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.
Step One: Find a Festival
Now that you’re successfully out of your house and ready to step into the exciting world of festivals, which really isn’t very exciting in the least, you’ll first need to find a fall festival that is right for you. Your best bet is to look on some sort of calendar that lists public events. You’ll know you’ve found the right thing when you notice every other day on the calendar is listed with “the Black Bear Moon of the River Festival” or “the Moon of the Black Bear River Festival” or “the Black River Bear Moon Festival.” It doesn’t really matter which festival you pick, since they are all the exact same. Once you have decided on which festival you want to attend, get in your car, and begin crying until you can safely justify what you’re doing without any further crying.
Getting to the festival will probably take at least five or six hours, since most festivals are held in towns so small that, if not for this one festival, no one would ever know it ever existed, and would probably be accidentally used for a nuclear testing grounds. It may take a while for you to find the festival once you get there also. Even though most of these towns are only about twenty feet in total diameter, they have to cram as much as they can into that space. The town may consist of three buildings and a main street, but you will absolutely need to walk five miles from your parking place in an abandoned dirt field to get there.
Step Two: Watch Out for Crowds
Once you arrive at the festival, you will probably notice that half the world’s population has decided to gather there also. It doesn’t help that most festivals are held in areas where the population was never supposed to grow over 100 people. So you can imagine the chaos when approximately six million people all visit the place at the exact same time. People will tell you that the best time to go to festivals is when you can avoid the crowds. If someone ever tells you this, it is recommended that you stick them in the neck, because they have obviously never been to a festival. If they had been to one, they would know that there is no such thing as a time when the festival isn’t crowded, as there are only two types of festival crowds:
- A really fucking massive crowd
- A larger crowd than the above.
To negotiate your way through the masses of people, it is probably best that you simply not try to fight your way through the crowd. Instead, just follow the crowd wherever it goes, letting it take you along, as if you’ve been thrown into a rushing river and have no way of escape. This is actually a fairly accurate description, except that if you were in a river, you would probably feel better knowing that you will eventually smash your head on a large rock and drown. That won’t be the case at a festival though, as you will most likely simply be staring at the dirty Nascar shirt that the large ogreish man in front of you is wearing for several hours.
Step Three: Don’t Buy the Food
One thing you will surely notice about the festival is the food. It’s everywhere. No matter what street you go down, or dark alley you attempt to hide in, there will always likely be a vendor there trying to sell you their latest food-like creations. Festival food should generally be avoided at all costs. Sure it may smell really good, but it’s almost guaranteed that anything you eat will take at least five years off your total lifespan, thanks to the fact that all the food there seems to be cooked in the stomach of a pig. It’s the only way I can explain the amount of fat and grease that is oozing out of everything you buy.
If however you decide that you must indulge yourself in one of the fine delicacies that the festival offers, then try to find the food shanty that is the least decrepit looking. Also avoid any food places that have names that seem to clog your heart by just reading them. Like, “Miss Piggy’s BBQ and Beef Sauerkraut Palace” or “Deep Fried Giant Tenderloin With A Side of More Deep Fried Giant Tenderloin.” Once you have found the stand least likely to cause massive coronary damage, approach the stand, avoiding the several million bees that have taken up residence directly in front of your face. Then point to whatever it is you want on the menu, and wait for the concessionist to not listen to you, and give you whatever the fuck he wants to give you. Then you’ll need to find a nice place to eat your food, which will probably be in the middle of about seven thousand people.
Step Four: Don’t Buy Anything
The true meaning of holding festivals isn’t about the history of a town or some other bullshit story that supposedly goes along with it. The real reason festivals are held is for low-brow merchants to make a profit off of their wares that no one on Earth would ever buy anywhere else. Festivals seem to have some kind effect on people’s brain, causing them to see things like life-size wooden replicas of mailboxes, and instantly purchasing six of them for thousands of dollars without so much as a thought as to why they shouldn’t.
Truth be told, virtually everything you find for sale at festivals are total junk, except possibly Art Festivals — but we aren’t that fancy ’round these parts. Festivals are basically like one huge yard sale, except most normal yard sales do not horribly overprice the junk they’re trying to sell. It’s not surprising to go into a festival and find things that would normally be in the corner of someone’s basement, being declared a collector’s item by the surly festival people, and being sold for over a hundred dollars. Your best bet is to simply not bring any money with you at all just to be safe, in hopes that the evil festival nerve-toxin doesn’t get in your brain.
Step Five: Don’t Play Any Games
One of the biggest attractions when going to festivals is the unavoidable lure of playing games that would almost assuredly be outlawed if they were held anywhere near the actual civilized world. Whether it be the timeless classics like bobbing for random things in a barrel full of nine day old water, or winning various barnyard animals by throwing a ball into a cup, you simply can’t go wrong with festival games.
The only problem is that these festival games appear to be pretty simple upon first glance, but in actuality have been produced in a way that no matter how many times you try, you will never, ever be able to win. Ever. Let’s take myself as an example. I recently took a trip out to a festival, and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed this little game:
This lady was standing in a pin full of baby rabbits, and a single pool that had floating cups that floated around the outside of the pool. The object was you get five ping pong balls for one dollar. If you got one of the balls into the cups, you won a baby bunny. Sounds cute, doesn’t it? It also sounds like a terrible life decision (for all lives concerned). Well, I simply couldn’t imagine my life without a baby rabbit for one second longer, so I threw my dollar at the lady and received my five ping pong balls. I figured this would be relatively easy, me being a city boy and all. My vast brain skill far outmatched the local yokels, who all seemed to be having more fun throwing the ping pong balls at the baby rabbits instead of the cups. I also noted that I was less than five feet of the pool itself, and I could probably knock that down a couple more feet if I cheated, which I most assuredly will do. My dollar will surely be well spent.
About five dollars later I started realizing that my ping pong ball must be filled with some type of substance that makes it fly 60 feet in the air if it even so much as glances off one of the cups. I was beginning to think that any type of actual aiming would not work, and was starting to realize that the yokels had already learned this, and were probably throwing the balls at the rabbits to exact their revenge on their cruel, evil game. You know, instead of just pelting the woman running it until she grew a soul.After my last ping pong ball hit the inside of the cup and then deflected into a car’s windshield forty feet away, I decided to give up. I realized I had fallen victim to the evil festival mentality, and had been taken of my money from something that I would have laughed at if it had been anywhere near the city. It’s unfortunate really, those rabbits were damn cute.
Step Six: Just Leave
Once you’ve seen everything the festival has to offer, it’s probably best that you leave before things get any worse. You’ve already eaten a barbecue patty that seemed to be made out of pure fat, bought a six hundred dollar heating vent, and spent sixty dollars bobbing for beer cans, so there’s really not that much more you should probably get into. This has probably been more than enough for you to sit and contemplate for the next year in your house. Or at least until next fall and you decide to do it all over again. That’s the one thing about festivals, no matter how close you come to anger, death, or wanting to shoot brain-eating diseases into everyone’s head while you’re there, you always seem to want to go back for more. If not just to look forward to leaving while you’re there.
So get out of the house for once this fall, and take part in your local culture by buying lots of shit you don’t need, and getting fat. And there’s not a place on Earth you can do it better than at your local fall festival. Strap yourself in a car, grab a map, and just drive until you find one. Or until you fall asleep and run head on into a tree. Either way, the end result will probably be the same for whatever you choose.