What a Week!: Aug. 1-7

Ohio State Fair's 1-ton butter cow pays homage to "A Christmas Story;" there's a serial farter in Greenwich Village; the Big Mac turns 50

click to enlarge Butter Ralphie - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
Butter Ralphie


Scenes From the Ohio State Fair

The Ohio State Fair closed out this weekend after a 12-day run in Columbus. You might remember the fair making headlines last year after a fatal ride malfunction left one dead and seven others injured. Shit was really messed up. Thankfully, there were no awful incidents this year. At least one attendee questioned ride safety in a Facebook video that shows a free-falling tower ride apparently getting stuck, but officials say it was functioning properly, and in general there was mostly fun news coming out of this year’s fair. 

Take, for instance, the world’s largest buckeye! Marsha’s Homemade Buckeyes of Perrysburg, Ohio created the gigantic chocolate-peanut butter treat, weighing in at the fair at 339 pounds (the previous record was 271). This bountiful buckeye was made with around 75 pounds of peanut butter, 75 pounds of margarine, 10 pounds of chocolate and 150 pounds of powdered sugar.

If looking at a larger-than-life candy isn’t really your thing, there were a bunch of concerts this year, with acts including the Beach Boys, Reba McEntire, TLC, En Vogue, Styx and Cheap Trick, which all kind of seem like big names for a Midwestern state fair

But the best and most quintessential aspect of this summer fest has to be the butter cow. An exhibit featuring a cow and calf sculpted from glorious golden butter first debuted in 1903 and has since become a permanent fixture of the fair. There’s always a cow present in the installation alongside other figures — Darth Vader, Furby and Neil Armstrong have all gotten the butter treatment over the years. It’s impressive yet silly, artistic yet low-brow, and so, so very “Ohio.”

This year’s annual butter sculpture was particularly amazing because it paid homage to one of the best holiday movies of all time: the Cleveland-filmed A Christmas Story! The exhibit featured Ralphie, Randy and Flick with his tongue stuck to a pole (alongside a requisite cow). Pretty much the best dairy-based art installation since Brieyoncé, the Beyoncé maternity shoot-inspired work sculpted by David Bradley for last year’s E20 Cheese Carving Championships in London. Which is a thing!

Serial Farter in NYC

Folks in New York neighborhood Greenwich Village are reporting multiple encounters with a man who appears to play fart sound effects as he walks by. Word on the street is some “straight-laced” looking college-aged white dude is perusing the Village with a backpack concealing some sort of fart machine. Witnesses say he’s definitely not actually cutting the cheese because it’s so loud and always sounds the same. 

Some wonder if it’s part of a social experiment, a prank or even some kind of kink thing. Inquiring minds (Read: me) want to know: Is there a smell? Does it count as crop-dusting if there’s no real gas involved? If a man farts in the city and no one smells it, does it have an odor? OK, I’ll stop now.

Big McNews

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac, which McDonald’s celebrated by releasing commemorative “MacCoins” — real ones, not a new cryptocurrency. And honestly, I think I’ve only had one Big Mac in my life. I don’t really get the hype. But if there’s one thing that gets me back into that drive-through (other than a moment of weakness during a killer hangover) it’s McDonald’s Monopoly. 

Launched in 1987, the game promises prizes ranging from free fries and discounted menu items to 1 million bucks — and we ain’t talkin MacCoins. But even if you ate there several times a week during Monopoly season and saved up all your little peel-offs, the most you’re gonna walk away with is an insulin intolerance and fatter ass —I mean, have you ever met anyone that won more than a McGriddle? Probably not, unless you happen to know Jerome Jacobson, a former cop who scammed the contest for 12 years. Between all this McDonald’s talk and a RIGGED scheme, you know this story gives Donald Trump a boner. (Sorry.)

The Daily Beast reported late last month on the fascinating tale that involves a web of mobsters, drug traffickers, psychics, strip club owners and a Mormon family, who collectively (and falsely) claimed $24 million from McDonald’s Monopoly over more than a decade, and how it all led to an FBI investigation called Operation “Final Answer.” 

Upon reading, it was clear to me that this story had movie potential. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck agree. Within days of learning about the scam, the cinematic duo were attached to a project about the Monopoly scandal, beating out bidders that reportedly included Kevin Hart, Steve Carell and Robert Downey, Jr. Affleck will direct and Damon is set to star. No word yet on whether anyone wants to make a film about the Canadian pregnant woman who was served cleaning solution instead of the latte she ordered at Micky D’s last week…

Shark Safe After Abduction

Who steals a shark? Honestly! (I love to keep my content fresh and current, so I hope you enjoyed the reference to 1997’s Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.) A 16-inch horn shark named Helen is safe and sound now after being abducted from the San Antonio Aquarium last week. Three people snatched poor Helen from one of those open shark touch pools (like what Newport Aquarium has, where you can pet sea creatures with two fingers) and disguised her as a baby in a stroller! One of the suspects caught a guilty conscience (or saw the damning surveillance video footage) and confessed to the caper. The shark was rescued from his house and he was arrested while the other two suspects also face charges. 

I’m just curious how committed they were to the baby cover-up. Are we talking like Weekend at Bernie’s-level fakery? Did they put Helen in a onesie and give her a bottle? The idea of a shark named Helen is funny, but a shark named Helen sucking on a pacifier is pure gold.


Contact T.C. Britton: [email protected] 



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