The Adventures Of Meerkat-Man

…a very alert and upright superhero

CatCon 8

Day 1: In which a wide variety of potato products are thrown about and we watch movies

In Grimly, Arizona, Potato Throwing Days started in 1886 when the “damned near all male” population of this mountain logging and mining town got tired of eating the potatoes that local merchant Joe Sitwell had gotten cheap from his cousin up in Idaho. Old Joe had got those taters cheap, but he had gone overboard and bought 5 tons of them. For a town whose population at the time was 50, that’s a shitload of spuds.

(Daisy: I love potatoes, but DAMN!)

So one day, as legend has it, a fellow named Dan Purdy was sitting on the front porch of the Grimly Arms Hotel, contemplating a big dish of mashed potatoes when he just up and yelled “To hell with this!” and threw those mashers out into the busy (for Grimly) main street, hitting several people. One of those people was local logger Armando Cruz, who just happened to have his lunch, a baked potato in his pocket. He threw it at Dan and before you knew it, potatoes were flying everywhere. It took the best part of an hour before things calmed down and then folks just laughed and laughed. A year later, damned if they didn’t relive the day with more tater tossing. After that, and despite Grimly eventually evolving into a popular mountain resort, Potato Throwing Days became a tradition.

There are only a few rules about Potato Throwing Days: No raw spuds may be thrown, no hot items may be thrown, no artificial potato launching devices may be used, anybody wearing a green “NOT A TARGET” t-shirt cannot be attacked and all spud throwing starts at dawn and ends at sunset on Friday & Saturday. Other than that, the potatoes will fly.

We arrived in Grimly about two hours before sunrise and got a space at the Happy Acres RV Park. After a light breakfast of coffee or tea and donuts for us humans and dog or cat food for the critters, we got dressed properly for the day.

(Silky: No donut love for the poor critters.)

Proper dress” is old clothes you don’t care about, a hat if you don’t want taters in your hair and a pair of goggles. Throwing potatoes are provided by the Chamber of Commerce on tables all along the street. Thus clad, we ventured out for the 3 mile long stroll up and down main street.

(Leon: Flash warned me about this place! Humans are insane!)

(Daisy: I’ve been practicing dodging all week.)

As the sun rose over the mountains, we had just loaded up on throwing supplies (The critters were all wearing Ottopuses, so they could throw spuds too) when a guy on a roof started chucking mashed potato snowballs at us. I took one to the leg, Silky took one to the tail and Spike got hit square in the middle of his back.

(Silky: And then I turned the wrong way and got hit in the ear!)

Meanwhile, three teenage girls were throwing tater tots at us from the other side of the street. Grace, Mary, Avis and Sasha all got hit, but Daisy & Leon managed to stay clean. Unfortunately for those teens, besides the womenfolk chucking small roasted red potatoes at them, they had Sasha hurling hash brown patties at them four at a time. Her accuracy was impressive.

(Sasha: I pretended they were shuriken.)

By the time we reached the end of main street, we looked like victims of the wrath of some potato god. Spike and I alone must have had 2-3 pounds of potato products in our hair & beards. The surface of the street looked like some unholy potato salad demon.

After having some tasty beverages provided by the Grimly Women’s Association, we loaded up with tuberous ammo and started the trek back to the bus. We teamed up with other RVers in what one old WWII vet described as “like storming a goddamn beach during World War Potato”. He had a pretty good throwing arm for an 86 year old.

(Daisy: That old dude was badass! No wonder we won the war.)

Back at the bus, we hit first the sonic showers, then the regular showers, then the hot tub. Poor Leon was convinced he’d never bee clean again and actually fell asleep in mid cleaning lick AFTER two full showers.

(Leon: Not clean enough! Must get cle…..ZZZZZZZZZZZZ!)

Once we were all relaxed and had eaten a light lunch, there was much napping, then we all mostly sat around talking until it was time to grill Docburgers for dinner.

(Silky: Mmmmm…Docburgers!)

After dinner, it was movie night! We had a double feature of “The Amazing Colossal Man” and it’s sequel, “War Of The Colossal Beast”. After that, there was some more sitting around talking and then bedtime.

Destination Sign when we started: Sesame Street

Destination Sign when we ended: The Hall Of The Mountain King

Radio Station of the Day: Elven Folk Music


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