June 24, 2015's Weekly Slap:

“Beach Slapped” is what it is because from the moment I first came to the Oregon Coast, most every moment I lived here, and even my last hours here, it was always about the beach. That wasn’t always true of my life, and perhaps that’s been my problem.

Growing up in Colorado, I was a long way from the beach. I don’t care what anyone says, lounging next to a giant lake/ civic water supply is not the beach.

BartonGroverHowe.com:Where to keep up with humor writer Barton Grover Howe. Here, you'll find all of his Beach Slapped columns from The News-Times in Lincoln County, Oregon, excerpts from his latest books and the occasional random musing that would get him fired if he published it in a family newspaper.
Potluck ethics and other party ponderables
- September, 2010
The “Idio” is back.

Now, don’t panic; I didn’t say “Idiots.” Tourist season is over, the Canadians have gone home.

No, The Idiosyncratic Confabulation is back. Perhaps you remember it: the coolest shindig in North Lincoln County; it was an all afternoon party that ended well after the moon went up and only when the people laid down. Held annually the first Saturday after Labor Day at Barking Dog Farm in Kernville, it was easily the world’s biggest potluck that did not involve a parent teacher group or having to gather in a church basement.

With live music, kids’ games, killer food and just about everyone who was anyone in North Lincoln County on site, it was farm owners’ Dave Schaffer and Heidi Erickson’s way of saying thank you to their friends. It’s overwhelming size and success, however, eventually became the source of its demise, sort of like the Democratic Party, but with less baby kissing. (Really, people: ‘Nilla Wafers are not a potluck dish, and people with mustaches should not win prizes at kids’-only contests.)

But now the “Idio” is back, and as long as you don’t bring a pet, RV or the IQ of a houseplant, you’re welcome to attend. There have been a few changes, however. The main one being that the event is now a fundraiser for local artisans David And Elizabeth Rudkin, two people you probably know even if you don’t.

Elizabeth is the beautiful woman who plays the beautiful harp beautifully all over town, usually for free. Her husband is the man who makes her beautiful harp, among other things. Recently, David found his liver was done with him before he was done with it, so he had to get a new one. As you might imagine, this is a very expensive procedure, even in a country where you can buy a variety of these organs in area supermarkets.

Of course, that brings up a question: How do you make a formerly “free event” into a “fundraiser”? Well, for one thing, you start using vowels other than, “e”. More importantly, however, you charge admission. A donation of $5 is requested, but they will happily take more if you leave your wallet next to the potty.

Indeed, Dave and Heidi are hoping you’ll bring lots of money to contribute to Elizabeth and David. And while it is not mandatory that you bring lots of money, it should be noted Dave and Heidi have two very large dogs who will eat you if you’re a freeloading idiot, assuming either gets up from sleeping on their pillows.

Not that admission is the only way you can contribute at the party. Heidi and painter Lyn Lasneski will be selling some of their creations, and indeed Lyn will be creating things right there on site to sell. (Heidi thought about it, but realized lighting people on fire with her welders’ torch could impact sales.) There will be all sorts of ways to give, which is why we now present “Idiosyncratic Liver Transplantastic Confabulation FAQs.”

Q. What is an FAQ?

A. It’s a way of putting a loosely disguised cuss word in a family newspaper.

Q. Where is Barking Dog Farm?

A. Just a mile up the Siletz River Highway from 101, you’ll see the signs on Highway 229.

Q. I understand it’s an organic farm. Will they do that scene from “When Harry Met Sally”?

A. Get a dictionary

Q. Is it true there will be live music?

A. Yes; it’s better than the dead kind. Unless it’s those guys with mascara in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” They’re pretty cool.

Q. Will they be there?

A. No, but if you pay me $82 for admission on Saturday, I’ll put on mascara and sing to you myself.

Q. Eek... Seriously, is there music?

A. Yes. There will be eight different acts running until 1 a.m. And although the line-up isn’t exactly set yet, I can tell you one act rhymes with “Prune Blushing.”

Q. What will there be for kids?

A. There will be pony rides, carnival games, face painting, and a wizard who tells fortunes.

Q. What kind of fortunes?

A. All good, unless you bring a crappy dish to the potluck. Then he turns you into a blushing prune.

Q. Anything else?

A. Yes: Fire dancers -- maybe they’ll let Heidi play with her torch -- and the world’s worst animal balloon artist, specializing in snakes.

Q. All he makes is snakes?

A. Well, he also makes colons and intestines, but the kids really hate those.

Q. Are there other organs involved?

A. Yes, there will be bean bags shaped like livers for tossing, and there will be a treasure hunt for Sarah Palin’s brain and Glenn Beck’s heart.

Q. Isn’t that a little mean?

A. You’re right; it’s wrong to send people out looking for things that don’t exist.

Q. What about food and drink?

A. Well, there’s the potluck, where before you bring something, you should simply ask yourself: “Would this make me go totally organic?” If it wouldn’t, make something else. And there will be -- ahem -- beverages in a $2 bottomless cup, though if you’re not a schmoe, you should really just give ‘em $5 and say “Keep the change.”

Q. Do they not have change?

A. They do, but they’re not exactly rolling in $1s, so bring lots of small bills. Unless of course you don’t want change, then you are invited to bring lots of 50’s.

Q. Does every dollar collected go to the Rudkins?

A. Yes, at least until Dave and Heidi decide to start a cult. As they are Oregonians, it’s always a possibility, although not in this economy.

Q. Why didn’t they start a cult? It would seem like this is a lot of work to do without brainwashed plebes.

A. True, but with most of the world’s mindless idiots currently watching Glenn Beck, it just wasn’t practical. So they called upon their friends and the community, including Quality Printing, ACE Hardware, Lumbermans, Angel Cab Service, Pacific Grind and Kelpy’s Coffee, just to name a few.

Q. Kelpy’s is making Coffee? Do they use actual kelp?

A. Who cares. Pacific Grind is also making espresso drinks; they might use the whole FAQin’ ocean -- and there’s usually a line for the toilet.

Be sure to leave your wallet out.


Info box:


The Idiosyncratic Liver Transplant Confabulation: A Benefit for David and Elizabeth Rudkin

Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, 3 p.m. to ???

Barking Dog Farm, 4310 South Drift Creek Road, Lincoln City

Admission: $5 suggested donation and a potluck dish to share. Kids are free. No RVs or pets.

* People are welcome to come in costume, juggle, do hula hoops, magic, etc. You need not be a pro, just someone willing to help and have fun.

* If you are interested in donating goods or services, please email idiosyncraticconfabulation@gmail.com, or just bring something to the event.

* Donations will also be accepted the day of the event, or at West Coast Bank via the David Rudkin Fund