Thursday, August 10, 2006

Fair-y Tales - A Multimedia Extravaganza

This Just In...

As we go to press we are just getting word here that good ol' Mike Douglas who recently was #7 on The Top 14 Talk Show Host list died today on his birthday! Technically, blogs really don't go to press... Actually, it's just as we were about to click the "Publish Post" button on Blogspot.

Well folks.. August is here and in just a few weeks the summer will be over!! That's a wake-up call to party it up before its too late. Last weekend we celebrated Trophy Wife's birthday with a bbq where we had 54 people gobbling down a yummy variety of hot dogs and hamburgers. Unfortunately we had some electrical problems which really sucks when you are using an electric barbecue. Nonetheless, we were able to get the power back on after realizing the central AC was draining the rest of the electric supply. Word out to my fellow blogger Neil for helping to get the grill running! Apologies to my pals at Target because I went and bought the grill at blech.. Walmart.. I hope Target doesn't feel betrayed... but they already cleared all the summer stuff out to get the Santa displays ready! Nonetheless I ducked my head and ran in and out of Walmart trying to avoid being seen.. just like a chusid who stops at McDonalds for a quick pish, but worries that some Rabbi may find him in the background of little Jimmy's b'day party pics taken on his cousin's cellphone that now circulate on his myspace website!

One other August tradition that I kicked off back in 1990 was - The Sussex County Farm and Horse Show.. Aka the Sussex County Fair. It was either like it or hate it. My former radio colleagues, Dangerspouse and another AM weekend DJ, a fine fella by the name of Bart despised the Fair with all their hearts. Yet because they were AM DJs they were sent out there for live remotes during Fair Weeks where they talked about Pig races from an un air conditioned trailer. The FM DJs however got the opportunity to broadcast from this beastly looking bus like vehicle called The Super Roving Radio.. A giant truck sized contraption on wheels that resembled a big ugly boom box and was towed around Northwest NJ by an equally tacky looking van. Dangerspouse and I were always amazed that the station's owners claimed they couldn't afford to pay us more than a mere pittance but had enough money to waste on that eyesore. I think the Super Roving Radio is now used as the trailer for the MTV show "Next".

As a newsman it was my job to find stuff to cover at the Fair. This was a lot easier than the early radio news days of Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer. In his book "This Just In", the 2nd book on my summer reading list (Jacquie Jordan's book "Get on TV" was the first) he tells about ducking bullets during riots at The University of Mississippi when black college student James Meredith attempted to break the color barrier by enrolling there. Oddly enough Meredith went on to become a Right Wing Republican and actually endorsed David Duke when he ran for President!

Here is my disclaimer... I liked the Fair! There were more Gentiles there than I had ever seen in my whole life, and even though I moved out of Northwest NJ 12 years ago, I still have made a few pilgrimages to the fair in the ensuing years... usually to buy a nice handcrafted leather wallet.. that I ultimately end up forgetting to purchase! Back in 1990 it started when I wandered into the 4H club tent and interviewed a girl who had been crowned the Swine Queen. Joe Tolleson who was the Mud Bug announcer and is now the Rangers PA Announcer... (he went from messy to Messier!) was quite amused that when I went to a pig auction, I was stunned to find that the man who won the auction... NJ State Senator Bob Littell (who still holds the post) bought it to cut it up and eat it!! What did I know about eating pigs.. I grew up in a kosher home and watched Green Acres. I just assumed it was supposed to be a pet! That poor little piggy.. All this taking place so soon after the crowning of the Swine Queen!!

