Friday, June 20, 2008

The Friday Challenge - 6/20/08

As you may from our last episode, the challenge was to sort out the whole Bruce Wayne viz Lex Luthor thing: how is it possible that two wealthy industrialists with so many interests in common never seem to meet? We have entries from:

Rigel Kent

To be honest, I haven't read any of 'em yet, as I had a project I needed to get buttoned up before taking a day of so-called vacation to work in a booth at Oakdale Summerfest. So as usual, here are links to the entries, and I encourage you to read, comment on, and vote for your favorites. We'll announce a winner on Sunday: same Duck time, same Duck channel.

Now, as for this week's Friday Challenge — actually, I had an idea for something fairly literary, but I've completely forgotten it in the last 36 hours. Instead, I'm thinking about small-town carnivals; the smell of deep-fried cheese curds (and deep-friend Oreos, and deep-fried pickles on a stick, and good Lord, just about anything else that can be battered, impaled on a stick, dunked in boiling oil for a minute and then sold to customers, for rapid consumption and later regurgitation; for further explication of this concept, consider this old photo essay from a few years back) —
{Update 6/21/08: It gets worse. This morning's St. Paul Pioneer Press features a preview of some of the new gastronomic delights awaiting fairgoers this year. I'm not sure which is more appalling appealing — the "Pig Licker," which is a big hunk of bacon, deep-fried on a stick, and then dipped in chocolate and rolled in coarse salt, or the "Big Fat Bacon," which is one-third of a pound of bacon, deep-fried and on a stick (of course), and then covered with carmelized maple syrup.

And Midwesterners wonder how terms like Wiscorgeous make it into the lexicon...}
And cotton candy, and steaming hot dogs, and fantastically overpriced lemonade, and little kids all goobered up with melted ice cream, and the sight of pretty young teenage girls dressing to entice the boys and shock their parents, and the garish lights and blaring sounds of carnival rides, and most of all about the smell, sight, and sounds of carnies, who all seem to come from South Dogpatch, Louisiana, and have long greasy hair and four teeth. And frankly, they creep the Hell out of me.

So that's what we're looking for this week: a story about hot fun in the summertime, and a carnivals. It can be sweet and romantic; it can be funny; or it can be scary. Remember, Ray Bradbury got a heckuva lot of mileage out of the inherent creepiness of carnivals.

And with that said: begin. But remember, the carnival is only in town until midnight Central time, Thursday, June 26, and then overnight it disappears again, leaving nothing but flattened grass and litter behind...