Tuesday, December 28, 2004

strategy and outright assault

Christmas time again. The perfect in and out: Thursday evening to Sunday evening.

I'm from south central wisconsin. My sister and I agreed that we have not done justice to accurately describing it to people who haven't been there. It's simply way weirder than than I remember. I can't totally put my finger on it even now. Combine hick with ignorance with being five to eight years behind the current cultural curve with being twenty pounds overweight with being racist with being divorced at 26 with living in a microchasm of small thought where nothing will ever happen ever.

It was super weird for me to grow up there because I knew that it was fucked up and that I would eventually grow up and leave. I knew this when I was 12 years old.

Let me put it this way: when I was in high school the two coolest things you could do or be a part of was the football team or Future Farmers of America. The football team wasn't even that good: just a lot of fat shit kicking hicks mistaking 245 lbs of fat for muscle and a losing record. Future Farmers of America because there were so many farmers in school and it was a point of pride to raise holsteins (holsteins are cows). And then the Ku Klux Klan came out of the shadows in the early 90's and papered my high school parking lot to recruit young members. Then they began to hold public demonstrations (you know, "cross burnings"). There was a mild, somewhat silent acceptance of it all.

Usually that last paragraph sums it up for most people, but it's gotten way weirder in my opinion.

One night last week my dad gave me $20 and told me to go buy a chess set because the one we'd had growing up had gone missing. I like playing chess with my dad because his game involves a happy medium of strategy and outright assault.

I drove to the mall. I love going to the mall in town because it is a representation of the region's pop culture... or, minimally pop cultural aspiration. They got a GAP and a Victoria's Secret for the first time last year. Wilson's Leather came in the year before. This is happening. Looking for a chess board proved to be no challenge when I came across GO: The Board Game Store. I don't know how they plan to stay in business by only selling $12 board games, but maybe they didn't get that far in their business plan (assuming they have a business plan).

GO: The Board Game Store sold three types of chess boards: shitty wood, glass and Lord of the Rings. I went with the glass set up. Pulling it out of the case, it didn't look like it only cost $15. It looked like it cost $20.

Next door to GO: The Board Game Store is a place that sells renaissance fair/Lord of the Rings shit like swords and magic staffs and coffee table wizards and ninja throwing stars. I told my sisters about it because I was so taken with it, and on Sunday they went to the store with a camera. The guy behind the counter let them take a pair samurai swords off the wall and then snapped a few photos of them in combat. I'll try to post them here when I see them.

I told my friend Bob about the renaissance fair store. He knew all about it. He and his wife went there and bought some nunchucks and a krull knife edged throwing star for her brother for Christmas. Bob's wife asked the guy behind the counter if she needed to sign anything because she was purchasing some razor edged weaponry and nunchucks, and he said "No. Why would you? It's not like a gun a nothing."


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