Mensa Rejects Local Genius

Saturday October 16, 2010 was Mensa’s National Testing Day.  Trying out for Mensa is on my bucket list for some reason, so a week before the test date I signed up.  I took the test with no preparation; I figured a legitimate genius is one that can consistently reproduce genius-caliber test scores.  Memorizing a bunch of logic problem shortcuts does not a bona fide genius make.  There were other factors that contributed to my lack of preparedness, but this is the one that makes me sound the most sympathetic.

Breakdown of reasons why I didn’t prep for the Mensa test

The Mensa Admissions Test was administered at a nearby public library.  There were four other test takers with me:  A severely overweight gentleman who required a chair for each arse cheek (I swear); a man who claimed to be unemployed for the past two years and logically concluded that his test results would result in spontaneous job offers; an obese 16-year-old gal whose hung-over mother seemed pretty annoyed to be out of bed at 10:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning to sign the test as the girl’s legal guardian; and a 65-year-old Elvis impersonator.

I was the last one to arrive and since the administrator had not anticipated such a massive turnout, I was given the privilege of choosing who I would like to sit next to.  I selected Elvis because he looked both the most intelligent (I did not want any dumb nuts copying off me and sailing into Mensa on my coattails) and the least likely to emit a distracting odor.

The first portion of the test went by quickly, meaning that I answered only 38 out of the 50 questions.  You would think the serene screaming of the water pipes and the persistent knocking of the storage room door from the vent drafts would have helped me to focus.  I’m not making excuses; I’m just trying to give you a feel for the conditions I was working under.

The second portion of the test was all multiple choice (the first leg was a short answer and multiple choice combo).  It all culminated in us would-be Mensans answering questions pertaining to the administrator’s recitation of a riveting short story about some ancient Greek dorks who pranced around a fire to celebrate the life/death/bowel movements of the god Dionysus.

When it was all over, we sat there smiling at the administrator expectantly, as if to ask, “Did you grade our tests yet?  Well can you give us an answer sheet?”  She was kind enough to give me a little booklet with a schedule of upcoming events and activities that I could be a part of, should I qualify for membership.  I got excited as I envisioned myself joining the Wii bowling league or attending seminars such as “Nanotechnology Intro: Much Ado about Nano” or “Urban Chicken Raising” or “A History of Fire Safety in America”.

Said dreams were shattered two weeks later when I received the flabbergasting news that I had not been deemed brilliant enough to join the ranks of people who gather the first Saturday of every month for Star Trek rare episode viewings.

Page from the October issue of ChiME, Mensa’s monthly newsletter.
Arrows indicate intriguing activities offered on Halloween weekend.

Mensa does not provide test takers with a test score or even tell you what percentile you performed at.  You either ranked in the 98th percentile of those taking the test or you did not.

My rejection letter mentioned that I could still get into Mensa by submitting my standardized test scores from my K-12 days. If you score in the 98th percentile among the test takers in any one of a variety of other intelligence tests, you qualify for membership.  I saved my score reports at home, and have confirmed that I did indeed test in the 98th percentiles of several qualifying tests. 

Why didn’t those Mensa-holes tell me this option before I took their $40 entrance exam? While I am certainly overjoyed to help fund the Sunday afternoon Shakespeare Improv parties of a group of total strangers, I am a little peeved.  If they think I am going to reapply for membership just because they waived the application fee the second time around, they’ve got another thing coming to them.  And by having another thing coming to them, I mean that my application and a copy of my test scores are in the mail.

My rejection letter.  The large NO symbol was added for dramatic effect.

Um, You Have a Package

I am not going to tell you how much I love Halloween.  Everyone loves Halloween and everyone talks about how much they love Halloween, and I’m in the business of saying things that people haven’t said before.  Not really, but it’s a better opener than the first one I had: “I looove Halloween; it’s my favorite time of the year; I love when the leaves are on the ground and the smells of pumpkin spice and Fun Size Snickers are in the air, and women ages 12-60 dress up like characters from dirty old mens’ fantasies.”

