Tuesday, July 17, 2012

200 Days

Because I am ABSOLUTELY counting.

It is 200 days until the big bad Twinkie day.

I encourage you to consider joining me and the other Jn on a hillside in Punxsutawney, PA for the culmination of our culinary...disasterpiece.

If you've been keeping track, I came up short 1 Twinkie somehow. So there is now only 1 nine-ish year old Twinkie floating around that we know of. The other Jn has it (I just have an empty box still under my bed) and we have plans to meet at a great big groundhog's day celebration to share it.

I have been told by many people that they want to participate in this. Awesome. We want you to be there. We are crazy. You love us anyway. Lets celebrate it together. This is what I expect you should expect...

I ate one of the many Twinkies there once upon a time and have pictures to prove it. The experience defied my expectations. There were tailgaters galore. The all night Walmart parking lot where we parked to catch the shuttle was filled with equal measures of families sleeping in RVs waiting and drunk college types who had come from colleges up to several hours away and declared their own holiday. The school buses of the down had been transformed into an armada of person shufflers, shifting a steady stream of humans towards a hillside turned carnival. Once in the magical place you were accosted with all manner of groundhog paraphernalia from hog shaped pastries and hats to large metal sculpture and carnival games. The majority of the crowd stood, sat or lay curled facing down on the slope of the hill and the participants were split down the middle for everyone's enjoyment and protection. One side of the divide was family friendly and had all the pent up excitement of children waiting for Santa at Christmas, the other side was raucous and teaming with the energy of a spring break beach party with the exception of donning every layer of clothing possible instead of removing it. These sides bantered playfully and without malice by tossing beach balls and balloons back and forth. At the base of the hill was a large stage and a team of cold but chipper cheerleaders moved to the beat of obnoxious music and encouraged the watchers to dance hypothermia away. There were flags and camera crews from many nations. There were periodic updates from men in long coats and top hats regarding the status of the day. How long must we wait, had the weather report changed, and heaven help us what has the temperature dropped to now? And during these intermissions all manner of people were escorted to the stage for recognition. We celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, distances traveled, number of Feb 2nds celebrated at that spot, the eldest, the youngest, the tallest and shortest. We applauded with gloved hands and cheered through muffling scarves and we shivered together for the sake of a very strange tradition. When called upon we would even sing. Shortly before dawn we collectively turned our gaze to the left to watch a frosty morning fireworks display sneaking above the treeline from a nearby field. At the appointed time the ground hog entourage arrived and the formal ceremony was performed to practiced perfection but while this was the climax and the purpose for the day it was by no means the most exciting bit of it.

So as you wander through the next few hot, hot, dry, dry days of summer I suggest you start thinking about a cold, early Saturday morning foray into planned madness. Come for the company. Come for the celebration. Come just to say you did it that one time. It will be a party. And there will be Twinkies.


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