Thursday, July 12, 2007

Week 53?

During the few months that I wrote the Daily Planet articles on DC Comics’ 52 website, I was commissioned to write an article that tied in to the real-life death of the race horse Barbaro. The article was to serve as a follow-up to the original Bizzarbaro article penned by Bill Rosemann. The headline never saw the light of day, so I thought I’d post it here if for no other reason but the fact that I think it’s funny.

Funeral For a Friend
By Ajax McGilicutty, Daily Planet Contributing Sports Reporter

METROPOLIS, FEBRUARY 4 –

“It am greatest thing that never happened.” Those were the somber words spoken yesterday by jockey Cromano Clooney about her champion racehorse Bizzarbaro who passed away early this week due to problems with his hip. They were words paraphrased “out of the horse’s mouth” so to speak, as Bizzarbaro was not only known the world over for his speed and penchant to run backwards, but also for his ability to speak English, or something loosely resembling it.

Clooney was one of a dozen speakers who appeared at the horse’s funeral, a tribute ceremony honoring the animal’s achievements in the world of competitive racing. Not glossed over among the topics of discussion was Bizzarbaro’s record-breaking time at the Kentucky Derby this year of 1:37.19, a time crushing the record of 1:59 2/5, Secretariat’s 1973 showing.

Said Clooney, “We were always a long shot. But Bizzarbaro would just laugh in the face of adversity. He’d say, ‘Me am not terrified. Me love racing.’ But then again, he said everything backwards so, come to think of it, he probably was really miserable. Huh. Yeah, that horse hated me.”

Clooney’s use of the phrase “long shot” was an understatement at best. Measuring in at 6’4 and weighing an ounce or two short of 300 pounds, Clooney was easily the heaviest jockey in racing history. “Hey, people said the Hindenburg wouldn’t fly,” said Clooney. “It just goes to show you what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it. And if you have a super-powered horse. Yeah, the powers definitely help out.”

Also in attendance at the funeral was Senator Francis DuFonte, a longtime supporter of Bizzarbaro’s and a man infamous for proposing a bill to conduct all Senate hearings at a nearby horse track with periodic intermissions for betting and purchasing hot pretzels. Said DuFonte, “It’s just nice to know that in these hard times of war and economic strife, Americans can come together, united over what really matters in life: a once relatively fast, dead horse.”

Bizzarbaro is survived by his wife Gladys and their two kids Eduardo and Bitsy. Oh, um, actually Bitsy was just shot due to a bum leg.

Bitsy is survived by her mother Gladys and brother Eduardo. For now.

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