DANGEROUS PIEROGI

Ten days ago Question Cathy and I were driving to Pierogi Festival in lovely (not lovely) Whiting, Indiana. It is the kind of thing one does when 1) Whiting, IN is not far, 2) the weather is good, 3) it's as good as any option for a random summer Friday, and 4) pierogi are good.

I am not a huge fan of big crowds, of events like music festivals or parades where masses of sweaty people I very much would not like were I to know them are shoved ass-to-nuts against one another. I don't like being massively sweaty, being touched and pushed and jostled by strangers, and generally having to deal firsthand with idiots behaving like idiots. But, pierogi.

Instinctively, the first thing I did when we arrived on the one main street along which Pierogi Fest is set up was check that the street was blocked off properly at its beginning and end points. By "properly" I mean with something large and heavy enough to deter a vehicle-ramming attack, because that's just a thing that happens regularly now.

Then I did a 360 scan for cops (so they could engage the mass shooter after he only managed to get off maybe 50 rounds) and alleys or side streets we could use to quickly get off the crowded street. There were none. The lack of entry and exit points from the street, once we were swallowed up by the crowd, made me nervous.

This is just what we have to do now, I guess. The pierogi were good. But on the ride home, Question Cathy admitted that although she felt silly, she had been hesitant about the event because of the potential that someone would show up and start shooting for no reason. I allowed that I felt exactly the same, and we both enjoyed the amusing idea that anything as tame as a festival to celebrate Polish ravioli would ever, in a million years, be a terrorist target.

The next morning we woke up to find that someone shot and killed three people at Garlic Festival in Gilroy, CA, known worldwide for its garlic ice cream and a guy dressed up as a giant garlic mascot.

This is how we live now, I guess. We have to calculate the risk of being killed at small-town food festivals before leaving the house.

39 thoughts on “DANGEROUS PIEROGI”

  • My wife and I were driving home on Sunday and we had to pass through Gilroy. "Man, I hope there's not a lot of traffic from the Garlic Festival!" Traffic wasn't bad on 101. What there was was a shitload of police cars (Sheriff, county transit police, highway patrol) driving batshit crazy like I have never seen before. We made the obligatory fresh donuts joke. And then we stopped for dinner in King City and I looked at the news. Yikes.

  • TheOtherHank says:

    mmm… Pierogi…

    When I lived in Minnesota we used to go the the Thursday Pierogi Feed at the local Ukrainian Catholic Church and eat potstickers with all the ancient Slavs. So yummy

  • Fish Dirigible says:

    Has it really only been 10 days since the pierogi festival? This August has been a long year…

  • Back in 2001 I stated (rather quietly, lest I be flayed) that if Al Qaeda really wanted to maintain the level of terror that we were gripped by, they could begin a campaign of suicide and non-suicide bombings on very soft targets. They didn't need to target giant buildings anymore. They didn't need to use massive truck bombs. They just needed to blow up a few people every now and then in malls in Kansas or at a DMV in suburban Pennsylvania. Just enough to show us that we are not safe anywhere.

    They didn't do that, thankfully, but now we have the same level of terrorism that I envisioned nearly 20 years ago, happening on a regular basis, fueled in large part by the head of the government himself.

  • @Paul: I had the same realization living through the Washington, D.C. sniper attacks (for the young 'uns: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.C._sniper_attacks): all it took to throw one of the largest and best-defended cities in the United States into chaos was two guys, one gun and a beat-up Chevy. Coming only a year after the 9/11 attacks, the idea that some enterprising jihadi would take the lesson and try the same thing with, say, twenty guys in five cities was very plausible.

    In the end no such enterprising jihadi emerged, of course. It was left to us to kill each other that way instead.

  • I’m currently living in “one of the most dangerous cities in the world” – Medellin, Colombia. Heading out to the biggest festival of the year without the slightest concern of being involved in a mass shooting.

  • I do this sort of thing all of the time now: At the movies I scan for the exit routes and think about where my kids are sitting in relation to how quickly I could shield them. They are rebuilding our elementary school and when I saw that the plans included a large wall of windows overlooking the playground I actually asked the architects if they would be made of bulletproof glass (answer, sadly, was no).
    Pierogies are delicious, however. Most memorable gift I ever got as a teacher was when one student's mom made me a homemade batch.

  • Not missing the point of this post, I'd always thought pierogi was Russian, not Polish. And for a minute felt like a hick. But a Russian website identifies it as Russian after all (though spelled pirogi). So my suspicion is that it was originally Polish, but Russia being Russia, subjugated and claimed it. (the online dictionary, wanting to be neutral, identifies it only as "Eastern European cookery." Nevertheless it comes ridiculously high-priced in the Hamptons on Long Island.

