May 4, 2007

WELP’S LOUISVILLE : God save the queen some burgoo

Dear Queen Elizabeth, Howdy-do! May I call Your Majesty Your Majesty? Welcome to Louisville. We are totally psyched to have Your Royal Highness here for Derby ’07. Woot! Derby!When I first saw the “Queen coming to Churchill Downs” headlines, I was a little disappointed. I could understand the Stones. And even The Police. But Queen? Without Freddie Mercury? But then I read it was Your Majesty, and I was totally stoked.As the “leader” of the “British Empire” visiting us on the frontier, Your Highness is bound to feel some chamber-of-commerce sunshine blowing up her royal arse, courtesy of our local dignitaries. We want to impress Your Majesty, so we’ll be all 16th-largest-city this and big-city-with-small-town-charm that, but Your Highness wants to keep it real, right?Like, when Your Majesty goes to Kilmarnock for a football match, she doesn’t just take tea with the lords-lieutenant, right? Heck, no, Your Majesty gets rat-arsed on Glenmorangie and talks bollocks with the local hooligans, what? That’s why Your Majesty should totally crash the infield on Derby Day. Blimey, Your Highness would look smashing in some Monarchs-Gone-Wild beads. Cheeky monkey! And Your Highness won’t be disappointed by Churchill Downs. It’s the kind of place that’ll make Your Majesty want to rewrite her royal will to instruct Keith Richards to snort her ashes, just so he can sneeze them all over millionaire’s row.But I kid Your Majesty. The truth is, Your Highness will feel the love in Louisville, and not just when Kid Rock gets handsy at Barnstable Brown. People here are generous, kind, polite, hardworking and a little self-delusional. Like we love to pretend we’re not under the thumb of our corporate executives and their pals, the politicians. And like most places living under a fundamentalist regime, we’re sports crazy, superstitious and obsessed with sex. The extra-religious among us talk about sex all the time, the stuff they consider taboo.And we love our guns. Your Majesty should feel safe because everybody is packin’ heat. That probably sounds crazy to a European like Your Highness, but that’s how we roll here in the colonies. Guns don’t kill people, even at 900 rounds per minute.Like most American cities, we have a serious gulf between our rich and poor. Our suburbs are bulging with Buckingham Palaces, while our homeless shelters served 11,000 people last year. Hey, with Your Majesty’s family’s $21-billion net worth, Your Highness could buy all our homeless people a Hot Brown and a slice of Derby pie and still have a few billion quid left over to put down on the Superfecta! Just a suggestion.Anyway, one thing’s for sure: Your Majesty will love the people here. We’re all about music, art, poetry, bourbon, laughter and storytelling. Just say the word and we’ll thin out the burgoo so you and the Duke can each have a bowl. And we’ll try to remember to say, “Your Majesty” instead of the usual “honey” or “darlin’” we use on our own royals: each other.Peace out, Your Highness. Derbyyyyy! —JimContact the writer at citystrobe@leoweekly.com