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gracie's world 2005

January 10, 2005

5:31 a.m.
On school bus fishtailing down four-lane highway in blinding snowstorm

Ho! There's Old Potato Ankles
Standing in the loam!
He knows the farther away he roams
The closer he rolls to home!

This school bus, it is skidding every which ways. For example we just slid down a mountain broadside. One of the windshield wipers snapped off a while ago. Walter Whitman the bus driver, he is drinking from his flask in order to keep his nerves nice and calm.

However the little kids, they are not fazed. The little kids, they are singing all 47 verses of OLD POTATO ANKLES. They have their mittens on and they are performing all the motions that go with the song.

We are headed to Harrisburg.


6:03 a.m.
Route 322, Harrisburg sighted ahead

The little kids, they are yelling yay.

Harrisburg. It is a goony town. The buildings, they look like large space heaters.

Pulling into Farm Show Parking Lot

We have arrived at the Farm Show. Only one fender missing from the school bus. That is pretty good.

Anyways we are on a field trip to see cows. So I had better look for cows.

However I do not see any cows. Only hundreds of trucks with chrome goat heads.

6:21 a.m.
Traversing parking lot on foot

We are bundled up in our woolens. We are hanging onto a clothesline rope so as not to become lost and mummified in the snow. The white tail deers, they are hanging onto the clothes line rope with their teeths. The gerbils, they are jumping up and down upon the clothes line rope.

This clothes line rope. It is 30 feet long. We are snarling traffic halfway across the parking lot.

6:23 a.m.
Still traversing parking lot

The parking lot, it is very large. Gentlemen in unzipped Carhartt jackets are striding everywheres toting bales of hay or logs or garden tractors upon their shoulders. They do not appear to notice that it is 20 below zero.

6:26 a.m.

The Farm Show Building is looming. There is the enormous fiber glass cow. However that fiberglass cow does not count as a actual cow. And so we are still searching for cows.

The little kids, now they are inexplicably nervous. They are sucking their mittens. They are frightened by the fiberglass cow.


That is what I tell the little kids.

However, the little kids, they continue to suck their mittens.

6:47 a.m.


Weaving around horses getting head fur curled, horses with poofy bathing caps taking bubble baths in large claw foot tubs, horses brushing their teeths, horses in gigantic powder blue quilted bath robes and matching fuzzy blue mules patting powder upon their noses.

There is a horse stepping out of a shower with a towel wrapped around its ears. That horse, it has not got fur on. The little kids, their eyes are rather large just now. As they have never seen a naked horse. Must quickly steer the little kids off in some other direction.

7:13 a.m.
Taking a break from looking for cows.

Enjoying ice cream dabbled with fresh cow milk washed down with lots of free cartons of cow milk. Also milk shakes for dessert.

It is a much better breakfast than we are served at home. I will have to speak to Mom.

7:57 a.m.
Walking under and around the large hairy legs of a collection of gigantic horses clopping along and singing marching songs.

These horses, they are larger than the Clydesdales back home. Also they have military tattoos.

8:22 a.m.
Now we are setting on bleetchers observing some sort of event involving gigantic horses.

Those horses, they are standing in circles and squares and they have various colored ribbons braided up in their head fur and their tail fur. Some of those horses, they are wearing big fluffy bows on top of their heads.

Now those horses, they are square dancing.

9:46 a.m.
These Sugared Vanilla Milk Frothies, they are pretty good. Snooples is dipping one paw into her Sugared Vanilla Milk Frothie and and is sucking that paw whilst gazing dreamily at a pen of silky chickens who are sliding down a slide into a little pond. Ben, he has Sugared Vanilla Milk Froth dribbling from each whisker. Ben has pinched his eyes shut. Ben is murmuring a prayer to Milk.

10:17 a.m.
Milling around a souvenir stand.
Chickenloaf is buying a camel figurine which is covered with some manner of fur. Also some Genuine Maracas. Ms. Wysiwyg is purchasing a diamond studded pin in the shape of a meat loaf. Chessie is examining a small hand painted wind-up Mallard Duck with a price tag of $469.99.

A group of llamas on rollerskates and wearing short skirts, propellor beanies and tinkly bells around their necks just whizzed all around us and are whirring off toward the turkey pens.

Chessie has dropped that small hand painted wind-up Mallard Duck. It is paddling and squeaking off in the direction of the llamas. It has disappeared under a display of Hubbard Squash.

Strolling past a group of chickens with enormous human ears. Still have not seen any cows.

Oh, there is a Hot Buttered Milk stand.

Hot Buttered Milk, it comes in a mug shaped in the manner of a bovine udder. There is a stirrer which is a actual thermometer. That thermometer, it displays the temperature in Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Scoville Units.

At the top of the thermometer it says 'Pipin' Hot!' At the bottom of the thermometer it says 'Absolute Zero!' You are supposed to drink the Hot Buttered Milk before the temperature reaches Absolute Zero.

1:08 p.m.
Dr. Muzzlewhite, he is standing in front of a 7-foot-long sculpture of the Golden Gate Bridge made of Cheese. Dr. Muzzlewhite is making sweeping gestures. He is indicating various structural details.

Dr. Muzzlewhite, he is lecturing on the tensile strength of Cheese.

Some of the little kids, they are raising their paws. They ask May we lick the cheese.

But Dr. Muzzlewhite says No do not lick the cheese.

