It's May! It's May! How are you feeling? Merry? This is supposed to be such a merry month. If you were outside this past weekend, you could see why. Spring has sprung, the weather is warming. All those April showers seem to have done their job. Flowers are everywhere—on the ground, in the trees. It was raining pink cherry blossom petals in Washington Square Park over the weekend. One fell right on to the banh mi sandwich I was eating; I couldn't even complain.
Birds are everywhere, too. And the bees. Reproductive glands abuzz. I suppose it has something to do with why Vanessa Redgrave is so lusty and itching for fun, be it wholesome or un-? Nature being such a whore and all.
The Kentucky Derby happens this month, too. This coming Saturday, May 7th. And it's well documented how decadent and depraved that event is. As Hunter S. Thompson learned from a man named Jimbo he met in the Louisville airport around this time back in 1970,
"The little lady won't come anymore," he said. "She grits her teeth and turns me loose for this one. And when I say 'loose' I do mean loose! I toss ten-dollar bills around like they were goin' out of style! Horses, whiskey, women… shit, there's women in this town that'll do anything for money."
(I love it that the Derby organizers run that essay on the race's official website.)
Considering the time of year, then, if I was going to bet on a horse in this year's Derby, I'd put my money one called Pants On Fire. (This is assuming the name is meant in more of a Kings of Leon way, and doesn't have anything to do with the horse's trustworthiness.) But I don't think I'll be betting. I don't know a thing about horse racing. Though I do enjoy going to the track on a nice sunny day. I used to go a lot when I was in high school, having grown up near enough to Monmouth Park to have heard the trumpets from my house. There was a local jockey named Julie Krone who was really good. I used to bet on all the races, too. But I stunk at it. (I relied on the same name-centric methodology back then.) I think I won one race in all the times I went. I was standing next to my friend Ted's dad, though, when he hit the trifecta at the Haskell Invitational one year. He won $10,000, I think it was. I'd never heard a grown-up scream like that, and he bought drinks for everyone within earshot. It was very exciting. Anyway, you know who I would not put money on this year? The horse called Stay Thirsty. I mean, I like those Dos Equis commercials as much as the next guy, but it's lame to name your horse after a beer commercial. Especially one as campy and tongue-in-cheek as those Dos Equis ones. And, now that I'm thinking about it, if you bet on a horse called Stay Thirsty, it doesn't seem like your chances are so good to be drinking champagne in the winner's circle, does it? But like I said, I suck at gambling. Stay Thirsty will probably win just because I think it won't.
Speaking of blaring trumpets, depravity, and predictions, Baptist radio preacher Harold Camping says that according to a mathematical formula he's worked out for interpreting revelation from the Bible, the world will come to an end on the 21st of this month. Around dinner time.
"All the stealing, and the lying, and the wickedness and the sexual perversion that is going on in society is telling us something," he said, to Britain's The Independent a little more than a month ago. "So too is the gay pride movement. It was sent by God as a sign of the end."
So that's not very merry. Unless you're among the two percent of the earth's population Camping believes will successfully heed the trumpet's call, receive the Rapture and go to heaven. He said the world was ending back in September 1994, too. But this time he's really sure.
I think that's my very favorite David Bowie song. (Ask me tomorrow and it might be "Quicksand," though.)
Camping cites the recent earthquakes in Haiti, New Zealand and Japan as harbingers of our fate. From what I could gather, though, it's not entirely clear how exactly he thinks the world will come to its final impending doom. One possibility, of course, is zombie apocalypse. May has been officially named Zombie Awareness Month by the Zombie Research Society, so that seems as likely as any other scenario.
According to the Zombie Research Society's website,
"Supporters of Zombie Awareness Month wear a gray ribbon to signify the undead shadows that lurk behind our modern light of day. From May 1 through May 31, Zombie Research Society Members and friends take this small step to acknowledge the coming danger."
"What's your name? Who's your daddy?" Man, even zombies can't keep it in their pants this time of year. Everybody's itching for fun. Wholesome or undead.