I like to joke around that I'm collecting chapter titles for my memoirs, but no, really, I actually am doing that. This is one of the chapters I've been planning for a while now.
There used to be this fun event that I produced called Rope Camp. It was held at that campground in Northern MD. Yeah, you know the one. Among the presenters at said camp was a well-known and very sadistic fellow from the Pacific Northwest. Yeah, that one. I had this hare-brained idea to have some of the presenters do a kind of cabaret or open-mic night thing. I carefully picked through them all for the ones I thought would be entertaining, and this guy was on the list. When I went to talk with him about his needs for his part of the event, he told me he was happy to perform, but he had some specific needs.
I said, "Sure, what do you need?"
"Two watermelons and a tarp."
Silence. I was running through all the possibilities for what he was asking and comparing them to my liability insurance exceptions in my head.
Finally, I replied, "I don't really want to know, do I?"
"Yeah, you kind of do, but you can wait to see it along with everyone else." Did I mention he's a sadist? Because that's probably the most sadistic thing anyone can say to an event producer.
"Okay, then. I'll arrange it." I called my assistant on the radio and gave her the shopping list.
A couple of hours passes. Eventually, a call from my assistant comes across the radio: "I've put the watermelons in the fridge and have the tarp."
Fast forward to that evening. We're in the Playspace (what we call our BDSM dungeon at the events). Everyone is gathered and Pac NW Sadist is the opening act of the evening. He's suspending two women from long lines he's rigged to the I-beam way up at the top of the Playspace on long lines. And there's a third line he hasn't rigged anyone to, yet. The tarp is on the floor underneath, and I'm starting to get a feeling I know what he has planned. The sadistic part of me is now grinning like a fool.
He finishes rigging the women and goes to the fridge, pulling out one of the watermelons. "Oh, good, it's ice cold!" he proclaims.
He brings it to the third line and ties it at the same height as the women. Soliciting an assistant, they both pull the women away from the watermelon dangling in the center and let them go on a count of three. They rush towards the watermelon and it bursts into frigid, juicy pulp all over the tarp.
Screaming ensues from the women. "It's FREEZING!"
Much applause and laughter as Pac NW Sadist explains he's always loved those click clack things called Newton's Cradle. And then, of course, since it's for SCIENCE, he needs to do it again to see if the result is repeatable!
Cat C. is the president of Turtle Hill Events and a graphic designer, too. She's been in the events biz for more than two decades and thinks she might have a tale or two to tell.