I recently had an article about the benefits of procrastination. Aside from being probably the best article I have ever crafted, it is filled with great notions. It’s seriously long, so I imagine lots of you couldn’t make it through the whole thing, with your post-Mtv buzzfeed listicle brains, so I will give you a little summary: I humorously described how to still be productive while feeling guilty that you weren’t producing what you meant to be at that exact moment.
I still agree with that fully, but today there is a difference. When I had written that, I was still filled with the spirit of not-quite-efficiency. I had “up and at whatever” “can do some things” “go get ’em, someone, maybe, you tiger-shaped stuffed toy” spirit. Today, however, I am just a blob. This is not a depression. It’s just pure laziness. And I think that’s okay. I have believed the horrible things people think about laziness, too. But now, here, in the middle of a good powerful laze, I realize that I may have been being too hasty in my judgment.
Welcome back to our monthly comic series, Doofus and Darling. If you had Highlights for Children magazine when you were young, you’ve seen Goofus and Gallant. If not, it probably doesn’t matter anyway.
Get to your nearest chair and proceed to sit so hard that you accordion your spine in on itself, because that’s what it’s probably gonna take to keep your pants from flying off after you learn that it’s fall festival season again! That’s right, it’s everyone’s favorite time to herd into the smallest towns imaginable by the thousands and then proceed to rip it to shreds like some sort of cursed locust-people. All while buying up every single shitty piece of local art they can find, along with shoving their faces full of food so unhealthy that it should qualify as body torture. Get hype, son!
Now you may be saying to yourself, “But Jeremy, you already wrote an extensive, boring article on fall festivals years ago! In fact, Amandoll just re-posted it a few days ago! It’s right here! Why even bring this up again? Who really gives a shit?” Well, I definitely can’t argue with that last point, but I can confirm that I did write that article well over two decades ago, back when it was all the rage with my family to drag us around the state and partake in whatever festival they could find each weekend during the fall season. And believe it or not, it was something I actually enjoyed. But over the years since then I really haven’t been to many at all, and since I now have way too much free time and literally no friends whatsoever, I figure it’s high time that I return to those cursed festivals to see what I’ve been missing, and also add a few things that I sort of glossed over in the first article. So please, dear reader, take a trip with me to Greenfield, Indiana, for their “Riley Days” festival. Let’s see together just how bored you truly have to be to do shit like this.
It is already well documented that I am pretty much a giant fucking loser. And because of this, I seem to enjoy doing things that make most people laugh at me. We’ve already covered this in previous articles about yard sales, and virtually everything else I’ve written on this site. So it’s of no surprise when I say that I happen to enjoy going to fall festivals. After all, fall is my favorite time of the year, and it seems to be the only time when I can go out of the house and not be hospitalized from extreme sun exposure, or be treated for frostbite.
Fall has very mild weather that is perfect for the pasty nerd who is afraid to step outside in the heat for more than two minutes, in fear that they would instantly be blinded by natural sunlight and have their skin catch fire. But once we get outside, we usually find that there is little that we know how to do without a computer mouse in our hands. And even if we bring the computer mouse with us, it just doesn’t seem to have the same effect by clicking on things in the real world as it does on our computer. So to combat this strange new world of revulsion, we must find something else to do. Not only do we need to find somewhere that is generally low key and devoid of excitement that might lead to bodily harm, but also somewhere where we can buy incredibly useless crap for large sums of money. The only real answer that meets these criteria, is of course one of the millions of festivals that are being held during the fall. That’s right. Today we’re going to show you just how to navigate your way through a fall festival.
I’m not sure if you guys ever noticed this, but updates on this site can ebb and flow. As we are the most depressed mini-cluster of writers on the internet, this makes perfect sense. At any given moment, one or all of us is in the throes of a crippling despair — or, in contrast, one or all of us is chirpy and pleased with life. This wide range in overall mood is reflected in our overall productivity, here at the Sneer Campaign and also in every single aspect of our lives.
I guess I should start off by telling you about Depression, as if you are at all strangers to the concept. But I know our demographics. You’re all a bunch of first world 20- and 30-somethings mostly. I assume you are all actually in the midst of your own Pity Parties RIGHT NOW, and are just taking a break to read this article in the hopes of finding some gentle humor to ease your troubled souls. Well, indulge me here for a minute. Pretend that you are all perfect spring flowers and have never seen a reason to frown in your life. Do you remember what that feels like? I think I might, but I could also be severely mistaken and I am just emotionlessly imagining the color blue. But emotionlessness is just an absence of sadness, and that doesn’t automatically mean “happiness.” Although some days, it is just as welcome of a relief. Am I even getting ahead of myself here? You can bet no one cares.
I can’t claim to know what love is. But I do know what love can involve and that it can include things like witty banter, long rewarding conversations, and maybe a little snark. In my individual version of love, these three things are important. They’re right in there, swirling around in jagged heart shapes. If I can be entertained with mere conversation because it’s just that good, then I hear wedding bells. Or at least, I hear some sort of bell that would be where a wedding bell would be if I ever wanted to pursue that lifestyle.