Last year I realized how much more enjoyable Halloween is when you wear a comfortable costume versus a latex catsuit or lingerie adaptation of a Disney character.  I forwent the naughty nurse/sexy French maid/skanky Rainbow Brite route and went as Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell.  I wore a Bayside High P.E. uniform and white Keds and I was done.  And comfortable.  I felt like a genius as I walked around the city, patiently waiting for my friends to hike up their fishnet stockings and limp onward in their platform heels.

This year, I had originally planned to go as Tom Cruise from Risky Business because underwear and a men’s dress shirt with socks and no shoes is the ultimate no fuss getup.  However, I found a cute mummy costume that would validate the purchase of a cute new pair of shoes.  The cute mummy costume won and, while the mummy costume is not horribly inappropriate for work, it is not terrificaly a-ppropriate so I decided to get a costume that would be acceptable in my office.

I have only been at my new job for a few months now, so it had to be perfectly benign.  Last year, at my previous place of work, I dressed up as one of my coworkers.  She dressed up as me.  Feelings were hurt, HR convened, written warnings were placed in personnel files…  Just kidding, but it is interesting to see how people see you.

I purchased a Waldo (Where’s Waldo?) costume from Amazon and had it shipped to my office.  Tip for having Amazon purchases shipped to your office: find out the name of the company shipping your order before deciding where to have it delivered.  I did not do this, hence my surprise when I went to open the package and saw that the return address label boasted the company name FANTASIE COSTUMES in big, bold letters.

Had I noticed this before the mailroom clerk exited my office, I would have said something like “Oh, good, there’s my work-appropriate Where’s Waldo? long-sleeved t-shirt and stocking cap I’ve been waiting for.”  But I did not and now the mailroom clerk, and whoever he confides in, are going to smirk every time I close my office door.  Conference call my ass, they’ll think.  I wonder what kind of “webinar” she’s doing at two o’clock in the afternoon, they’ll whisper.

All turned out to be for naught, as I later learned that the departments at my company do group costumes, and this year my department has chosen a Mad Men theme.  I don’t think Waldo will fit in, so I am going to keep him around for a rainy day.

The moral of the story is: don’t bother trying to do something respectable (like getting an age or body appropriate costume) because fate will always intervene to make you look like a sexual deviant.

Oh and please, this Halloween, respect your children and pets by avoiding the following:

To Whom it May Concern at Gogole

Dear Sirs,

When I have a need for information, I reach for my Google.  I am a loyal customer to your search engine.  I’ve never liked Yahoo! or Bing!  This being said, I am afraid that I am going to have to take my frenemy stalking and cute monkey videos research elsewhere.  That is, unless you can assist me with the one complaint I have that is driving me from your warm embrace. 

You see, I am pretty easy-going and patient as a general rule, but I can be a very impatient person when I want to be. Unfortunately, as result, it often takes me several tries to get to the Google page because I type the second “g” before the second “o” because I just can’t wait to type that “g” and by the time I’m done hitting the first “o” I’ve already moved on to the “g” without waiting for the second “o” to make his appearance and so for the first three tries, I wind up entering and then I have to backspace backspace backspace and retype gogole two more times until a light bulb comes on and I take a deep breath and slowly and painfully peck out google.

Please don’t write me back with a laundry list of alternative suggestions.  I know I could just set my home page to Google, which I do.  However, I also want to open up Google in other tabs in the same browser, which requires me typing it.  I could, you might argue, utilize the handy predictor text feature.  However, I would argue, that tool is not handy and I have purposely disabled it because I do not want other people using my computer to see where I’ve been.  What if a visiting friend asks to check their e-mail or harvest their Farmville crops and sees that I’ve been Facebook stalking them?  This leaves only one solution.  Google really needs to buy and have visitors automatically redirected to

I realize that what I am asking will cost some money and take some of your time.  On the other hand, it seems you have a lot of people working for you that can handle this request, as I always see your job ads on web boards and since you never respond to my resume submissions, I have concluded that you must already have these positions filled.  Why else wouldn’t you hire a neurotic, impatient girl that writes letters to companies asking them to purchase additional web domains in order to retain her loyalty?

But you’re getting off topic here.  I don’t want to work for you, I just want you to purchase  Thank you in advance for writing me back a polite letter of response, detailing an approximate timeline of when I can expect to be fully operational.


