There are Proper Ways to Do Things, and Dr. Know explains the Proper Way to Throw a Derby Party in this response from the May 2013 issue.
My Significant Other—a fine Kentucky fellow—wants to have a Derby Day party. I understand that the centerpiece of the event will involve gathering around the television to watch “The Most Exciting Two Minutes of Sports.” But what do I do to entertain guests when the two minutes are over? —Yankee Hostess Dear Hostess:The Doctor never fails to feel a certain melancholy settling in as he motors northwards over the perfectly sturdy, but he is told, functionally obsolescent Brent Spence Bridge. The tristesse he feels comes from leaving behind the beautiful commonwealth where great parties come as naturally as breathing. The journey north is, if you will, metaphorically a heartbreaking transit from aged ham and beaten biscuits to mini-franks in refrigerated dough. But the Doctor is not paid to weep into his julep cup. He is paid to help, and help he will.
At a correctly staged Derby Party, the question of what to do after “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sport” will not arise. Polite guests will not arrive until 3:15, at which time you should be fully dressed in festive colors you would not imagine otherwise wearing and which do not clash with your fine Kentucky fellow’s blue blazer and green trousers. Guests will make a beeline for your freshly scrubbed sunroom where the hired-for-the-day bartender will have muddled enough mint leaves and boiled enough simple syrup to combine with the six jumbo bottles of Jim Beam for the correct amount of juleps needed to set your party on the historic and right track. After every guest has had two starter juleps, the party will have acquired enough momentum to take care of itself. All you need to do is remember to say “Well, lookit chew!” to each lady guest. The fine Kentucky fellow will instinctively know how to greet the gents with a hearty “Hey, buddy, didjew see that game?”
The actual race is the climax rather than the centerpiece. Everybody still on his or her feet heads for the thoughtfully provided Duty Driver Courtesy Coach while the winning jockey’s comments are being translated from the original Spanish.
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