Every poser, hoser, and would-be racing grandee will be at Churchill Downs for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, the better to be seen and see.

Not me.

Not that I’m above that.  Au contraire, I’ve been to several Derbies, and I’ve learned numerous largely useless things.  To wit:

Processed cheese food is extraordinarily hardy.  And by “hardy” I mean: when it sticks to your windshield, no force on earth can remove it.

I discovered this one year when our rental fell victim to some nearby tailgaters, who decided that pasting a piece of cheese to our windshield would be good for a chuckle.  My guess, several years on, is that that sucker is still stuck to the windshield.

Hands, a scraper, and the windshield wipers (with wiper fluid) had only the effect of smearing some of the cheese around; the main body of cheese remained firmly in place.

Upon arrival at the rental car return — at the Cincinnati airport, two hours away — the attendant took one look at the Cheesemobile and chuckled.  “Been to the Derby, eh?” he asked.

Derby pie is, well, something.  What, I have no idea.

Not for lack of trying, though.

One Derby year I decided to find out what was in Derby pie.  At meal after meal, I learned nothing.  One waitress illuminated my struggles thusly: “We don’t make it here,” she explained.  “We get it from the manufacturer.”

Mmmmm… manufactured pie.  [pullquote]Derby pie is made of chocolate,” she explained.  “And pie.”[/pullquote]

Finally, another waitress stepped into the breach.  “It’s made of chocolate,” she gamely explained.  “And… and…,” as her voice trailed off.  Then in the tiniest voice imaginable: “And pie.”

The real action’s not at Churchill on Saturday.  

Nope.  It’s at Turfway.  On Sunday.

This is how you know you have a problem: after spending the weekend wagering on everything that moves (and many things that apparently did not) at Churchill Downs, when you have a little time to kill before your flight home on Sunday, you decide to spend it playing the simos at Turfway.  Which, parenthetically, is a track without a turf course (or real dirt, for that matter).

Yup, that was me.

Not this year, though.  This year, our Kentucky Derby is a trip to Old Hilltop for “live music and signature food and drinks from the Triple Crown,” according to Pimlico.

No Derby pie mentioned, though, and not much chance of ending up in the Cheesemobile.

As for Sunday, well, Laurel and Rosecroft aren’t too far away…

(Featured photo by Laurie Asseo.)