Harmony County

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

The Harmony County Cup

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The pride and joy of Harmony County were out in force last weekend at the annual Harmony County Cup races. As usual it was held at the Harmony County Hippodrome and Land Fill.
The attendees were in their Spring finery as one may well imagine. Hardly a patch could be found on the overalls, clean T-shirts and sneeze free bandanas were the rule. The men were equally impressively attired, many of whom were even wearing shoes.
Though it had rained heavily the night before and into the morning, folks and their steeds started to arrive early. In many cases the racers were pulling the wagons their owners were riding.
One of the first to arrive was the ever lovely and popular, Grannie Fannie Feinstermacher. She took up her usual position and set up shop. Grannie Fannie is a lifelong member of the ‘muley’ set and her intimate knowledge of the runners makes her the ‘go-to gal’ if one is in the mood to laying down a few bucks on the outcome of the races.
So, to quote Billy Joel, “It was 9-o’clock on a Saturday, the regular crowd drifted in.” Tailgating Harmony County style is not for the timid. While the favorite horse’s ovary is the yummy catfish and collard green canapé the heavy drinking begins early on. Even by my low standards, 9 AM is not my preferred start of Happy Hour.
You see while the runners were certainly in the equus family they were given to long ears, saying “hee-haw” frequently and can occasionally be less than cooperative. (Safety tip; Do not approach these large, brown, beasties from the rear. Not unless you want to spend the next week bouncing.)
Horses have four gaits; walk, trot, canter and gallop. However, in some cases a mule can be creative with their forms of locomotion. These are sometimes described as, “Start, f**t, stumble, and fall”. These leads to some interesting races. Add to that the tendency to think independently in a race if you have 10 mules and 10 riders you have 21 opinions on how the race should be run.
As any punter will tell you the most important part of the race is the finish. While I would normally agree an exception has to be made for a mule race. The race organizers started with a mechanical starting gate. ‘Briiiiing’ went the bell and the doors flew open. The mules just stood there with puzzled looks. Eventually one or two wandered out and munched on the grass on the side of the track.
Next they got some poor sap with a starter’s pistol. Pulling a gun and firing it in Harmony County is not wise. The ensuing firefight would make Audie Murphy duck for cover. Even the mules low crawled away. Now they use a rope and a green flag and, “There off”!”
The year’s Cup race was considered a success. Out of 15 starters 11 crossed the finish line, seven with riders.
Grannie Fannie made a bundle. © 2014, Jim McGowan

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Written by harmonycounty

April 3, 2014 at 4:42 p04

Posted in Americana, Humor, Sports

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