The Blue Raccoon

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Huche-Kuche at the Watermelon Festival?
"Wish I could figure out a way to separate 50 cents from each of these people."

Hoochie Coochie--a variant spelling, from the vonbourbon blog.

So, this is the annual Carytown Watermelon Festival, and judging from the pleasant weather we're having, probably a couple hundred thousand people will troop through the mile of kiosks with knick knacks, funnel cakes, Thai food vendors, crafts and hats. Many of these visitors are the people who in ordinary times find parallel parking a challenge, so today they will get out and walk.

But on my way this morning to pick up breakfast biscuits from the coffee shop, I encountered an old friend who mused how every year he's tried to figure out a way to separate fifty cents from every visitor. He was thinking about a "dunk the chump" booth, just because he loved the guys' ratta-tat-tat insults designed to annoy the person trying to toss the ball to activate the switch that would drop the clown into a tank. "If it was hot enough, I'd do it myself," he said, "But I'd have to store up the patter for a year."

My mind went to the "huchy kuchy" or "huche kuche" shows at the Virginia State Fair circa 1909-1910 that so annoyed progressive purist Adon Yoder. I'm not sure what they were--probably early burlesque or vaudevillian style dancer entertainers-- nothing so daring as stripping but shuddering bare shoulders and wriggling ships in abbreviated costumes.

For verisimilitude we could have members of the Moral Improvement League, in their bowler hats and dour pince nez with signs protesting our act. Stage some altercations. Some woman in black and a bonnet standing on a crate decrying our evil ways. Thrown in some suffragists passing out pamphlets -- they tended to gather wherever there was crowd. Not that's a show.

I'd stand outside a tent in a striped jacket, bow tie, and straw boater with a megaphone, if my friend was inside collecting money, and we had some musicians and ladies in the spirit who could perform such a good-clean-naughtiness act. Between the my take of the split, I bet I could at least retire one credit card's accumulation.

Wonder if such at thing would even be allowed in Carytown in 2009?

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