Monday, September 24, 2007

Fair to middling.

The Utah State Fair...

...ya got yer happy porkers,...

...ya got yer funky chickens,...

...and ya got yer agoraphobic sheep.

The geese perform an interpretive dance. "Love."

The ducks plot their escape.

Choose an exciting new hybrid: the wall-eyed goat-cow. Extra easy tipping!

You saw it here first, folks: the best d*** patch of sod this side of Wyoming!


A less-known symptom of trichinosis.

"Heeeey, kid! Throw your Twinkie wrapper in my happy happy clown mouth!"*

(Okay, so actually the clown garbage cans were last year. This year they were American flags. Does anyone else find this ironic? Depressing? Especially given that the first thing you encounter upon entering the main fair gate is an army recruiting booth?)

As I was pondering this annual ritual, I remembered the fair I attended years ago in England, on the grounds of the Queen's country estate at Sandringham. As the Utah State Fair is largely a kitsch-fest, I felt this posting could only benefit from some comparisons to the fairs of Old World royalty.

English fair ambiance:

Grand and tasteful gardens, lending a dignity to the proceedings. Honey, cheeses, and flowers sold under simple white tents.

Utah State Fair ambiance:

Crowded buildings full of animals, scantily clad chainsmokers, and "people" in camo and wifebeaters running personality analysis machines that determine your lucky lotto number based on a handwriting sample. Snake oil available upon request.

English fair arts and crafts:

Softspoken, friendly man named Stewart** weaving beautiful baskets.

Utah State Fair arts and crafts:

White wax hand molds, artistically garnished with plastic roses. State-of-the-art fake hair.

English fair celebrity sighting.

The elegantly dressed Queen Mum in a lovely veiled summer hat. The dapper Prince Charles in a double-breasted suit, strolling with his umbrella walking cane.

Utah State Fair celebrity sighting:

Weird Al in a karate outfit, riffing on his accordion.***

I know it's a tad depressing, dear countrymen. But gird up your loins and go drown your sorrows in a nice deep-fried Coke -- it's what makes America great!

* Photo copyright Sharon, 2006.

** I was kind of in love with Stewart. I hoped Prince Charles would knight him right there at the basket booth and we could ride away together.

*** If any Weird Al legal goons wander onto this site, please consider the following before you shut down this video clip.
1) The shaky recording quality, which also indicates...
2) That I have palsy. What kind of monster would bully a poor girl with early-onset palsy?
3) No one reads this blog anyway.
However, if you still feel it your duty to pull my video off the web, just ask nicely and I'll go without a fight, though I may haggle for an autographed glossy of Harvey the Wonder Hamster.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My new favorite car game.

So I was on this errand down to Provo the other day, and all the CDs in the car were leaving me cold. NPR had moved on to smooth jazz for the night and the drive was looking very bleak indeed. Then my mind wandered to the Weird Al show last weekend. It's sorta burned on my retinas, y'see.

This naturally led to thoughts of Provo (fully as weird as Al, though unintentionally so) and my weird BYU roommate, Mandy. And whenever I think of Mandy, I think of leprosy.

For when Mandy wasn't making UFO sound effects,* she would sing this little four-line ditty to the tune of The Beatles' "Yesterday."

I'm not half the man I used to be
There are pieces falling off of me
Oh, I believe I've leprosy...

It never failed to bust my gut and I have long intended to come up with more verses. I decided that this would be The Night, after ten years of woulda-coulda-shoulda, that I would finally complete "Leprosy." The challenge: I told myself that I would publish on my blog whatever I'd come up with by the end of my 1 1/2 hour drive -- no revisions allowed. So without further ado, here are the diseased fruits of my labor,** which I now unleash upon the world. (Well, upon the twelve people who read this blog, anyway.)

* She made it sound like the UFO was not only in the room with you, but was whizzing around your head. That girl had mad skills.

** Lest you think me utterly heartless, I would like to submit that I have knitted two leper bandages for LDS Humanitarian Aid and am halfway through a third one. Do 2 1/2 leper bandages neutralize the tackiness of a leprosy song? Here's hoping.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dare to be stupid.

"Mmmm....your favorite! A Twinkie-weiner sandwich!"

If you've heard someone say this today, you're either eating dinner at the Utah State Fair....

