On Sunday afternoon, I went to the North Georgia State Fair at the Jim Miller Park in Marietta. Don't be fooled by the name. It was a carnival. The crappy rides, junky food, and rip-off games were nearly identical to those of the carnivals I went to when I was a kid. And there were carnies! The only difference I can think of is the booth selling veggie gyros. I don't remember those from my childhood.
Speaking of food, one burger/hot dog/chili vendor was called Little General Cloggers, apparently named after what eating there will do to your arteries.
I started by playing some games. First, I tried to break beer bottles with baseballs. Two bottles and I would have won a stuffed animal that I intended to give to my gimpy dog who just had knee surgery. I only broke one.
I tried again on a game that was sorta like a table-sized Skee-Ball. You score by rolling a golf ball up the board and into holes. Each hole has an assigned point value. The person who has the highest score after a short race wins. I'm proud to say that I won my heat and nabbed a stuffed killer whale for the dog. I'm ashamed to say, however, that nobody I defeated appeared to be much older than 6.
After some more gaming, I sought out the petting zoo. I saw sheep, rabbits, turkeys, a camel, two cows and goats. Most of the goats were just sitting around, but a handful were very active. In particular, two of the goats were sexually active. A dad there with two young daughters kept trying to distract his girls so that they didn't see the hot goat-on-goat action. He failed miserably, though. In fact, one of his daughters reached in while they were making goat-love and offered them food. The male paused, turned to his left toward the girl, took a mouthful of the food, then resumed his business. I guess all men are pigs, even when they're goats.
Leader of the pack: On Sunday afternoon, more than 3,000 bikers on about 2,300 motorcycles destroyed the last remaining shred of the biker-as-outlaw myth by participating in the March of Dimes Ride to save babies.
I thought bikers were supposed to be rebels who don't care about anything but the freedom of the open road, the powerful engine between their legs, and chrome custom accessories at an affordable price. I was mistaken. It turns out that bikers also want to help the March of Dimes prevent birth defects and reduce infant mortality by raising buckets of cash. To participate, each rider paid $35. Many of the riders solicited cash pledges from friends and acquaintances, often totaling in the thousands of dollars.
The ride, escorted by the cops, started at Lakewood. Once downtown, the riders got on Peachtree and headed north to Buckhead. I watched the ride in Buckhead from the street in front of ESPN Zone and other nonofficial lookout establishments. It was there that the parade looped back and began its return to Lakewood, so I got to see the bikes going both ways. I didn't time it, but I'm guessing that the parade lasted about 30 minutes. Whatever the duration, it was long enough that it left my body shaking. It wasn't fear, but rather the pulsations caused by 2,300 motorcycles cruising by me twice. It's easily the best parade I've ever seen and it raised more than $300,000 for babies.
My'lanta: Quiz time. On Sunday, I stopped by the Bath House in Piedmont Park for A) a bath, or B) Atlanta Celebrates Photography's My Atlanta show featuring pictures taken around the city by average folk. If you guessed "B", you're correct. If you guessed "A," you're an exceptionally bad test taker.
The show, part of the month-long series of photography programs around the city, is meant to show Atlanta through the eyes of typical residents.
So what are Atlantans looking at, you wonder? Dogs and office buildings, mostly, with the occasional kid thrown in. That seems about right to me.
Panther pride: On Friday night, I watched one of the best high school football teams in the state, the Parkview Panthers, defeat the rival Brookwood Broncos at Brookwood Community Stadium in Gwinnett County. I didn't get to watch from a seat, though. The 10,000 or so people who arrived ahead of me took up all of the seats and all of the prime standing-room spots. I watched the game through a small cluster of pine trees by the Brookwood apparel tent and actually had to jostle a bit with a parent for the less-than-prime spot.
Not being able to see the game wasn't a problem, though, as there was plenty of people-watching. Several thousand teens milled about in a field behind one of the end zones while the game was being played. Many were covered with school-color body paint and opponent-taunting slogans like "Park-who?" Despite the painted-on spirit, most of the teens were ignoring the game and doing what good teens do: socialize with other teens.
I didn't make a single Stridex joke. Aren't you proud of me?
I miss Stefan's Vintage Clothing!
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