It took all of 30 seconds for the Western Idaho Fairs carnival to shake me up Tuesday.
Unfortunately, it was not one of those gravity-defying rides.
It was a carnie working a rubber-duck game a situation of which I apparently did not allot sufficient attention as I sauntered past.
HEY-HEY-HEY!!! she shrieked like a pterodactyl swooping in for the kill.
Strangely, this caught me off guard. I hitched midstep, thinking she was warning me about a land mine. Then I recovered my grace and continued leading the Deeds clan, exuding my usual force field of infinite coolness.
Let this brief, Man-Card canceling episode for me serve as a reminder to you: If you havent visited the fair in a year or two, be aware that time share-like marketing pressure shall rain upon ye.
Are startle tactics really necessary? If a screaming carnie causes a dude to spill a few drops of Coors Light, thats like $8 soaking the soil.
Whatever happened to How bout one for the lady? (Actually, one guy did bust out that classic. And I thank him for it.)
Stuffed animals and pricey brews notwithstanding (OK, the Coors Light actually costs $5/$7), the fairs midway offers serious fun. Butler Amusements is an impressive, full-scale carnival experience with plenty to explore.
For a few bucks, you can get your mind totally blown on one of several crazy, towering rides. Blown in chunks. So think twice before you wolf multiple Pronto Pups.
Note to parents: Dont attempt to be a wishful cheapskate like me and assume toddlers arent big enough for anything but a merry-go-round. There are lots of kiddie rides for $3. My ornery, er, fearless younger son the one nicknamed Handful by fans at a Boise Hawks game last week got rejected only once for being a smidge shorter than 36 inches. (The rule wasnt strictly enforced. He scrambled onto a Ferris wheel with Mom, no prob.)
Lastly, dont forget your ATM card. The only thing that goes faster than those rides is a $20 bill.
REV IT UP: Chalk it up to irony or the evil powers of Satan, but now that the Revolution Center has opened in Garden City (cover story, page 16), Boises Knitting Factory has exactly zero concerts on its calendar in the next week.
Thats pure coincidence. But theres no question that the RevCenter and Knit are in for a cut-throat battle from this day forward.
As concertgoers migrate indoors this fall and visit both venues, theyll discover their own personal pluses and minuses about each place. Maybe its location. Maybe its parking. Maybe its the price of the cheapest beer in the house or which place serves a stiffer drink.
From a consumer standpoint, theres an obvious benefit to competition. Both venues will need to keep a laser-like focus on selling a quality product at a price the market will bear. Customer happiness? Crucial. Because suddenly, the customer has more choices.
As concert fans, we just have to hope that the live music pie in Boise has enough slices to keep both venues healthy. Hungry? That should not be a problem.
10 BARREL: If youre like me, you read with interest the front-page article in the Aug. 19 Idaho Statesman about the delayed opening of Bend, Ore.-based 10 Barrel Brewing Company.
Who doesnt want more tasty beer and grub in Downtown Boise?
But will 10 Barrel ever actually happen? I have my doubts.
In a nutshell, 10 Barrel has run into one of Idahos infamous red-tape hassles regarding alcohol: 10 Barrel is negotiating with Alcohol Beverage Control and other organizations to find a path through its legal snag, the article explained.
But what are these negotiations? Who are the organizations? Is there any real chance of this working?
Not. A. Clue. Sadly, 10 Barrel aint talking about specifics.
The no comment approach came across as a little weird, but I get it. They need to be cautious in their negotiations with Idahos notoriously pesky alcohol overlords.
At this point, Im crossing 10 Barrel off my list of things coming to Boise. I wouldnt be too shocked if 10 Barrel despite insistence to the contrary is doing the same. Its not like there isnt already plenty of local craft-brew competition popping up in the area and legally.
Michael Deeds column runs Fridays in Scene and Sunday in Life. He co-hosts The Other Studio at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River; he appears Thursdays on Channel 6 News.