Summer is gone, and with it, my intent to post a string of clever little posts documenting the tasty things I ate, the pretty plants I grew, the relaxing retreats I enjoyed, and the steamy streets of New York through which I strode.
Somehow, it seems like old news, and my momentum is lost. At first, I figured I could just bank the material for later, but then I thought, no…reading those posts after-the-fact, once the nights were coming early, and the days were chilly till nearly noon, it would feel like a taunt, or like watching a television commercial for cool, quenching beverages left to run late into October. Air-time for something you don’t want to be reminded of, now that tank tops and icy drinks are stowed in “last season”.
Like wearing white pants after Labour Day. Like eating mini-donuts after the CNE has closed. That’s it. More than anything, talking about summer seems completely inappropriate once the Exhibition ends. Midway torn down, food stalls closed, animals from what I like to call the “Farm Awareness Building” sent home to pasture, or in the case of the conventionally raised pigs, chickens and cows, fattened and/ or milked within an inch of their lives, and then invited to board the truck to the other place farm animals go.
Actually, the CNE does establish freaky connection between a two-week summer carnival, a bunch of barfy spinny rides, livestock, and all the junk food you can stomach. Admission is $5, and a ticket gets you the chance to watch tiny dogs leap through hoops, horses prance in formation, teenagers dry-hump behind the roller coaster ticket booth, humans pay good money to gorge on salt and rancid grease, then hand over more good money for the privilege of being chucked around inside a rotating, glitter-painted machine, and then pet some day-old piglets inside a pen that boasts a banner which reads “Pork: From Farm to Fork”.
Yes, that all sounds pretty disgusting. And yes, in real life it is. But this is the CNE, where just about anything goes. We’re talking about the place where ladies of a certain age with boobs scorched by the all-day sun get plastered in the beer gardens while cover bands play the soundtrack from high school. The place where corndogs, the Scrambler, and puddles of barf share the same ten square yards of pavement.
The place where someone not only discarded his boxers in the middle of road, but another person came along and tossed a quarter on top.
The place (the ONLY place) where I push culinary caution and refinement aside and grab that waffle ice cream sandwich with both hands then cram the whole thing in my face. I do this every August, and then, sticky-lipped and filthy-fingered, I brush my bangs off my forehead, take it all in, and then let summer go.