Over the Summer I was lulled into the false sense of belief that the 4th of July would be held during the weekend after the holiday, as has been tradition in my home town as that is the time that most people are able to get extended periods off and can willing spend the day drunk. This also would have worked out for me as I was planning on spending that time in that location while intoxicated. What no one told me, or what I came to suspect was Veronica trying to punish me for having a four day weekend, was that the town of Jay just went ahead and had the event without me being present. If I was a younger man I would probably try to hide my hurt and only totally masculine methods of being upset, but since I have turned into an older and more fragile version of that guy I will openly complain about how disappointing it is that I missed the world’s smallest and most hometown-iest event ever.
Needless to say I was ready to spend the rest of the summer moping and as dejected as Woodstock when Snoopy kicks his tree to get his attention. That is until, in a sentence that I didn’t think I would ever write, Stark came in to save the day with his suggestion of a local social gathering—with people. The event was entitled Troy Pig Out and also was supposedly the New York State bacon festival (I say supposedly because I have heard that statement used twice more on other City wide events since), it was almost like Santa had gotten my list of ways that he could make up the fourth of July to me and just started checking things at random while his quality control elves were on break—it being summer and all.
I have to say that in my life there have only been a handful of things that I really don’t think the world needs, strange colored ketchup (red is fine, get over yourself), Shepard’s pie (not everything needs to be eating at once and on top of each other), and now thanks to Troy Pig Out I now know that we don’t need bacon covered cotton candy. My problem with the abomination is several fold, the first is that people need to stop making things that already have a distinctive and memorable taste resemble something else. We have cotton candy ice cream and bubble gum, which means that people want to go out of their way to experience that instead of the superior taste of, say, vanilla. Of all things in the world that should be a clear sign that it doesn’t need a “bacon infusion” it would be that. The second is that they don’t even really put bacon on the delicacy, they just sprayed it down with some kind of bacon mist—which while sounding awesome still isn’t putting bacon on it. Also it made it brown and kind of poop colored, which is kind of a detractor in any food stuff.
The positives, though, were many and sprawling. The places that you could buy a pulled pork sandwich outnumbered the places you couldn’t by something stupid like five to one, and the places that weren’t selling it either were trying to put bacon some place it didn’t belong (chocolate) or were surprisingly bacon free drink vendors of happiness. Considering that most of the meat was salted and heavily pork-filled, and that it was about 110 degrees because the sun hates me, finding the correct drink vendor that would not ask for 1000 dollars for a bottle of water was needed. Luckily for me there was a man selling an awesome tin cup that he told me I could put an endless supply of homemade sodas into, he would even be so kind as to refill it with ice if I needed it. I think that I single handedly made sure that place did not turn a profit I drank so much of their soda. They just left the kegs sitting out there, like I wasn’t going to just stand next to it and drink so much they had to roll me away like Violet Beauregarde.
The one thing that I have been trying to avoid discussing with my father was that there was a pig roast cook off taking place that day. Since I don’t really know what to call people who compete to be the best rotisserie pig roasters in an area, and I kind of need to to close out the article, I will now refer to them as beard smiths, as it was also clear that you had to have a pretty killer beard if you wanted to cook a pig on a spit. So the beard smiths set up these stands and would give out a chunk of their art for one ticket, the problem then became the line for the tickets. Aside from the fact that asking how this convoluted system worked and getting a straight answer was like pulling teeth from a very angry rooster, it was not helped by the fact that the line was –no joke—about a quarter of a mile long at one point. On top of that issue once the general public was released to the beard smith holding area there was no real system, so it was simply a mob of people attacking and feasting in much the same vein of the island where Pinocchio went when he turned into a donkey and proceeded to haunt my nightmares. Did I mention that the winner was chosen by the most tickets at the end? Yeah, so the entire thing was just kind of designed to craft a never ending line that you pay to experience—this is both why I enjoy visiting my parents (my dad’s cooking is better) and why I don’t go to amusement parks (I loathe lines).