Once upon a time, perhaps six or seven years ago, I struck up a conversation with Cleverbot. For those of you not in the know, this is the name of a chatbot on the internet. For those of you extra not in the know, a chatbot is a little program that automatically reacts to whatever you say to it, sometimes in ridiculous ways — but sometimes in exciting, poignant ways. Or, in the case of Cleverbot, in ways that made me genuinely like it.
It’s summertime. It has been summertime for a good long while now, actually, but here in Kentucky the full force of summer hadn’t hit me until fairly recently. It must be said that I generally die during the summer time of year. The blistering heat and suffocating humidity do me no favors, and the harsh rays of the earth’s yellow sun give me freckles and a tan. How can I be “Amandoll, Undead Creature of the Night” if I am sporting a healthy tan? I cannot be, that’s how.
I am a girl who enjoys clinging to the silver lining, however, and fortunately I can come up with two things I enjoy about summer: soft serve ice cream cones from locally owned dairy shacks, and grape soda. Grape soda is probably a tasty treat all year long, but I do not thirst for it until the temperatures reach 90F (32C) and above, which actually is a temperature it still can reach in the autumnal months. It is also better when there is a drought on, because walking down alley ways behind businesses while a fine dust blows in your eyes is the PERFECT time to be sipping from a cold and slender glass bottle of that purple wonder elixir.
Previously, I had been under the mistaken impression that all grape drinks were created more or less the same. How many differences could there be in a product that contained soda water, purple color, and sweetener? Well, actually I don’t really know myself, so I have decided to conduct a Consumer Report for the world to reference as a resource. I am going to select a small variety of grape drink beverages and test them against the horrible summer heat. I will grade them on Flavor, Mouthfeel, Thirst Quench, Packaging, and Arbitrary Impressions. There will be technical jargon bandied about, and an air of scientific study will be apparent. So put on your eye goggles, sneer enthusiasts, because I’m going Purple Drank Sippin’!
There are aspects of the human condition which baffle me. I mean, I have most of it all figured out, of course, but I admit some things make no sense to me. And there are things going on in our societies that seem like they are poorly thought out, and maybe even ill-advised. What is everyone thinking!
Most of us can agree that there are big things that are wrong. Big wrong things that nevertheless a lot of people partake in, such as racism, homophobia, murder, and so on. I will not speak further on those. I am here today to talk about the little things that aren’t hurting anyone but me and my brain. What are you people doing? Why!
I always like to consider myself as “timeless.” I am Amanda Wood no matter what decade or location I am in, and that’s fine by me! Sometimes, though, I do feel like I might be very “90s” about things. It was the ten year span that I was an impressionable teen, so it makes sense that it would leave its stain on me for the rest of my life. And really, with hindsight making things clearer, it is probably a symptom of the ’90s to feel as though you were alone, or in any way apart from the others. A generation of alienated youths probably didn’t have a solid cohort base. I know buzzfeed makes a lot of lists that only ’90s Kids Would Understand, but I often wonder which of us would even bother making that kind of thing?
As an old person now, I derive a little satisfaction seeing that my classmates don’t really want to bother setting up class reunions. We kept the friends we wanted to keep. No one really wants to put forth that kind of effort, anyway. None of us really wants to awkwardly see how much we’ve aged or discuss shattered dreams or whatever. It’s nice. Thanks, class of ’98. I probably like you all better because it turns out we were all as antisocial as I thought only I was! Bonding from afar.
With that in mind, I always planned to preface this article with a disclaimer saying that my impression of the ’90s is probably extremely personal and just one tiny rare facet that is nothing like anyone else’s experience. But, no. I had a teen time probably like everyone else’s, at least in rural Ohio. I’ve heard it suggested that rural Ohio is kind of surprisingly horrible in many ways, so maybe the rest of you dear readers had some sort of decade of playing in flower fields and volunteering your time to good causes. Well la dee da, sunshine. Good for you.
Being a girl is one of the best things ever to happen to me. My gender allows me to live in a pink world filled with unicorns, kittens, pillows, sweets, and all manner of nice things. I get to Girl Talk, rely on boys to lift heavy objects for me, and to remove insects from my sight. Also, for a few days every month, I get to be a hyper-emotional psycho with very little in the way of consequences – whether I want to be or not! Other girls understand and allow it (unless they are also in that time of the Most Terrible of Cycles), and boys understand just enough to try to ignore it. This bittersweet reward is known as the P.M.S.
This article isn’t going to be a guide for helping boys to better cope and appease the women in their lives during this bleak moment. Every girl houses a specific, unique, terrible tapestry of physical and psychological destruction, and it changes with every month. So it is nigh impossible to write a comprehensive list on how you could meet your lady friends’ needs. It just isn’t going to happen, fellas.