So how could I not support what was purported to be the world’s largest Rice Krispies treat, which they were assembling down at the schoolyard the other day? As a connoisseur of senseless group activities, I found it just crazy fun. I didn’t actually help to build the Rice Krispies treat; that seemed too much work. But I was there when handlers unveiled the thing — a Picasso of marshmallow and puffed rice.
By the way, I was watching one of those endless awards shows last week and started wondering what real geniuses would say if they were ever to accept a major award on national television:
Alexander Graham Bell: "Hello? Is this thing on? Tap-tap-tap. Watson, can you hear me?"
Picasso: "I’d like to thank Barcelona street cleaners and the tortilla makers on the Ramblas. I’d especially like to thank my close friend absinthe."
The caveman who discovered fire: "Initially, we were very excited about creating flames, and then we thought: ‘How the %*&(%# do you put this out?’ That was the moment we also discovered cussing."
Anyway, there were no such announcements at the public unveiling of the world’s biggest Rice Krispies treat, which came during a perfect Sunday afternoon, on long spring grass, the bedding sheep use to seduce other sheep.
Everyone seemed pleased with the industrial enormity of the Rice Krispies treat, big as a cargo container. No question it was a princely sight. They crated it in plywood and put a curtain across the front that looked like tar paper. When it came time for the unveiling, hundreds of town folk whooped and hollered. From what I was able to glean, the stunt was a centerpiece for some upcoming reality show.
And they say television has run out of ideas.
There were also, at this event, all sorts of game booths, a dunk tank and a couple of bouncy houses. I fear nothing in life other than bouncy houses — the germy inflatables that wiggle across the school yards this time of year like giant boobs. Back in his glory days, Woody Allen made a movie in which giant boobs skittered across the countryside. That’s what these remind me of. I do not, as you might imagine, approve.
Why do I always have to be the voice of reason in America? One day I suppose I will approach the school board about my objections to the symbolism inherent in bouncy houses.
Till then, I follow the little guy and his buddy as they move from booth to booth, in the carnival surrounding the gigantic Rice Krispies treat. Do you ever have days that feel a little off-kilter, everything odd angles and sepia tones? That’s my entire life.
"Can we do that one, Dad?" the little guy says, pointing to a booth. "No, wait, how about that one?"
I swear, it’s like picking out a couch with his mother. No worries, kid. Your life right now is one giant carnival booth.
The economics of a school carnival always impress me. For $2, you can throw darts at a board to win a $1 trinket. Many of the federal government’s policies on taxation and services are based on this very model.
So, it’s been an interesting spring so far — ballgames, fundraisers and a giant Rice Krispies treat, a world record if some are to be believed.
At school, meanwhile, more signs of renewal abound. The kids all have new shoes, and their spring teeth are coming in, the first new crop of the year. To a first-grader, teeth are temporary things — they come, they go. It soothes them to wiggle them with their fingers or tongue. It is their nicotine.
As they wait for the classroom door to open each morning, they proudly discuss lost teeth the way their grandparents recount past surgeries.
"Yeth, I loth my tooth yetherday," one explains.
"I loth a tooth too. Thee?" another says, proudly showing the divot where the tooth once sat. From the tooth fairy, he looks forward to $20 and maybe a new BMW, nothing too extravagant.
Amid all this, there was St. Patrick’s Day. This year, our friend Frank corned his own beef, his wife announced the other morning. Out in Redlands, my buddy Ryan reports, the in-laws cooked 100 pounds of the stuff. More good stuff in vast quantities.
Erin Go Bragh, say I. Ireland — and Rice Krispies — forever.
My feet have felt much better the past two days. Next week my Dr. and I will work on my legs.
I wish you all a pleasent rest of the weekend.