Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Mule Steeples

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Some of the neighboring counties around Harmony have been compared to our little slice of heaven. The comparison usually ends up with Harmony County coming in second best. Not an apples and oranges comparison, but a 2012 Mercedes versus 1973 Dodge pickup where the Mercedes horn is a dignified ‘honk’, the pickup horn plays “La Cucaracha’.

For example, where the other folks have top patrician style outdoor events, we have more plebian affairs. Do not get me wrong, I like sporting events that involve animals as much as the next fellow does, but there is a limit.

One of the uptown favorites is the Steeplechase. Contrary to the name, the horses do not chase steeples. We all know that steeples do not move, except in California during earthquake season. The race is for the horses and their riders go around a two to three mile course jumping over a bunch of obstacles 52 inches or more tall.

I must admit it is rather exciting, but for most of the event, the racers are out of sight. So while the big brown things are out on the back forty leaping about, the folks in the box seats are enjoying champagne cocktails and shrimp. Not bad ways to kill time until the ponies arrive. (Most have riders, but occasionally one or two show up without supervision.)

Meanwhile back in Harmony County we have something similar. It is a little competition called a Mule Race. The normal field consists of ten mules and riders. This means that there are 20 opinions on to how the race should be run.

Once the mules are placed into the starting gate, no mean feat because of the mule feet flying around, the race is started. Things go immediately downhill from there.

First, there are opinions as to what direction the race should be run. Some participants do not believe the race should be run at all, while others see the lush grass in the infield and wander over for a quick snack. Some go a few hundred yards and tire out or just loose interest.

Quite simply put I have gone to Mule Races that started in 2009 and I am still waiting for something with long ears to cross the finish line, riders, or mules.

The chow at a mule race is not found on the menu at a Steeplechase. The beverage selection instead of going ‘pop’ then ‘whoosh’ ours goes ‘click’ then ‘gargle’ to be followed by an extended ‘burp’. In addition, you do not usually see someone trying to crush a champagne bottle on his or her forehead.

Where there is shrimp and those scrummy cucumber sandwiches the hoi polloi prefers something along the lines of deep-fried ice cream wrapped in bacon and dipped in chocolate. In fact, anything chewable, notice I did not say edible, that is deep-fried is preferred.

So, anyone for a heart attack on a stick? I got some cold ones in the cooler in my truck to wash it down. © 2012 Jim McGowan


Written by harmonycounty

May 10, 2012 at 4:42 p05

Posted in Americana, Humor, Sports

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