Off To The Races

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Gren Blockman
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Off To The Races

Post by Gren Blockman » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:53 pm

The 2015 RhyDin Invitational Stakes

Saturday, May 23, 2015



“ . . . Ladies and Gentleman, if you will direct your attention to the center of the track, you will see our Guests of Honor at this year’s running of the RhyDin Invitational Stakes! Introducing first, from Perrigan’s Rangers, he’s a former Overlord and two-time Diamond, give a round of applause for GrenBlockman! And last but certainly not least, RhyDin’s favorite noble steed! He’s grumpy! He’s feisty! Put your hands together for the one and only, Alfred the Disgruntled Unicorn!!!!”

The loudspeaker boomed out its announcement to the crowd. Gren and Alfred were standing in the middle of the Invitational Stakes racetrack on a wooden platform, with members of the press and racing fans gathered around for a Questions & Answers session. Gren had agreed to appear with Alfred at this year’s race, donating his appearance fee to charity. He told Alfred if he agreed to appear, he wouldn’t have to be on “noble steed” duty for two weeks. Alfred had his shiny mane shampooed and combed for the occasion. Gren was giving the crowd a little wave and smile while Alfred just sulked.

“Alfred! Alfred! How does it feel to be the Guest of Honor at this year’s Invitational?” One of the members of the press asked.

“Oh, I’m so happy that sparkly, magical rainbows are about to shoot out of my @$$”, he replied.

“Easy”, Gren gave him a warning glare, before turning back to the press.“We’re happy to be here, and hopefully raise awareness for the conservation efforts going on to help save RhyDin’s forests.”

“What about you, Alfred? Are you here to help RhyDin’s forests?”

“I’m here for the mares”, Alfred said, eyeballing one of the female racing horses that was being led to the starting gate. The audience titters with laughter while Gren looks mortified. “But hey, if I can save a few trees and get Gren off my back, it kills two birds with one stone. Besides, it’s better than a riding session with little kids that stick chewing gum in my mane and doodle on my back with crayons.”

“Alfred, what does it take to be a noble steed?”

“Well, to be a noble steed, you have to come from good breeding stock. You see, my mother was Welsh, and my father was Hungarian. Which makes me “Wel-Hung”! Hehheh. I think you know what I mean.”

“Did you really have to say that?” Gren said in a strangled whisper as the audience laughed louder.

Just then, the favorite to win the Invitational pranced by, being led by his jockey. He was a brown thoroughbred by the name of ‘Vain Cavalier’, who had won several races throughout the city already.

“Alright, the sideshow is over. Yes, it’s me, Vain Cavalier. Yes, I am the favorite. Yes, I know what a thrill it is for you to see such a powerful specimen of a thoroughbred like myself. Please, please, no flash photography. I don’t want my retinas damaged before race time. There are 5 by 7 glossies available at the gift shop”, Vain Cavalier said to the assembled crowd. They already began to ignore Gren and Alfred and push toward the arrogant thoroughbred.

“Hey, what’s with this?” Alfred objected. Gren shrugged. Alfred then glanced back at Vain Cavalier. “Hey look, pal. Our Q & A ain’t over yet. So why don’t you just prance right on over to the gate, huh?”

“What makes you think you can order a famous athlete such as myself around? I am the preeminent racing horse in the city and I don’t take orders from a mere . . . mere . . . unicorn”, Vain Cavalier scoffed at Alfred.

“Why you little . . . so you think you’re better than me, huh?”

“It should be obvious”, Vain Cavalier sniffed. “Your ridiculous ‘noble steed’ routine is detracting attention away from my record setting career. *I* am the best horse in this City, and I’m going to prove it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a race to win.” Vain Cavalier tilted his head up haughtily and strutted over to the starting gate.

“Oh, that settles it. This is an invitational, right? Anybody can enter?” Alfred asked a nearby official.

“Uh, that’s right.” The official looked perplexed.

“Well I just entered”, Alfred said, nodding to the official. “Let’s go, Gren.”

“Hey! Take it easy! You’ve never been in a race before!” Gren went bug-eyed with shock and was trying to hold Alfred back from the gate.

