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2017 Grumpy Old Coot and Cootess Ball

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Taun

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Last nights UM Old Coot and Cootess Ball, Limbo Dance Contest and Flea Market was a howling success – once again… We had record numbers of attendees as well as a record number of arrests, and attendees ending up in traction… So – well done everyone!

The event kicked off precisely at 7 AM (ish) (Pago Pago Central Daylight Savings Times – plus 13 mins) when the UM Chapter of The Fireworks Meisters, Artillery Wranglers, Big Boom Makers and Child Day Care Workers Union (local 315) fired off the Complexes Main Battery of Old Bombards to signal the launching of the Balloon Beer Flotilla (since the United Nations won’t let us have a our beer tent again)…

At that signal, the vast cheering crowds of almost three old coots and cootessess, watched as the vast fleet of Hot Air Balloons, Dirigibles and festively painted WWI surplus Zeppelins were launched (more or less at the same time, certainly within the same hour – or two) from UM’s historic AirShip Aerodrome located deep in the Southwestern Jungles… This aerodrome is of course the one that was the base from which UM’s mighty air fleets set sail to aide our allies (back when we had them) during the Great War… (It’s not certain who’s side we were actually on – but at least we were there!... Or would have been if we had bothered to show up)…

As the majestic beer fleet lifted into the sky frantic ground crews could be seen scrambling to actually load some beer into the balloons…

Eventually, the bulk of the old Coots and Cootessess finally managed to get up and about, dressed, eat breakfast, take their meds, redress to get their undies on the inside this time, pack their kit bags full of the days medications, go out to the local bus stop, wait for the busses – finally realize they are actually at a trash-truck stop – toddle over to the bus stop, wait again. Get on the bus, fumble with their change purse, yell at the driver, find a seat, yell at the various young urchins (those under the age of 50), ride the bus to the festival site, get up from their seats, toddle down the aisle, realize the left something on their seat, toddle back, yell at the urchins again, pick up all their items, count the pennies in their change purses, toddle back down the aisle, yell at the driver, slowly depart the bus, stand there for a while blinking in the dim light of the forest, meet up with their volunteer zombie guides, yell at the zombies to “pull up your pants, you young hoodlum!” and toddle down the forest trail until they finally arrive at the festival grounds, deep in the heart of the Old Creepy Forest. As throngs of cheering fans welcomed the traditional arrival of the Old Coots and Cootessess, Geritol and Pitted Prune vendors worked their way through the crowd hawking their wares…

After the signing in and the ceremonial affixing of the traditional “Hi! I’m a Grumpy Old Coot (or Cootess)! My name is_______, now leave me alone you young whippersnapper!” tags, the Oldsters were herded over to the first event of the festival…

The first event was new for this year, the Old Coots and Cootessess (separated into two lines by gender - for those that can remember theirs) got to stand (more or less) in lines as all the young Urchins amble down the line between them, while the Oldsters got to whack them with their canes and throw empty pill bottles at them..

Following this event, the Balloon Beer fleet actually managed to make a fly over, dropping beer bottles down to the crowds – some of which did not strike anyone… It should be mentioned that by this time the balloonists had been sampling the beer for some hours, so hilarity ensued…

After the wounded were removed to awaiting ambulances and first aid tents (or last aid in some cases), it was time to begin with the judging of the ever popular “Porch Sitting” contest… In this event – as many of you may remember – the Old Coots (or Cootessess) take turns sitting on some rather hastily constructed “Front Porches” as young Urchins attempt to cross the “Yard”… Coots (or Cootessess) are judged on the volume of their yells, the number of unique threats and insults in each tirade and how many times the contestant was able to shake their fist or cane at the Urchin… As always, points were deducted for each curse word, actually striking the urchin with anything, or getting off of the porch itself… This event is always a crowd pleaser and this year’s winners were Don “Phlegm Boy” Petraccelli, in the Old Coots Category and Gertrude “Aunt Gertie” Ishikawa in the Old Cootess category… The lucky winners will receive free antacid pills, and oxygen for the next year, so Well done Gertie and Don!

