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Saturday, August 13, 2011

You Made Me Crawl Like A Rattlesnake Just To Taste Your Berries

Living in small towns typically means having nothing to do. Some of these towns create festivals and events in order to draw attention  away from how mediocre their lives actually are. Most of these events suck by the very fact that they even exist. I am lucky, though, that I live so close to three of the most amazing festivals in the world.
The first takes place in the town of Whigham, Georgia. Whigham is a metropolis with a population of about 14 people. This event is called "The Rattlesnake Rodeo" and it involves lots of alcohol, diesel fuel and thousands of venomous reptiles. This takes place in January and I was so excited to go be a part...after all there is nothing I love better than pouring gasoline down a hole to be used to set snakes on fire...unless I would be setting bears on fire - that would be more awesome than burning snakes!
Imagine my surprise when I found out that we weren't there to kill the thousands upon thousands of the highly deadly creatures, but instead to put them in pillowcases and take them hiking! The other participants were quite upset with me when i lit up 600 of the slithering death machines like the Fourth of July! I maintain that I merely dropped my cigarette that I couldn't produce when questioned by authorities!
See, apparently the point of this is to collect the snakes to take back into a crowded county fair. Once back at the fair the snakes are all released into a big arena where people can tease the creatures with big sticks! Some of the snakes are killed to make a very tasty jerky by the local vendors and others are skinned so they can be made into a really smelly wallet or pair of boots.
The good news is that they usually have enough anti-venom to keep everyone that gets bitten alive! Some of the events not to miss at this festival include, "Striking Hopscotch" - a game of hopscotch that has you jumping past snakes instead of rocks, "Box Full of Surprises" - a game where you blindly shove your hand into a random box that may contain fabulous prizes or a trip to the morgue, and "Venom Tossers" - a game like dodge ball only instead of using a ball, you toss a 4' long baby rattler!
The second great festival was one I learned about from a Country Music Video. Every summer, The city of Cordele, Georgia holds an annual "Watermelon Festival" to celebrate everything watermelon. The country singer Tracy Byrd presented me a video of beautiful women vying for the honor of being the Watermelon Queen, dancing like they worked in a strip club, and throwing themselves at any man that happened to wander into town...Naturally my interest was piqued!
Upon arriving in the sprawling rural township, I found it was very much a family oriented I am sure everyone that lived there was at least 2nd cousins. The lesser deformed residents competed for the local "beauty" pageant and the right to wear some leaves in their hair! I am assuming that the foliage helps to mask the odor that permeates the crowded unclean masses. I also should note that the alcohol they make from the melons must cause blindness, because I've been to dog shows that had better looking contestants. The fact that they have celebrated 62 such festivals should also tell you that Inbreeding isn't just a lifestyle choice, but also a tourist industry.
Visitors can buy watermelon inspired jewelry and clothing as well as take a ride on the "Watermelon Express" train or ride the "Melon Wheel" a Ferris Wheel inspired ride that I originally thought was going to be about boobies. Live bands can be heard throughout the festival...all playing a different rendition of the song by Tracy Byrd. The also pay visitors to kiss the residents, in a unique version of the kissing booth concept...this way they can say they have experienced a form of love from someone not blood related to them!
Lastly, we go to the town of Colquitt, Georgia. This town has a festival that sings straight to my...stomach. Every year they have a fair dedicated to the Mayhaw Berry. This berry makes a delicious jelly that goes well with anything. This event takes place the third week of April and makes visitors envious of the warm, sticky sweet star of the show. I think they also used to put on a beauty pageant but it was cancelled when the judges kept insisting on tasting the contestants to see if they lived up to the name sake berry! Still join the fun for attractions like rock climbing in an area that is actually a flat marshy plain...I hear that this years "mountain" is three smurfs high! They also play live music to honor the Mayhaw, but since no one has ever written a song about the jelly that I have ever heard before, they just play bad renditions of Country Musics greatest dead people and some of the newer guys that I have never heard of.
Now that I have experienced these fantastic events, I don't know how I will ever adjust to the mundane day to day lifestyle to which I am accustomed.
Thank You once again Jason Gil, for giving me today's topic!


  1. If you start missing such things, you could always watch Deliverance, which I finally got around to watching this past week.

  2. Is the rattlesnake rodeo for real??? Wow. Just wow. LOL.

  3. yes just google search whigham and rattlesnakes and see what ya get!