Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Greatest Show On Earth

Over the weekend I hit one of my annual cultural landmarks by attending the Hawkesbury Show. Some people like their shows fancy – with robots that breathe fire – but I prefer the ones with special competition categories for ‘Best Other Vegetable’. Some people want an inner city show, but I like the opportunity to wander about counting rats tails (they’re back, did you know? Did they ever leave?) and discovering just how early people like to have kids these days (mid teens).

The Hawkesbury Show is the event to attend if the size and cost of the Royal Easter Show makes you want to hurl. These days the Royal Easter Show is only good if you own a horse, want to own a horse, are a child (clutching a $90 showbag) or a teen (without a newborn) looking for another unsupervised patch of ground to linger on while rebelling against old people who think washing your hair should be a regular occurrence. Those teens have since moved on to start riots over Justin Bieber (Justin Bieber for crying out loud. Who are you, but a tragic window into a future Celebrity Rehab episode another 10 years in the making?).

At the Hawkesbury Show you can peruse the Craft shed (it really is just a giant shed) to see who won in categories such as ‘Best Root Vegetable’, ‘Best Home Grown Garden Vegetable’ and ‘3 Largest Apples’. In case you’re wondering, taking out top honours in ‘3 Largest Apples’ is literally a case of owning the 3 largest apples (conversely I’m still unclear on how they chose ‘Best Onion’). There’s a category where children (and their bored mothers) compete to create the best sculpture out of fruit and toothpicks (I maintain that the creator of the second placed ‘Banana Montana’ was robbed). I took in the various artistic endeavours of several age groups, and was relieved to find that someone had taken the time to do a detailed portrait of Saint Angelina Jolie.

There was also a shed filled with ridiculously cute baby animals. Livinia negotiated with me to see if we could still be friends if she stole a piglet. We could not.

Another treat, for those of you who love carnie spotting, is that the Hawkesbury Show doesn’t disappoint there either. Short carnies, tall carnies, squat carnies, carnies with hats, carnies with eye patches – the gang’s all there. Fun fact! Did you know carnies have a special, traveling carnie school? The education revolution comes with a Ferris wheel of enlightenment, a rotating tea cup of grammar and a fairy floss high similar to the joy of learning.

Let’s not forget a shout out to the various dance troupes who took to the stage with a burning desire to be in a music video, a dream of chemically straightened hair and a pocket full of hip thrusts. Because I am not a middle aged man I could take in their performances without receiving any suspicious glares, and recall my former leotard laden glory. There was the classic ‘star’ always prominently placed, whose claim to fame was her ability to raise one leg all the way up to her head, the rhythm-less but spirit-filled team player who spent her time in a far back corner of the stage, and the token male. Those were the days. I don’t remember mastering nearly so many stripper moves, but the times they are a-changing.

The only thing wrong with the Hawkesbury Show is that it runs a mere 3 days. Fortunately that won’t truly upset me until I run out of sour licorice, and that’s got to be at least 2 weeks off.

Painefull Out

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