Monday, August 28, 2006

Ted Nugent is Bonkers, and Other Tales of Oregon Gone Wild

Things I Learned On My Vacation, Such As, Google Maps Cannot Be Trusted
Girl Kid printed out the instructions on how to get to our campground near Salem this last week, and I should have looked at it before we hit Portland. What can I say? Oregon doesn’t like to put street signs going both ways, so I frequently didn’t know what road we were on, just the ones that we were driving past at high speeds. Also—Google had us going on one tiny road to the next even smaller road until we were finally bombing up a dirt track that looked like it was going to end up in a cow pasture. I began to hear banjos. Remember all those movies where the carload of stupid teenagers is eaten or dismembered by backwoods bachelor nutcases? All I’m saying is that I kept thinking how good I’d taste roasted. Finally, we turned out onto a paved road; and when we arrived at the campground and described our travel method to the dude in the office, he laughed and laughed….

Camp Dakota Has Everything
If you have a burning need to drive off and go camping, but somehow forgot to bring any stuff, fear not! The good folks at Camp Dakota have literally everything you need stocked in their eeny-weeny office slash store, up to and including tents, tarps, coolers, clothing, books, beer, tongs for smores; and for no obvious reason, scary little dolls with eyes that follow you. Maybe you put these around your camp to scare away the chipmunks. Oh yeah, and they will deliver espresso to your campsite in the morning. Odd, but fun. And, Scotts Mills, which is the closest little town, is hella cute. I could live there. Maybe some cannibalistic bachelor whack job will ask me to marry him and help him with his Christmas tree farm. They grow a lot of Christmas trees around there.

Everyone in Oregon is Fat
Whenever I hear in the media how fat Americans are, I look around and think, “Eh…maybe.” In Seattle, I’m frequently the only Big Girl in the room. In Seattle, there are just not that many truly fat people, so naturally I thought the Liberal Press was making it up and that fat people didn’t really exist. I was wrong. When we got to the Oregon State Fair on Friday, we spent a few hours before The Nuge show looking around. We saw cows. We saw a hundred varieties of chickens, including some huge fuckers with very feathery legs that made them look like they were wearing Hammer Pants. I kid you not. And we saw a whole lot of fat people. I was suddenly not alone; I was among My People, (if my people included rabidly conservative Christians). Just about every one of the thousands of people we saw that day had at least a fairly significant hunk of junk in their trunk, and I’d say at least 40%, (and maybe more), were double the size they should be, or even triple or quadruple. Yipes. And not a single one of them keeled over with a heart attack, even after downing deep-fried Oreos and Twinkies, so there. By the way, Girl Kid thought she wanted to try a fried Oreo, and then she got closer to where they were making them, and changed her mind. Gross.

The Oregon State Fair Hires The Unemployable
America, if you can’t hold down a job, if you don’t have the mental skills to give simple directions, or if you are unclear on what the meaning of “up” is, the Oregon State Fair has a job for you. What will your job requirements be? Well, apparently, wandering around in a green shirt and hat and being no help to anyone at all. When we got to the fair, we immediately asked where Ted Nugent would be playing. Nobody really knew, but each official-looking person we asked pointed vaguely into the distance (in different directions each time), and pronounced it to be “over there somewhere”. After three hours of wandering around, eating bad Mexican food, and hiding out in the Oregon Conservation Exhibit (which was the only quiet and shady spot), we decided we were ready to go get in line for the show. By the time we figured out where it was, there was a line a mile long (I am again, not kidding). We spent at least a half an hour walking up an down this line, which was spiraling in and around the Fun House area in big loops, trying to find the end. Because of the whole looping thing, people were jumping the line and milling around, and no one seemed to know where we were going. For all we knew, we could have been in line to be turned into deep-fried Oreos. There was a chatty guy in line next to us, who was moaning and complaining to everyone around him. At one point I said to him, “Well, who knew Old Ted could still bring out such a large crowd?” Everyone in earshot stopped talking, spun around on their heels, and glared at me. It was a sign of things to come.

When we finally did make it into the pavilion, The Nuge had been on stage for more than half an hour. On the plus side, that meant less Nugent for me, and that turned out to be a good thing, because….