Other annual highlights were The Queen of the Fair Pageant, and a few things I used to announce for.. The Turtle Races.. a scheduling oddity since its actually illegal to own a turtle in NJ. I also used to announce the Saturday Night ATV Races.. And up to that point growing up in a rather suburban area I had no idea what an All Terrain Vehicle was. Our station also sponsored The Mud Bog.. A truck pulling event in mud that seemed to be very popular; halftime featured a radio contest called the Dash for Cash.. where scantily clad women in strapless tank tops would feel their way in the mud to find balloons filled with money. Im curious what would have happened if their tops came off while they were blindfolded? Would they know? Would they be able to find their tops? Would they be groped by the blindfolded guys? There also was the odd tradition of having one of the Fair Bigshots open the Fair with a traditional rooster crow.. This elderly fellow actually stood there and bellowed out cock a doodle-doo like a rooster.. I swear I'm not making this up! You will see more of this in today's multimedia presentation!

But there was a lot of interesting stuff going on... I liked the 4h kids.. We didn't have that in "the city" when I was growing up and these were good young kids. The equestrian competition was also a lot of fun. In 1994, Jacquie Jordan, a recent NWOW Podcast guest, was my cohost on a five part 30 minute nightly program called "The Sussex County Fair on TV", a wild and wooly show we taped daily during a week that also consisted of full time radio broadcasts plus a side PT job led to a week filled with 20 hour work days! That program aired from August 8 through August 12, 1994 on a couple of local cable stations. Last year my buddy Paul was producing a show for the local cable station and just for fun I did a couple of stories including the Pie Eating Contest and an equestrian competition where one of the participants was Mayor Bloomberg's daughter Georgina. That competition was sponsored by CNN's Lou Dobbs and his name was mentioned so often by the PA announcer, that I was thinking of starting a new drinking game! Everytime you hear Lou Dobbs name.. you gotta do a shot!

This weekend I'm going back again, and as always I'll try to buy a nice leather wallet. But I will probably forget... Nonetheless.. here is an audio clip AND a video clip.. We spare no expense nor bandwidth! First we have Kaleidiscope Theater... a chat with Johnny Maestro and a tongue in cheek interview with the man who would open the fair each year with his cock a doodle do! And don't forget we have an audio clip underneath... (also accesible by clicking the title!). Remember this is a Multimedia Extravaganza!!

The audio is from my Radio Entertainment Report in the early 90s featuring interviews with various characters I would run into including the star of the freakshow.. the 800 lb. guy.. and other assorted people who crossed my path. But first, legendary blogger Dangerspouse talks about his memories. Hope you enjoy the Fair!


Pumpstradamus said...

The Turtle Races.. a scheduling oddity since its actually illegal to own a turtle in NJ.

No kidding? I'll never forget my first job in law school, when I clerked for a lawyer in New York who was the proud owner of a couple of tortoises that he would enter in annual tortoise shows. He was so proud of those tortoises. They had fancy Latin names like Chelydra serpentina and Geochelone pardalis babcocki. And such talented creatures they were! They even won big blue ribbons. And P.S., the guy also owned a big white Cadillac with vanity license plates that said "LITIG8R". And his wife was a lingerie model. And guess what else? They were nudists! I once overheard him on the phone, telling a client, "yeah, I was the naked guy standing next to the hot chick." Another time I opened a big book of statutes and found a short and curly black hair stuck in the margin. I soon learned that the guy used to attend sex parties, which he claimed were, ahem, "networking meetings" with the core base of his divorce clients (i.e., all the lingerie models whose husbands had left them for *other* lingerie models!). I was even given the rare opportunity to peek into this subculture of sexual shenanigans when he invited me to a New Years' Eve party, recommending that I "wear something sexy", but be forewarned that I wouldn't be wearing it for very long! (needless to say, I did *not* attend the party). And so, herewith wraps up this all-too-true, non-fractured fairy tale of... you guessed it: the tortoise and the pubic hair!

alberich said...

So they do have County Fairs in NJ?

For all my time there I was missing county fairs which I much enjoyed back in Cali (and the State fair, which I had only gone to once, was amazing!) ... if only I would have known that there was a fair in NJ -- I would have attended every year.

I hope I didn't miss the Leon county fair.

Nate said...

You didnt know about the Sussex County Fair?? Try to arrange for a trip to NJ next August and you can go there with us when I make my not so annual pilgrimage. Youd like Sussex County... there are a lot of Republicans there.