  • @Paul @Jason:
    In the months after the September 11 Attacks, al-Qaeda missed a prime opportunity to crater the US economy with only three suicide attacks in, say, obscure shopping malls scattered around the Midwest. When it comes to Americans whose lives are so intermediated by television and the internet, terrorism absolutely, positively, you-can-take-it-to-the-bank works.
    Thanks to Murdoch, we are afraid.
    FDR was right.
    And so was Ben Franklin.

  • On Saturday evening at Gen Con in Indianapolis I had wandered out to the food truck area in search of something to eat when some asswhole in a modified little car drove under a nearby overpass and intentionally backfired his exhaust. I turned and jumped, as did most of the crowd, tense with that days news from El Paso, until I visually identified the source of the noise.

  • "I don't like being massively sweaty, being touched and pushed and jostled by strangers, and generally having to deal firsthand with idiots behaving like idiots."

    All you have to do is to out-not-bathe them, Ed.

    As for getting massacered while trying to eat polskl ravioli–well, shit, a persons got to die for SOMETHING!

  • My family and I regularly go to a farmer's market on Sunday mornings in Baltimore. I've never felt unsafe there (maybe a little bit when we had to park next to the shady storage unit place) but this past weekend walking around, I thought "this would be a perfect place for some white supremacy nutjob to come and shoot at people – lots of us 'hippie dippy liberals' enjoying farm fresh foods, plus being in Baltimore there's a large non-white presence. There are always a few cops wandering around, some probably just to get food and it's not that far from City Hall, but I felt like we were all sitting ducks.

  • Whiting, IN., city without a Sun. BP Oil refinery established in 1889. Early morning drives there were highlight by the sheen of oil glistening on peoples front lawns.

    democommie says, "All you have to do is to out-not-bathe them".
    Remember, it's Indiana.

  • Something I'd like to see on TV …. Some popular sitcom ought to introduce a regular character, maybe not a "real" regular but one who pops up every other episode or so, not exactly in a starring role, but a spear carrier type who gets a couple of minutes. Think of the semi-oblivious tenant a couple of apartments away who comes by virtually every day to ask about borrowing a cup of sugar or "just one glass of milk" or a couple of cigarettes or some change for a bus …. and who never ever pays back any of these "loans."

    Not anyone's favorite person, in other words, but tolerated out of politeness, or maybe because one of the stars is especially forgiving. Give him some quirks. Maybe his name's Oblonsky and he always pronounces it emphatically as "Oh Blond Sky". He's physically awkward, but personally convinced of his Olympic athleticism. And his high intellect — he got a very polite letter when Mensa turned him down.

    And he's a gun nut. The Second Amendment ought to be the First, preachers should give sermons so their congregations appreciate it, and so on. In one episode, waving about his most recently purchased revolver to impress his "friends", he stumbles into a coffee table, falls across it, and the "empty" pistol discharges, ruining a plate glass window or expensive TV or irreplaceable painting or antique vase He hobbles about in a cast for a couple of episodes after shooting himself in the leg. He approaches school crossing guards to assure them that "Everything's going to be al right here, 'cause I've got a concealed gun on me. See? Nobody's going to bother these kids while I'm around here to protect them." He straps an AK-47 to his back to walk about "happy hunting grounds" such as public parks and the city business district. He shoots at "wild animals" — including other people's pets, other people's expensive registered pets.

    Finally, after a couple of seasons, he oversteps — he starts shooting at childrens' dolls for target practice, for example, proclaiming that it's not offensive at all because it's not like he used replicas of real children, they're just dolls and he used shoe polish to dye the faces black. At which point, one of the regular characters makes (off-stage) calls to a couple of police departments and landlords and news reporters (or webcam sites. if this is set in the modern world), and Oblonsky is escorted from the program in the seasons final minutes by some dour, burly men with badges on their suit jackets. And any obnoxious jerk the regular cast members encounter for the next three seasons is immediately described by them all as "an Oh Blond Sky." To torrents of unkind laughter.

    My sneaking thought is something like this might reduce the number of gun welding jerks in the world outside TV.

