria are boring through my skin, they will soon diffuse easily through the plate joints in my skull and my brain will be saturated with robin shit pathogens!  Quick grab the gas can for the lawn mower and set your head on fire--sterilize the shit with purifying flame!   Wait may not survive that.  Run to the outside faucet and flush your head with water.  Damn, I haven’t turned the water back on from last winter yet!  Quick rub your head in the damp grass--hmmm, what will the neighbors think?  The thought of neighbors witnessing the spectacle of me on all fours madly rubbing my head in the grass, slowly allowed me to contain my hysteria and think the my first rational thought since time zero of the impact, why not go in and take a shower?  Do it right now, before any more pathogens are absorbed into your brain and you think of any further wild ideas...for instance jack up the front of the car, start the engine, put it in drive with a brick on gas my head against the rapidly spinning tire and grind the bird shit off my skull.  The whole problem with that idea is that when the real time four wheel drive sensed the front wheels spinning faster than the rear, the four wheel drive would automatically engage careening my car off the jack and down my driveway, across the street, through my neighbor’s yard and over a cliff.  The process is very rapid and I would never have time to make it to the front wheels before the car zoomed off in a mindless panic exceeded only by mine.  The shower seemed the only reasonable solution.

Although thinking more rationally than a few moments ago, but still in a panic,  I ran into the bathroom and with my left hand incapacitated with bird shit, I attempted to one handedly remove my clothes.  Oh God, how do I get my tee shirt off with one hand and not smear it through the bird shit on my head?  To hell with the tee shirt, throw the damned thing in the rubbish...get these clothes off and get into the shower.  After a small eternity, one handedly, I stripped and got into the shower.  I plunged my head into the water rinsing the foul fowl detritus off my head.  As I am standing looking at my feet, it slowly occurs to me, you dumb son of bitch, you have your eyes, nose, and mouth facing down with robin shit water flowing past them.  Why didn’t you stick the back of your head into the water while looking up so the shit water would flow harmlessly down your neck and back.  Oh good God, I am doomed.  
Then the shampooing started but I didn’t use shampoo, I used anti-bacterial Safeguard.  Apply soap, vigorously rub, rinse, and repeat.  At some point the notion of this shit infested rinse water all over my body entered my awareness so I soaped up my hair and then stepped out of the water and completely soaped up my entire body leaving it set for a few minutes to kill off any residual robin shit pathogens.  I then stepped back into the water and repeated my shampooing about two dozen times until I ran out of hot water.  After the completion of my shower, objectively I felt reasonably clean, but subjectively and spiritually I remained defowled.  
I am a spicy food sweater.  Last night while eating the salsa, even though mild, the top of my head broke into a sweat.  Reflexively my left hand wiped to top of my head, and then it struck me.  I am sweating out robin shit pathogens.  Oh God, will I ever return to my unshat upon state?   While I was tempted to take another shower, I dried my head with a paper towel instead. 
Today I have been trying to access any damage.  Did I successfully remove all the robin shit pathogens before they managed to infest my brain?  I seem to possess all of my faculties.  I know what date it is, what horse won the Kentucky Derby, and I remember my mother’s maiden name.  The thought occurs to me that It may take months before the onset of robin shit induced dementia sets in.  Yet today I seem to be perfectly normal except my hair looks like Albert Einstein’s.   


Photo & Video Credits:


  1. Well Sextant your first misfortune of the day had me falling out of my computer chair with laughter. I would have given anything to be there with you when you were christened with bird poo. Seeing you run around the yard with a crazed look on your face.

    Ok, so first things first, get yourself down to your local corner store and buy a power ball lottery ticket or whatever you have down there....cause you have now been blessed with super good fortune...being pooped on by a bird from on high is considered very good fortune indeed! Luck is with you Sextant, make the most of it.

    But alas, yes, you are permanently contaminated. Robin poop DNA is flowing thru your blood veins. Your done. Terminally infected, or is that affected.
    Avian bird flu, H5N1, highly pathogenic influenza. And here's a cheery note from Wikepdia,....
    The human incubation period of avian influenza A (H5N1) is 2 to 17 days.[34] Once infected, the virus can spread by cell-to-cell contact, bypassing receptors. So even if a strain is very hard to initially catch, once infected, it spreads rapidly within a body.[35] For highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza in a human, "the time from the onset to presentation (median, 4 days) or to death (median, 9 to 10 days) has remained unchanged from 2003 through 2006."

    Just kidding Sextant, you're fine. Don't stress out too much about it.
    Always good to read your blog.
    Carry on.

    1. My wife said the same thing, if a bird poops on one, he will come into to money. Well what the hell good is all this money going to do me when I am dying a horrible death from robin shit dementia? Thank you, Busman, for the cheery prognosis. With all the cool ways to die in the world it would be just my luck to expire from being shat upon by a damned robin.

