BY GRAY WHITSETT – OPINIONS EDITOR
As is custom during the fall and spring semesters at Centre College, students make the trek to Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, the unwanted stepsister of the world famous Kentucky Churchill Downs. Though never quite warm enough, weekends at Keeneland become the battleground for students displaying the wealth they desperately wish they had. But sometimes, Keeneland is host to the most unlikely of patrons.
Sophomore Katie Lumsford makes plain her political and social views and is well known on Centre’s campus for engaging in her community, dining exclusively on locally grown food, and ruining family reunions. Lumsford, a graduate from Louisville’s Sacrosanct Heart High School, describes herself as a “genderless vegan” with “strong sentiments toward labor groups” and “whale rights activists.”
An intellectual landmine in any group discussion, Lumsford spent this past weekend at Keeneland with a group of friends, a day she described as “fabulous” and full of pleasant surprises.
“We weren’t sure how ze would handle it,” Lumsford’s friend and social liaison Bethany Smith said. “The first few hours were just tailgating, and that involves a lot of yelling, gluten, and white people playing rap music. I was worried how it was going to go, but Katie did great.”
Despite horseracing’s deep classism and laundry list of animal abuse cases, Lumsford put on her best Lilly Pulitzer knockoff dress and faux leather boots and stomped her way into the world of Bluegrass aristocracy and overpriced nachos.
“It was delightful,” Lumsford said, after taking a moment to share an urgent Upworthy post. “I would have preferred there to have been a trigger warning before the gunshot went off, but I was remarkably unoffended.
“The diversity was a bit low,” she quipped. “But what was I expecting!” It was the first time she had acknowledged racial humor since the Baltimore riots.
“Katie really is well intentioned,” Lumsford’s token conservative friend Matt Blevin said. “Anymore though, it’s just impossible to talk to her.”
Having met her freshman year when she was “just a socialist,” Blevin has learned to avoid any conversation of substance Lumsford.
“Out of the four of us [in our friend group], I’m the only Republican,” Blevin explained. “And look, that’s totally fine, but there’s only so many times a person can hear ‘appropriation’ before you can’t take it.”
Describing Lumsford as a “death march through eggshells” Jack Norway, another friend, also spoke to her disposition.
“I’m plenty liberal,” Norway said. “And honestly, I agree with Katie on most things, but she can lay it on pretty thick. Matt and I just go through Bethany now.”
After inquiring if the horses were LEED certified, Lumsford rolled her eyes at her friends’ commentary, directing all questions “to [her] blog.”
Regardless of her beliefs, Lumsford was evidently enjoying herself in the midst of Kentucky’s 1 percent, going so far as to eat a cheeseburger.
“This is so unlike me,” Lumsford exclaimed, momentarily forgetting about her Tumblr notifications. “I’m feeling a little crazy!”
But when the bourbon began to make its way around Kentucky’s preeminent glue factory, the group of friends really began let loose. Pulling out her wage slave made iPhone, Lumsford made a kissing face and took a selfie with her friends, casting off the last shreds of her middle-class hairshirt.
“At the end of the day, we’re all friends,” Smith said to Blevin and Norway’s approval. “Katie’s like family, and that doesn’t change, not matter what she’s jockeying for.”
Joining the ranks of Kentuckians who simultaneously protest casinos and support the Derby, Lumsford placed her eighth double digit bet of the day.
“You know, a walk on the wilder side has been nice,” the Bernie Sanders supporter said.
Leaving the bastion of Lexington old money behind, acquaintances of Lumsford are unsure of what effects the trip will have on her.
“One thing is certain,” one classmate who had the horrible misfortune of having her in his Politics 110 class said. “She’s far too open-minded to ever change her beliefs.”
Editor’s Note: The previous article is from the CentOnion series, a satirical publication focused on parodying various subjects unique to Centre College’s campus.
As such, all content within this article is purely fictional and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Cento or Centre College.
In addition all quotations used in this article are purely fictional and do not necessarily reflect the views of the individuals quoted.