“No way I’m letting that smug jerk punk me out like that. I’ll show him.”

Before Gren could object, Alfred was getting a horse blanket with the number 9 thrown over his back and a racing harness fitted over his head. One of the attendants handed the reins to Gren and patted him on the back.

“Good luck, Mister Blockman”, he said.

Gren gaped at the reins, then at Alfred. “What just happened?” Gren asked, bewildered.
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Post by Gren Blockman » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:39 pm

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a late entrant to today’s main race. ‘Disgruntled Alfred’ lines up in the number nine position. And . . . he seems to be a unicorn!” The announcer finished with a confused tone.

“Well, this is certainly a shocking development here at today’s Invitational Stakes!” One of the commentators began. “The race is open to anyone of the equine family, but the vast majority of contestants have been thoroughbred horses, specifically raised for racing.”

“My fact finders say there *was* an instance of a Zebra who ran in the 1974 Invitational. He finished dead last by the way.”

“Let’s ask one of our experts about this. Jimmy, what can you say about a unicorn’s chances in this race?”

“Well . . . I certainly admire ‘Disgruntled Alfred’s’ courage, but let’s face it. With an extended horn protruding from his forehead, that throws his aerodynamics completely off. Do you know how much wind resistance that’s going to cause? So I’d have to say, his chances? Hehhehheh. No. Not good.”

“Thank you for that expert advice. Now let’s go down to the field, where the entrants are lining up in the starting gate.”

“Alfred, don’t do this! You don’t know what you’re getting into!” Gren was standing beside Alfred while he was being prepped.

“Get that saddle away from me”, Alfred glared at an attendant. “I’ve backed you up enough times, Gren, now it’s time for you to back *me* up. I’m gonna race and I’m gonna beat that guy”, he glared over at Vain Cavalier.

“How did I get mixed up in all this? I was just trying to save the trees! Hey wait a minute . . . “ Gren said, as the attendants grabbed hold of him.

“Up you go, Mister Blockman.”

“WAIT! I’m turned around backwards!” Gren started, but it was too late. He was hoisted up onto Alfred’s back, facing the wrong direction.

Suddenly, the bell sounded, the gunshot went off, and the doors to the starting gate flung open. Alfred charged out of the gate and up the track, with Gren clinging on desperately.

“AND THEY’RE OFF! Vain Cavalier takes the early lead in this crowd of nine horses!” The announcer began. “Newcomer Disgruntled Alfred is keeping pace on the outside! It seems his jockey is mounted the wrong way! What an incredible sight, racing fans!”

“Gren, quit touching my butt, you’re freakin’ me out back there!” Alfred said.

“What am I supposed to do?” Gren cried. Slowly, he managed to scoot around and get into the proper position without falling off the speeding unicorn. Fumbling with the reins, Gren tried to hang on as best as he could.

“They’re coming around the first turn! Vain Cavalier has taken a healthy lead! He’s moving away from the pack! This looks to be another runaway victory for him! But Disgruntled Alfred isn’t going away without a fight! He’s closing the distance as they move towards the backstretch!”

Vain Cavalier glanced behind him, and saw Alfred pulling ahead of the other horses. With a frustrated whinny, he said to his jockey, “Do something about that silly unicorn!”

His jockey grabbed a bag from around his waist and sprinkled its contents out in Alfred’s path. A shower of sharp, pointy caltrops spread out presenting a dangerous obstacle.

“That dirty cheater! Ow ooh owowow!” Alfred grunted in pain as he tried to step around them.

“They’ve reached the half mile pole! It seems some of the horses have been held up by an unknown substance on the field!” The announcer declared.

“Unknown substance? Am I the only one who saw that?” Alfred complained.

“Vain Cavalier is still in the lead, but Disgruntled Alfred is staying on his tail. This race isn’t over yet.”
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Post by Gren Blockman » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:26 am

“That damn unicorn is like the trots, he just won’t go away. Try something else!” Vain Cavalier said with another backward glance.

His jockey pulled a can of pepper spray from his belt and a produced a burst of the offending liquid that Alfred had to ride through.