Marisa Knudsen
G-mail account holder and Google patron

30 seconds later:

To whom it may concern at Google:

Please disregard my previous message.  I see that you have already obtained

Humbly yours,

Marisa Knudsen

John Cougar Melonhead

When I was six and my sister was zero and my parents were like thirty and my dog Cookie was three, we moved from Bettendorf, Iowa to Streamwood, Illinois so that my dad could take a better job and so that I could grow up near a decent shopping mall.  Okay, the last part might not have been part of my parents’ original motivation, but I’m thankful for it anyway.  Ninety-five percent of my relatives continued to live in various small towns in eastern Iowa, which meant that for the next twelve years I accompanied my family on monthly road trips “back home”.
Now a three hour drive may not seem like a bona fide road trip, but for a kid it’s a twenty minute adventure followed by a 160 minute test of ennui endurance.  Grownups can sleep during a long drive, but kids don’t have that luxury — they don’t believe in sleep and therefore fight it with everything they’ve got. 
Playing with the usual toys just wasn’t the same in the car so music became a very critical component in my quest to stomp out boredom.  I had three tapes* that I played.  Three tapes; the same ones on every trip.  My parents never once complained (to my face) about having to listen to the same music every time we got in the car.  They were probably just thankful for the peace and quiet afforded them by my preoccupation with closing my eyes or staring out the window as I “watched” the music videos (starring me) that I directed and produced inside my head for each song.

*Cassette tapes are ancient forms of soundrecording.  They consist of two spools around which magnetic tape is wound, all encased in a platic shell.  When inserted into a tape deck, the magnetic tape moves across the spools and, through magical and complicated processes, plays beautiful music.  Tapes have two sides: an A side and a B side, which contain different sets of songs.

Same songs every trip, same imaginary music videos reeling, but it never got old and I never fell asleep because this was exciting.  I mean, I was in a music video, for crying out loud.  This rush would keep me awake and happy until we reached our destination.

The three tapes that I played time and again for my family were:
Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO) – Greatest Hits  Although I generally assume that all songs are about me, I was especially convinced that BTO had me in mind while writing “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” which had the lyrics, “and then she looked at me with those big brown eyes…”  Given that, A, I have brown eyes, and B, my parents confirmed that yes, mine were definitely big eyes, I had all the evidence I needed.
John Cougar Mellencamp – Scarecrow  For the longest time I believed his name was really John Cougar Melonhead because that is how my dad referred to him.  I watched a documentary on JCM once and the only thing I recall from it was him stating that he always starts up his next cigarette before his current one is cashed, and he never stops smoking while he’s awake.  Recalling this, I had to head over to Google to make sure that he was, in fact, still alive.  He is, but Wikipedia does not provide an explanation as to how this is possible.
Billy Ray Cyrus – Some Gave All  This is the album with the legendary country hit, “Achy Breaky Heart”.  Maybe it was his only album, I’m not sure.  I loved and memorized every word of every song on that tape.

When my parents bought a Winnebago, I was pretty excited because it would give us lots of room for activities and it just seemed like such an extravagance to me at the time. It had a fold out bed and a little coffee table, even a tiny black and white TV mounted from the ceiling.  I mean, this thing was high class.  We might as well have been traveling with BTO, rocking out in our tour bus.

Once I went inside the van, however, I decided that I was not happy about it.  It had a new car smell, which I don’t think I had ever smelled before.  My disappointment did not last long once my dad showed me the tape deck, which flipped a cassette from side A to side B (see earlier notes regarding the anatomy of a cassette tape) ON ITS OWN!  While still INSIDE the tape deck!
Suddenly I could not wait for the next road trip — I needed to get my John Cougar Melonhead on!

It’s not Facebook, it’s You

If you’re so worried about Facebook’s invasion of your personal privacy, maybe don’t post profile pictures of yourself passed out in a bathtub.  With your underwear showing.

This screams, “Hire me/Accept me into your grad school program.”

Or status updates blasting your boss (who you are FB friends with and have granted an all access pass to your page).

I’m just saying.


Some people poop in the bathroom, some people peep.  I used to shoe peep.  In the bathroom.  As of earlier this year (and by the way, this is the first time I have talked publicly about this) I have confirmed that there is at least one other person in this world – in Chicago, no less! – who also shoe peeps in the bathroom.

