Monday, July 25, 2011

Comedy is the Best Revenge

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.--Rom. 12:19

In our little town, which is on the cusp of suburbia and farmland, there is an annual event. For anonymity's sake I'll call it the "Hayseed Gala." It is three days long, usually late in July, consists of carnival rides, food vendors, craft sales, and two nights of really loud cover or tribute bands. Oh yeah, and a beer tent, quite necessary in provoking enthusiasm for said entertainment.

While I many times question why more culturally relevant themes are not explored at the "Hayseed Gala," say, square-dancing, or some local bluegrass... Nope. Just 70's bands. Ugh. I once tried to get a fine art show started, but sadly, after sitting in one of those planning committee meetings, I don't think I could ever do it again. So, it is what it is. Interestingly, this whole thing is set up right in the middle of a neighborhood. There is a field, which many houses (including mine) back up to, and this is the venue for the annual "Hayseed Gala."

I really didn't have a problem with it, until one morning two summers ago, I walked out my back door to find the back of the stage set up not 50 feet from my house!!! This was not the normal positioning of the stage, which had always been in the middle of the field, AWAY from peoples' homes, as one would only find reasonable. I went, um, kind of ballistic. In fact the "Hayseed Gala" committee happened to be out there at that moment and I guess I kind of let 'em have it. Big mistake. I learned that you don't mess with the "Hayseed Gala" planning committee.

The show went on, and trust me, it was louder and more horrible than anyone can explain. I was infuriated, as a tax-paying citizen, that I would be imposed upon in such a ridiculous manner--especially because the stage DID NOT HAVE TO BE THERE. I purposed not to let that ever happen again. Indeed I was told that it would not.

May I just say that with the ensuing events of the next year, complaining and pleading and letter-writing and phone-calling and even *grimace* "Hayseed Gala" planning committee meeting attending (my husband went) we got nowhere. They plunked that stage down right in my back yard again last year. Even though it could have been moved back to its original spot. They gave me some lame story about fire lanes, but they just put something else right where the stage used to be. It was not an issue of safety. It was an issue of small town politics.

Ironically, last year they had this whole big thing about how they wanted to honor military personnel, and my son was coming home for a family reunion after serving for a year in Afghanistan. The only time we could schedule this reunion was during the "Hayseed Gala." It would have been okay to do it then, except for the unbearable noise level caused by the stage being within spitting distance of my deck. You can close your windows, turn on your A/C, cover your ears with pillows, but you still will not even be able to hear your own thoughts in this house once the bands start up.

I appealed to the committee's "patriotism," asking them to please move the stage (back to where it belonged) so we could have a welcome-home party for my son in our home. They would not. So we had to actually have his reunion at my parents' home. Again, I say, all of this could have been avoided because the stage does not have to be in my backyard!!! It never was before. So you can see how angry this has made me. It is a frustration I feel not just for the 3 days, annually, of the "Hayseed Gala" but pretty much every day. That's stupid, I know. Trust me, I have tried to "turn this over" like a million times. I don't like kind of hating this town.

So, I don't have a hilarious wrap-up for this post. There is no comedic solution, really. I just liked calling it the "Hayseed Gala." The real truth is that I have prayed about this a lot. I have had many ideas about what I can learn from this whole ordeal. It is getting kind of scary having government not really care about its law-abiding citizens as individuals, small-scale and large. But we are guaranteed problems in this life. Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble...”--John 16:33b. But He was telling this to His disciples who were about to face severe persecution.

And there are other kinds of troubles: sickness, violence, death, destruction. These things make my "Hayseed Gala" dilemma seem awfully insignificant. Today as I mulled this over, I was very thankful to God that He lets me have this problem instead of a sick child, or something really devastating like that. And here is the second part of what Jesus said, "...But take heart! I have overcome the world."--John 16:33b

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