A blog about life, language, writing, and other trivia.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

File under "duh!"

Lee and I went to the Black Swamp Arts Festival last weekend. It was a much cooler festival than I thought it would be. The art--a pleasant surprise to say the least--ranged from kitchy to folksy to fine, and the music line-up was nothing to sneeze at either. Though I didn't make it to the evening performances Friday, BG is a small enough place that I could hear The Fixx pretty clearly from my back yard. I forgot they had so many good songs; the only hit of theirs I could spontaneously recall I was "Red Skies." What a treat it was, then, when sounds of "Stand or Fall," "One Thing Leads to Another," and "Saved by Zero" drifted through the unseasonable coolness of my screened porch.

But this post isn't about art or music. It's a cautionary tale about festival food. Just off the main exhibit area was an assortment of 15 or so food trailers offering a bit of everything: gumbo, BBQ ribs, cheese steaks, hot dogs, tamales, giant fried tenderloin sandwiches--you name it. Now, all my foodie instincts were telling me to go with the BBQ, in particular the smoked Hungarian sausage. A no-brainer, I know, but the line was, like, really long. So instead I went with the short line: "One pad thai, please." [Cut to me trying to identify the protein in said pad thai--looked like red tofu, tasted like fish parts.] Ick, ick, ick. Luckily, there had also been a short beer line. And enough people had ordered Stella Artois that day that it didn't have a chance to get nasty sitting in the lines, so it was nice and crisp, and, mercifully, it flushed the cloying fishy-tamarind-sweetness from my mouth.

So what's the moral? No, it's not, "Don't get Thai food from any structure that will be leaving town later that day." I'm sure Thai food has as much potential to be portable and great as BBQ does. The moral is, "Wait in line. (Dozens of carb-addicted festival-goers can't be wrong.)" Next year I'm definitely getting the sausage--unless there's a short line for steak tartare.

(Edited to add: I forgot to mention that, try as I may, I continually call "The Black Swamp Arts Festival" "The Black Arts Swamp Festival." I wonder whether I'm the only one.)


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