August 21, 2007
You’re probably thinking, “Why even go to the Hot Sauce Festival if I can’t bring my dog or my cooler? Touché. Point taken. Nothing completes your festival experience like the companionship of a furry friend or the crisp, clean taste of your own choice of brew. What’s the use of attending a festival where you can’t play Frisbee fetch with your dog – especially in the midst of a crowd, and especially when your dog is sporting a bandana jauntily fastened about its neck? Kee-ute. So what if he occasionally hikes his leg and “marks” a baby stroller or tries to ferret out a red rat from beneath some stranger’s sundress? He’s not trying to hurt anyone; he’s just being a dog. And if (God forbid) he freaks out and mauls some innocent toddler while you’re fist-pump rocking to the band, you can reassure the parents that he’s never done that before and that it must have been because their toddler made some menacing movement. After all, there are no bad dogs, just bad people. Dogs aren’t moralists. If they were, they would probably judge it immoral to take a dog to a crowded festival. Then again, that’s just hypothetical extrapolation – something else dogs suck at. They are however, very good at eating, pooping, peeing, sniffing, and catching Frisbees, which is more than can be said of many dog owners, especially when they’ve knocked back a cooler’s worth of beer. No, it doesn’t take an especially sharp intellect or an excessive amount of skill and agility to safely shepherd the average canine through a press of festival-goers, but the mere act of doing so reveals a certain lack of judgment – the type of stupidity that is only further amplified by the consumption of alcohol. Drunk people are stupid enough, so how humiliating must it be to have to share a leash with one – in public? OK, so maybe you can leave the dog at home, but the cooler? Damn, that’s harsh. A dogless person should be able to enjoy a chilled beverage without getting hassled by the man. Right? Well … yeah … sorta, except that 10,000-plus people with their own coolers in Waterloo Park isn’t a hot sauce festival, it’s a clusterfuck. Besides, if you’re going to bring beer, you should bring enough for everybody. Otherwise you’ll look like a beer-hoarding asshole. So, unless your cooler has room for 20,000 beers, leave it at home. You can buy beer at the Hot Sauce Festival and the proceeds benefit the Capital Area Food Bank. Without the dog and the cooler, you’ll have two hands free to sample hundreds of salsas and more importantly, to carry the three nonperishable food items that the food bank is requesting for admission to the festival.