I constructed a list of things I want to do this summer, including places to go and general things like, "Oogle boys in Decepticon shirts at first Transformers movie showing." Mami likes bad boys. I thought I'd covered all the bases of summer festivities taking place in the area. That is until I came in from a swim and heard my cell phone ringing away. It was my buddy Jen calling to invite me to something called the Apple Dumpling Festival. Immediately, images of Strawberry Shortcake began forming in my head.
"What the fuck is an Apple Dumpling Festival?" I asked. I was informed it was some form of carnival, only with extra apple pastries and apple-related festivities. I agreed upon attending, slipped my pink-glitter polished toes into some flip-flops and was out. I can't believe I'd forgotten to add carnivals onto my list of summer fun. The things are an instant ego boost because you only need to look within a 5 foot radius to see someone 20 times uglier than you are. In these situations, I look like Jessica fucking Alba just by wearing clean clothes.
My first mission was to find some alcohol. Had I known there wasn't going to be any, I would have loaded up beforehand. I'm sure this was the doing of Pennsylvania's liquor laws, but I did find a booth of guys practically giving me the history of Jones Soda to entice me to buy a bottle. Instead I just got water, because I knew I'd only drink part of it to make sure I didn't die of dehydration and then throw the rest out without much guilt.
We met up with some friends at a center stage decorated with little punctuations of flower pots and advertisement banners. I had no idea what we were waiting for, all I knew was that the benches were making my ass hurt and I spotted what was definitely something more interesting in the distance. Hell, watching kids accidentally release their balloons into oblivion was more interesting than what I was about to witness.
There was some sort of pageantry taking place, for Miss Apple Dumpling or some such facsimile. I was right on the sideline of the evening gown competition. So after cracking a few vulgar jokes I suggested we get the fuck up and winz some prizez. But. it wasn't really prizes I had my eyes fixated on. It was this:
Sampson the Giant Horse. I've seen some pretty big horses before, but none that are boisterous enough to compare ther height to that of a cryptozoological creature. Bigfoot looks so tiny standing there on the artist's rendition. Tiny and pale. I had to cough up a dollar for a peek at the ABSOLUTELY ALIVE beast.
Sampson was pretty big, but I've seen horses relatively around the same size before. That bucket is a normal size bucket, not some sort of super bucket just to give you a size comparison. He apparently eats 150 pounds of food a day, which approximately both of the Olsen twins. I didn't hang around to get a better shot, because he did look big enough to stick his neck around and bite my head off.
There was an additional sideshow attraction, this one doubling in price, but you got much more than 3 feet of concrete to stare at a giant horse ass. Again, this was centered around animals with various anomalies. I knew this was going to feel all sorts of wrong the second I handed over the money. Why oh why did I have to do this sober?
Just looking at the picture of this Zonkey makes me feel icky. Look at how saaaaaad he is! I couldn't get an animal to look more doe-eyed in a picture if I spent the whole night trying. But then again, he's just a zonkey. It's not like he's a steer with 2 extra legs sprouting out the side.
or a 4-horned goat.
Some of the animals, like the world's largest rat, were completely enclosed to avoid children and stoned teenagers getting their hands chewed off. The other animals were practically jumping their fences as you went by because there were 25¢ feed dispensers all over the place. I knew there was a reason I always carried 5lbs of quarters in my purse, and this was it. I went around feeding the goat with no ears and his buddy goat and even the midget cow.
The midget cow had a gigantic tongue. I was quite intimidated as I can barely get my tongue above my upper lip. He lapped timidly at my hand and to be honest, it freaked me out. I thought he was going to try and gnaw at my fingers. But, there were some creatures that had absolutely no intention of coming at me because, well, they were dead.
Weeeeiiiiiirrrrd. Stuff like this creeps me out, tiny little foot tall fossils that look like people with horns and shit? Gross gross gross gross. There was even a lighted display of non-alive creatures like pigs with human hands and a two-headed fox. I'm not ruling out the existance of things like mermaids, but I'm sure if they do exist, they're not 10" high and in a dirt enclosure at a traveling amusement park.
After that odd display, I wanted to check out my carnival favorite -- the rubber duckie pond. This pond was especially cool because it featured regular and irregular ducks. At first glance I thought they were pirate ducks with eye patches, but now that I look at the photo it seems like they just had sunglasses on. Damn. I wanted pirate ducks. Either way, I forked out $2 to pick a duckie and I decided to be fair and not have my cohort distract the booth attendant while I peeked at the duckies underbellies for a better prize. I only got a small prize, and left with a little plush purple whale. Her name is Bermuda, and she secretly hates the duckies for getting their own little fountain.
There weren't nearly enough bootleg plush toys to peak my interest. The only characters available were primarily Spongebob, Spider-Man, and Care Bears. Everything else was neon monkeys and ugly teddy bears. All the booths seemed to have the same crummy prizes, too. The only exception was a clown in a dunking booth that insulted everyone walking by to try and provoke them into chucking balls his way.
The rides seemed appealing, but I wasn't in the mood to fork over $10 for a couple spins on the Ferris Wheel or a walk through the Monkey Maze. I was begged to go on the bumper cars, but the things were so small they couldn't even accommodate my long legs let alone my crazy badonkadonk. I'd have better luck trying to ride the midget cow, at least I wouldn't have to worry about him going around in circles while I get rammed by a pack of vicious 10 year olds.
Between the Balloon Pop and the Water Race games was a stand for palm and tarot readings. I was curious, until I found out that a tarot reading cost $20, and I'm not shelling out that much money for carnival quality readings. Instead I took a lap around the kids riding a dirty ecoli infested cloth down a giant slide and went to grab a Sno Cone.
I found a sign for "Sno-Kones" which had me a little worried due to changing the C to a K. When they do that with crab, it becomes something different entirely. I wasn't sure what effect this would have on frozen treats, and reluctantly handed the woman $2 and instructed her to inject my slaughtered ice with blue raspberry goodness. I was very confused when I wasn't handed my precious in a pointy cone. Maybe that's why the cone was spelled with a K -- it didn't have a real point. But to my approval they added a straw, which I'd never seen done before and made the kone all the better. Truth be told, I only lick at the things for about 2-3 minutes before I get tired of it and just want to slurp the syrupy goodness out of the bottom. And that's what I did, tossing all the flavorless middle remnants in the garbage.
All in all, a great time was had and I don't think I spent more than $10 total. Only four more months until I return to the scene to report on Shocktoberfest! I wonder if there'll still be Sno-Kones...