The programme for Greekfest was interesting as well. In among all the adverts
for local businesses that were sponsoring it was a special message from some
reverend or other. Instead of telling everybody “Come to Greekfest,
drink Ouzo, stagger home”, he went into a big spiel about “The
communities we live in are saddled with crime, prejudice, violence and death.
The cities and towns we live in are dangerous and violent.”. And then
he added “Enjoy Greekfest” at the end of it to keep everyone
cheerful. Terrific. If he wants to know what dangerous and violent is then
he should have ventured into the back of the Dream Machine the morning after
I had polished off the plate of spicy octopus!
In the Midwest there are a group of ‘entertainers’ that go around the different minor league teams strutting their funky stuff during the games. One suspicious looking bloke is called Myron Noodleman (I don’t know what he does but if I had any kids I wouldn’t let them within touching distance of him), there is Jake the Diamond Dog (a dog!), and Birdzerk (a ‘nationally known on-field entertainer known for his outrageous antics). But tonight we were blessed with an appearance of the Zooperstars. It’s difficult to describe them, but basically they are people in oversized foam animal costumes that dance, fight each other, fall into players, etc. they all have corny names based on famous baseball players (Shark McGwire, Clammy Sosa, etc.), and three of them (a giraffe, a clam and some kind of fish) did a convincing Backstreet Boys dance routine, practically indistinguishable from the real thing.
There was another (this time successful) “Marry me?” request from some love struck bloke in the crowd. A baseball game seems such an unromantic place to propose, but maybe he was going to make up for it by taking his new wife-to-be to the local Hooters to celebrate. And there was an interesting variation on the giveaways when dolly birds fire t-shirts into the crowd, as they would occasionally replace a t-shirt with a water balloon, soaking the scrabbling recipients. Well, it amused me anyway!
Fort Wayne’s other claim to fame is the Mastodon; a glorified prehistoric
elephant. To commemorate finding a Mastodon skeleton a while ago, the city
has asked more than a hundred local companies to sponsor artists decorating
fibreglass Mastodons in different ways, giving each one a corny name along
the way. All of them are currently on show in the city centre and make an
interesting spectacle, and once the summer is over they will be auctioned
off for charity. So if you feel that the only thing your house is missing
is a large Mastodon, then you know where to get one!