Sunday, September 18, 2005

How To Have A Roast Without Dean Martin

Last night I took the family to a "Corn Roast" held by the local Republican committee. I first went to a corn roast about ten years ago, and it baffles me now as it did then, why only one course of the meal gets all of the attention. The servers (who, as it turns out, were all candidates for Mayor and Borough Council -- talk about public servants!) dished out hot dogs, corn, baked beans, pierogies, brownies, and assorted beverages, including -- yes! -- beer. I suppose Corn Roast sounds better than Bean Bake, or Beer Bong. I'd come out for either of those. Anyway! All of the local candidates, plus a few candidates for judge, had a chance to speak, as well as a couple of honored guests. Overall, it was an interesting and informative evening.

A few observations:

  • A balloon man accosted my children the moment they stepped through the door. If I may paraphrase Darth Sidious, "The Republican Party should never have brought him into this. Kill him immediately." Balloon Man made balloon hats for all four of my kids. He took over fifteen minutes to do so because he is a skilled artist who can construct elaborate headgear with sheer lung power. As we were getting in line for the food, he had to follow along with us so he could get all of his balloon hats made. Those hats were plenty fun until one of them broke. Naturally it belonged to the most sensitive child who cried his little heart out. I get the feeling that if I were to die, he wouldn't be as torn up with grief as he was over that danged balloon hat.
  • As long as I am making Phantom Menace references, I ought to mention that the Chick Who Thinks She's Qui-Gon Jinn was in attendance. She was pointed out to the crowd, but did not speak. She's young, and kind of cute, but did not carry a light saber, from what I could see.
  • If you are attending a function like this with a family of six, it is unwise to take the seats closest to the speakers' podium, even if that is the only place in the room with six empty seats together. In other words, screw chivalry. Jump in line ahead of your wife, and force her and the little monsters to follow you to the most remote corner of the room even if you can't hear the speakers, and even if you can't all sit together. You should do this especially if you know that the little darlings are going to turn into jumping bean noise machines (at a Republican Party function, I guess they could be considered right-wing noise machines) as soon as they are finished eating and distract the speakers and anyone else in attendance.
  • Our local Congressman spoke. Did you know that he is a professional Child Psychologist? I did, and if no one else in the room knew that beforehand, they did after he got up to spoke, because my kids gave him the opportunity to mention that he is a professional Child Psychologist. At least one of my children may be in need of a professional Child Psychologist. Or maybe just a cage in the basement. Sometimes the simplest methods work like a charm.
  • Local beers are special. There is an honesty about them that you don't get with mass produced national brands. When I visited Minnesota, my cousin told me that the contents of his refrigerator were mine to do with as he pleased since he and his wife were going on a long trip to Montana and the food might not be worth eating by the time he got back. Well, what I found in his refrigerator were several bottles of Summit Grand. I did him the favor of leaving one bottle to greet him upon his return. It was that good. Last night's beer was Penn Pilsner, the German-style brew from Pittsburgh's North Side. I had two, and would have had more if the family were not in tow for the event. I know I certainly needed more by the time it was done. The politician serving the beer thanked me for taking some since few people seemed interested in drinking beer last night. I was happy to do him the favor. Oh yeah, the cost of admission included all beverages, including beer, so it was basically open bar. You can't beat that.
  • We actually won a couple of door prizes, but I suppose with six tickets you stand a better chance than most. My daughter won a gift certificate to the local used book shop, and I won a blue golf cap. If I start a collection of them and wear them all the time, I could be the Nihilist In Golf Caps, yes!
  • The first speaker was the local party chairman. He provided the strongest message, mostly about staying the course in the War On Terror, and let the candidates do most of the talking about local issues. He struck me as being the most passionate speaker of the night.
  • Someone from Rick Santorum's office was there but I completely missed what he said thanks to my out-of-control Kindergartener. I think it had to do with winning every time even though he is always behind in the polls. Well, we shall see next year, won't we?
On the way out to the car, Mr. Uncontrollable told me that he "hated that party!" because it was too long. Anything longer than five minutes is too long for him. Maybe I should have hit up the Congressman for a free consultation. At next year's corn roast, I might just sneak out of the house and not tell anyone where I am going.

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