2:01 p.m.
Snacking upon Milk Rollups whilst admiring a bright red tractor the size of a starter home.

Snooples, she wants to ride the tractor. The man says no it will kill you.

We are patting the nice red fenders.

Now check out the PTO shaft on this baby.

Ben is pretending he knows something about tractors. He is lecturing the little kids.

Now Snooples wants to buy that tractor. The man says ha ha that tractor costs $850,000.

Nini is taking out her wallet.

3:06 p.m.
Standing around a pen full of gangly tall birds with large adams apples and thick circular eyeglasses. Nini explains that these birds are probably Moas.

These Moas, they are writing complex equations all over a chalk board. They are debating the existence of a 5-dimensional universe.

Chessie is crouched down and is examining one of the Moa eggs, which is dark greenish brown and is the size of a guinea pig. Chessie reaches out one small claw to touch that Moa Egg.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaacckkk! Don't touch the egg!

That is what the Moas shriek in unison.

Now the Moas, they are running hysterically all around the pen.

4:42 p.m.
At the potato exhibit. The gerbils, they are appreciatively patting the potatoes. Chickenloaf is snapping photographs with her Instamatic. I am holding Chickenloafs camel figurine. Whilst Chickenloaf snaps photographs. I am examining the tag on this camel figurine. Genuine Cat Fur.

Chessie just slipped a yellow potato the size of a ping pong ball into the pocket of her coat.


Those rollerskating llamas just sailed all around us again and have disappeared into the crowd. I wonder where those llamas are going.

4:11 p.m.
At the Famous Butter Sculpture

The Famous Butter Sculpture, it is not finished.

The Butter Sculpture Artist, he is in a bad mood.

That Butter Sculpture Artist, he is laboring all around the Butter Sculpture with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. He is wearing a black beret. He has a interesting goatee and a handlebar moustache. However his white smock, it is blotched all over with butter.

That Butter Sculpture Artist, he is muttering profanities about Ridiculous Deadlines and Americas Obsession With Modesty and Insensitivity Toward the Artistic Process. He says why did he even bother studying at Sorbonne.

That Butter Sculpture, it is a naked man. Only he is wearing cotton boxer shorts.

4:31 p.m.
Aquatic exhibit.

Observing a Box Turtle splayed upon a hummock of moss next to a casserole pan full of water. I wonder what type of farm animal a Box Turtle is. Perhaps it provides some sort of wool.

Oh there are some Tilapias.

Tilapias. That is something I know about.

4:56 p.m.
Baby Animal Exhibit

Snooples and Chessie are feeding carrots to a baby crocodile.

Some pink piglets wearing iPods are trotting around in circles and squealing. The gerbils, they are enjoying the piglets. They are lined up along the top of the pen and they are hopping up and down.

I wonder what kind of baby animal this is. I guess it is a long haired sort of goat. That goat, it is thoughtfully chewing up Pia's cigarettes which it pilfered from the pocket of Pia's coat.

5:04 p.m.
We are all making loud slurping sounds with the straws in our Clabbered Ice Cream Milk Floaties. We are having a major giggling fit!

Soon it will be time to have another snack.

5:16 p.m.
Pickling Exhibit

Lost in a entire universe of pickled items bobbing serene and ghostlike in jars. Snooples is pressing a soggy mittened paw against a gallon jug of pickled muffins. Ben is appreciatively stroking a tall jar of pickled pork chops with his thumb. I am trying to figure out what these pickled things are.

Oh. Turkey heads.

We are looking for the white tail deers. They are off at the other end of the building observing a lesson about making quick and economical casseroles.

However we cannot find our way out of the pickled foods.

Chessie is becoming hypnotized by the pickled foods. We have to drag Chessie along.

Oh here come the White Tail Deers. They are carrying fruit pies.

5:32 p.m.
Those llamas, they just roller skated all around us again. They are whizzing off toward those large doors. There is a sign over those doors.


Now we will finally see some cows.

5:36 p.m.
Something has gone wrong in the Cow Room.

All the cows, they have gotten loose. The cows, they are blatting and hysterically running around.


Ben is tugging upon Ms. Wysiwyg's coat hem.

I just recalled something.

Ben is looking pale. Even for a orange tabby.

Actually, I am rather allergic to milk products.

5:47 p.m.
Toting Ben through the Farm Show Building on a stretcher. Ben is lying on his back clutching his souvenir Got Milk? bumper sticker to his chest. Bens whiskers are pointing straight up.

Ben appears dead. However I do not think Ben is dead.

6:03 p.m.
Farm Show parking lot

Loading Ben on his stretcher through the back door of the bus. The gerbils, they are already on the bus. They are watching us load Ben. Their whiskers and paws are pressed against the glass like little stars.

Pia has solicited a slender brown cigarette from a passing cowboy. Pia is pacing about in the swirling snowstorm and is smoking that cigarette which smells like a burning paper grocery bag. Pia is cursing and muttering something about being late to pickup the bass player.

Now we are hitching Snooples nice new red tractor to the back of the bus.

10:07 p.m.
On school bus heading back to Bassetville in raging blizzard

Ho! There's Old Potato Ankles
Sitting on his thumb!

The little kids have been singing OLD POTATO ANKLES for three-and-a-half hours.

I do not wish hear OLD POTATO ANKLES ever again.



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