Thursday, September 3, 2009

Summer of Beer: Tents

Ah, Owen Sound in the summer. Big sun, cool breezes off the bay, green trees and lots of beer. Lots. I mean A LOT of beer.

Every year in August Owen Sound puts on the Summerfolk festival. It's a mini-woodstock that's in it's 31st year. Folk bands play music while hippie chicks shop at homemade jewellery kiosks and I drink at the beer tent.

If you volunteer for set-up construction a week before the festival you get in free for the weekend, so for a fourth Summerfolk in my lifetime I helped set up the site, including lots of fencing and painting stages and kiosks and drinking beer.

During the festival my old friends (some of whom I haven't seen in years) and I hung out at the volunteer campgrounds or the beer tent and...drank beer. Thankfully, as opposed to a couple of years ago when I last went to Summerfolk, nobody brought their kids! So we drank more beer.

I think I spent about 20 minutes at the main stage and the rest of the weekend drinking beer. One night I smoked a little somethin-somethin that was rolled in tobacco leaves and was the size of a cuban cigar and ended up stumbling home at 3 am. My friend S***e, missing somewhere at Summerfolk, sent me a text that read "Help." I replied "With what?" to which he responded "I don't know where I am." Turns out he had wandered to the marina, puked and then passed out under a dry-docked boat.

The Summerfolk bar tent has its own stage where the livelier bands play. Don't get me wrong; the main stage had a few good bands (or so I heard) but there's no dancing or standing or smiling or looking at the stage with your head on an angle to the left. The bar stage had a few great bands, and one of them was a Celtic band from Nova Scotia that was the hit of the weekend.

There were about 8 guys in this band. In addition to the regular drums, bass and guitars they had a couple of fiddlers, a flute-like-thingy, and even a bag-piper! They were lively! I had wandered in to the beer tent when I heard them playing and stumbled upon some of my friends who were dancing so I joined them but, being able to barely stumble around let alone walk upright, I almost fell over a couple of times.

Man, this band was great! You really can't beat lively Celtic music.

Being too drunk does, on occasion, have its drawbacks. There was this beautiful, beautiful brunette in a light-blue dress and a cowboy hat that I started chatting up. We were hitting it off and she touched my arm a couple of times as we laughed and I was thinking "Sweet!" But then I had that prodigal 'one-beer-too-many', and in the way an accident occurs with no warning, I was suddenly too drunk to pass as a human.

As I was trying to look into those incredibly sexy big brown eyes of hers I found I couldn't focus, and her face looked like an out-of-focus picture, and I was aware of the rotation of the earth (except I wasn't keeping up).

I've made a fool of myself in this situation when I was younger and continued to pursue, but now I know that there's no point in reinforcing a defeat, so I stood up suddenly and said "Wow. I'm too loaded to pick you up. Have a great night!" and walked back to the campgrounds.

I never said I was smooth.

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