Before you start assuming I am some deranged deviant that peeked over the top of the partitions or hid in the vent ducts, let me explain shoe peeping. When I went into a public restroom and entered my chosen stall, I always did a quick peep sweep under the stalls.  I didn’t crane my neck trying to see faces or ascertain whether my neighbor was perpetrating a number one or a number two.  I just liked to take a quick inventory of the shoes because (a) I like shoes and (b) I liked to play the Match the Shoes to the Coworker game.

WELL, several months ago I was doing my quick sweep and ahhhh!! Another peeper sweeper was peeper sweepering RIGHT NEXT TO ME.  Like, our faces were inches apart.  We both screamed.  Then there was silence and it was like, “*&$%@#!!!  Now what?!”  I was slightly panicky and I’m not sure why because it’s the equivalent of a guy ordering a prostitute and when she shows up it turns out she’s his wife.  You can’t be mad at me, but I can’t be mad at you, either, sort of deal.

Thankful it wasn’t a coworker, but embarrassed that it was likely someone who worked on the same floor and I could possibly run into again, I decided to weather the storm in my stall.  So I just kind of sat there, waiting.  Well, apparently that was the other chick’s game plan, too.  After several minutes had passed I decided I sure as hell wasn’t venturing out.  She could damn well go first.  What if she was really just waiting until I left so she could run out and confront me?  She was probably sick like that, I thought.

I don’t know how long it took but she finally cried uncle and left.  Without washing her hands, I might add.  I can’t really blame her; I would have hightailed it out of there too.  So you might think I left shortly thereafter but you don’t know how my twisted little brain works because now I was terrified that she was either waiting outside the door with her filthy unwashed hands or she had run back to her office and gathered up her coworkers to come confront me as a group, conveniently leaving out the part of the story where she was also peeper sweepering.

I finally made it back to my desk and, unsure of how long I had been in the bathroom, promptly began to worry that my coworkers had noticed my extended stay in the washroom and concluded who knows what.

That was the last day I ever peeped and I haven’t looked back.  Actually, in hindsight (and having now been peeped myself), I guess it really is kind of creepy.

The Century Club

This past Sunday, I mastered the Door County Century – a 100 mile bike ride up and down the peninsula.  Mastered is a strong word; let’s just say I finished it.

