Festival Day 5: I Become Part of the Problem

by pjmcbride

I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)

I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…albeit a very small part.

You had doubtless been wondering, “But, World Leader, when will you actually attend this festival of which you speak?” Well, today is the only day this week I’m not working, and squeezing something in before I go to work is, well, too much for me to cope with. So here I am, and there I was.

FOLLOWERS OF CHAOS OUT OF CONTROL!

The Festival is difficult to dress for. You want something snazzy to impress the crowds, yet something that won’t leave you devastated if you get grease spots on it. I usually go with one of my various rock-&-roll looks, a/k/a “dressing like a 13-year-old boy.” And I look back nostalgically to the time when having a tattoo made me remarkable. There is also a minor tradition of wearing your Halloween costume (and I guess some people over the years thought I was costumed as a 13-year-old boy), so I saw several people who were not actually as creative as they thought they were in that department. I also saw a clown, but more on that later.

Speaking of nostalgia, I knew I had turned the corner and was headed for the grave the year the music on the loudspeakers was no longer hard rock, but…well, something other than that. The Day the Music Died….well, they say rock & roll will never die. Of course, they also said big bands were coming back.

Your Humble Narrator is unnerved by crowds, so I normally get something from a couple of booths that are on the end of the street, closest to home. But this is the first year I’ve Had a Blog, so I felt compelled to plunge into the thick of it (and it was very thick indeed), so I could give you the report that you’ve been impatiently waiting for, did you but know it.

GREAT CONVERSATION!

It should be pointed out that I’m never uncomfortable being alone. And that’s a Good Thing, because if I were the type who’s uncomfortable eating out by myself, I would have gone unfed for my first several years of adult life. So here are some statements I overheard:

“She told me a vision she had…”

“I’m in this f*ckin’ line the same as you, you f*ckin’ ho!”

(on the phone) “Yes, I have your sandwich. No, I won’t eat it.”

(teenage girl): “What is this stuff on the sidewalk?” {An excellent question–it was orange and purple.}  (Mom): “Something you don’t want to put your foot on. Stop that.”

And, of course, a crazy guy yelling, “EAT A FUNNEL CAKE! THE SHERIFF WILL BE HAPPY, LIKE A GIRL WHO’S JUST GOTTEN ENGAGED, WITH A HEART FULL OF JOY!”

I ran into Denali, husband of the Tragically-Hip Nikki, and explained my sense of duty to my readership, although he hadn’t really asked. He said, “Don’t worry, there are lots of people hanging on your every word.” See, that’s why everyone loves firemen! They’re so charming.

GREAT FOOD! NOT ALL OF WHICH IS PURPLE AND ORANGE!

Going down the street, scanning booths, overwhelmed by choices… (Variety is not the spice of life, as far as I’m concerned. Well, maybe it is, but I don’t like spicy stuff.)

Rib-eye steak sandwich! “Yes!” I thought, with a surety I seldom achieve in life’s decisions. I then became involved in a cheese-vs.-pickle controversy, which led to me slinking away, with the meat between my teeth. And without pickles–that’s the important part.

WE’RE ALL HOUSEBROKEN HERE!

I really should become the world’s first restroom critic. Today’s review is for the unique facilities at the Festival–they’re like if a trailer park had a public restroom. A room on wheels with a line of stalls, and no locking doors. Instead, you hang onto a rubber strap to hold your door closed, defending your stall against the person yanking on the door from the other side. As some wise person once said, Time is relative, depending on which side of the bathroom door you’re on.

ABANDON HOPE, ALL YE WHO ENTER! AND ASK NOT WHAT THAT WET STUFF IS ON THE GROUND!

I have not entered the Festival midway in years–probably since the year the hard rock music vanished. Rom doesn’t much care for carnival rides, and I only like the kind that neither go up high nor turn you upside down, so there wasn’t much point. But I thought a complete report to my readers should include it–even though there was a danger of encountering Nick, who was being paid (with raw meat, presumably) to lounge on the Library steps and look scary. But it was not to be. I guess he hadn’t been released from his cage yet.

Carnival barker announcing a very scary ride: “IF YOU ARE INTOXICATED OR UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS, DO NOT GO ON THIS RIDE! {Why else would you go on it?} BUT MOST IMPORTANT, MAKE SURE THERE’S NOTHING THAT COULD FALL OUT OF YOUR POCKETS!”

There was an attraction called Clownin’ Around, which of course I had to check out. “DROWN THE CLOWN–WIN A PRIZE!” Just an old-fashioned dunking booth, with a hapless and tired-looking clown, listlessly insulting the audience to incite them to throw stuff. It was uncomfortably like patronizing (or being) a bored prostitute.

By then I was tired and slightly dehydrated–I had avoided beverages, to minimize bathroom breaks. This is also my strategy on ridealongs. It’s an excellent way to end up with a headache, and so I did. So I wended my way home, after buying some of THE BEST blackberry cobbler for Rom from the SWIRCA booth. But if I’d known how late the bus would be (of course, the bus itself probably didn’t know how late it would be), I’d have hung around the midway longer, to see if I could drown the Evil Clown.

MY DARKEST MOMENT:

I thought maybe I’d go on my favorite ride, the Scrambler, which is truly innocuous–you just go round and round and back and forth. I was crushed when the sign said, “PICK A PARTNER! NO SINGLE RIDERS ALLOWED!” I actually, though briefly, entertained the thought of asking a random stranger to be my partner. Where’s a police officer when you need one? I think this falls under the category of Protect and Serve!

MY BRIGHTEST MOMENT:

–Spotting a T-shirt that said, “If I want your opinion, I’ll remove the duct tape.” And yes, I just regaled you with my opinions at great length. It’s called irony.

 

 

 

 

 

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