Grad school, man. This shit just ain't worth it. I'm formally announcing my withdrawl from an endlessly stressful, penniless, and thankless career in academia to move on to greener, and more lucrative, pastures. Some of you may have seen this coming, and its true, I'm going into ostrich racing. There are many potential barriers toward my immediate immersion into the world of ostrich racing in terms of what type of racing, how do I saddle an ostrich, where am I going to get an ostrich, etc. Don't think that this is an idea that has just come to me on a burn-out induced whim....
(1) Where am I going to get an ostrich: Africa. Duh. While ratites are found on all of the Gondwanan continents, ostrichs today are only found on the continent of Africa. There is only one extant family: Struthionidae, and only one extant genus: Struthio. I guess I'll take one of those. Ostrich fossils can be found in central Europe and Asia from the Eocene to the Pleistocene, but I don't think I'll win too many races riding fossil bones [insert dirty old man joke here].
(2) What kind of racing: Yes please!
(3) Does this conflict with my Southern lady-like upbringing:
The data speaks for itself. What Southern Matron wouldn't approve?
(4) Saddles: I've been working on a modification of an Australian endurance racing saddle used on horses for ostrich racing. It may work in the end, but being the puritan that I am, I think the true thrills and pleasure of being astride an ostrich [insert cloaca joke here] comes from bareback riding [and another]. With my knees wedged under their rudimentary wings and grasping the anterior portion of the wing near the shoulder joint, I should be able to successfully remain astride. Of course the key is to not wear silk. The puritan in me is constantly in disequilibrium with my inner non-conformist, but I think a riding habit made of material with a high coefficient of roughness is appropriate [insert Manning's N joke here]. You guessed it, I'm thinking a shark skin riding habit. The orientation of the denticles should be perfect to prevent sliding off the back of the ostrich.
(5) Is there money in this: Where there is a way to gamble, there is a profit to be made. Additionally, I'll get to travel as Florida, South Africa, and the Czech Republic apparently have active ostrich racing followings.
But, while I'm learning the ropes and working on logistics, I'm setting up an underground ring as an ostrich racing bookie.