Doesn’t your butt hurt just looking at it?
There is a lot of preparation that goes into the pre-cycle.  Many people train or at least occasionally ride their bike throughout the year before trying to hammer out 100 miles before 5 p.m., when they start clearing the streets.  Most entrants also do things like invest in a road bike, eat a good breakfast, load up on carbs and have a general idea of what they are getting themselves into.  Me, I prefer to do no research whatsoever, ride a mountain bike and walk a thin line between skipping breakfast and enjoying a slice of beer bread.  At the suggestion of my boyfriend’s sister, however, I did have a hefty dinner the night before, but then again I’m always on the lookout for an excuse to inhale a pound of french fries.
I initially had only intended to do a half century (50 miles, if my math is correct) but once on the trail and enjoying a steady supply of sugary muffins and other treats offered at the rest stops, I became delirious and thought that not only could I finish the full 100 miles, but I could probably also keep up with my boyfriend and his sister, even though they are half German, half cycle-bot.  And for a while, I was clipping along at a decent pace, hopped up from a recent binge of strawberry shortcake and Excedrin.
I don’t know why it was so difficult.  Several times a year I have been known to make the 1/8 of a mile journey, by bike, to the library.  If you would have asked me if I could make that same trip 800 more times, back to back, I would have said, “Of course!”
That was before I realized the full extent of what 9 hours in the saddle can do to one’s butt.  (A couple times on the trail, when no one was around, I would reach into my yoga pants — yes, yes, I know, I should have had padded spandex shorts with energy bar logos across my butt but I was unprepared — and gingerly tap the raw fleshy mass where my butt used to be and inspect my hand for blood or clumps of skin.)
Also, due to the fact that I apparently ride in a pigeon-toed contortion of my feet, my knees feel like any bend might send them snapping off and flying across the room.  I have to slowly back up and lower myself into all seats.
It was a very fun ride, though, despite all the whining I’m subjecting you to.  I made several friends along the way – everyone is extremely friendly and supportive.  The people who passed me (which would include the group known as everybody; even senior citizens and a group of three guys with fairy wings attached to their backs) would ask me, “How many miles you doin’?”
Although I would think to myself, “Well, I’m on the same 100-mile route you’re doing, idiot, so you do the math”, but of course I only said, “The full hundred”, to which they would respond, “On a mountain bike?!  Good for you!”
Then I would feel pretty proud of myself and pretend like I had done this on purpose.  “Yeah, I figured my $17,000 road bike wouldn’t be enough of a challenge, so I opted for the mountain bike.  Next year I’m bringing a one-speed with pedal brakes.”  Pfft, next year, my chaffed ass.
I probably could be tempted into going again next year, once my butt has grown back and I’ve repressed the memory of the head wind that escorted me the last 40 miles to the finish line.
I have learned a few things, though, that I will definitely implement before going on next year’s trip.
  • First of all, I’m bringing a $46,000, 11-ounce road bike with nitrous propulsion jets and a team of sled dogs.  I also have to find out where they sell those protein bars laced with speed that everyone had.
  • Burning 2,000 calories is no excuse to consume 8,000 calories.  (They feed you delicious junk food along the way and then at the end they hand you another huge plate of junk and your stomach screams and jumps up and down and tells your brain, “Body. Need. Food. Give. Body. More. Food.” and your brain’s like, “No, idiot, you don’t need this,” but your body’s all like screaming and whining and your brain doesn’t want to put up with your body’s crap anymore so it gives in and allows your hands to keep transporting more food to your mouth.)
  • Cyclists are a different breed.  The hard core ones, anyway.  I thought there would be more casual bikers there, such as myself, but when I entered the parking lot and saw all the Subarus I knew I was in trouble.  I’ve never seen a higher concentration of Subarus.  (Yes, smartasses, not even at a Subaru dealership.)  To summarize, I will not be wearing yoga pants to my next Century, I don’t care how awesome my butt looks in them.
  • Taking the next day off work would be a good plan in the future.  Believe it or not, after nine hours of bike riding we just did not feel up to the 6 hour drive home in the dark.
I’m making the Century sound like a nightmare, but that’s just because saying positive things isn’t very funny.  The Century was a great time and I would recommend anyone do it.  As I have proven, you don’t need to be in the best shape to finish, you just have to be stubborn persistent enough.  Your mind will always quit before your body. 
I don’t want to leave things on a positive note, so I’ll tell you that I just went to the bathroom and looked at my butt in the mirror and it looks frostbitten.  Pictures coming soon, once I regain the flexibility to take pictures of my own arse.

Truth in Commuting

I recently got a new job that I love (clapping).  One concern I had, though, was that I am currently living in the burbs and would have to take the train into the city until I could sell my condo.  My first thought was, S&%T, this is going to blow.  My second thought was, at least I’ll probably get some good blog fodder out of it.

I was wrong on the first score.  Taking the train doesn’t suck.  In fact, it’s pretty awesome because it is forced decompression, which is something I need.  I was totally correct, however, on the second score.  I could write a daily blog just chronicling the morons on the train. 

On the first day, I was one of those morons.  I can’t describe how cool I felt taking the train into the city for work.  I felt so bad ass and I felt even bad assier once I got my monthly pass because I would no longer look like a tourist with my ten ride ticket.

By day two, I had perfected my “I’m so bored because I take this train every day” look.  Inside, though, I was pumped and the imaginary iPod in my head would play BTO.  You get up every morning from the alarm clock’s warning, take the eight-fifteen into the city…  I actually take a seven forty-three into the city, but hey it’s my imaginary iPod — you just listen to it.

You really get to know your fellow commuters without ever saying a word to one another.  I don’t mean to stare or eavesdrop, but I do — it’s unavoidable.  I have gotten to the point where I have a certain car I always ride in for the inbound trip and a certain car I prefer for the outbound ride.  Most of the other regular passengers have a preference for a specific car, too, and in this way you come to observe them and their habits.

There is one annoyingly engrossing trio that I often find myself sitting next to on the second car of the inbound train.  It’s a middle-aged woman, a middle-aged man and an old man that appears to be well past retirement age.  I suspect they all work together but I will require further eavesdropping to confirm.

