Louisville Magazine

AUG 2015

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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40 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.15 Te oil salesman says, "Eleven days is too much." He's exhausted, misses family. At the cowboy hats, the Australian running the leather trims is lighter-hearted. We play the impromptu game "Which accent is worse?" I sound pretty "mate" while making fun of dune buggies and "Skippy," the stufed wallaby he has by his register. Ten I make the mistake of "BLIMEY!" "Tat's English," he says. I lose. Conversation with a random kid in a popped-up pop-up camper on display: — Arielle (peeking head in the open door): Look nice in there? — Kid (sitting on couch): Yeah, yeah, it's pretty cool. Only two beds, though. — Arielle (entering, walking through tiny kitchen with cute little stovetop — aw! — to the bed): Like bunk beds! Tat's fun! (Sits.) Kind of stif, for real. (Looking to top bunk.) And you may hit your head.... — Kid: Yeah, I think I'd rather have an RV. (Starts toward camper door.) More room. (First foot on top step.) I'm kinda claustrophobic. (Exits.) A lady with a bowl cut digs deep in her kettle corn. "Tank God for these benches," she says. Way this place plays, some never-ending story, some extra million clicks on the pedometer, I don't blame the sighing. I sit on a bench next to her, thankful for my comfy Chacos. (Wear trusty shoes, peeps. No high heels, like I've seen 'round here. What the high hell?) I look around from my spot, middle maze aisle. Look at that man in full-on Dickies, shoulders to ankles. Look at them bartle caps, glued neighbors making the shape of Kentucky. Look at that wheel on the wall go 'round and 'round in the Kentucky Lottery playpen. Room for luck in the wheel's green/purple section. Spin the prize wheel and win fve hundo (!!!), or a T-shirt. I've never had much good fortune, so I stand back, let fate fnd others. One lady puts her whole body into it — like them gym squats are really payin' of — gives a grunt, walks away with a "Better luck next time!" Next time, next time, that promising hoax. (Tough no one is saying anything about reincarnation.) In another big ol' echoey room, the animals. Tall horses whose noses I nuzzle. An Ethiopian donkey, all Mr. Cool with his manicured mohawk, gives me the cold shoulder despite my sweet whisperings. Across the poop, a chicken coop. Ten, the piglets. Tey do as they want. Seven asleep, some cuddled together, others scattered with their own warmth. But the two up! With the brown tails wagging! Good God, the way they rip at mama's nipples! One goes at it like this is tug of war, pulls like the cork won't come out the bottle. Mama must be drunk on that swine wine so fne, because she's on her side passed out, or else unbothered by the greedy gremlin suckling. She doesn't move, blink, rear her head. Te other brown tail tramples over Mama, crossing that big bacon bridge, and lands fat-nose-frst in the wood shavings. Parents point at the pigs. "Handful," they say. Kids clamber, pull on mama's shirt and squeal. In the middle of all this, the quackers. Te ducks. Sweet chicks. Tey crowd the duckling slide, a weirdo contraption that sends the 10 or 12 soft yellow fuzzies on a little mini marathon, sliding down one side of the slide to land in a water trough, then swimming, swimming, swimming to the other side to climb back up the ramp and do it all again. Maybe. Most just chill in the middle between inclines, waddling, bumping, circling. Maybe these ducks have fgured out the trick: Te food tantalizing a peck sends them sliding. As more people gather, the encouragement thickens. "Come on, Karen!" "Don't be scared, Steve!" Te chicks play with our hearts by stopping then starting, psyche out. Finally, the biggest chica slides down and it's a ring of uproar, everyone laughing, clapping, wooing. One more step for duck kind! One more step for womankind as I continue north past the "Kidz Biz," where some kids stretch accordion-folded hats over their squishy skulls. I pass the police department's simulated sobriety tests. Despite my balance issues, I stay on the curve of the "road" rug with scattered car parts and other ruins on it. Eyes follow a cop's fnger without moving my head. In the big ol' infatable corn maze (think cartoon stalks), I turn corners seeking kernels like a dumb bird, run into a scarecrow, realize this is the micro maze to the macro maze. I pass the North Wing, where a cooking competition sizzles, go outside where it's still sizzling with heat-buzz. Freddy Farm Bureau, an 18-foot-tall statue with great straight posture, sits on some hay in front of Freedom Hall, greets me with big blue-painted eyes. He's in all blue jean, surrounded by a tiny white picket fence. Te good life. His face reminds me of Woody from Toy Story, sans cowboy hat. People meet at this legend when lost, or smile with his toothy smile, say cheese. I smell cheese fries. See a tall tree moving. What the...? Am I...? Te "Tree of Life," I come to fnd out. A man on stilts under the fake trunk moves his Tiki-thick lips, says that nature and friends and love are life. Te tree's long limbs hug a kid. Leaves sprout as hair. Inside Freedom Hall, empty, eerily quiet. Te arena is closed of, lights still on, but no big-time Foreigner or Lady Antebellum concert bumping, no crimp-tailed shiny show horses strutting. All my years as a Kentuckian and never have I ever seen a cow raise itself to stand up. Never owned one, but I've passed plenty of felds of graze and laze. In the West Wing now, The stranger walks on glad to have helped, and I stand full of direction but directionless. Right past the what? Something about pigs? cellardoorchocolates.com cvs.com

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