Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools!

Aw c’mon! You didn’t really believe that our great state of Tennessee would tax our yarn shopping with an entertainment tax, did ya?

Growing up around these here parts, the Heartland Series was part of my landscape, and it had a tradition of airing joke episodes about this time of year, every year. Not just on the day of April’s Fools, but they started a few days leading up to it. They’d show us some outrageous thing, documentary-style, as if it were the gawd’s truth. And every year, some folks would fall for one of ‘em.

What made them work so beautifully is something that’s known to all southerners, not just the blue-collared comedians. “Country-Dumb” is the ingenious tactic of playing to an outsider’s perception that you’re stupid, and usually to your advantage be it in commerce or a joke. Pigeon Forge makes a killin’ off of being professionally country-dumb. You tell somebody of an idea so foreign and unbelievable, but with such belief and ‘honest’ passion, that you intrigue them. In the south, we pronounce the word ‘intrigue’ as ‘hook.’ Once you’ve hooked ‘em, why, you reel ‘em in, of course. And the Heartland Series once got a friend of mine, but good!

She was newly arrived to these parts from New York City, and very enamored of southern Appalachian ways, almost as much as she was of southern Appalachian real estate prices. She and I hit it off pretty good, turning our own respective accents up a notch or two for the other’s comedic benefit. She would try to pronounce ‘shit fire’ and I would try to say ‘ax’ instead of ‘ask’ and things like, “I’m just bustin’ yer chops.” All we had to do was get within a few feet of each other to start giggling like school girls over how we talk.

But one day, she came into where we worked talking very excitedly about something she had seen on the local news channel. She had seen the Heartland episode (that always followed our local news show) about plugging a lamp into a potato, and, by using the power of bio-magnetics (or some such), the lamp would light! She then went on to describe how they showed some men in the woods plugging a chain saw into a tree . . . to power it enough to cut down the tree!
I remember staring at her, absolutely stunned at the idea that she might’ve actually fell for it. I mean, she was an otherwise intelligent woman, for Pete’s sake! And part of me was suspicious that she was trying her own hand at playing country-dumb. But no. She adamantly defended what she was saying with, “But it was on the news! On TV!”

I had to pull her aside, away from the guffaws of the others, and explain to her the Heartland Series was not the news, but just story tellin’, and about the concept of country dumb. As someone with some science background, I also had to tell her how it was not really possible to power her appliances by forcing their plugs into vegetables. It was just a joke. And the show does that for about a week every year.

She didn’t want to admit to being fooled so badly, so we just never spoke of it again.
Well, at least she didn’t.

Knitters’ humor, however, is altogether different. No particular flavor or style, or boundaries of any kind. Anything goes amongst our knitters. I was both a witness and the blessed by this fact, last Sunday at our knitting group. Mary Beth surprised me with her own version of the Blue-Footed Boobie.

It now resides on my ‘puter desk, where it gives me a case of the giggles every time I see it!

Our fellow Fertile Turtle, Kristine, delivered her pink-footed son this past week, and proudly announced him as her most recent FO on the Ravelry boards – congratulations!

My knitting is half in the now and half in the future, as is most knitters’ work. It’s our nature. As I’m listening to the audio book and working on current things, I’m thinking about the next project so much, I’m practically already knitting it in my head. It’s going to be the Chandler’s Vest by Suzy Winkelblech. You know the pattern that Carol had recently finished working? I wanted to do this right, so I looked for the designer in Ravelry and in a Google search. I got nothing. But her email address was on Carol’s pattern, so I just emailed the designer.

I asked about how to buy a copy, and she hooked me right up, even sending it along before receiving the payment for it. With it, I got a sweet hand-written note and an extra photo of a finished model. And we’ve emailed back and forth a few times over it. Ya know, this sort of extra, human-to-human contact makes doing things right so worth it. That was five bucks I was very proud and glad to spend. It did right by her and by me making an acquaintance out of someone whose work I’m going to enjoy. She sells her patterns at the Stitches events, so if you ever see her, take the time to say hi.

This upcoming Sunday is Easter, so I don’t reckon us Fertile Turtles will be meeting at the local bookstore. However, a metric butt ton of ham and devil’d eggs shall be consumed, some knitting will be done at home, and I might squeeze in a dungeon or two with my Warcraft guild mates. I promise y’all this: I will not stick any plugs into the tater salad! A spoon, maybe . . .

Oh, by the way dear guild mates . . . I did not vendor those epic items that the Armory says I did. It's just their Aprils Fools thingy, like making all my toons look like Tuskar with maxed fishing for a profession. Sheesh!

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