The angry mob who stormed Powell Manor yesterday got a cruel shock: I was not here. No ma'am, I was out championing one of my many causes, this case being esoteric, small-town food festivals. As such, I found myself yesterday in Poteet, Texas at the Poteet Strawberry Festival, one of the few places on this earth where a man can still enjoy strawberries AND carnies at the same time. It was one hell of a ran-tan, and I accumulated plenty of memories which I will now share with you, a group of anonymous internet perverts.
The Poteet Strawberry Festival is some big-time stuff, bringing in over 100,000 people a year. Yesterday alone, they had a hypnotist, a tractor pull, and some duck races. Having checked out the website beforehand, I knew about all of this and I prepared accordingly. I arrived in Poteet fully hydrated, properly attired, and utterly determined not to cry, no matter how vicious the carnies got. And yet, despite all of these preparations, the very first spectacle that we saw took me completely by surprise.
It was called Game Show Mania, and it was basically a simple trivia game, with a light up scoreboard, fancy microphones, and a host who looked as if he should be MCing an underground, battle to the death tournament in Malaysia. In other words, very cool stuff. He brought up some rubes from the audience and made them play the game, asking things like "What's the smallest state in the USA?" and "In what city does Batman live?" It was nothing too difficult, and the people of Poteet were up to the challenge. But then, at the end of the game, the host decided he needed to kick it up a notch. He went into the multimedia aspect of the game, where he'd play a clip of a song and the contestants would have to guess the musicians.
This section of the game started off easy enough, with the host playing a bunch of well-known songs and the players getting the right answers. The crowd was getting into it; we were rockin'. The host, sensing what was going on, decided it was time to push this thing to the limit. And so, with all due gravity, he posed the following immortal line to the crowd: "You guys like progressive rock?" Poteet's response: "Uhhh, ok?" While the next clip, a blearing assortment of keyboards, guitars, and lyrics about Charlemagne, left the crowd puzzled, the host was jumping all over the stage, singing along, and flexing his air guitar chops. This went on just long enough for it to become obvious that no, Poteet did NOT like progressive rock, as only nerds do, and only a huge weinerbiscuit would be familiar with such a song. The host sighed heavily, told us the band was Yes, and then said he was sure someone would get the next one. Cue the exact scenario, with the audience and players scratching their heads, while the host is struggling not to give in to the music and take his clothes off. Again no answer, but this time, the band was Foghat. Now he was visibly disappointed. How dare we come to a strawberry festival without the requisite knowledge of Yes and Foghat? At this point, the crowd wordlessly agreed to beat up the host after the show, if any of us came across him. Shortly thereafter, the game was over, but this incident will forever remind me just how quickly a game show can go awry.
In addition to this, I took a tour of some trailer homes, drank a bunch, struggled to contain my vomit on some of the rides, and won a crazy hat in a rigged game. Here's a picture of me looking intense at the duck races, standing next to a crazy woman in a yarn wig who followed me around all day.
Posted by Cody at April 4, 2004 5:44 PM