      Actually I am not too worried, as much robin shit as I have in my yard, I am sure every time I run the lawn mower I am probably ingesting 5 pounds of it. I must say though having it plopped on your head while still warm does bring one some humility.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting

  2. Hope you've calmed down by now. The robin didn't mean it. Think of it as fertilizer for the brain-- not a contaminant. As always, you make me smile, Sextant.

    1. I don't know Donna, I think I have been irreparably traumatized. I was cutting grass last night near ground zero--searching the sky, uncontrollably shaking. The robins were in my hemlocks laughing at me. Alas in my fowlest hour, you smile, but your smile has made my defowlment somehow noble and worth the 500 gallons of hot water and bar of Safeguard that I expended in the clean up. Thanks for dropping in and commenting. Oh wait no, not dropping in...stopping by.

  3. Wow! You would not believe how much your Robin shit story made me laugh! That was hilarious! Of course I was frightened and worried for you but I had to laugh none the less!

    But first...where in the world did you get your Margarita recipe? Water? Water? Seriously? Maybe you should have tried a little pineapple juice. I applaud your efforts though and speaking as a descendant of "Mi linda tierra, Mexico", I am honored that you celebrated that day with us.

    For Cinco de Mayo I took my mom to lunch and had Chicken Flautas and a Strawberry Margarita...muy delicioso! Next year or on 16 de Septiembre...try the pineapple juice and crushed ice, and put a little salt and a little sugar in a dish and rim the edge of the glass in lemon or lime and roll in the salty sweet mixture, it's like liquid Kettle Korn (I adore Kettle Korn!).

    I didn't watch the race at all but I did see all the fashions, especially the hats worn on Derby Day. You would think the owner of Urban Rags would have been able to come up a more beautiful hat than the ball cap she had on, and maybe a touch of makeup? Lipstick at least?

    I don't think you need to worry about the Robin Shit pathogens. I would take more than a mere Robin and his shit to dim your wits!

    1. Well to be 100% honest I am not worried about actual pathogens, I just don't like poop in any form. But being warm did make it especially icky.

      Water...yes, water. I knew she who sips tequila while making Christmas cookies would have a smart ass comment about my nonalcoholic margarita. I haven't had any thing harder than beer or wine since 1974 which incidentally was the last time I got drunk...and before that I got drunk way too if a man wants water in his margarita...don't ask. Besides that, alcohol in any form gives me a headache (with the exception of Gallo Industrial grade White Zinfandel). Hey it said right on the bottle, for a non-alcoholic margarita replace the tequila with water. God that stuff is ghastly. At the 3 to 1 ratio they specify on the bottle my innards want to fly inside out from excessive sweet and sour. I have been watering it down 4 parts water and 1 part mix and it still pulls the chair out from under me. We got the strawberry mix as well, my wife took a hankering to that but its too sweet for me. Maybe for 16 de Septiembre we will go some place and get a real one and split between us.

      The photo of Phyllis Wyeth was taken about 3 days before the race. Race day she has some God awful concoction on her head that looked like someone tried to make a Zorro hat out of a 5 gallon paint bucket. The trainer had the Union Rags hat on. Makeup I can't address, her face was shaded by the monstrosity on her head.

  4. LOL. You enjoy disasters better than anyone I know! I like the visual of you on all fours, rubbing your head in the grass. Might have been easier than the poorly executed shower! :-)

    1. Carol,

      When it comes to poop, there is always unwarranted level of terror generated in my heart. Human being have been living with poop for millions of years and it always affects me as though it were and evil spirit. Thanks for dropping in and commenting.

  5. Now, see, about a decade ago my friend and I were at a seaside restaurant, about to enjoy our lobster, when we were assaulted from above by gull rain. I never thought about the brain damage. Mostly we were concerned with preserving our wine. And dignity. The latter was lost, but in drinking the former we didn't much care.

    But, seriously, Sextant, my dear. How may we tell if there has been damage? Consider the base level. That's what we did, assuming that neither we nor anyone who knows us would be able to tell what was damage and what was, well, us.

    May the damage be minimal; may you suffer no more traumas of this magnitude. No. Wait. Then we wouldn't get the stories. Sorry. As Jane Austin said--and I paraphrase--"We live to make sport of other people's trials."

    Thank you for this. I was NOT in good humor ten minutes ago. Now I am.

    1. Jeannette

      Your gull attack would induce post traumatic stress disorder within me.

      I am not sure how to measure the damage. My intellect is extremely variable from day to day, going from dullard to not too bright and back. Ergo a standard would have to involve some long term average. So I don't know, I guess I will just have to persevere.

      The only thing I can say, if it improved your humor, then it was well worth me getting shat upon.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.