Today your intrepid reporter ventured to the Wisconsin State Fair as a volunteer astronomy educator (VAE). Headlines of the day include:
CASUALTY OF SCIENCE VAE scratches arm while wrestling with banners; receives band-aid from physically appealing police officer.
THAT’S NOT US Public fails to understand difference between giant neutrino detector in Antarctica and modest astronomy booth.
IT’S ALMOST LIKE WE HAD A PLAN VAE creates last-minute signs, drawings, and displays in last-minute effort to make booth more appealing.
BUGS FROM MARS! Volunteer astronomy educators discuss possibility of bug-napping part of adjacent entomology display, presenting insects as extraterrestrial life in desperate bid to regain lost audience.
DON’T GRAB THAT Young members of crowd fail to comprehend which end of telescope to peer through.
ACK, LET ME FIX IT Young members of crowd fail to comprehend that sun will no longer appear in telescope if telescope is pointed in different direction.
COULD YOU MOVE PLEASE? Majority of crowd fails to comprehend that standing directly behind telescope completely obscures field of view.
CAN I PLAY WITH YOUR BUGS? VAE gives in to urge to consort with enemy and plays with strangely beautiful tobacco hornworm.
NO, REALLY, THAT’S THE SUN Observers reluctant to believe image formed by telescope is in fact the Sun.
I DIDN’T GET LOST! Food stall requires thirty minutes to find hot dog for hungry VAE.
WE’VE GOT A GREAT LOCATION VAEs find selves next to polka pavilion; watch polka-ers with fascination.
HONEY, IT’S NOT STUMP THE STUDENT DAY Wife attempts to remove aging husband from stilted discussion of homogeneity of universe with VAE.
I KNOW YOUR BREED VAE silently empathizes with father attempting to indulge passion for astronomy while maintaining control of offspring.
I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE Children proudly present “Honorary Stem Cell Researcher” certificates to parents; University of Wisconsin succeeds in subtle-as-ton-of-bricks attempt to deter public opposition to controversial research.
OOH, PRETTY VAE strokes skein of handspun yarn in fair’s sole textile booth, resists urge to purchase.
I’LL LET YOU KNOW IF I FIND ANYTHING Fair map, pamphlet utterly lacking in useful information.
WHY WOULD I WANT THAT? IT’S NOT DEEP-FRIED VAEs astounded by variety of foods available for purchase in deep-fried form.
WAIT, REALLY? Deep-fried beer, cheese, veggies, crab cakes, macaroni, oreos, Snickers, s’mores, and butter. Yes, butter.