Yaaaa-hoooo!! It’s Stampede Week here, and the usual happy insanity reigns.
I love the Calgary Stampede. If I had time (and if I wasn’t too cheap to pay the daily $18 admission fee), I could easily spend days there. The free exhibits are fascinating: circus acts, horseshoeing contests, tractor pulls, Superdogs, team penning competitions, art shows, native cultural displays, live bands, extreme BMX/motocross/snowmobiles; you name it. There’s even the Cannon Lady getting shot out of a cannon several times a day.
The giant midway doesn’t really attract me, though. The rides are expensive, and I can’t quite get over the knowledge that they’ve been knocked together in record time by sleep-deprived carnies fresh off the road. Or worse, fresh off their last party. I know they have a stellar safety record, but… I’m just sayin’.
The rodeos are fun to watch, too, but I rarely go to them. Tickets are pricey, and there are so many other things to see and do that I just can’t fit it all in. Not to mention I can’t help giggling at the thought that rodeo is clearly a sport designed by men, for men. A bunch of guys giving each other prizes for their ability to stay up for 8 seconds…? Boys, I hate to break it to you, but an 8-second ride ain’t gonna do it for the ladies!
Speaking of rides to remember, I noted a few years ago that the Stampede is a prime opportunity to get the gift that keeps on giving. Syphilis was the big winner when I wrote that post four years ago, but in true Stampede spirit we’re diversifying. Now gonorrhea and chlamydia are getting their fair share of erm… exposure, too. So before you ride that cowboy, you might want to slap a latex saddle on his pocket bronc.
If you’re looking for a slightly less risqué adventure, the Stampede offers lots of scope for risky business of the culinary variety.
Last year’s scorpion pizza was a big seller, and this year foodies were eagerly anticipating the cockroach pizza. Alas, they were doomed to disappointment: Apparently the shipment of dead cockroaches from Vietnam got delayed at the border. (There’s a unique first-world problem.) But our indomitable pizzameister promises they should be in soon, so the pizza might get its cockroach crunch before the end of Stampede.
I dunno; I expend a considerable amount of effort to avoid eating food containing cockroaches, but I guess that’s just me.
And in case your stomach wasn’t upset enough after the rides and cockroaches, you can also get a cup of mini-doughnuts topped with cheese curds, gravy, and jalapeños. I’m not sure why you’d want to, but you can.
Or, if you’re looking for a treat that’s both risky and risqué, how about a Crazy Cone:
The last time I saw something like that, I was in a sex shop. (Doing research on Lola’s merchandise for my novels. Honest. That’s my story and it’s sticking to me.)
Anyway, no Stampede Week is complete without the requisite crazy-citizen stunt, so here it is: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-man-soars-over-city-in-lawn-chair-attached-to-helium-balloons-1.3139591. Some folks’ll do anything to get high…
What’s risky or risqué in your neck of the woods this week?