We've Made It
It's not unusual for weird instances, people, happenstance and things to find me in life. Sometimes these weirdnesses are just an unsuspected happening, and sometimes they are just weird - no matter how far-out your parameters for expectations may be. My typical line of thinking is that it's something on my end that brings these things to me, although lately I've been embracing the theory that perhaps I bring many of them on myself.
Last night at River Rhythms, I knew I was in for a night outside of my expectations when we set up the first-ever OnMilwaukee tent - and promptly realized that we had done it underneath the home of a swarm of tiny green bugs. Under normal circumstances, they might have been cute; they didn't bite, or really do anything. They were just everywhere. The best way to ignore the tiny green monsters was to keep moving; my chosen method? Hula-hooping.
I hula-hooped pre-Brother, the Irish band with an amazing following that was playing this week at Pere Marquette Park. I hula-hooped during Brother. I hula-hooped with a very enthusiastic little girl who totally put me to shame. I hula-hooped until I could quite literally feel a bruise forming on my hip; today, that starting bruise is a lovely color purple. (Don't worry guys - I'm telling people I walked into a door.) I don't think this happens to normal people.
During the hula-hooping and Brother listening - a band which, I feel I should add, had a bagpipe and a didgeridoo in their ensemble - a pair of mounted police officers appeared behind our tent. Feeling distinctly watched, my intern partner and I began discussing our feelings on equine officers and what the pros and cons of being on a horse might be. Seeing above people, pro. Chasing people, potential pro, until they go somewhere that isn't horse friendly - and then what do you do? Jump off the horse and give chase? Does the horse just stay in one place? Do you have to tie them somewhere? Other than looking intimidating, what exactly do they (can they) do? Our questions raised a lot of potential cons as well as a great deal of mystery. So as the inquisitive interns we are, we promptly took a picture with the horses (and officers) and asked what they were up to at the festival.
Answer: catching pan handlers. Great mystery of the world - solved. You're welcome.
As the festival started wrapping up, we began the process of breaking down our table and the new tent. Halfway to putting it away, our internship boss asked eagerly, "You guys got a picture of the tent, right?"
"You didn't get a picture of the brand new, thirteen-foot-high, ten-by-ten square tent with our logo all over it?"
Those people unencumbered by an invasion of green, a minor and dangerous addiction to hula-hooping and a strange curiosity about the nature of mounted police would have, of course, snapped pictures of the most obviously interesting thing at the festival aside from the band and fans. But not us. We, distracted by the unexpected events of the world, had not.
Ian just sighed and shoved the tent into its fancy strap-handle-and-wheels rolling bag. The night of the unexpected was over; we, the oblivious interns, were free to dance our way home, something which I did with my best friend in tow. He had sat through the bug invasion as well as my hula-hooping overdose and was giggling as we headed home, our lives escalating to a series of events that can only be described as "silly."
As we skipped on home, he paused on a corner somewhere between the Journal Sentinel building and the U.S. Cellular Arena. In front of us was a historical marker sign.
He did a little dance on the spot. "This is where our whole night has been leading! '1918 - INVENTION OF THE TYPEWRITER.' We've made it!"
Most of the unexpected oddities in my life I look on with a straight face dead pan as I absorb the utter weirdness of what has found me (or what I brought on myself). But in this case, I had to smile - who can say no to some unexpected culture?