Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Put down your booze and pick up a Bible!"

That's what a ten year old was screaming through a megaphone as I was walking into the Kentucky Derby yesterday. Not more than ten feet after the boy and his hoard of finger-pointing screamers was a man selling dirty t-shirts (by dirty I mean with curse words on it, not actual dirt). I decided that was either the best place or worst place for that guy to set up shop. On one hand, people might not want to buy a dirty shirt in full view of people that have already judged them without doing a thing but walking down the street. On the other hand, I would think some might buy shirts just to spite the screamers. Tough call.

I wondered what people think about these crowds? How do you react? Avoid eye contact? Offer high fives? Yell back and start a shouting match? What do you think about these groups of people? Share your past experiences and thoughts.

Just for fun, I'll share one of the highlights from the Derby. You should know I was sitting in the infield. While the folks in the grandstands are all formal wear and class, the infield is like a state fair condensed into a tenth of the space and doused with alcohol. You know how at places like this there are rows of port-a-johns? Well, at the Derby folks would climb on top and try to get all the way to the other end while the crowd throws full cups and bottles of beverages at them from below. You wouldn't believe how entertaining this is to watch.