Time once again for the annual Carytown Watermelon Festival, and
because RoG has finally escaped the black hole known as Richmond, he
had asked me to go and cover it this year. So I grabbed my friends
Rachael and Sam to serve as human shields to deflect any rednecks I
may have angered, and we were on our way! I should say first off that
I fucking hate watermelons, them being one of the only foods that
cause me to become violently ill upon consumption. I don't think I'm
allergic to them, I just really hate them. But hey, don't blame me, I
can't help what my taste buds say or do, so don't hold me accountable
for their actions. Fortunately, there's always plenty to see and do at
the festival that isn't watermelon related.
Like last year, the festival was filled with wall to wall people,
because there isn't a lot of excitement that goes on around these
parts, so we tend to take what we can get. Also, like last year, there
was a crab cake booth, which (surprise, surprise) I didn't see anybody
The problem with the insane numbers of people at this thing is that
parking anywhere near Carytown is hard to come by, so you either have
to drive around in circles until you get lucky or prepare to walk more
than a few blocks. This asshole on the next street over from the
festival made sure that no one parked on the public, city property in
front of their house! No sir! No way, no how, dag nabbit!
Continuing that theme, we saw this sign for sale at one of the first
booths we came across. Maybe if that jackass the next block over had
this bad boy in front of their house, I wouldn't have felt like
writing their address down and referring them to every Mormon,
Jehovah's Witness, Scientologist, and NAMBLA chapter in the area. Oh,
how very sad for them.
This same place had all these weird hats for sale, and though it's
hard to see in this picture, this particular hat had a weird strip of
fur running along the side. I initially thought that was the front of
the hat, but my friends assured me that I had it in the correct
Speaking of "orientation", I'm not exactly sure what this sign was
about, but my friends really wanted me to stand next to it so they
could take a picture for some reason.
BUNNY SOLDIER SALUTES YOU! Oddly, this thing had a price tag on
it, which means that somebody was crazy enough to think that somebody
would be crazy enough to buy it. I did not look at the price tag,
because if it had been listed as more than $0.01, I would have become
Sadly, this sign really kind of says it all as far as the locals are
This crazy guy was selling a bizarre range of stuff, from relatively
normal t-shirts, trinkets and jewelry to plastic skull-themed swords,
little plastic coffins, and what I can only imagine is a paper weight:
Come to think of it, I should have bought that for the office. Nothing
ensures that you'll make the "right" kind of friends at work like a
skull ‘n crossbones (but with daggers actually filling in for the
crossbones instead) paper weight!
What's really weird though is that among all this skull-themed,
generally "piratey" stuff, he was also selling these creepy baby
dolls. I don't really understand the connection there, but I'd love to
know this guy's thought process when he's ordering inventory.
The McDonalds in Carytown had this little trailer set up outside (also
a water cooler with paper cups, and I discovered a hair floating in my
water immediately after pouring it... "gotta love it!") with
Ronald McDonald and a Smile-o-Meter. Upon seeing this, I knew that I
would HAVE to get my picture taken with Ronald and the Smile-o-Meter.
Unfortunately, as soon as Ronald looked up and saw me making a beeline
for the trailer, he immediately pulled the curtains and went back
inside. Oh, what--I'm too old for smiles? Fuck you, Ronald.
Fuck you and the Grimace you rode in on.
Then we came across these guys playing music on the side of the
street. The singer sounded something like an epileptic hyena riding a
Sybian (and if you don't know what that is, kids, be sure to ask your
mom!). Some drunk guy approached me and started telling me that this
chick was the best songwriter in Richmond. Hell, I've never even
written a song and I'm pretty sure I'm a better songwriter at her,
just by virtue of never having subjected the world to one.
I don't know what "butterfly fries" are, but I'm pretty sure I don't
want to try them. Perhaps they used to be "caterpillar chips"? Ho ho!
You can't see me, but I'm slapping my knee right now!