The woman thinks she is hot stuff and constantly brings up her plastic surgeon in conversations.  “My plastic surgeon said it’s supposed to rain this weekend…”, “My plastic surgeon recommended this little restaurant…”, “I asked my plastic surgeon where he…”, etc.  She is only moderately annoying. 

The middle-aged man I am pretty neutral on.  In fact, he probably wouldn’t annoy me at all if he weren’t associated with the other two.

The old man either really annoys me or greatly amuses me, depending on my mood.  He talks really loud (which isn’t a huge deal), but 99% of everything that comes out of his month is wrong.  Not wrong in the pedophile-derogatory-chauvinistic-insensitive way, but in the dude-that’s-totally-not-true way.  He is constantly delivering false information to the other two in tenacious outbursts.  Some things this man has claimed:

  • China does not have a country flag because the design and colors they wanted were already being used by Belgium.  I have no idea whether or not China and Belgium both wanted the same flag design — my knowledge is not that specialized — however, I am fairly confident that China has a flag.
           The Chinese flag that doesn’t exist.
    The Belgium flag, with its clever design, is highly coveted by the Chinese.

  • Noodles and Company is not a chain; there is only one and it is located a couple blocks from Union Station.  (The middle-aged man thought he saw one somewhere else once but the old man assured him that no, Noodles and Company is one of a kind.)
  • The above conversation eventually sparked a conversation about franchises and the old man said, “I bet you didn’t know franchises were illegal in the United States until about 10 years ago.”  Um yeah, they probably did not know about that since it isn’t true.
  • If you don’t panic under water, you won’t drown because there is enough oxygen in water for a calm human to survive.  I wanted to shout, “Prove it!”  This was probably the most annoying statement I have ever heard him, or anyone, make.

I can’t figure out if this guy is lying, stupid or just BS-ing.  I don’t see any reason to lie about any of this stuff unless he has pathological tendencies.  Lying is about cost efficiency and I don’t see the payoff in these cases.  I have seen him work a vending machine with complete competence, so I’m ruling out the level of stupidity that would be required to actually believe his own nuggets of wisdom.  That leaves the BS theory — but wouldn’t you pick something grander and more personal to exaggerate about?  Like you caught a 17-foot walleye or turned down sexual advances from Brooke Burke or Brooke Burke saw you catch a 17-foot walleye and subsequently made sexual advances toward you?

After investing many man hours, I was able to find a photo of Brooke Burke wearing clothing.

To summarize, I am annoyed.  But not annoyed enough to drive to work, which would be really annoying.

The Cow Jumped Over the Moon

I apologize for my conspicuous absence during the month of July.  I’m sure you all noticed and became clinically depressed as a result but it’s okay, I’m back.  I went to Maui, where my sister’s boyfriend mooned me underwater during a snorkeling trip and a cow had the audacity to pee in front of me.

To protect the identity of my sister’s boyfriend,
Nick Novak, I have blocked out his face.

 Photography by Marisa Knudsen (hey-o)

I trust these pictures will make up for my absence.  Let this entry serve as my much anticipated return to the front lines of hard-hitting blog topics such as how much I hate hipsters and other variations of d-bags.


I went to Lollapalooza a couple weekends ago. Don’t flip the channel – I’m not going to pretend I have any authority to discuss music on a deep level.  I just want to talk about the good people watching. The people watching at Lolla is better than the stuff you get at the mall, the train and the bar at closing time – combined. It’s that good.  As expected, I drew many unfair conclusions about people that weekend.  Actually, I just confirmed preconceived notions I already had about people.

There are two types of people that go to music festivals.  The hipsters who act like worldly, benevolent, deep thinkers (pfft) and the ones who internally smirk at the hipsters. What annoys me most is that hipsters are too lazy or uncreative (likely both) to come up with their own generational motif.  They’re totally ripping off hippies. Okay, I get it, you voted for Obama and you’re really deep and introspective and you love the Earth and all its inhabitants (but hate everything else) – now could you please take off your dirty headband and crocheted vest? Stop trying to justify your love of pot behind a smokescreen of ideals.  I could care less if you smoke pot as a meal replacement, just don’t insult my intelligence by trying to convince me it’s all part of some spiritual lifestyle or deep idealistic movement.  I’m not asking you to carry a Lacoste beach bag and walk around in Tory Burch sandals.  Just take the occasional shower and maybe wear clothes that haven’t been in circulation longer than The Grapes of Wrath.

