Monday, August 29, 2005

Escape from CornFest

It was a long weekend. Long and noisy and smelly.

Roads were closed, garbage was everywhere, and strange people invaded my town.

It was CornFest. [Shudder]

I'm guessing your town has its own annual YayForUsFest, in some incarnation or other. My actual hometown (the one in which I grew up) had Old Settler's Days, which celebrated the--yep--old settlers who settled the area. We generally celebrated with beer and funnel cake and oddly-named carnival rides (which, when combined, often resulted in the celebratory puddle of vomit). I, being 6 or 7 (high on cotton candy and not needing the beer), loved loved loved the bouncy castle. I could flip around and bounce really really high and it was the coolest thing ever. EVER! And the best thing about it was, because you were a little kid, you could totally crack skulls with another kid and there was no problem. You were having that much fun.

Well, now I'm old and crochety (and crochet-y! My god, I'm so punny) and I really dislike these 3-day long wacky-fests for the following reasons:
(1) The noise. It was a block away from my apartment. I could hear every darn song played by the goofy cover band (and the PA system). And the sound bounced off the surrounding buildings which really messed with my attempt to sing along with the cover of "Sweet Child of Mine." This happened at all hours (meaning, of course, 10am to 11pm). God, I'm old.
(2) The smell. I'm vegan, I haven't had meat since 1999, and the smell of roasting whatever-the-hell was completely disgusting. I nearly contributed to the celebratory puddle of vomit. Thank god I didn't, because I'm 25 and that would have been extremely embarassing.
(3) The people. There were new NIU students hoping to experience a slice of rural midwesternism (you suburban yuppies!). There were farm families here to experience a big town party. There were Army and National Guard recruiters hoping to entice anyone they could into a new t-shirt and a contract to fight to protect Big Oil Interests. There were too many people. I hid in my apartment and watched them through the blinds.
(4) The corn. Now, our town sits in the middle of a veritable ocean of corn. It's what we're known for (that and barbed wire). Ever drive past a field and see the little signs at the end of rows that say what hybrid the farmer is using (that's what the little signs mean, by the way)? You know the flying ear of corn with "DeKalb" on it? Yeah, that's from here. And CornFest is all about "hooray corn!" (because we must appease the corn gods, apparently) and the Kiwanis give out free corn to anyone who wants it. But the dumb thing is, THE CORN COMES FROM IOWA, not from the fields a half mile away. WTF?

And that's why I'm glad the weekend is over.

There are no pictures of CornFest because I only experienced it accidentally when Nick and I had to do laundry on Sunday and forgot that the landromat sat right across the road from the freaky carnival rides.

In other news, I just placed my first order to KnitPicks for some Merino Style and Wool of the Andes. It should be here in 5-14 calendar days, they say. I can't freakin' wait.

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