What’s better than winning a giant pink gorilla?


Shawn Magrath

Ideology verses consumerism: How did we, as a country, reach a point where eating a chicken sandwich is a symbol of discrimination, or freedom of speech, or freedom to marry, depending on your personal outlook on the whole Chick-Fil-A mess? It seems – to me, at least – that the efforts of advocates of same sex marriage (and those who oppose it) would be better spent outside the offices of legislators and elected officials instead of outside fast food restaurants and in front of people who deep fry chicken for a living. As funny as I think it is that eating a chicken sandwich has somehow become a metaphor for protesting same sex marriage, I don’t think that Chick-Fil-A is the final decision-making body in the same sex marriage debate anyway, so why all the hoopla?

I hope everyone’s enjoying the Summer Olympics (prime time events are taped ahead of time so if you make it the entire day without any spoilers, I envy you). I’ve been watching the games more closely this year than I ever have before, and I’m seeing competitions I didn’t even know were recognized as an official Olympic event; particularly events like handball and badminton (and I definitely haven’t ever considered the existence of the Badminton World Federation. I guess it’s true, the Olympics are are full of unexpected surprises this year). It’s my own fault for stereotyping Olympians to be competitors in the more popular events (swimming, gymnastics, etc.) but I just don’t have the same level of respect for someone who wins gold in badminton. Be on the lookout for new events in the 2016 Olympics: Tug-of-war, arm wrestling, the “how long can you hold your breath” competition, guess a number, and rock/paper/scissors (for which my training starts now).

Next week begins the 165th Chenango County Fair – the annual tradition of all things Chenango County, with a finely blended mix of lights, rides, music, special exhibits and the smell of fried dough that just screams “good times.” Of course, a fair just wouldn’t be a fair without my favorite part, the midway games. No, I don’t play them, but I do enjoy watching other people shell out a few bucks to shoot a basket, throw a ping-pong ball in to a fishbowl, pop a balloon, or dunk a clown, all in the effort to win a giant sized pink gorilla that’s going to fill the entire back seat of their car. Yeah, they’re always thrilled when they win, but my initial thought is they have to carry that giant thing around for the rest of the day, then find a place to put it when they get home. What’s more rewarding than a gigantic inconvenience? Keep your eyes peeled during garage sale season; these things bound to turn up for sale on the front lawns all over the place.

On a completely unrelated note, the new McDonald’s looks like it’s really coming along nicely, which is good. I’m almost out of ketchup and napkins.