A Day at the Races
As I was leaving the office last night I was asked if I could go to the races with some customers today. Apparently two tickets had become available last minute and someone needed to fill them. Sure, why not. I was told it was very 'smart' dress and that I would need to wear a fascinator. "A what?" I replied. A fascinator. Apparently a fascinator is the funny little sideways hat thing that people wear to fancy English weddings (and the horse races). They come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and feather configurations. They are truly fascinating accessories.
This is the first time we've been around Melbourne to experience the Melbourne Cup, the horse race that stops a nation. We even had Tuesday off work for the races. We rode the train in to the Flemington Race Track, pushing our way onto the already packed car and bouncing against everyone else packed like a can of sardines. When the train doors opened waves of men in suits and women in dresses, heels, and fascinators poured out onto the grounds. It was an amazing site to see - I had certainly never seen anything like this in person. It was just like we were at the races in Del Mar, except it felt like we had taken a time warp back to the days when people were proper and dressed up to go out. Seeing the fascinators sticking up in the sea of people reminded me of the pick-a-little ladies from the Music Man. Pick a little, talk a little, cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more.