Opinion

Somebody, please ... make the singing stop

Last weekend, I attended my first Blackberry Festival ever. It was quite the shindig. I was there almost all day Sunday and spent most of the time behind the Bremerton Patriot booth handing out canvas bags, refrigerator magnets and begging for feedback.

As luck would have it, our booth was in one of the best spots in the entire festival — it was right near the entrance, next to the Kiwanis booth. At said Kiwanis booth, they were selling blackberry goods of all sorts, including, as anyone who attended the festival would know, whole blackberry pies.

Every time anyone would buy a pie, the Kiwanis would sing. Hollar, really.

“We really, really thank you, on you we can rely, you’re helping out the children with this Kiwanis pie.”

How do I know this song? Did I ask what the words to the catchy lyric were? Nope. I heard it soooo many times it is now stuck in my head. Still.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not faulting them for singing; I thought it was a nice touch. I even caught myself singing along with them a couple hundred times.

The joke became that if anyone paid $12 for a pie, the Kiwanis would sing, but if anyone paid $20 for a pie, the Kiwanis wouldn’t sing.

The song was not the down point to being next to the Kiwanis food booth.

The down spot was the temptation. And there was much.

Since the booth was the first stop at the festival for many, new arrivals (thousands and thousands of them! Where did all these people come from?) would wait patiently in line, get their blackberry treats, step a few feet away and start shoveling the food into their faces.

Right ... in front ... of ... me. I, like a majority of Americans, am trying to shed a few pounds around the middle. As the blackberry-treat eaters would camp out in groups and eat, all I could do was stare and live vicariously through them.

I was almost positive I was gaining weight by just watching them. As a sidenote, I stepped on the scale the next morning and it didn’t seem to affect me too much.

Several people asked me how many treats I had eaten. “None today,” I would answer, throwing back my shoulders in pride.

“Want some?” was the usual response.

“Have a bag,” I’d say, hurling a canvas Patriot bag at them instead of answering the question.

I did falter on Friday afternoon with blackberry ice cream and it was dee-lish-us. And, of course, I falter every afternoon about 3 with a peanut butter cookie, but nobody’s perfect.

There was one thing I was looking forward to trying — the wine. Oooh, that blackberry wine.

I had tried it once before and wasn’t sure what I thought about it. When I tried it again, I was sure what I thought.

Oooh, it was good. Mmmm, blackberry wine. I was standing next to a gentleman at the wine-tasting booth and we both swigged it back at the same time. Our reaction was the same. We raced to the purchase line.

The Blackberry Festival was a lot of fun, and I have the T-shirt, the two bottles of wine and the intense farmer’s tan to prove it.

For anyone who’s never attended, make it a point to go next year. But please, if you buy a Kiwanis whole pie, pay the $20.

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