Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bad postcard of the week: Maritime mayhem in Frankenmuth

We can only imagine what happened on these boats.

Now, where is the marine patrol? Because this, clearly, is a party out of control!

There’s so much going on in this week’s bad postcard, from Frankenmuth, Mich.

Frankemuth is famous for A) Chicken dinners, B) The glorious Cheese Mouse, C) Bronner’s Christmas store and D) Being close to the massive outlet mall.

And, apparently, wild and crazy parties on the river.

Look closely, and you’ll see these are actually two pontoon boats connected. That’s because a party this dangerous can’t be contained on one boat. These people are about to cut loose. See the lady in red? She’s about to start a “Hokey Pokey” dance off. And you know what happens after that. Shudder.

The two kids in the front? Yup. They are contemplating jumping overboard and swimming to safety.

Perhaps the back reveals how this seemly pleasant river cruise turned into the floating frat party.

The back reads: “A group enjoying a scenic trip up the Cass River. Water shows and skiing are also held here during the Bavarian Festival – the second full week in June each year. The river was named after Lewis Cass, appointed military and civil governor of the Michigan Territory in 1831. He also made the famous Cass Treaty with the Chippewa Indians, which predominated the area at that time.”

I’m not sure “predominated” is the word they’re looking for – or any word at all. But there are other issues, like a lack of information about our boating party animals, and too much information about Lewis Cass, who makes no real appearance here.

And then, at the bottom, we get a bonus paragraph: “Frankenmuth Michigan – where the gemuetlichkeit of Old Bavaria blends with the hospitality of New America. Located 6 minutes off I-75 Expressway.”

I know you’re curious. Gemutlichkeit means a situation that includes a cheerful mood, peace of mind, with connotation of belonging and social acceptance, coziness and unhurry.

Or, it means maritime mayhem from boozy boaters. At least that's what our bad postcard would lead us to believe.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Bad postcard of the week: Elmer, Elsie and bovine hell

I look at this postcard and weep for Elsie, Elmer and little Beauregard.

Ruthie is a familiar sight in Michigan. She’s a giant cow statue representing Country Fresh, and appears at fairs, races and other large gatherings.

We ran into Ruthie at last week’s Grand Crossings five-mile bridge walk here in Grand Rapids. And I decided that it’s better to be Ruthie than Elsie, Elmer and Beauregard, at least based on this week’s bad postcard.

In fact, I’m convinced that Elsie, Elmer and Beauregard reside in a corner of the world that can only be described a bovine hell.

Let’s read: Elsie, Elmer and Beauregard are traveling representatives of Borden’s Family of Fine Foods.

The back: Elsie and Family in Person: Elmer is at the left, Elsie is at the right, and young Beauregard is in is playpen. Elsie’s dressing table, made of barrels has milk bottle lamps and her toiletries include Tail Wave Set, Henna Fur Glaze and Meadow Mud Pack. Elmer’s chair is made of actual wheels with barrel staves for rockers. The sampler over the mantle, Elsie did when she was just a heifer. The candle sticks are half ears of corn and the bed ladders have scythe-handles for supports. Books in the breakfront include “The Farmer With Cold Hands,” “Animal Husbandry and Wifery” and “Bulliver’s Travels.” Elsie’s dressing table mirror is a large frying pan and the floor lamp is an old churn.

Let’s start with Beauregard’s playpen. Can he even turn around? Looks like that box is long on pen and short on room to play.

At least Ruthie gets out once in a while.

But it appears that Elsie and Elmer are trapped in pens of their own. Beauregard must be adopted. 

I’d love to see Elmer use that chair. And for his reading material, I ‘m not sure where a cold-handed farmer is touching a bull. I don't think he'd be too excited that we know about his animal husbandry manual.

Elsie might have a sampler and Meadow Mud Pack, but she also lacks opposable thumbs, casting suspicion on her ability to craft or apply beauty aids.

Look at Elsie’s telephone. It looks like it is high on the wall, way out of reach. We can only assume that it is placed there to prevent Elsie from making a desperate call for help. “We’re trapped in a place where the corporate overlord thinks we have semi-human needs and abilities.”

So, Borden. Set your bulls and cows free! Or at least let them share a pen!