Monday, September 9, 2013

A song of bees and puppy dogs: Township Day 2013

So yesterday was Township Day in the area where I reside.
                This meant a chance to have friends and loved ones over for some BBQ-ing, boozing and all-around merriment.
                It also meant a trip across the street to a nearby park where we’d been told the real party could be found. We were promised the opportunity to view a wide-range of arts and crafts, hob knob with local merchants, and see a variety of live and in-person demonstrations and performances.
                Two items on the list of demonstrations stood out to me in particular. Well three, actually. The first was a wilderness survival club presentation which was supposed to last about 45 minutes. That stood out to me because it seemed about 39 minutes longer than I thought you could sustain a wilderness survival talk in a public park, surrounded on all sides by major road ways. I mean, I watched Bear Grylls show for years and if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that you can’t talk about wilderness survival, you must live it.
                It’s not enough to simply instruct people how to escape from quicksand, you must first throw yourself in headfirst and show them how it’s done. Much like any story teller worth his or her salt, you gotta show not tell, ya’ll.
                So we didn’t go see those guys because meh.
                But we did plan on two others: a beekeeper demonstration and a police dog demonstration.
                The beekeeper one appealed to me because there was the chance that the bees would rise up and attack their cruel keeper. Yeah I know, it’s morbid and ugly. So be it. As much as I try to distance myself from my fellow man at all times, I have at least that one thing in common with the rest of the 7 billion people on this planet: We all can’t help but slow down and stare at a car wreck.
                The police dog thing appealed to me because dogs. Duh.

                We arrived nice and early for the beekeeper’s performance and got good seats. Good enough that we would have an unobstructed view if anything went wrong, but would be able to easily flee if the winged menaces decided to turn on the crowd as well.
                The beekeeper was already there, big box sitting on a table next to him. The funny hat with all the netting sitting close at hand.
                And then nothing. A couple of folks wandered over and started talking to him, he bought a cupcake from some industrious children in cheerleader uniforms. But no bees.
                I walked over to him and being the social dynamo that I am, I was able to seamlessly incorporate myself into the conversation. When there was a break in the talk about the challenges of maintaining bee genetic diversity, I jumped in and asked: “Yo dude, where the bees at?”
                He informed me that it was too cold that morning and that the last time it was that cold the bees attacked him while he was transporting them to a performance. Since then, he learned to just leave them be on days where the temperature was anything but optimal.
                So things could have gone horribly wrong, giving everyone a great show, if only he was a little more committed to his craft. Oh well.
                I would have been more disappointed but the police puppies were scheduled next and you know, puppies. So we waited for them.
                And waited.
                After waiting even longer, one of our number asked the police officers: “Yo dude, where the puppies at?”
                Apparently the puppies were running late. I’m not sure if that meant they’d gotten stuck in traffic, were off busting a drug kingpin or were spending some quality time with their mates and children during a rare weekend off. It wasn’t explained.
                We waited some more, but eventually gave up and went home, the only dogs we’d seen were about a baker’s dozen of local pooches, but none of them had a career as far as I could tell. They were the entitled, lazy 47% types that Mitt Romney talked about tarring, feathering and hunting for sport during the last election.
                The day camped off with a return trip to the park for a firework show. I was a little wary that – given my earlier experiences in the day – the firework show might not happen either. Those fears were heightened when the show’s projected start time came and went without any colorful explosions in the sky. But it did eventually start and it was enjoyable enough. The only problem was that we were far enough away that there was an annoying disconnect between the visuals and the sound, so it was like watch a movie on your computer where the words just didn’t match up with the mouths. Annoying, but you can make it through just the same.
                My first Township Day in my new neighborhood was a little bit like the inaugural tour of Jurassic Park: Two no-shows and one sick triceratops. Not what you were expecting, but hell, you still got to see a goddamn triceratops, so how bad could it be?
                Except in our case, the sick triceratops was far-off fireworks, but the points holds true.  

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