Why start a blog? Mostly I've done so today because it is threatening to rain and I have a sore throat and am unable to get out to the White Mountains on any adventures. Also, I went to my local Farmer's Market today like any other well-brought up Gen-X socio-environmentalist. I love a fresh tomato as much as the next kid, but as another friend wrote me: "Yesterday I ranted about the abundance of blogs, Facebook posts, etc. that constantly, and in the most unoriginal ways, celebrate the sensual abundance of any given farmer's market. We all know quite well just how fucking amazing farmer's markets are, and all about the bounty of beautiful vegetables that delight the senses, and there is so little that can be done on this topic without making us all puke. It is my opinion that people should only be blogging about farmer's markets if they either work at one, supply produce to one, or have something fucking original to say. Otherwise, eat your goddamn kohlrabi with your goddamn perfect boyfriend and shut the hell up about it."
Well said, I think. On that note, I decided to find a wider forum for the scavenger hunt I created while living in Missoula, Montana. I believe that it should work just as well for similar communities of my own demographic.
Saturday Market In Missoula Quiz
We all know that we’re supposed to be “Keeping Missoula Weird,” and yet there is a certain homogeneity that would lead the passerby/non-Missoulian to believe that we are all part of some dang Chaco-wearing, happy-baby-producing, local-organic-eating, bike-loving cult. Let’s rally and prove our differences and keep Missoula at least as weird as the other cities with those stickers!
If you spot any of the following, go ahead and give yourself the prescribed number of points:
A pregnant woman who looks not radiant, but appropriately uncomfortable given that her insides are being squashed by a giant sea-monkey, she’s been off-kilter for the last nine months, and has to pee every four and a half minutes.
A happy couple wherein one half looks like an icy-hearted hipster and the other is a Pachemama loving hippy. (Traditionally, these groups hate each other like Sharks and Jets—co-mingling may end badly.) Watch for tight punk band t-shirts, spiked hair and impossibly skinny jeans holding hands with flowing skirts, dreadlocks and Mother Earth-type tattoos. Be alert for verbal references to bands neither you nor anyone else has ever heard of, commingling in conversation between comments on musical acts such as “The Dead,” (who maybe ought to rest in peace, rather than be forced to perform in their dotage.)
(15 pts/per couple)________
A person wearing a three-piece/pinstripe suit NOT ironically.
A longboard being used as a toy, not masquerading as a legitimate form of transportation.
A child eating a Wonderbread sandwich with Kraft Singles and Oscar Meyer Baloney.
Music being produced by a bona fide instrument, rather than via a creative rummage through the recycling bins of a hardware store.
A geeky teenager who looks age-appropriately UNCOMFORTABLE with their oddities/inability to blend in. (You know, the weasley looking ones with magic cards, acne, greasy hair, and miserable expressions as they are tortured by being dragged into the sunlight by their families.)
A devastatingly attractive single man who doesn’t have a parole monitor ankle bracelet, and has a designed and implemented a citywide glass-recycling program.
(Points?!? Hell, just get a phone number._(___)___-____)
For this next section, be particularly alert, as each day in Missoula inures your senses towards the sheer absurdity to many of these sights, smells, and sounds. Remember, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance; and it is our mandate as Missoulians to be as non-conformist as possible.
Subtract the appropriate number of points for each of the following:
A person walking barefoot down the street.
Anyone over the age of 3 wearing ANYTHING resembling a tutu.
Smugly glowing pregnant women who look more beautiful swollen up with twenty pounds of baby and amniotic fluid than the rest of us have ever/will ever look.
(Subtract an additional 5 if you can see her baby-popped belly button.)
Overheard conversations about:
The Good Food Store—a thorny subject, but the “counter” cultural reliance on and inability to consume food from anywhere other than an elitistly monikered food emporium is clearly worrisome. (E.g. “I only shop at the Good Food Store,” “Seattle is great, but they just have Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s; there’s no GFS…”)
Grains—especially those that no one outside of Missoula (other than the ancient Egyptians) have ever heard of, let alone consumed. (E.g. “Because of Sierra’s allergies, we’re only eating kequinophoeiarmut these days. I’m trying to get her school to ban wheat products.”)
Pregnancy—(E.g. “You just have to read this book about three weeks before you are due, it just gets you so PUMPED to give birth…”)
Wildland Fire Fighting—we get it; YOU’RE AWESOME. Shut up.
Subaru Station wagons (includes Foresters) and Toyota Prii, Tacomas, and RAV 4s.
Cynical grad students who have nothing better to do with their summers than mock municipal happiness.
TOTAL POINTS ________
 Can also be used at any and all of the variously disguised “Celebrate Missoula” festivals and Farmers’ Markets.
 Austin, TX; Eugene and Portland, OR; or Burlington, VT.
 Puberty is god-awful. The number of well-adjusted, confident teens in Missoula throws this universal truth into question and should not be tolerated. They are missing out on their prime suffering years.
 No glass recycling in Missoula.
 Not available in Missoula
 And look what happened to them.
 Children named for other types of flora and fauna, grains, seasons and/or Wilderness areas are equally suspect.
 Conversation overheard at The Break, March 14, 2009
 But, are they really happy? Or are they just clones of beautiful, fit people with a yen for social and environmental justice and civic and community engagement? Watch The Stepford Wives and add quinoa and kale.