We went apple picking this weekend. At least that was our intention. We ended up at an orchard / playground / store hybrid with a bouncing pillow for the kids, a pig race, a petting zoo, cow milking, clogging demonstrations, a really bad singer and lots of fried food.
The petting zoo was the perfect setting for highlighting our girls’ urban tastes. Other kids were letting goats eat out of their hands. The baby goats freaked out Firecracker, who didn’t want them jumping on her. DramaQueen got some feed and then dumped it on the ground (“I don’t want goat saliva on my hands!). They spent most of their time cuddling some new kittens.
We went through a moonshine “museum” – basically a random collection of items that remain a mystery, but which are somehow involved in producing moonshine. This was a “bring your own information” museum. The displays gradually transitioned to various tableaux from the old-timey days. Many items I remembered seeing in my grandparents’ house – old flat irons, a foot pedaled Singer sewing machine, a butter churn. The girls evinced zero curiosity about any of it, as they were eager to find the “giant slide” which turned out to be not so particularly giant after all, and not very slide-y either. When the bungee jump turned out to be $7, and we refused to pay up, DramaQueen gave into general disillusionment.
I was going to suggest ears of corn to eat, until I saw the flies happily dancing over them. I saw some people walking around with turkey legs, and I wondered about the possibility of food poisoning. We finally settled on eating some deep-fried spiral potatoes (which went some way to cheering up DramaQueen) while watching a clogging demonstration. Why do cloggers wear such ridiculous looking outfits? 70 year old women in super-short crinoline skirts and big hair bows – it’s just too easy to ridicule. I gather lots of professional clogging troupes wear more graceful skirts, so maybe it’s peculiar to the backwoods or something. Seriously, these skirts were so short and so stiff with crinoline underskirts it was if the dancers were wearing calico UFOs around their waists. And then one of the younger groups did a routine to a Kate Perry song. Watching cloggers do their thing to the lyrics “you PMS like a girl, I should know” dressed in frilly hillbilly skirts added a surreal touch to the day.
The whole time I had a headache that would not go away. We wandered in the orchard looking for Cameo apples (just behind the weather station, a sign directed, although what exactly a weather station was supposed to look like, I don’t know, and we never found them). We did find apples we had never heard of before - “Arkansas Black” - and inquired at a booth about its flavor – “I don’t know. I don’t eat apples.” Huh.
We came home with apples we mostly found in the orchard store. And, small victory, we got out of there without having to use the port-a-potties.
Happily, my headache was gone in time for (sudden change of topic ahead) the season finale of True Blood, which was strangely bloodless. Literally and figuratively. The supporting characters were as annoying as gnats buzzing around but not getting anywhere. Terry is crying because he’s so durn happy (and I’m watching in disbelief as minute after minute ticks by while Sam and Terry actually pursue a conversation about this). Crystal’s a white-trash panther and an idiot. Jason is left charge of a trashy, inbred bit of wereland. Lafayette is freaking out. Jesus is a brujo (well, duh). Sam is poised to shoot his idiot thieving brother. Hoyt’s mom buys a gun. Tara bobs her hair and heads out of town. Whatev. On the main stage, the King of Mississippi looks like a sack of cinders. He's kind of…ruffly. I could really have done without the extra crispy makeup, but the camera lingers over every charred flake. On a positive note, we are now rid of the urn of gooey vampire remains of the King’s former lover. Sookie pours Talbot down the garbage disposal, flipping the switch with a little psycho giggle. That seemed out of character, but perhaps she was just as tired of looking at it as I was. I mean, really, a clear urn for vampire guts is just tacky.
Eric is all vengeful yet noble, then noble and forgiving, then vengeful again, and then buried in wet cement, and then not buried but really mad, then dusty grey but still looking hot on Sookie’s front porch where he finally tells her what he could just as well have told her many episodes back and for unknown reasons didn’t, that Bill is a bad bad boy. So bad you almost forget that Eric staked the King’s lover while having sex with him (and I would really think twice about staking a vampire in that situation, because the mess is TREMENDOUS). Even badder than in the books. So far in the books Bill has not tried to bury Eric in the foundations of a building or kill the Queen of Louisiana because he has “nothing left to lose”. In the books he’s busy creating a database of vampires. Yes, a database. In response to Sookie’s rejection he begins dating a real estate agent. Yeah, I guess I can see why the script writers decided to go a different direction with his character.
The finale ended with Sookie disappearing into faeryland, at which point all the air went out of the tires. Woaa, she’s in a perfectly safe place surrounded by creatures who intend only good for her. I’m biting my nails, I tell you. I would be rather cranky if it weren’t for all 6 ft 4 inches of Eric Northman, who is, as was heralded with all the subtlety of a bullhorn, being set up to learn forgiveness in Season 4, no doubt while being naked quite a bit.