...or you're at a Weird Al show...

...or maybe both!

And that was me, lucky lucky me, this weekend at the Weird Al concert!

(No, hold that. Insufficient exclamation markage.)

AT THE WEIRD AL CONCERT ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

It was a pilgrimage like none other: worshiping the goofball god of my youth, rubbing shoulders with my peers...

...yeah. They pretty much all looked like these little dudes.*

Go ahead. Judge me. Al and I care not for you snoots and your hoity-toitery. I have loved the frizzed imp for as long as I can remember, and it is a true love, a lasting love. It began with my Dr. Demento obsession, then on to UHF (thin on plot, fat on lunacy), practicing my smooth ballet moves to "Yoda," replaying "Another One Rides the Bus" in my head whenever a wacko sat down next to me on UTA, and breaking out in violent giggling fits whenever I hear the best Weird Al line ever, which is........[drumroll].........

"I'm stranded all alone in the gas station of love, and I have to use the self-service pumps!"**

Anyway, I will try to convey with my concert pictures the glorious apparition that is the spoof-smith, Alfred Matthew Yankovic, at age 47. Before you dismiss him, chew on this: he was valedictorian of his high school class at age 16. You may be classier, you no doubt have much better taste, but you must bow before his uber-nerdity. No doubt his classmates voted him "Most Likely to Achieve Complete World Domination by Age 50."

You'll get there, Al -- never you fear. One pimply 13-year-old fan at a time.... me, of course.

Woo hoo! Polkarama! Nothing brings more joy to the soul than hard rap lyrics + accordions + bubbles! This is my favorite Al polka medley so far.

"Doncha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don't you wish your girlfriend was a freak like me? Don't cha? Don't cha?"

Oh, I forgot to mention that he and his band changed costumes for Every. Single. Number. And for "You're Pitiful," he changed outfits during the song. Sadly, my shot of the Spongebob t-shirt, fishnet stockings, and pink tutu getup was too blurry, so I had to steal this picture from another blog. And if you want to see the entire strip tease, here he is performing it in California.

"You're suffering from delusions of adequacy...."

Bad pickup lines...

"I wish that I was cross-eyed, girl -- so I could see you twice..."

Gasp! Who'dve guessed Gilligan was GAY?!?

"I'm in love with the Skipper...I'm his little buddy..."

Channeling Eminem...

If you had
One shot
To sit on your lazy butt
And watch all the TV you ever wanted
Until your brain turned to mush
Would you go for it?
Or just let it slip?"

The saga begins, with full Storm Trooper entourage...

"My, my, this here Anakin guy, maybe Vader someday later, now he's just a small fry -- he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye, saying, 'soon I'm gonna be a Jedi.'"

...of course followed by an accordion rendition of "Yoda"...

"I saw the little runt sitting there on a log -- I asked him his name and in a raspy voice he said 'Yoda'...Y O D A, Yoda...yo yo yo yo Yoda..."

"Well, we don't sound like Madonna
Here we are now, we're Nirvana!
Sing distinctly? We don't wanna --
Buy our album, we're Nirvana!"

The one that bunched Coolio's panties...

"Hitchin' up the buggy, churnin' lots of butter
Raised a barn on Monday, soon I'll raise another
Think you're really righteous? Think you're pure in heart?
Well, I know I'm a million times as humble as thou art!
I'm the pious guy the little Amlettes wanna be like
On my knees day and night scorin' points for the afterlife..."

Resurrecting Donny Osmond's career...

"I'm nerdy in the extreme
Whiter than sour cream
I was in AV club and glee club
And even the chess team
Only question I ever thought was hard
Was 'Do I like Kirk or do I like Picard?'
Spend every weekend at the Renaissance Faire
Got my name on my underwear..."

The song that made Jacko a fan...

"When you're only having seconds, I'm having twenty-thirds...when I go to get my shoes shined I have to take their word, because I'm fat, I'm fat, you know it, you know!"

And that's all, folks. The conga line has exited the stadium. If you suffer withdrawal symptoms upon re-entering your regularly scheduled drudgery, Al recommends wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Or a poodle. Or a poodle in a Hawaiian shirt.

Weird Al at the Utah State Fair: you don't have to like it, but it sure beats raising cattle.

