Friday, 15 August 2008

The Art of Seed Spitting.

A final right of passage and the end of Americana was a visit to the Indiana State Fair, with eight assorted members of the Hahn tribe.

The ever effervescent Pop Hahn has only missed one fair in the last 65 years and eagerly took on the role of guide. For me the apparent highlight was a chance to see the two largest pigs in the world - but Pop kept us in suspense for this moment by taking us methodically from exhibition hall to exhibition hall, past tractors, remarkable pumpkins, pampered roosters, home grown tomatoes and rural crafts.

After three hours of rigourous agricultural showcase, we stumbled across a Watermelon Seed Spit Competition. Matt did well - over 25 feet, but my trajectory was all wrong and I barely cleared 12. The Hoosier in the stetson next in line analysed my technique with me.

'You were all up - it went real high, but the seed's so little you need to bust it out yer mouth like a bullet, you were floating it like a paper aeroplane.'

Pop Hahn was on the move again and I had to feign interest in the a talk by the world's fastest Omelette maker to avoid the dog splaying demonstration, which he was keen on attending.

Finally we arrived at the big pigs and had our photos taken with them before refuelling on deep fried gherkins, Pepsi donuts, root beer ice cream sodas and a mountain of thin cut fries... most people leave the fair feeling happy but squiffy and we didn't break with tradition.

...and I'm now the proud owner of an All Indiana Watermelon Seed Spitting Competition participant's pendant!

God Bless America!

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