Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
It’s that time again! The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of Hoosier pride, farming, food, and 4-H, with amusement park rides and big-ticket concerts by musicians that other people love. My wife and I attend each year as a date-day to seek new forms of creativity and imagination within a local context.
When Mom took me to the fair back in the day, I hated, hated, hated walking around the exhibit halls. For me the carnival rides, games, and snacks were the only reasons for its existence. I had no use wandering the 4-H Building looking at posters drawn and pasted together by other children. The farm-product contest entries in the Agricultural/Horticultural Building were mostly vegetables and therefore The Enemy. The dresses on display in the Home & Family Arts Building were obviously not my thing. Sometimes the art and the photography were okay, but only if they painted or took pictures of really cool things such as super-heroes or toys. But the adults were in charge and I followed my marching orders, in exchange for promises of actual fun and games.
My adult perspective has flip-flopped. Rides hurt now. All the games are scams except the water-pistol races, but I don’t have much use for stuffed animals anymore. The State Fair hasn’t brought in a video arcade in years. Meanwhile, sometimes in those formerly boring buildings are lovingly crafted, inspired little treasures if you know where to look.
I was in 4-H for only a year back in fourth grade, but I never progressed to creating anything one-tenth as cool as my own battle-damaged Iron Man mask.
A Yoda marionette hangs out with one of the more self-aware displays of Hoosier art. If you still think of Indiana as “Naptown” or as a land of endless cornfields or a yokel breeding ground, please note we do have our share of castes and cliques in addition to those things. We also do our best not to make fun of Kentucky while in polite company.
Meanwhile over in the Ag/Hort Building, the annual canned-food sculpture featured several entrants of distinguished tastes. Note the use of canned chili in the making of this TARDIS. It’s spicier on the inside.
“Do you want to build a snowman?
Can we make him out of cans?
We have no snow right now, poor snowman,
Please forgive us! Love, Your Fans!”
Kermit driving a Zamboni on behalf of the Indy Fuel, our city’s new minor-league hockey team. The canned-food sculpture contest is pretty much sculpt-what-ya-like as long as you include one State Fair connection, tenuous or otherwise, so we’ll see some unusual combos at times.
Fans of those good-time oldies will be tickled to know the Beatles won the contest.
Among the few entries not based on merchandisable characters was a canned ice skate, slicing across a rink made of bottled water. Bottles aren’t strictly cans, but the judges allowed it and we’ll stand by their decision.
Not everything in this entry is strictly geek-level, but I’d like to think breakdancing scarecrow deserves a little cred for something.
Who doesn’t love Legos? Show of hands? How about Lego World War I? If that set had been around when I was a kid…well, okay, I wouldn’t have asked for it, but it’s cool that the clever kid who designed this diorama went all-out proactive. Writing “WWI Legos” at the top of the Christmas list would’ve done no good.
Wrapping up today’s segment: Benny, one of several breakout stars from The LEGO Movie. I have no idea why he’s nowhere near a spaceship. This diorama may be a snapshot from a Benny fanfic in which he journeys throughout time and reality to find a place where he’ll have the right to build and own just one lousy spaceship in peace. Good luck with that, Benny, wherever you are.
To be concluded!
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Other chapters in this slow-burn MCC miniseries: