Thursday, 8 November 2007

Further thoughts on the horseploitation

1. Next year, I urge you all to observe Melbourne Cupcake Day. If a good patty cake with pink icing doesn't stop the nation, then I'm migrating to Finland.

2. The French word for horse is cheval. The French word for hat is chapeau. Say "chapeau" very quickly and quietly, with seventeen chestnuts stuffed in each of your cheek pouches, and I guarantee that your auditor will think you said "cheval". I know this, because I conducted an independent enquiry in a lab coat.

I have a theory. My theory is that the Melbourne Cup was never meant to be a horse race. It was meant to be a hat race. The inaugurator of the Melbourne Cup, a Parisian milliner, had seventeen chestnuts stuffed in each of her cheek pouches, and a very squeaky voice, and when she said "chapeau", many thought she said "cheval", and proceeded to toss away their hats in exchange for hosses. You will observe, however, that to this day, a few brave participants in the Melbourne Cup still wear magnificent hats: plumed, tulle, three-feet-wide, thoroughbreds of the hat world. These participants secretly know that the Melbourne Cup was meant to be a hat race all along.

Lexicon Harlinski, wearing a hat, possibly digesting a Melbourne Cupcake.

And so I exhort you, good people all, return the horses to their paddocks, and start training your hats. I name mine Inefficient.

24 comments:

TimT said...

This suggests a good tongue twister...

By Jove, jeeves, what jives! There's a chappie in a chapeau on a cheval in the chapel!

TimT said...

Shall we chiv the chipper chappy till he topples from the cheval, or shall we clap the clever cheval for its chappie in a chapeau?

Martin Kingsley said...

Ah, you may have had a lab coat, but did you have a clipboard?! The scientific credibility of your study may be impugned, should you be found to have conducted such experiments without one! A pocket protector with some natty blue and red pens in, wouldn't go astray, either.

Allow me to espouse my newly-formed theory: If it is all about the hats, as I have been reliably informed, that hat right there is definitely in the running. For what or from whom, I am not sure, but whatever it's supposed to have (style, panache, a humbly-styled but not inexpensive houseboat, or possibly a mansion in the Hamptons), it has definitely got.

Martin Kingsley said...

Careful, Tim, we're getting into neurolinguistic apoplexy territory, here. Ripe academic brains the world over are readying themselves to explode, even as we type.

Miss Eagle said...

I will follow a cupcake anywhere. Particularly if it is a Crabapple Cupcake!

Blessins and bliss from The Trad Pad

Russian Caravan Martinet said...

While I find your explanation of the horse-ploitation thoroughly plausible, I do wonder how the Parisian hatter would view the cancerous spread of that ridiculous perversion of millinery known as the fascinator. Are these confections simply a further descent into semantic corruption or are their wearers so true to the original intent of the Melbourne Cup that they have sought to gain an unfair weight advantage, particularly as they totter down "the Parisian end of Collins St", fascinators slightly askew?

alexis said...

Gosh, golly, Miss E. You put ideas in my head. A crabapple and cinnamon cupcake, perhaps?

alexis said...

Muscovite Martinet, perhaps it was my corrupting encounter with Maison d'Alannah Hill, which has frou-frou-ed me for ever more, but I'm not so very, very opposed to the fascinator. They're silly, I'll grant you, but silly isn't bad in itself. They're not hats, I'll grant you, but being not a hat is not bad in itself either. And they are, in their strange way, fascinating. I wouldn't buy one myself. I'm not the sort to spend $130 on a feather and a hairclip. I like my millinery somewhat more, erm, millinerian, but let me not to the marriage of other people's coiffs and their overpriced frippery admit impediments.

alexis said...

Martinski, I am - officially - foiled. There was no clipboard. Dang and blast. That'll learn me.

I'm going to put pocket protector on my Christmas wish list.

alexis said...

Mr Tim, thou art verily a boon unto yon internette. Long may thou alliterate. Pip pip.

Maria said...

I'm in a bit of a dilemma here. Am I to be training me hats and wearing a horse on me head for sun protection, therefores?

Martin Kingsley said...

I imagine that'd get you into all the best parties, Maria.

Dale Slamma said...

Would the hats run in classes of weight, height, colour or size?

Maria said...

Do they have handi-caps?

Martin Kingsley said...

The Akubra does. They're made of cork.

*dodges brickbats*

Muscovite Martinet said...

By a not very startling coincidence $130 is precisely how much a young woman I saw at the airport the other day paid for her fascinator and she thought it was jolly good value. Quoth the young man beside her (a young man after my own heart): "But that just looks like something a bird would nest in!". He was young and full of potential, you see, but had not yet learnt that the proper response is actually "But that just looks like something a bird would *refuse* to nest in".
As for La Maison d'Allanah Hill, I must confess that you do manage to pull it off rather well. I, alas, would just feel like one of those toilet roll dolls.

TimT said...

I had to google 'Fascinator' to find out what they were, and you're right, they're all over the places, to the point of ridiculousness.

I must say I'm impressed with all the chaps buttonholing jonquils and carnations in their jackets today: way to uphold standards, fellows!

This may be a habit I have to take up...

muscovite martinet said...

How blissful it must be to not know what a fascinator is! I'm sorry that state of bliss was broken for you. For me, they seem to be a measure of the relative intoxication of the wearer more than anything else, as it is determined by their relative skew-whiffness.

It would have to be a fresh flower at all times, you realise. None of these plastic numbers and certainly not a joke flower which squirts water.

Anonymous said...

fu fu fu

TimT said...

Fu fu fu to you too.

Maria said...

You both sound like you're about to sneeze.

Bless you!

alexis said...

Anon, is "fu fu fu" the sound of disdainful sniffing at a Melbourne-Cup-pooper? Or the mating call of a cupcake-fancier? Or the sound of several fascinators rustling in the breeze? Explain yourself, my goodly visitant.

Cistern Harlot said...

As a close confidant of anon, I can answer that "fu fu fu" is all of the above, and a current favourite sound of your youngest niece - inspired by the laugh of a squirrel in one of her japanese books. This provides some further insights:
http://watanabesato.co.jp/jpculture/howmanyi/jplaugh.html

alexis said...

But of course! I'll never doubt again. My soul was in mortal squirrel for a while there.