Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Stampede Adventures

Ten days of carnies, crazies, and poor life choices - all battered, chocolate dipped, and deep fried on a stick. Welcome to the Calgary Stampede folks! How does one know the self proclaimed 'Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth' is here? Five tell-tale signs:

1) The flesh parade in the streets is like a fully stocked fresh meat display at Safeway (think a mixture of lean steaks, rump roasts, and far too much jiggly head cheese).

2) Inhibitions are inhibited. In other words, watch for a spike in regret and birth rates 9 months from now.

3) Every man, woman, and dog is now a cowboy. Seriously, Asian cowboys. About as authentic as Chicken Balls and Egg Rolls.

4) The Miracle Shammy man swindles you out of your life savings because you can't say no to a 2-for-1 deal (and so you buy 5 sets - YEEHAW, 10 Shammies!)

5) The hopelessly outmatched 8 year olds get their dreams crushed at Whac-a-mole by yours truly.

Our day at the Stampede begins with a bus full of Asians. Why? Well because it was Free Admission before 9:30am on Sunday, of course! No caucasian would be brave or stupid enough to compete for a spot on the early shuttles to the grounds with a marauding horde of my kinfolk en route. Don't ever stand in the way of us and FREE anything.

We arrive, and load up on carbs (sugared mini-donuts) for energy and optimal mental fortitude to compete at midway games. Anita apparently doesn't understand nutrition (or the concept of blending in), and instead opts for a veggie falafel. I'm surprised they didn't throw us out right then and there. Who goes to the Stampede and orders vegetarian fare? That's like ordering medium rare baby giraffe steaks at a PETA fundraiser.

Next up, Whac-a-mole, wherein a few kids and a lot of adults leave empty handed, as I demonstrate my mad one handed whacking skillz. Wait... er... nevermind. Moving on.

We wander aimlessly for hours, taking in the smells (smoked turkey legs! fresh horse poo!), sights (endless flesh spectacle - a fleshtacle?), and sounds ("Step right up! 5 dollars per game wins your choice of handmade (in a gruelling sweatshop!) stitched plush toy"), before finally tiring and breaking for lunch.

Later in the afternoon, the mother-in-law spots a TD bank giving away FREE bandanas - all you have to do is yell "YAAAAAAHOOOO" into a microphone. While it's bad karma to poke fun at your mother-in-law, I got a good laugh when she attempted, but her lack of English speaking ability made her scream YAAAA WOOOO... Twice. Hilarious. Times 2. But hey, a FREE bandana is a FREE bandana (which she won't ever use). But it was FREE!

Before retiring for the day, I indulge in another healthy snack in the form of a deep fried twinkie on a stick, covered in powered sugar and drizzled with chocolate. Only, it wasn't truly a Twinkie, but tasted like a knockoff. A Twonkie?

Enjoy some photos.
Friends on Film-4

Friends on Film-5

Stampede 2013

photo 1

B&W photos shot with a Pentax 6x7, Takumar SMC 105mm/f2.4, on Ilford HP5+. Processed in Ilfosol 3 at 68 deg. C for 6.25 minutes.

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