“Oh crap, shut your eyes! AHHHH! I got some in my mouth, pttt ptttuuu! What the hell is this, a war zone?” Alfred yelled.

“They’re now approaching the quarter pole! Vain Cavalier still has a lead, but in second is Disgruntled Alfred, he’s not going away! That’s an odd cloud that’s been kicked up on the track, today’s race is one of the strangest I’ve ever had the pleasure of calling!”

“’Odd Cloud’, I tell ya. Where’s the justice?” Alfred said. “Come on, Gren, hit ‘em back with something! Bore them with one of your stories about how long it takes a Styrofoam cup in the forest to decompose!”

“What are you talking about, that’s important information! And most experts say that Styrofoam *never* decomposes!”

“That’s it! Keep it up, they’re going glassy eyed!”

“That isn’t funny”, Gren sulked.

“Into the final furlong they go! Can Vain Cavalier hold on? Here comes Disgruntled Alfred on the outside! He’s making his move! He’s pulling up neck and neck with Vain Cavalier! But it looks like Vain Cavalier has just enough in the tank!”

“Come on, Alfred! Just a little more! You don’t want him to win by a nose!” Gren cheered him on.

“Don’t worry, Gren, I got this. Some horses are ‘longer’ than others, if you catch my drift. Hehhehheh.”

“They’re in the homestretch! Vain Cavalier is only slightly ahead! They’re almost at the finish line! But wait, what’s this?”

Alfred leaned his head down, so that his several feet long horn stuck out horizontally.

“It’s a photo finish! AND DISGRUNTLED ALFRED WINS BY A HOOOOOOORN!!!!!!!”

“Yeeeaaaahh! Take that you rude b@$t@rd!” Alfred said.

“Why you cheating jerk! That’s not fair! Waving a thing like that around in public!” Vain Cavalier barked at Alfred.

“Sounds like you’re jealous, pal. Just remember nobody’s ‘bigger’ than Alfred the Unicorn!”

The jockeys and attendants stepped between the two horses and separated them.

“We have borne witness to a spectacular display of racing today, fans! We have seen the first unicorn to win the RhyDin Invitational Stakes, Disgruntled Alfred!” The announcer continued, “This will certainly send shockwaves throughout the racing community! Let’s ask our expert what he thinks about this stunning development!”

“But . . . the horn . . . the aerodynamics . . . I . . . uh . . . . eh?”

“Thank you for that insightful analysis. Now we go down to the field!”

Gren and Alfred were led over to the winner’s circle, where a blanket made of pink carnations was draped across Alfred’s back, and Gren was given a bouquet himself to hold. An announcer ran up with a microphone to interview them.

“Disgruntled Alfred! You’ve just become the first unicorn to win the RhyDin Invitational Stakes! Do you have anything to say to the fans gathered here today?”

“I would just like to say to all the mares out there, that I am a *stallion*, and not a *gelding*! Woo! You don’t have to put me out to pasture, because I’m ready to be a stud RIGHT NOW!”

“Can’t you be discreet?” Gren hissed at Alfred, “We’re in the Winner’s Circle for crying out loud!”

“Now that the ceremonial winner’s blanket has been given to today’s winner, it’s time for the next stage in our celebration!” said the announcer.

“Alright! I’m ready! What do I get, a lifetime supply of apples? A stable full of mares? Just point me at ‘em! Babe City!”

“It’s time for the Winner to give rides to the local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops! Come on, children! Parents, you have permission to use flash photography!”

“YAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!” A veritable army of brown and green clad scouts go running up to Alfred, clamoring to be the first to be raised onto his back.

“OH NO! AW, COME ON! I’ve been tricked! Gren, this is all your fault!”

“Sorry, buddy.” Gren pats Alfred’s back fondly before he dismounts. “But this should be a small thing for a ‘big’ guy like you.”

Gren kept a picture of Alfred wearing his pink carnation blanket, along with a half dozen Scouts on his back, cheering with their arms raised, and one tugging on his mane. Alfred is giving the camera a surly glare. “2015 RhyDin Invitational Stakes Winner, ‘Disgruntled Alfred’” is written on the back.

End
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