As I write this, the Celtics are one win away from their 18th NBA title, but that is not our focus. You may have heard that a pretty big soccer tournament is happening in South Africa, too, but who cares? I, for one, don’t. Every time someone tells me that America will eventually embrace soccer because the rest of the world loves it, I remind them of the metric system. So let’s look at some summer events happening closer than Cape Cod or Cape Town — because, really, who wants to schlep that far in the heat?
The 9TH ANNUAL MS TUGBOAT MUSTER AND RACE offers a good start. Held in Portland on August 22 as part of the MS Harborfest Weekend, which raises money for multiple sclerosis research, the tugboat races are bound to be picturesque, if not quite exciting. I can’t imagine that there is much drama involved, but if you have little children this is a sure-fire winner. According to the Web site, there will also be “dramatic bow-to-bow pushing competitions and line handling contests.” Pack a picnic and bring the kids to the Eastern Prom for the show. By then you will have already seen the new Shrek and Toy Story movies, so what the hell?
On the more adult end of the entertainment spectrum, PT’s Showplace, which has been trying some new things lately (see “I Support Midget Violence,” by Rick Wormwood, May 21) keeps the hits coming with MONDAY NIGHT BEER PONG TOURNAMENTS, and this week, on Thursday, FOXY BOXING will put the “sweet” in “sweet science.” To top it all off, Foxy Boxing will be hosted by a Sarah Palin impersonator, who is also the headlining dancer through the weekend. John McCain boxed while at Annapolis, so do you think he’d like that show? I asked that question to my Magic 8 Ball, and it answered, oh hell yes.
You already know about THURSDAY NIGHT THUNDER at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, but if regular racing is not enough to grab you, maybe the DAYS OF DESTRUCTION (June 25 and September 17) will be. The Speedway promises “A full slate of crazy contests at every event — Spectator Drags, Backward racing, Ramp Races, Donut Dashes, the Burn-out Bonanza, the Beetle Bug Bash and More!” I don’t know what most of those events are, but they sound entertaining. We used to have a Burn-out Bonanza every day after class got out at Sanford High School, but I think that was pretty different.
There are plenty of LOBSTER BOAT RACES to choose from, starting this Saturday in Boothbay Harbor, and the following day in Rockland. Races will also be held in Jonesport, Searsport, Stonington, Friendship, and Harpswell during July. They’ll race in Winter Harbor, Pemaquid, and here in Portland (as part of the aforementioned MS Harborfest) in August. I think they cancelled the lobster boat races off Matinicus Island out of fear that a lobsterman might shoot his competition (again), which would be bad for tourism.
If you have ever been watching ESPN2 far too late at night and come across a timber-sports competition, then TIMBER TINA’S GREAT MAINE LUMBERJACK SHOW, in Trenton, Maine, might just be for you. The show boasts 12 exciting events, including “Underhand Chopping, Axe Throwing, Log Rolling, Power ‘HOT’ Sawing and more.” And there are special events for children to participate in — so if you’ve ever wanted to see your precious little eight-year-old wielding a chainsaw, carving a bust of the family dog out of a tree stump, now you have a chance. Hooray!
Rick Wormwood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.