The Inside Dig
By Dusty Giebink
Welcome, heathens, to the latest installation in the award winning Inside Dig series. It is here where I take a few minutes of my valuable time to educate the unwashed masses in a fashion not previously known to humankind. While I could sit here and brag all day, until the proverbial cows come back to their original place of residence, about my superior educational prowess, website law dictates I have to eventually get to my actual purpose for writing. Ah well, such is life.
With spring in the air, summer can’t be far behind. With that in mind, and with it being my ever-present pursuit to educate the less fortunate, at least my next two jaunts into journalistic excellence on this fine website will have to do with preparing you, the loyal reader, for this festive summer season.
I am sure that you are all looking forward to your vacation time that will surely allow for you to enjoy a measure of rest and/or relaxation not familiar to you during your daily grind. As I ponder more clichés that I could throw into this and future columns, I will say that in this column, I will supply you with a list of the five most attractive places I can possibly think of for vacationing, rest and relaxation. You’ll assuredly thank me later. Sooner than later, though, I am sure.
Your local court house. You think I am jesting, I can see it in your eyes. Even though I cannot actually see your eyes, I can see the skepticism through my computer screen. It’s a gift, what can I say? However, I say this without even a tinge of irony. Simply put, if you want relaxation, along with guaranteed entertainment, this is almost certainly a better bet than your average day spent at a theme park. Plus, you get to save on those ridiculous concession stand prices.
Not to mention, there is the potential for those infernal costumed theme park mascots that could pop their evil, Satanic heads out of the clear blue, when you’re least suspecting it, and scare you something righteous. There is simply no telling what those undercover hounds of hell have up their furry, oversized sleeves. One might ponder the type of evil a person wearing one of those mascot outfits could conceive of.
One might also ponder what kind of naughty chicanery one could get away with if the shoe were on the other foot. That is, if I were the one in the costume, and I had free reign to do as I so chose inside it. Oh, dare I dream of it? I dare! I dare!
In any event, the local court house is an honest, if albeit unspectacular, way to spend the days. Follow case after case as they unfold before your very eyes. Watch in terror and delight as the opposing lawyers argue the most minute details possible, trying to win the case so they keep their job (which they hate) for at least a little while longer. Watch the jury struggle mightily in the time honored quest to stay awake while “important stuff” is happening. (This skill was likely perfected for all in the classroom.)
And the beauty part is, unlike the judge, the jury, and the lawyers, you can leave at any time. And then go home and watch TV, like you should have been doing the entire time anyway.
Wisconsin. Now this is not just coming because I am a Wisconsin native. Indeed, I plan to be as far away from Wisconsin as possible during as much of the summer as possible. But that’s none of your concern, really. What matters is that no one ever thinks of visiting fly over country during their breaks. That is, with less people in a given area, there is exclusively more room for you. Yes, I am talking directly to you. No one else is looking.
Essentially, with less people there, there shall be more room for you to “do your thang,” as the hip kids say these days. Dusty might be old fashioned, but he keeps up with the current trends, you better believe that! Anyhoo, this is perfect for the person who likes such gameful activities as cow watching, barn observation, cow tipping (oh, but only at night, you cads!), Subway counting (five in Fond du Lac!), cow something else, and gambling at a local casino. Plus, not to mention, how many cows there are here.
So while your friends will be doing all kinds of glamorous things like going to New York, going to France, drugs, having unprotected sex with multiple partners, and going to the beach, you could go to Wisconsin. Those things are boring, predictable and thoroughly average things to do, anyway. You are better than that. So, when your friends tell you tales of debauchery and “fun,” you can tell them about Dundee, Wisconsin, a whole in the wall town with a couple bars and a few houses speckled across the landscape.
And their jaws will drop in sheer admiration.
Follow a band around as they tour a part of the world. Much like people used to do with the Grateful Dead, you could follow your favorite band around in your vehicle (it doesn’t have to be a Volkswagen Van, because those are so ten minutes ago!), as they tour the world. It could be part of the contiguous United States, it could be Europe, China, local bars, wherever your favorite band can get a gig. Follow them as they tour around, trying to get their name out there and make some money.
I suppose this could also work if you hated the band. Follow them around the world and try to get the best possible seats you can so you toss stuff at them and yell cat calls the entire show, night after night. While this may eventually lead to you being placed in a thing called jail, or at least sent back home on your merry way to annoy your family and relatives, and not the band. Don’t forget to take pictures while you’re “on tour.” Those will serve as lasting memories for you in the place of your real memories, which presumably would have been beaten out of you by large security men working for the aforementioned band that you hate.
I hear they don’t take kindly to those type of actions. Maybe it should be a band you like. Disregard that last paragraph, then. (Dusty sometimes makes mistakes, but he would never tell you about them.)
Join the circus. This is similar to my “follow your favorite band around” idea, but also completely different. This one could be more of less dirty an occupation, depending on what kinds of drugs your favorite band is in to, and how much they drink. Clean up of various animals could result in about the same level of work.
While your friends might look down on you for this admittedly less than glamorous task, think of it like this. You have the opportunity to meet some really interesting people. At the very least, you will be affirmed that there are people lower on the food chain than you, and when you leave during late summer to go back to your home and your “normal” life, you can rest assured that you are, at least, not at the very bottom of the food chain.
You’re also not at the top, because that place is reserved for me, the incomparable Pat McNeill, Josh Matthews, and the golden locks of Barry Manilow. But, with a little hard work and some determination, you could possibly one day work yourself up to the second tier. But Dusty digresses again!
I really have not much positive to say about joining the circus, other than that it will serve to properly pass the time, none of your friends will be doing it, so no matter how good it turns out for you, you can tell them you had a dandy time doing it and that you’re better than a bunch of people, and you might be able to get some free peanuts. And that ain’t nothing but a good thing!
Kankakee, Illinois. I found online a website about the book Places Rated Almanac. The book lists the best and worst places to live, with information on this site available as of 1999. While admittedly the information is a bit outdated, chances are not much has changed in Kankakee in five years’ time. This scenic, rustic, beautiful, adventurous town was rated at the very bottom, meaning it was the very worst place listed with which to live. (I should quickly note that Racine, Wisconsin was near the bottom of the list as well, so if you decide to go to Wisconsin this summer, be sure to stop by there, for sure!)
In any event, as 1999’s Worst Place To Live, Kankakee offers you many tourist opportunities. Basically, it can serve as another type of self-esteem booster. Provided you don’t already live in what I’m sure is now a fine town, you can look down on these misshapen ne’er-do-wells that reside their and rest assured that you know you at least live in a better location than they do. Be sure to take pictures, both of the local “scenery” and of the natives. You can document these when you get home as part of the evidence of the existence of alien life forms on this planet.
Please note, residents of Kankakee, that I was merely kidding in the above paragraphs. I simply listed your fine town as a possible vacation hot spot just because of the novelty of you once being listed among the worst possible places to live. As for everybody else, if you ever do go there, report back to me. I have a morbid curiosity now of just how bad that town actually is.
So there you go. Five of the best possible places for you to go to this summer. Have fun, get some sun, and remember to know that I am more fortunate than you. Peace!
Dusty Giebink tends to talk about himself in the third person in this part of his column. He will write weird things about himself, as if he is not the one that is writing them. And then he will make some witty closing
comment and call it a finished piece of work. He’s weird like that.
Dusty can be chastised and prodded at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2005 Derek Burgan. All rights reserved.