After this event there was dancing – but not by any of the Old Coots and Cootessess… Remember these are GRUMPY old Coots and Cootessess!

About this time the Beer Balloon fleet was finally driven off by angry rock throwers – though the five that crash landed were pretty quickly swarmed under by the many urchins present, and the unbroken beer bottles handed out all around…

All this time the Flea Market was going full steam, and many Oldsters showcased their crafting skills with wood carvings, quilted and knitted goods, baked goods and a whole host of antiques… Sales were brisk and the proceeds went directly to the “Get Rid of Baggy Pants Youth” fund… Almost $3 were raised – so good work!

The highlight of the afternoon was of course the Limbo Contest… All the Oldsters were lined up (participation was mandatory) and as the live band (“Larry Livingston and his Limbo Lizards”) played authentic (ish) limbo music the limbo stick was set to its starting height of seven feet… Nearly everyone made it through this height and soon it was lowered in accordance with rules set down by the International Limbo Committee… As the bar lowered ever more the contestants were quickly disqualified until at last after five minutes, it was down to three contestants… At the 5 foot mark Hortense Higglemeyer claimed this years trophy! Good work Hortense and we hope you enjoy your free chiropractic treatments!   F. Lex Boadi, the visiting official from the International Limbo Committee was quoted as saying that he was “Highly impressed with the festival but that Old Coots and Cootessess don’t really bend backwards very well”…

After a brief visit to their doctors and chiropractic specialists, the surviving Oldsters were taken to the Ball and Banquet where they whiled away the evening hours in mirth, merriment and a lot of grousing… The Noggin’ Knockers band played many old favorites until the last Old Coot and Cootess was carted off to either bed or the infirmary…They partied well into the 7 PM hour when it was "bed time" for most participants... The last attendees could see – as they were leaving – the still aimlessly wandering Balloon Beer Fleet – drifting high over the Old Creepy Forest with a severe case of the munchies….

As always volunteers are being sought to help police up the grounds in the after math of the festivities – the zombie grounds crews can only do so much… Those interested in helping will receive a full 6 months off their time in the lower Lurkers Oubliettes – or if they are not Lurkers, be excused from next years Grumpy Old Coot And Cootess Ball, Limbo Contest and Flea Market… Volunteers are also advised to wear chain mail as the Old Creepy Forest is infested with squiggles this time of year…

Special thanks to all the volunteers (and indentured servants) who helped set up and run this years festival! (BTW... If anyone sees any of the Balloon crews, tell them they still owe for the beer bottle deposits!)

See You Next year!


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4 Comments


Mr Mork

Posted

Hey!  I payed my dollar for a go on the lucky dip and all I found in the bin was a half eaten sausage roll!!!!

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Taun

Posted

Lucky you... i found a whole sausage roll...

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kmt_sesh

Posted

I had a merry time myself. I'm glad to say that at 50 years of age, I'm still one of the Urchins. I did experience several scoldings from the Coots and Cootesses. They're so grumpy. Now, back to looking for the Balloons...

(Taun, in all honesty, I loved this and I bow to you. Are you one of the Coots?)

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Taun

Posted (edited)

kmt... I AM the Old Coot.... (get offa my lawn you baggy pants whippersnapper!)

BTW kmt... We should begin talks to have you do a lecture tour at the next Old Coot and Cootess Ball, Limbo Dance Contest and Flea Market... You could bring your museums traveling exhibit and we could bill it as "Old Fossils for Old Fossils"... I can pretty much guarantee that with a modest entrance fee (less space rental, import tariffs, staffing costs, translation services, squiggle antidote, room and board, plus my cut I mean registration fees) your Museum could make almost $5 (counted out slowly in pennies of course by the Oldsters)...

Edited by Taun
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