The rain that has been coming down since Monday has stopped, and, in the manner of mothers everywhere, I have just sighed with relief and shooed my children outside.  The noise level has been unbelievable around here.  We played Go Fish and the sounds emanating from my children were ear-shattering.  Mark dislikes “winning” games, and so we played Go Fish as a game in which we were rescuing animals; anyone getting a pair rescued the animals displayed on the cards.  It was like a cooperative, super-politically-correct version of Go Fish.  My friend asked me if saying Go Fish was verbatim from an animal-cruelty perspective, and in fact Mark DID make everyone say “Go Rescue” instead.

Jake continued to say Go Fish throughout the game.

It is not a coincidence that I am drinking a beer right now.  Not just because of the, to quote the Grinch, “Noise! Noise! Noise!”, but also because it’s Stampede week!  For those of you who are not familiar, Stampede is not just a rodeo/midway/excuse to come up with ever-more disgusting food products.  Doughnut burgers are a new thing this year, and I wish, I WISH I was joking about this.  A maple dipped doughnut is the bun.  Meat in the middle.  It makes me fear for society.

Speaking of fearing for society, I wonder if carnies still try to cop a feel while adjusting safety restraints.  Or is sexual harassment via midway entertainment so twenty years ago?  It’s hard to say. 

But Stampede is more than just that.  Stampede is ten days of drunken debauchery for a large percentage of Calgarians and those who may be visiting Calgary during this time.  Divorce lawyers are busy as bees in the weeks following Stampede, and pregnancy rates go up.  My own first born was conceived during a Stampede week, and so was almost every other baby in my prenatal class.  (My second born was conceived during the Christmas season, and September is also a busy time in the delivery room.  Was Mommy kissing Santa Claus?  Why yes, she was.)

More than that, Stampede is a time where bad fashion rears its ugly head.  This was especially apparent to me back in the days when I worked in an office.  Men with whom I had a professional relationship and who would normally be clad in khakis and golf shirts would come to work clad in tight Wrangler jeans and shirts with wolves on them.  Or sunsets.  Or eagles.  And the women!  My friend Rita wrote a brilliant piece on Stampede fashion and I cannot even attempt to replicate her accurate descriptions, and so I will just direct you to read the piece.  Hootchie Mama indeed, Rita, you hit the nail on the head.


  1. I haven’t even ventured into the city yet. It’s quieter out here.
    Hubs wants a new laptop so he is at the Stampede Casino playing poker with drunks who have more money than sense and tend to try and throw their money around to impress the hootchie mommas.
    Saw someone at Calaway on the weekend with a shirt with no sides, (you could see clear through to the other side) a shiny black bra and a teeny tiny denim skirt and knee length boots. Then I went home and washed my eyes out with bleach.

  2. So you’re drinking a beer to screw up your courage before slipping on your leather singlet and shiny red cowboy boots?

  3. A maple dipped doughnut is the bun. Meat in the middle.

    This is why the terrorists hate us. Collectively, we have more money than sense.

    Enjoy your beer. I’m assuming it’s a Pilsner, right?

  4. That donut thing sounds disgusting. What is wrong with people thinking that is a good idea for food.

    We just had the rodeo in Reno but it doesn’t sound like Stampede at all.

  5. A doughnut burger…gross. Now you’ve just wrecked both a doughnut and a burger.

  6. Happy stampede week. What a creative card game.


  7. Oh save the animals on printed shirts. Is there a game for that too?
    But I’m all for men it tight wranglers…preferably ones that are not carnie

  8. Is it weird that I’m intrigued by the doughnut hamburger?

  9. So Canadians have horrifyingly unhealthy and bizarre pairings of foods, too?

    I’m a little relieved to know that we Americans aren’t alone.


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