Valley of Rednecks

you can fix anything with duct tape

This weekend was the annual event of drunken rednecks, questionable taste in clothing, rusty carnival rides, a beauty pageant and a parade with my love of people watching.

Yes, it was time for the Valley of Flowers!
This year’s event was just as good as any I have experienced, except it is Monday and my face still hurts.
My husband and I kicked off the weekend by visiting the Knights of Columbus Beer Garden, where we watched a man dressed in all camouflage repeatedly try to poke his girlfriend/sister in the face, complain about the lack of Budweiser (they were only serving Bud Light) and nearly tumble over on his way to the ferris wheel. The thing that bothers me the most about the beer garden is the number of infants. People wheel their strollers right in to the beer garden and site there with their buddies pounding beers and blowing secondhand smoke in their babies’ faces. Yikes.
After we had made fun of enough people, my husband dragged me reluctantly to a ride called Pharaoh’s Fury. I’m not sure what this Pharaoh had to be so angry about, but he was very upset. The ride made me nearly lose the soft pretzel I had just eaten. The scariest part of the ride came at the end though, when I noticed the duct tape holding the “safety bars” in place. Ok, maybe it wasn’t holding the bar in place, but the fact that there was a need for repairs made with duct tape at all made me very nervous.
Satisfied with all of the people watching for one night, we headed back to the car. Lo and behold, the joy was not over. We found this GEM parked just a few cars over from us.
Luckily, we still had the camera phone out, so we snapped up a quick photo so we could study it later to try to deduce what kind of fairy, bat, angel woman this was. Is she good or evil? Is she real or fantasy? Intriguing, isn’t it? There was a phone number and the name of the artist on the back of the car. If you are interested in having a similar work of art on your Chrysler’s hood, just let me know and I will give you the number.
Saturday, we skipped the fair and went to a friend’s beautiful wedding.
Sunday, it was time for my favorite event–the parade!
Some people think parades are for losers. I disagree. Parades are some of the happiest moments EVER. For the past few years, my husband has been asked to pull a float in the parade. The past two years, he was asked to pull my alma mater’s float. (Last year, he built the entire float himself and won first place.) This year, he was only responsible for pulling it. I was excited because this meant I got to ride on the fender of the tractor through the parade. If you have never ridden on the fender of a tractor, you are missing out. It is the most fun place on the tractor. I rode the entire time waving like a pageant queen soaking up all of the glory of the parade, imagining that all those people came out just to see me.
By the time I got home, I realized that something was just not right. Not right at all. My face was hurting pretty badly. My arms were bright red. And my scalp, well let’s just say thin hair is no protection against the sun.
Despite a wicked sunburn requiring massive amounts of aloe and ibuprofen, and leaving an indelible outline of my sunglasses on my face, I had a great time this weekend. The Valley of Flowers is always fun. I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

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