I’m getting riled up over here so I’ll move along. 

Friday night there was a somewhat unusual crowd for Lolla because Lady Gaga was headlining. Yes, the freaks were out in full force but the truly unusual guests were all the little people and by little people I mean kids, not midgets, so settle down before you crap your pants skinny jeans.

It was endlessly entertaining to watch the parents cover their children’s eyes and ears every five seconds because Gaga was screaming profanities or writhing half-naked in a fountain of (hopefully fake) blood. Maybe next time they will do a little more research before taking their four-year-old to a music festival to see Lady Gaga and, scarier yet, all the hipsters in their smelly and obscene finery.  The best was a couple who brought their kindergarten-aged daughter.  Every time Gaga would scream “Where are all my Chicago gays?!?” or hiss “I know you all waaaaant me,” the wife would glare over at her husband, who would promptly earmuff the kid, who has probably never heard innuendo on TV or heard her dad scream obscenities during Monday Night Football.

As I mentioned we had some freak sightings (girls and guys wearing reproductions of Lady Gaga’s more outrageous outfits).  Probably some people should have not been wearing thongs but hey, good for them, feeling good about their big old dimply butts. Good for them. (Bad for us.) Gaga encouraged their behavior by telling them she had created an invisible bubble where all the freaks could go and be loved and accepted. That really got them going.  It got me going, too… over to check out the other headliner, Phoenix, which was not as awful as I thought it was going to be.

Most likely, the Gaga fans wearing costumes were hipsters who went in costume because a) hipsters love any excuse to wear retarded (I am three-quarters retarded so I can say that) outfits and b) they didn’t want their other hipster friends to know about their guilty mainstream pleasure.

I saw a few t-shirts that I liked because they made fun of hipsters but the ironic part was that it was usually a hipster wearing it which led me to believe that they (the hipsters) were either making fun of the people who were making fun of them (which would totally contradict all my stereotypes about their stupidity and their lack of a sense of humor) or they were totally oblivious to the fact that the shirt was making fun of them (sounds more likely).

Enough about the hipsters.  Let me tell you about a specific person I observed that weekend whose memory I am working to repress; I am hoping writing about it will help me to move on.

It took place on Saturday afternoon.  I witnessed something so disquieting that I started gagging.  I almost puked.  I’m not a milquetoast (show me some ear wax or a big eye booger and I’m interested) but this was seriously nasty so if you’re squeamish at all or reading this during your lunch break you might want to skip ahead.

So we’re watching Devo right?  (Surprisingly good, by the way.)  So we’re watching Devo and for some reason this group of guys is moshing.  (Some reason = they are wasted and think they’re already at the crappy Green Day concert scheduled for later that night).  One of the guys is barefoot and kicking up all the nasty muck.  To understand the full intensity of the nastiness of what occurs you need to understand that this muck is not just your run of the mill mud.  This is like soil, gravel, sewer drainage, grease runoff from the hipsters’ scalps, rainwater and port-a-potty leakage all mixed together and he’s just digging his toes in like it’s a spa treatment.  At one point he grabs one of his feet for examination and his friends start screaming because the skin on the bottom of his foot is peeling off from the exfoliating benefits of the aforementioned mixture.

That part wasn’t so bad.  I’m a girl, I’ve had pedicures, I’ve had the skin scraped off the bottom of my feet and, yeah, I paid for it.  What happened next, however, is pretty nasty:  He grinned and grabbed a slice of the skin and peeled it off his foot, then he dangled it above is mouth like it was a truffle.  I wish I could say he stopped there but he went for it. Yes, he put that bad boy in his mouth and chomped it like it was gum.  Everyone was screaming and gagging and this just seemed to fuel his fire because then he tried to blow a bubble with it.  At that point I was wishing a whole bunch of hipsters would come and sit down and roll a joint and drink some organic blueberry juice and interrogate one another with heavy existential questions.  Be careful what you wish for.