Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Writhing Throng of Humanity

Otherwise known as the Taste of Chicago.

On Sunday some friends and I decided to brave the masses and hit the Taste before settling in along the lakefront to watch the fireworks. Having never been to the Taste before, (I know, I know, another unpardonable admission of a life-long Chicagoland dweller) , I didn't know exactly what I was getting myself into. Had I known, I would have stayed far, far away.

What is it about a turkey leg that turns a crowd of people into frenzied animals? And when did the promise of a funnel cake come to be considered worthy of enduring the indignities of being bumped, groped, elbowed, trampled upon, ogled, splashed with beer, run over by strollers, and smeared with other people's sweat? I'm not sure, but there I was...Charity and I had 9 tickets left between the two of us, and we wanted a funnel cake.

I gritted my teeth, eyed the layout of the throng from my slightly advantageous 6-foot vantage point, and edged my way in toward the funnel cake booth. I had good intentions of maintaining my own manners amidst the abandonment of all civilized behavior, but after a few minutes pure survival instincts took over and it was every man, woman, and poor exhausted, overheated kid carted around in a stroller for him/her/poorkidself. I am proud to report that after half an hour of battling the pulsing crowd, I emerged victorious with my funnel cake held high. To my chagrin I admit to entertaining a brief thought of dropping a shoulder and taking out the drunk guy to my right who kept yelling, "Poison Ivy here! Or it might be Poison Sumac!" in a pathetic attempt to buy himself some room. The first time he called out, I might have been mildly amused at his ingenuity. By the 20th time, my thoughts were tumbling in with a Ralph Cramden accent, "Why, I oughta Sumac you!"

On a happier note, the fireworks were pretty.

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