Ted Nugent is Insane
I knew The Nuge was a survivalist crackpot hunter type, but I didn’t know just how bad he really was. Now, I’ve been to a lot of concerts in my life, but this was the first time the headliner brought an arsenal to the show. He had several rifles, a compound bow, and a 50-caliber machine gun on stage, all of which he kept waving around and aiming at the audience. For one blinding second I thought, “Oh god, someone’s going to get killed!” He also kept going on and on about how he loves his “blood brothers” in the armed services, and sang a love song to George W. Bush. I wish I were kidding. Ted also thinks that what he and his band plays is “soul” music, which was an opinion he announced at least 37 times in an hour and a half. The people waving Confederate flags around in front of him didn’t seem to find this at all ironic. Ted also sported an animal tail pinned to his butt, and I have a bad feeling it was not a fake fur costume prop. Nevertheless, if you are in to that sort of thing, the old dude can really squeeze it out. My eardrums are still ringing.

Nugent Fans Are “Special”
Oh. My. God. Now, the Oregon State Fair boasted at least a bit of diversity, mostly Hispanic, but there were no brown people in sight inside the Nuge concert. All white, mostly aging, and all definitely drunk, or rapidly on the way to being drunk. Plastic cup after plastic cup passed by me, over me, and on me during this thing. Hey people, when pumping your fist in the air and yelling “Fuck Yeah!”, try to remember which fist has the beer in it, umkay? At one point Ted announced that he hates “drunk drivers and dudes who take methamphetamines”, and all the drunks yelled “Fuck Yeah!” again. Slosh, slosh, spill, spill, drive home and beat the wife later. Ironic, right?

White People Can’t Dance, But They Can Stampede
Does anyone remember Elaine’s “dance” on Seinfeld? Well, a woman in front of me did an amazing rendition of that dance, all while sitting down. White people really are retarded in the rhythm department. Also, boys and girls, matching Hawaiian shirts are for losers. Oddly, despite the fact that the place was packed, I sat in a widening circle of empty seats, my hostility draining off of me in cresting waves. I promise I said and did nothing to annoy anyone (because I was afraid they would hurt me), other than to sit there with a look of incredulity on my face. I could have gone outside…but it was like watching a train wreck. I had to see what bonkers thing The Nuge would do next. Awful. And when the crowd went wild and started jumping up and down and hooting to get the band to some back and do an encore…well, you remember how I mentioned how fat everyone is down there, right? The sound of millions of pounds of American Beef pounding up and down on what was now looking like not-so-stable stadium seating was awe inspiring indeed. But, we lived, and Girl Kid got a T-Shirt. Dude.

Oregon is Bigger than it Looks
The next day we decided to drive over to the coast to come home…and it turned in to a twelve hour tour of Beautiful Scenery, High Winds, Bad Food, and…Barfing. Girl Kid got food poisoning at the Imperial Schooner in Ilwaco, Washington. You’d think in a town that was all about fishing boats and fish processing plants that you would be able to get fresh seafood. You would be wrong.

And, a Movie
Yesterday, home at last and ready to regroup and relax, Girl Kid and I went to see The Illusionist. This movie has some very subtle acting, and is worth the price of admission for that alone. As always, Paul Giamotti is A God. I even liked the perfectly cast Edward Norton, who often annoys me. While she was definitley the weakest link, Jessica Biel wasn’t too bad as well; although she keeps her clothes on for most of the film, so that may put off her main fan base. There was one badly filmed and totally unnecessary sex scene that took me right out of the movie. Bad director, no cookie. It was a reasonably good flick though, even if you can figure out the twist ending in the first thirty minutes. That doesn’t matter, it’s all about Paul, and his deliciously understated performance and voice-over work. Give that man an Oscar already. Well, he won’t get one for this, but he should. Don’t pay more than matinee prices for this one though.

And now I need to get back to work. I need chocolate. Damn.


At 3:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, I played hookie yesterday and went to the MN state fair and by description it sounds almost identical to the OR start fair :)


At 9:06 AM , Blogger Mistress Squidia said...

Maybe there is something about the state fair that just attracts...My People. It could be the Twinkies :)

Hey Terry, how are you?


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