One of my latest hobbies and pastimes has been to peruse the Daily Herald's comment forum. It leads to great and entertaining reading because you have far extreme right wingers and far extreme left wingers and they engage in name calling. It's a hoot.
Anyway, today, I was reading the comments on an article about Keith Barton, the poor lawyer who, after embezzling from his law firm to the extent that he almost drove it under, is unfortunately having to sell his multi-million dollar house. Of course, why this is a top news item, I don't know. However the discussion about it has been entertaining. And then, the happiness of all happinesses, we are treated to the following post by Diane Rudding:
I am the mother of four and grandmother of six and I think that it is a shame that the Barton's are moving. Paul, my husband, and I love driving through town and gawking at the elegant enormity of their home. It is so relaxing for me to look at beautiful homes; it is almost like looking at good art. Sometimes, there is nothing more soothing than sitting in front of a Rembrandt or a Norman Rockefeller and just losing yourself in the incredible use of color and shape.
Paul used to love to go to art exhibits and museums with me, so much so that it became somewhat of a monthly tradition for us. He now refuses to go because of a bad experience we had one year at the Alpine Arts Festival.
The kids were adolescents and so they went off with their friends to visit the assortment of booths. Paul and I sat and watched the various musical performances for a while and soon after decided to get something to eat and browse through the booths. Everything was going fine until we were unable to find the Churro cart. Paul is a huge Churro lover and claims that he can smell them from a mile away.
When we couldn't find the Churro cart, Paul decided to ask around at every booth to see if anybody knew where it was. Unfortunately no one had seen a Churro cart, but Paul was convinced there was one there somewhere. I could see that Paul was getting upset, but I wasn't sure if it was because he hadn't eaten anything or if he was mad at the crowd (he gets angry when he is around a large gathering of people). When the person at the last booth said that he hadn't seen anyone eating churros, Paul blurted out, "Listen, I have a churro sense--I know they're here. I can smell the cinnamon!" The man suggested Paul talk to the Festival Director, so that is exactly what he did. I pretty much stayed out of the whole thing, because I have learned through the years that Paul gets what he wants, and little old me getting in his way would be like a kitty cat taking on a sixteen wheeler.
Paul finally tracked down the Festival Director at one of the candy apple carts. By this time Paul was furious and demanded that he know where they were hiding the Churro cart. The Director calmly informed us that the Churro Chief, as they called him, had to attend a wedding and was unable to come to the Festival. Paul fell silent and the Director, seeing the extreme disappointment, quickly offered him a candy apple for the inconvenience. What happened next was one of the most amazing and terrible things that I have personally witnessed. Paul took the candy apple and threw it as hard as he could into the crowd of people watching the musicians. Paul threw that apple so hard and so fast that the stick on the apple impaled a rather large lady in the back. The amazing thing is, nobody saw the apple hit her except for Paul, the Director and I. The lady then began screaming and jumping up and down and trying to look at her back. She moved her arms up and down and back and forth but because of her girth, couldn't reach the apple. The musician didn't notice either and kept on playing. The musician was playing a rather upbeat song, so the crowd thought that the lady was just dancing. A large circle formed around the lady and some young children and older adults began laughing and pointing at her silly dancing. It took a couple of minutes before the Director could call the Paramedics and then break through the circle to offer medical assistance. By that time everyone began to see what was wrong and the circle of people dispersed.
Luckily the lady didn't press charges because the stick had missed vital organs and Paul was extremely apologetic. She did however sue Alpine city for their slow response and the ridicule she endured. When we got home that night, we sat on the couch and just reflected on the days events. Paul was rather quiet but eventually said, "Diane, I don't think that this incident was entirely my fault. Had this festival been planned and organized the way it should be every year, none of this would have happened." It was one more close call for Paul and I. Later that night I told Paul that I thought he was like a cat on its fifty-sixth life. To which he replied, "Meow." Ha What a character!
What this has to do with Keith Barton or any of the posts preceding hers, I will never quite know. However, it did provide for interesting watercooler chit chat. In the end, we have come to the conclusion that the story has to be fabricated. But then that disappoints us, because we were looking forward to drawing straws to see who gets to offer this story up as a scene in one of our authors' books, and we're unsure of the ethical guidelines in using a fictitious story posted in the public domain as a historical accounting of an event.
All I know is that should you ever plan a festival, make sure you organize the way it should be.