We then came across this cardboard cutout where you stick your head in
the holes and take pictures, and it's absurd, right, because you'd
like never in a million years find yourself in that situation,
and that makes it funny, right? I know what you're thinking, why
didn't I get my picture taken in the cutout? Because it cost $2, and I
wasn't about to spend two of the six duckets I had in my wallet on a
goddamned picture when I hadn't bought dinner yet. But if it'll make
you happy, I'll provide you with a really bad half-assed Photoshop of
it, and we can all pretend:
Ignore the part where the top of my head is "missing". It seems
slightly more real that way.
There were a lot of people walking their dogs around the festival, but
this punk rock poodle was by far the craziest.
There was some booth offering prizes on this wheel if you landed on
one of the business cards, and this kid was real excited about
spinning it. Sorry Timmy, I think you're gonna end up real
disappointed at the stock option advice or free financial consultation
you just won off of that thing.
Sorry, charlatan, you won't fool me so easily! A "hand painted" photo
is just a picture that somebody's kid attacked and ruined with a box
of finger paints.
This guy was just WAY too happy about whatever he was singing. It
sounded like pseudo-religious crap, but as soon as I heard words
coming out of his mouth I moved the other way very fast and didn't
stick around to listen.
I don't know why any girl would want to wear a skirt with watermelons
on it, unless they were being stalked by someone and they wanted to
repel him with "anti-sexiness". I guess that would be pretty
FINALLY! BATH TIME WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!
THANK YOU, GOD! AT LONG
These guys amused me because it's like they couldn't decide if they
were a punk band or a hippy jam band. And it's not like I could tell
one way or another either. I just settled on "suck" and moved onward.
We came across these guys playing this insane "super" chess game on
the street. Regular chess takes long enough! I can't imagine who'd
have the time to play this, but still, it looks pretty cool.
Yes, in fact this woman did sound as painfully constipated as
she looks! BE VERY GLAD THAT PICTURES DO NOT MAKE SOUND.
I don't really understand this whole "pirate/watermelon" theme I saw
in several places, but this store did have a pretty cool display in
their window. But if I was a pirate and the only "booty" we were
plundering was a chest full of watermelons, I think I'd be jumping
ship pretty quick.
A Care Bear, a Spider-Man, and a Power Rangers piñata? I must be in
heaven! Except I really don't give a shit about the Care Bear or Power
Ranger. Okay, maybe not heaven. Maybe Purgatory. Or just a store with
I really never did watch the Care Bears.
My sister did, and I just walked by and saw the screen a couple times,
but that's IT!
There's a great little shop in Carytown called World of Mirth, and
they had all kinds of wonderful crazy shit at their booth, including
what is probably the gayest board game I've ever seen.
The perfect way to scare your daughter into developing a crippling
This little guy wasn't from the World of Mirth store booth, but he's kind of
weird, so let's pretend he was! Still though, I have to wonder how
"magical" a double-amputee gnome is if he can't even whip up a simple
spell to grow his arms back.
And of course, what trip to the Watermelon Festival would be complete
without taking a look at all the rides that I'm too big to get on
without popping them under my mighty adult weight!
I'll bet you couldn't find a kid in the world who wouldn't trade their
real house for this balloon one in a heartbeat.
This crayon castle really should have had a sea of crayons for the
children to swim in, like Scrooge McDuck and his swimming pool full of
money. Hell, maybe I should go into designing kids' rides.
And last but not least, how could we forget everyone's favorite Vagina
Monkey, returning once again from last year? Yes, a quick tour through
this monkey's inner workings will teach a kid far more than a simple
speech about the birds and the bees ever could.
Well, there you have it! All of the wackiness of the 2006 Carytown
Watermelon Festival without all the drunken redneck brawling, the
blistering heat, and the wonderful smell of rotting Chinese food
steaming in the sun! I hope you enjoyed our tour, because you're sure
as hell not getting a refund!
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