*Except for the elderly couple behind us who told us to stop dancing and sit down. Ol' killjoys.

**Don't overthink that one. You'll regret it. No, really -- don't.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

To Sharon, from Kitty.

Deer Tall Wun,

Wheer hav u gon? Things iz bad heer.

My humen iz be actin weerd sinse u leeved. Da first day she seam OK. She clean da house ann goed on erinds. But da neks day it gotted worse. Ann worser da neks day.

Sundee she mayed limeayd. Lotsa limeayd. She didna drinck it -- she just mayed moor ann moor. Den she tawked to me. She sed, "Kitty, Sherun lykes limeayd. If i mayk it, she will kum." But u didna kum, Tall Wun.

(An wut kinda kook taks too katz?)

Last nite she byed beeeeg eyes kreem ann eeted it all. Den she lyed on da flor ann sniffeled ann singed Jeengle Belz ovr ann ovr ann ovr.

Tonite she wach Deer Frankee ann eet mor eyes kreem. Kookeys, to. Now she sterring at da wall. Sumtimes she singz "oh bwoomhiwda, yor so wuvwee..." den she stop ann wayt, but no anser. Iz verey sad to wach, Tall Wun. U shood not hav leeved.

Alsoe, i gots a charlee hors in my cheak ann der iz no wun to muhsaj it foar me. My humen she not think katz haz cheaks, but she'z rong. U no bettir, donchu, Tall Wun?

Kum bak now, OK? If u don't kum bak, she go nutz, den stop feadin me, den i dye. I don't wanta dye, Tall Wun.

Lotsa wetnozed luv,

Princiss Bimberlee, da kat

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Get 'em while they're ha-ha-hot.

Astronomically summer is still with us (and it's still plenty hot!) but there's something about seeing that "September 1" that makes me feel summer is over. Here are some assorted funny things I encountered this summer. I can't bear to let them slip by uncelebrated.

I refuse to believe this is an innocent omission of essential punctuation. Freudian slip for sure.

I felt it had been too many years since I visited the bizarre Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum, so I went for a visit. It did not disappoint -- a real freak show, especially when you factor in the stuffed two-headed lamb. Check out the hilarious label on this item. This is what happens when sweet little old ladies run a museum.

The Shakespearean Festival gift shop yielded some fun ones. Extra-terrestrial visitors would never guess that we actually revere Shakespeare based on this shrine to fairies, princesses, and Excalibur that bears his name. (Sorry in advance for the blurry photos.)

In the fairy sub-culture represented by Meadowbright, Fairy of the Sun, we have also Kimmy, the midriff-baring teen fairy, talking on her shell-phone. "And I was like, 'excuse me, but glitter wings are SO last season!'"

Put this bobblehead Shakespeare on your dashboard next to your bobblehead Francis Bacon and they can bobble-duel to the death.

I can't talk about this one -- it makes me want to cry. I should mention, before I fall apart, that this same company also makes a "Lil' Jane [Austen]," a "Lil' Edgar [Allan Poe]," and a "Lil' Charles [Dickens]." Weep, weep.

This Shakespeare action figure recalls that great Monty Python skit in which a hyperactive sportscaster does a play-by-play of Thomas Hardy writing a novel. The figure's holding a quill pen in one hand and a book in the other -- I guess it must be designed for very dull children who believe the pen is mightier than the nunchuk-wielding turtle. Now, what I'd like to see is a Hamlet action figure. Quality irony, that.

I haven't seen this one with my own eyes, but I have a mind to pilgrimage down to Provo just to visit it. It was sent to me by Sharon's brother Evan and is the Sadistic Syringe-wielding Nurse from a Provo College billboard. This sums up so much of what I feel about Provo culture.

This last one isn't a summer discovery, but rather a summer re-discovery -- Sharon stumbled on it the other day when cleaning out her apartment for her move. It's an old favorite of ours that she originally showed me a few years back and which I had hoped to include it as part of the engagement ring post -- but better late than never.

You need to click on the photo so you can read the text -- the ear-nibbling is just the beginning. It could only be funnier if it were serious. My favorite line is, "The father of the bride happily exchanged his hard-working daughter for one of the groom's championship goats."

What would the engagement ring of a one-goat wife look like, do you suppose?