Well, as you will see if you read further, the Tomlinson Run Railroad isn't known for keeping its time schedules these days ... Hopefully, this little July 4th celebration held down at the team track will make up for the tardiness of the TRRR's trains ... one can only hope.
You may recall that last year, in a surprise upset stomach, a railroad bum with a simple sharpened stick and an open fire snatched victory and the July 4th Hot Dog Grill-A-Thon grilling trophy from the railroad's own, Chef Chuck Wagon and his industrial-grade grill!
To the town's great disappointment, the Tomlinson Run Railroad was unable to offer a 2nd Annual July 4th Hot Dog Grill-A-Thon competition at the team track this year. Some say it was lack of time, some say it was lack of imagination. Yes, the competition was cancelled!
There's sure to be some fireworks over the railroad's decision to cancel the competition. But the sad reality is that the railroad's train schedules aren't the only things that don't run on time these days.
So, when a last minute opportunity presented itself to save the day, Tina, the CEO couldn't believe her luck! She jumped at the opportunity. That is until the flatbeds and gondolas started to roll-up for unloading at the team track. Tina thought that she had just signed on for a family friendly 1-day car collectors show. Imagine her surprise when, instead of fancy vintage automobiles, the rail cars were loaded with Volkswagens! Little tiny Volkswagens, tiny even by Volkswagen's tiny standards!
It turns out that the Clown Car Collectors Club of America had been eyeing some land near the team track for a while now in order to open a Used Clown Car Dealership. What with the circus no longer traveling by train we hear that clown cars are in hot demand. Reportedly, they can seat up to ten (eleven if you're really foolish), and they have plenty of horns for honking and great toe room if you happen to wear big shoes. And what self-respecting clown doesn't? (Yeah, I know "self-respect" and "clown" in the same sentence! Sheesh.) I guess you could say that clown cars are "hot wheels" now, but they'll never steal the show.
The Clown Car Collectors Club of America (or CCCCA, pronounced "Caccuh"; or for their more explosive acts, "C4") thought that a good PR move like a Fourth of July event might improve their chances with the railroad office and the Board of Selectmen when it is time to apply for the proper car dealership permits. But enough of the background, let's get back to the track ...
Because of the early morning hub-bub created by having to carefully unload the numerous too-tiny-for-anyone-but-clown cars, we can forgive the team track crew for accidentally moving Chef Chuck Wagon's prized Mini Cooper to the exhibit space. (An understandable mistake as these photos above and below show.)Chef, however, was not amused. Although, when he saw his Mini so nicely featured on a colorful but poorly painted podium (only time for one coat), Chef for some puzzling reason was reminded of a 48-oz bottle of Califia Cold Brew Coffee and he was transported to taste bud heaven -- on a scale only imagined of in his wildest dreams!
That is until Mrs. Chef screamed!
To top it off, Mrs. C had just realized that the team track staff's mistake meant that her beautifully packed picnic basket filled to bursting with Fourth of July goodies had been left in the Mini's mini trunk in the sweltering hot sun! Mrs. Chef was not amused. Those July Fourth crackers will be soggy duds now :-(.
So far, thought Tina, these clowns are not very funny! But, then she remembered that nobody likes clowns -- not even clowns! In fact, clowns can be down right scary!
Someone at the TRRR must have though so, too, for it wasn't long before someone called 911 to report a sighting of bands of roving clowns, who everyone knows, could only be up to funny business! Or in the case of this pathetic lot of car salesmen clowns, no good. When the boys in blue arrived, Tina explained the situation to the nice officer in charge.
All appeared well until an officer noticed a tricked-out street illegal "UberundUnder car" at the show.
Only a clown would think that an UberundUnder was good, safe, and reliable transportation! As their motto goes, so goes the cars: "An UberundUnder car gets you into, and then out of, tight spaces." Or is that "into and out of trouble"? Regardless, you can take THAT to the bank -- a snow bank that is.
While Bob at Quick Shot Towing removed the worst offender ...
... Benny, Tomlinson Run's only hack driver, seemed to be enjoying himself relaxing on the hood of his cab, soaking in the rays.
Either the meter's running while his fare just sits there or he knows something that we don't about that 911 call. Humm, I thought it was the hot dog competition that was cancelled. It looks like another kind of competition got the ol' Denver boot down at the railroad.
While astute residents (all one of them) pondered that possibility, Chef's kitchen staff provided the perfect diversion as they unveiled their awesome ice sculpture. The staff had been chiseling away for hours. In honor of America's Independence, they named their ice-terpiece "The Shot Heard Round the World".
The crew just hopes that the ice sculpture will last the afternoon in this sun. A trip around the world would be icing on the cake, this is gonna be icing on the gondola in a few hours.
Oddly, other than the blue clown nose souvenirs apparently so popular with the car show attendees, no clowns were to be seen at the team track. They were either hiding in groups of ten in their tiny cars or they were down at Tomlinson Run's drive-in watching that German film classic, "Das Bug". The free film was reportedly shown just for today's occasion (the car show that is, not the Fourth, least you are confused). With an endorsement from the management of the local drive-in, could approval for a Used Clown Car Dealership be far behind?
And, now as another great Fourth of July winds down to a close and well-wishers compliment Tina on saving the day, it turns out that Chef Wagon has a surprise for the festival goers! The hot dog grilling competition may have been postponed until (we hope) next year; however, Chef's competitive Spirit of '76 and 2018 knows no bounds, fillers, or all beef casings! Seriously.
Pulling up behind the TRRR's prized RS-1 was the doggonest biggest hot dog Tomlinson Run's ever seen! That Chef Wagon, he's such a kidder! What a clown!
But, wait a minute! Isn't that Hoboken Bill, aka Hobo, last year's competition winner, with another effortless grilling hot dog solution?!
Oh boy! I can't wait until next year when the clash of these two culinary titans resumes! But, please -- I beg of you, don't send in the clowns!!
Have a Wonderful Fourth of July from all the plastic people (and one reportedly live one, too) at the Tomlinson Run Railroad, located in beastly humid Pennsychusetts! May the hot dog gods shine down on you with relish on this day. (And happy belated Team Track Tuesday.)
Footnote: Chef's holiday tip: Enjoy your July 4th hot dog and potato egg salad with a clown -- that is, Clown Shoes "Breakfast Exorcism Imperial Coffee Stout". Aged in bourbon barrels with espresso, Chef Chuck Wagon says that its the perfect pairing with a Kosher hot dog! Get off on the right foot this July 4th in clown shoes and your very own used clown car -- courtesy of your local chapter of the CCCCA.
Seriously, you can't make this stuff up! (But Chef can ).