Each year while working the Fair,I like to develop new routines. I guess it doesn't have to be an official routine, small rituals work as well. The bottom line is I would hate for this experience to become a rut.
Now that I'm on my 9th consecutive one, I can decipher many of these undertakings by saying.........
"Oh yeah, that's the year when I studied chess problems." or "I think that was the year I hung out in the rabbit barn."
This year my deal is that I start off each day crossing the campus just to get a free "5 Hour Energy".
Typically I buy one everyday for $3.28 and pop it after drinking my morning espresso.
Klecko loves to start off the day strong.
So today as I began my little march, I did this with a sore neck, and a heavy heart.
My neck hurt because when I sleep, I don't "Go to Sleep", I don't lay my head down on a pillow and close my eyes....basically I sit upright and do whatever it is I am doing, and usually about 40-80 minutes later I wake up again and repeat the process.
If you ever saw the movie THE ELEPHANT MAN, I sleep in that same position that John Merrick did.
So my neck got wrenched and I'm slowly stretching it while lumbering down Dan Patch Avenue, and then I started to think how sad I was that I couldn't be with Sue McGleno for much of her birthday.
This is the only drawback of working the Great Minnesota Get Together.
I have tried to make some provisions however....
For the last 6 or 7 years, I have forfeited my July 8th birthday and given her a birthday cake on the day of my birth that says "Happy Birthday Sue McGleno"
I also buy her bad a** gifts on my birthday as well.
And on her August 27th birthday, I suffer the indignity of driving to Dairy Queen after working a 12-13 hour shift, just to get her a stupid ice cream cake LOL.
Can you imagine that, she's married to the CEO of a pretty big baking outfit and she still wants.....sigh, never mind.
So sadness fills my heart and I start suffering from a disease called depression.
Although I would bet my life that my lovely bride is still dead to the world, stretched out on her bed sleeping, I really-really wanted to be with her.
To make matters worse, I turn the corner, across the street from the Butter Fly Garden and the road is filled with an ocean of people so thick, I can't see a speck of asphalt for miles.
Bodies, bodies, and more bodies.
There must be a million people in front of my eyes, and it kind of amazes me how their mass almost seems to be moving as one.
That's when God started chucking daggers at my heart. I thought back to when my kids were little. When they were size appropriate, I would hoist them onto my shoulders and let them observe this miraculous populous.
They would usually make some comment like "I've never seen so many people." or "I'll bet 1/2 the state is here today!"
I would always receive these comments with a dour expression and empty eyes before responding.........
"Take a close look kid, this is what the road to Hell will look like."
This always unnerved my kids and they would in turn riggle off my torso and run down their mother to narc me out.
Sue McGleno would get really pissed, but the nice thing about my Jewish bride is her wraith can always be erased with a bucket of Mrs Fields Cookies or pink cotton candy.
Like a stalking Lion, I'd lay back in the weeds and let her get a 1/3 of the way into her sugar feast. When this occurred, she'd be so locked in, she no longer cared about her little cubs, so each time her attention was pulled away.......
I'd make Devil horns with my fingers, place them over my head, then point once again at the swarm of humanity and slowly mouth to my children.....
"R-O-A-D T-O H-E-L-L"
And then they would shriek.
I can't tell you why, but that is one of my favorite moments on the planet.
So now I arrive at the 5 HOUR ENERGY booth, but am surprised to see that the hot chicks with promiscuous attire are not there to give me my fix. Instead there is an older woman by herself standing next to 2 pallets of product boxes that I'm guessing are filled my my drug of choice.
The woman informs me that the freebies won't be dispensed for another 18 minutes.
So since I was in the general vicinity, I decided I would swing over to the Cross Roads Chapel.
The C.R.C. is a building that is shared by numerous sects of Christianity.
From 8-9 is Catholic Hour, 9-10 might be Episcopalian, 10-11 was Pentecostal and as kids, our parents would make us go there because they had volunteers that were forced to do religious coloring book stuff with us.
It took a long time because their collective goal was to save our souls, and our parents loved that because they could drink beer and smoke cigarettes outside on the patio.
A couple of years ago, I made the chapel my annual-daily routine. Each morning I would enter the house of God with a newspaper and an espresso.
I always went during Catholic hour, and usually I was the only soul to occupy one of the dozens of folding chairs.
On the stage was an old Buck with a cheap Casio keyboard and he would play hymns.
I don't know if it was ironic, but it sure as he** was something how out of a billion plus people running around that Fairgrounds, the house of God was the only place a guy could be alone.
So Klecko would plop down, take a sip, find the sports page and nonchalantly tell the piano man....
"Hey Brother, how bout playing some I AM THE RESURRECTION,followed by IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL and then finishing up with THIS IS MY STORY - THIS IS MY SONG?"
And just like that.....dude would start banging on the ivory's all excited like because now he had a purpose.
Klecko loves when other peoples purpose is to minister to him.
I'll never forget the one day my solitude was crushed by a stampede of woman who came in to witness a politician who was doing a special for KTIS the local Christian radio station.
That woman was today's Presidential hopeful Michelle Bachmann.
I was annoyed that these ladies cut into my prayer time, but when Bachmann came in, I found her attractive in a "Cougar" kinda way, so I stuck around.
The following quote is a "Klecko Paraphrase" but rest assured, the spirit of the message is legit, you just can't make something like this up.......
"Hello ladies, thank you so much for coming to see me today. You know...just several years ago, I was a stay at home mother like many of you, but within the last couple of years....God has placed me in the back of a Limo with the President of the United States!"
I thought it was some kind of raunchy joke and was surprised by her poor taste and timing, but before my confusion had time to get traction, the Republican spoke further.......
"Now I realize my path chosen by God was very special, and none of you will probably duplicate it, but that's not to say that none of you can't do some interesting things to serve the Lord."
It was the haughtiest comment I had ever-ever-ever heard in my life, but the assembly of suburban soccer moms broke out into cheers.
I was blown away. I've voted G.O.P. my entire life, but I have to be truthful, I found her comments off putting and shameful.
So now I have 6 minute before they will give my my entitled handout of 5 Hour Energy but for some reason, I began to think my wires were crossed because I couldn't find the Cross Roads Chapel.
But upon further investigation, I discovered that it had been raptured, resurrected or something, because after 117 years it was now gone.
The State Fairs lone Temple to an ecumenical God had been taken over by Fox Sports North.
I swear to Caesar that my jaw dropped to the pavement and for a moment, I considered rendering my garment, shaving my head and rubbing ashes on my body.
But then I remembered how much prayer has gone into my Pompadour, so I declined.
Out of nowhere an anger began to surface and all of a sudden, I pictured Klecko crossing the Midway, flailing a whip and kicking over Carney's equipment while calling them a Brood of Vipers.
God had left the Minnesota State Fair.........
Klecko was not only speechless, he didn't know how, or what to think.
Then ALAKAZAM........all the little hottie's at the 5 Hour Booth showed up and started to entice us to come to them for free samples.
But then for the briefest of moments I kinda got scared. A truth inside me announced itself before I even new it was in the same room.
Although my heart was sad for a loss of God after a century long run.
This sadness couldn't even compare to my separation from my wife on her birthday.
I truly hope God will understand.