Fisharama columnrama 

Hare Rama, Hare Krishna

Since moving to Georgia nearly six years ago, I've noticed it's a state filled with some impressive ramas. There's the Agrirama, a 95-acre history center adjacent to I-75 in Tifton, where visitors can catch a family-friendly glimpse of late-19th and turn-of-the-20th century rural life, minus the lynchings. Here in town, there's the Cyclorama. It's not the art world's most sought-after distinction, but the Cyclorama (which depicts the Civil War's Battle of Atlanta) is supposedly the world's largest painting.

Perhaps inspired by an uncareful listen to Mary J. Blige's 2001 hit "No More Drama," the Georgia Wildlife Federation has dropped the "rama" from the name of its long-running Fisharama trade show, changing it to Atlanta Turkey Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Show. Held last weekend at the Atlanta Expo Center, it nevertheless had plenty for wildlife enthusiasts and columnists alike.

One thing I learned at the show is that outdoorsy people really like belts. Because there were several vendors selling leather ones for as little as $2. CL staff writer and nature lover Michael Wall was at the show, proudly showing off his "Michael" engraved leather belt. I looked around, but I didn't see any belts pre-engraved with Andisheh.

Other notable items for sale included fishing equipment under a snicker-inducing banner labeled "Crappie Center," T-shirts depicting a busty woman in a Confederate flag bikini labeled "Dixie Cups," 25-cent plastic cups with paper towels inside for spitting tobacco juice, buffalo jerky (delicious) and elk jerky (not so delicious). For the kids, there was a climbing wall with a Mount Rushmore replica at the top carved so badly that it accidentally depicts Teddy Roosevelt as America's first Asian president.

Seemingly the most popular items for sale, and certainly the loudest, were the huge variety of turkey calls. Standing in a field and yelling, "Hey, turkey, come here so I can shoot you" just isn't good enough. To lure the noble, non-English-speaking bird within shotgun range, it's necessary to purchase a device that simulates the voice of a turkey. I wonder what the turkeys within earshot of the Atlanta Expo Center last weekend must have thought of the racket from inside. "Dude, there's like some sort of turkey rave in there."

Fetishrama: On Friday night, I went to a different kind of wildlife show over at The Chamber. The evening's main attraction was Playboy model and alleged-Marilyn Manson paramour Dita (pronounced Deetuh) Von Teese performing a striptease show. Dita is an amazingly beautiful woman, but I must admit that her show was a bit of disappointment. She stripteased for about five minutes, then left (apparently doing the same a couple hours later). For sex industry consumers, the $12 spent on five minutes of Dita might have been better spent on a five-minute table dance at the Cheetah. If not, at least it rhymes.

Though neither were wearing personalized belts, CL's Hollis Gillespie was there with a group of friends that included her friend and recurring character Lary and an extraordinarily tall man named Michael. Michael led a short, but lively discussion on the attractiveness of overweight platform dancers in tight-fitting bondage gear. Some weren't pleased with the big dancers, but I'm inclined to think that many Chamber-goers consider all those spankable square-inches a dream come true.

Fightarama: Picture it. Sweaty, well-muscled men filled with adrenaline, their blood-pumping, lying together with their arms and legs entwined in a passionate display of primal masculinity. Ultimate Loving? Heck no! It's Ultimate Fighting at the DeKalb Atlanta Centre's February Fight Party. Spectators got to watch men (and women) beat the living crap out of each other while yelling out helpful tips like "Keep those hands busy," "C'mon," and my favorite, "Do something!" My favorite match was Bout 6 between "Pee Wee" McCall and Tom Kirk. Pee Wee is from Valdosta and uses a style he calls Redneck Jujitsu. His outfit is decorated with Confederate battle flags. His opponent Tom Kirk fights for a studio in Indianapolis called Integrated Fighting, so it was integration vs. segregation all over again in the ring! The South indeed did rise again, but in the form of swelling. Like the Confederates whose flag he wore, Pee Wee got his ass kicked by the Yankee.

Dancearama: Those of you who think that bugaloos are always better when they're electric probably would have enjoyed Breaklanta III, a breakdancing competition/hip-hop fiesta held at The Atrium on Beat Street (aka Memorial Drive) in Stone Mountain last weekend. I caught the B-Boy Crew battle finals, which consisted of teams of breakdancers competing against one another to come up with the most impressive dance moves. The competition gets very heated and the teams often look like they're moments from coming to blows. But as soon as the music stops, they all hug. I'm not sure whether the hugging was fake, or the tension, or neither. Whatever it was, the dancing was amazing and fun to watch, despite bringing back memories of how my inability to even do one of those wave things with my arms really hindered my popularity in elementary school.



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