Friday, August 28, 2009

The Great Minnesota Get Together

by Daniel

Some people anticipate the apocalypse or “end of days.” There are others who wait eagerly for the parousia. Minnesotans, however, hold out for the greatest of “get togethers.” Yes, it’s that time again. The Minnesota State Fair has once again cast its corpulent, greasy shadow over the Twin Cities. Our “claim to fame” (so-to-speak) is our food. According to Minnesotan tradition, everything “under the sun” can be fried and put on a stick. Such a phrasing should pique the interests of a seminarian. Consider Israel’s Wisdom tradition. The book of Ecclesiastes is an important part of Israel’s collection of Wisdom. This seemingly choleric proverbial book has much to offer its readers and hearers (even with respect to the State Fair).

Consider Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 (TNK): “A season is set for everything, a time for every experience under heaven: 2 A time for being born and a time for dying, A time for planting and a time for uprooting the planted; 3 A time for slaying and a time for healing, A time for tearing down and a time for building up; 4 A time for weeping and a time for laughing, A time for wailing and a time for dancing; 5 A time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones, A time for embracing and a time for shunning embraces; 6 A time for seeking and a time for losing, A time for keeping and a time for discarding; 7 A time for ripping and a time for sewing, A time for silence and a time for speaking; 8 A time for loving and a time for hating; A time for war and a time for peace.”

In the created order of things – everything has its season. So if there’s a time for “everything under the sun” – the Minnesota State Fair is perhaps the one time when it is appropriate to fry candy bars, bratwursts (wrapped in bacon), pickles, ostrich, nutrolls, cheese – and put them on a stick. There’s a drop-down box on the State Fair website that actually lists all of the “on-a-stick” category foods. Yikes!

Regardless, have a wonderful weekend. And if you travel to the State Fair I hope you have a safe, fun, and semi-healthy time. Take care!


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