One rule for the car ride there.. no discussing liberal politics pertaining to Israel.. better yet maybe we should meet there.,.. its on route 206 in Augusta!

And pumpstradamus can come too as long as I dont have to hear about nudists and turtles. Dont you know how dangerous a snapper turtle can be to an exposed shmeckle?

So Pumpy Together said...

Dont you know how dangerous a snapper turtle can be to an exposed shmeckle?

I don't think the turtles were at the party. Or nude, for that matter.

alberich said...

One rule for the car ride there.. no discussing liberal politics pertaining to Israel.. better yet maybe we should meet there.,.. its on route 206 in Augusta! - Nate

If I'm around next August, that does sound like a plan. I tend not to discuss liberal politics pertaining to Israel in those sorts of situations unless I'm provoked. The most you'll likely get if I'm not provoked is a grunt or grimace or comment of "stupid idiots" if the news is on and they say something regarding Israel. But there'll be a 95% chance we'll be in agreement that the news reporters are being idiots and a 50% chance we'll be in agreement as to exactly how they're being idiots.

Anyway, me spouting off my politics is not what makes car-rides with me so miserable. It's my stupid jokes. And, if I am driving, my choice in music. Fortunately for anyone I may drive, my tape of polka and such music seems to be busted.

I would imagine though, that I would be traveling separately, as I would likely be coming from NYC, I'd imagine, possibly with some hot chick and her daughter in tow ... the locals in Sussex county don't dress up as "ghosts" do they?

Nate said...

I dont know about the ghost reference.. but at the rate you're going you may get a warmer reception at a Kahane convention!

Pumpy the Friendly Ghost said...

Do ghosts ever walk around in the nude? I can't imagine where they'd ever get their clothes from. I wonder if they pass gas, too. On a related note, I was in the Raconteur bookstore yesterday and saw a copy of Benj. Franklin's "Fart Proudly" (refer to your 7/03/06 post). Would you like me to pick it up for you? I'll bet anything, if any ghost farts and prances around in the nude, it's Ben Franklin. Okay, back to work.....

Nate said...

Ok pumpy lets say you're in Israel ridiing an elevator with DAS and a Palestinian steps in. He just ate a Israeli bean salad and starts farting in the elevator. Now I would complain that it smells.. but DAS would blame the Israeli occupation for forcing the Palestinian to have gastro problems and he would blame the Israeli salad tosser for purposely putting extra beans in his salad to upset his tummy. He would then propose the formation of a liberal think tank to address the issue of gassy Palestinians and how the Israelis must be rebuked for this horrific siutation.

On the other hand, you could always take the stairs.

Neil said...

Turtles illegal in NJ... actually, that's not it. It's just illegal to own one without a license. It's also illegal to sell one in NJ, period. (I had a turtle license for some years.) (And two turtles.)

Nate said...

That might be the case then.. because most of the little pishers in the turtle race were 5 yr old kids and Im pretty sure they didnt get a license for 'em. Do you have to parallel park a turtle before you get a license for one?

alberich said...

DAS would blame the Israeli occupation for forcing the Palestinian to have gastro problems and he would blame the Israeli salad tosser for purposely putting extra beans in his salad to upset his tummy. - Nate

Come-on Nate. You know me better than that.

I'd blame the military-industrial complex for selling the Israeli salad tosser (ummm ... is the implication intended here?) defective, highly gas-iferous beans.

I'd just add a snippy remark that the salad tosser in question probably thought that because he's Jewish that means he knows how to bargain so he thinks he'd gotten a good deal on the beans (and that the company selling him the beans supports his salad making agenda) even though he coulda gotten a better deal on the beans from another seller and moreover, if it weren't for the bean manufactorers' pushing beans in the first place, the salad maker would not have even thought to sell salad but would have been selling shawarma instead, in which case the Palestinian wouldn't have farted in the first place, or if he did, it would have smelled differently.