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Twirlin’, Limey style!


These poor girls haven’t fallen down or anything. This is a deliberate part of their baton-twirling routine, thenkyewverymuch. It was the worst exhibition of twirling expertise I have seen since…ummm…the one before it.

Yep, it’s the village fête season! Do we have a similar phenomenon in the States? In the Midwest, perhaps? I don’t know.

I remember we had a state fair in Tennessee, which was a big ol’ 4H-meets-midway-carny kind o’ thing. Seems like every year, they announced on the news that somebody had found a black widow in the bathroom. I got lost at that fair one year, when I was five. That was fun.

Then there was the Fiddlers’ Jamboree in Smithville, which was a musical cornpone county fair sort of dealie.

But here, pretty much every village around picks a Saturday in Summertime and holds itself a little fair, in varying degrees of size and lameness. They’re built around stalls selling baked goods and used books and knick-knacks. Local charities are usually represented. There are a few rides, maybe. Perhaps some livestock or other beasties. The antique car people turn out to show off their handiwork. And then some kind of live performances; a band, performing animals. Twirlers. Lawnmower races.

There must be a dozen of them inside our usual roaming territory. Sadly, we can’t go to them all — they cluster on particular weekends.

I can only imagine what I’ve missed…


Comment from Allen
Time: July 27, 2009, 6:43 pm

It’ll be here soon! That’s right the 22nd Annual Rubber Ducky Race

Woohoo! Hey Weasel you want me to enter you for a duck? If you win I’ll send you the winnings in California IOU’s.

Yes we also have a Turkey Vulture Festival. I haven’t actually been but I understand they “chum” the Vultures with a bunch of roadkill.

We don’t have twirlers, but it might be quite the spectacle if you matched it up with the Vultures. Weasel, were the twirlers drinking?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 27, 2009, 7:04 pm

No, I’m pretty sure their performance was simply down to rigorous training. There was a very scary-looking lady with blue hair calling the plays.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 27, 2009, 7:55 pm

And by “blue hair” I don’t mean a blue-haired old lady, in the usual sense. I mean a blowsy middle-aged woman with hair the color of a circus balloon.

There’s a lot of that here — ordinary looking older women with crayon-colored hair. I don’t get it, and I don’t know who to ask.

Comment from Allen
Time: July 27, 2009, 8:18 pm

Ah yes the “blue” hairs. I see them at the horse shows. Wearing the Jodhpurs swishing their riding crops about (shudder.)

Madame Souzaka with corporal punishment.

I’m at least thankful that I’m getting weirder as time goes on. The strange shit other people do doesn’t bother me as much. 🙂

Ducky Ho!

Comment from Nicole
Time: July 27, 2009, 9:39 pm

We have the same thing here in Missouri. Almost every small town has a spring, summer or fall festival. Usually late summer and fall. Tractor pulls, mud runs, greased pig catching, craft booths filled with all manner of tacky doodads, all the fried food you can shake a stick at (and most often on a stick), sometimes parades, usually some god-awful talent show with a horrible sound system, old car show, etc, etc. I go to every one I can get to. 🙂 I’m hooked on funnel cakes and cotton candy.

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: July 27, 2009, 9:44 pm

Simply dumping rubber duckies in moving water and watching them float down? Pish and tosh. Seattle has the Duck Dodge boat race! Please pay attention to the rules.

Comment from Deborah
Time: July 27, 2009, 10:02 pm

Aw, I love twirlers. But why are their batons so short?

Comment from Cant hark my cry
Time: July 27, 2009, 10:31 pm

A thousand years ago (well, hm slightly over 30), while visiting Germany I saw a local festival that involved flag twirlers–they tossed these huge flags (think an ordinary national flag on an ordinary flagpole). In patterns and in unison. It made baton twirling look lame, and really I have to believe that baton twirling was a descendant of that art. It was awesome. . .

I found some links under “flag tossing” but I’m afraid to post them because they are long and complicated–Akismet is SCARY, folks. But where you would end up if this http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swissinfo.html?sid=6836949&cKey=1174385958000&ty=st&rubricId=25004&siteSect=25001
were a clickable link is a pretty good description of what I remember. And maybe this one. . .http://flagspot.net/flags/xf-thro.html

Anyway, once you’ve seen that, batons are OK but kinda dull, even when done well.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: July 27, 2009, 10:38 pm

Y’know, this software program has a sense of humor. Puckish. One might even say warped. But defnitely a sense of humor. The God in the Machine indeed!

Comment from Sockless Joe
Time: July 28, 2009, 12:08 am

there are a few baton squads for very young girls in my neck of central Pennsylvania. I haven’t attended a local parade in about ten years or so, but I recall them being there. seems to feed into the cheerleader squads for pee-wee football (what might be “pop warner” football elsewhere).

Comment from francis
Time: July 28, 2009, 12:20 am

We have little town fairs all over Western Pennsylvania, and I thought the town I grew up in threw the lamest one anywhere, until I moved even further into the sticks and went to this town’s fair. It was the depths of lameness: local lousy country rock band at night, one concession stand (hamburgers, hot dogs and potato chips, with all of three different beers on tap, all with “light” in the name), one useless-shit-you-can-buy-at-a-fair stand, and one of those upright roulette wheels. That’s it. Not even so much as a bottle toss or dunking booth. The wife and I went all prepared to fake entertainment, and we couldn’t even find anything to fake it at.

Comment from Weasely
Time: July 28, 2009, 1:21 am

I’m guessing that’s where Australia picked up the habbit from, too. Agricultural ‘shows’ and faires are pretty common place.

Comment from Adrian
Time: July 28, 2009, 2:29 pm

Am I the first, really can I say it… a fête worse than death…there I feel much better now.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 28, 2009, 3:05 pm

Thank you, Adrian. My faith is restored.

Honestly. That took almost a full 24 hours.

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Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 28, 2012, 6:07 pm

You amuse me, Spam. Tell me more.

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