  • Kahlil Jabroni says:

    In the immediate aftermath of 9-11, a NYC fireman appeared on the news, shouting defiance at Bin Laden. He said his name & his town, which was on Long Island, & said something like 'Come & get me, bitch.' It was only a little bit later that a commercial airliner went down, hitting that same town on Long Island, & there were eye-witness accounts which described rocket smoke trails coming up from the ground. I was thinking "Jeeze, Bin Laden came to get him." I am not inclined to credit conspiracy theories, but if there were ever a time for some sort of Deep State to close ranks & declare that this airliner crash was just an accident, no terrorist involvement, move along folks…that was the time. I guess it really was an accident, though. In the years since, we have shown that we're pretty good at jacking up & maintaining our own terror level.

  • The proliferation of guns is bad enough, but insufficient to explain the situation we're in, the talent of "Conservative" thinkers to come with exciting new ways of screwing the 99%, added to a phobia of government aid, not directed to the "Right" people explains much of the desperation that feeds mass murder events, aided by the unsuppressed heresy of the prosperity gospel.

  • This was the first year in a while that I didn't make it up to Pierogi Fest. Like you, I hate crowds but…pierogis!

  • Every time I go to a movie with my kids I am anxious and actively scan exit and entry points and how I could potentially shield by kids if needed. The thought of taking them anywhere with a large crowd gets a similar knot in my stomach going.

    I live in Waukesha County, Wisconsin…

  • Come on, Ed, I thought you understood statistics! The odds of any particular event you attend being the site of a mass killing are vanishingly small.

  • It's really sad that society has sunk to a place where a few crazy people have become convinced that it's appropriate to go out in a blaze of publicity by shooting as many of their selected scapegoats as they can – and also have easy access to as many weapons as they need to carry out their sick fantasies.

    Please note: although the gun lobby blames things such as "mental illness" for mass shootings, they also oppose funding mental health care, and consistently block background checks. How can we prevent folks with known mental health issues from acquiring firearms without effective background check systems? Their answer: deflection.

    Mandatory firearm registration, strict restrictions on time, place, and manner of carrying firearms, tracking sales of firearms and ammunition, all would be a good start. However, more is needed.

    I note that the increase in mass shootings is somewhat correlated with falling union membership. Mass shootings and other terrorist activities are linked to a feeling of powerlessness – union membership helps people feel more empowered. This, too, could help.

    Ultimately, however, the problem comes down to a simple one: the earth's population has expanded beyond sustainable limits. We're running out of fresh water, arable land, natural resources – and this means increasing numbers of battles for the necessities of life. It's going to get ugly soon…

  • Well, Jason, the D.C. sniper was a guy named Muhammad, who a Virginia court subsequently found to have been motivated by Islamist terror in honor of and in solidarity with Bin Laden. And Paul, there's really no more reason to distinguish Al Qaeda from its self-avowed Muslim fundamentalist allies and fellow travelers in this connection than to emphasize that Dylann Roof preferred a different white supremacist website than Patrick Crusius.

    So the "they" in "they didn't do that" since 2001 disingenuosly omits the LAX ticket counter, the D.C. sniper, the Seattle Jewish center, the Little Rock recruitment center, the Allahu Akbar "workplace" slaughter at Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon bombing and police assassination, the Seattle gay nightclub, the San Bernardino massacre, the Orlando nightclub massacre, the Fort Lauderdale airport, and the NYC bike path mass-murders. And that doesn't count all the times Islamist mass-killings were averted, as with for instance the underwear bomber, the Times Square bomber, or the Portland Holiday Tree Lighting bomber.

    As I recall, the standard bleat from sophisticated American leftists on those occasions–plus Manchester, London x. 2, Paris x. 3,, Mumbai,, etc., etc.–was "The first priority going forward is to avoid paranoia, overreaction, and most of guilt by association. Let's wait until the investigation is complete before we presume to hazard a motive, much less the direct inspiration therefor. By no means does this implicate nor even overlap with Islam itself."

    Some climates of hate and ideological killers are more equal than others….

  • Inkblob:

    This:

    "Define–

    I'm not here to argue when viability occurs, not even that it it a feasible or necessary test. Over my pay grade. My point was and remains that Blackmun and his successors intimated there is or should be a point at which Constitutional rights of personhood inhere in a fetus. Exponential advances in science and technology are thus quite germane in this connection, which leftists here and elsewhere elide by dismissive reference to religion and by dishonestly ignoring either viability in Roe or another test."

    from back in June on another thread is all anyone needs to know about a lying sack of shit like you.

    BTW, some kids parents take their kidsto a petting zoo. I'm pretty sure that you came from one. I just can't figure out if your daddy liked the goats, chickens, pigs or mutt curs the most, as you seem to be a mix of them all.

    Fuck off, moron.

  • Question
    With Indiana's dominant ammosexual culture did they include any guns inside big pierogi's since they stop just short of putting them in crackerjack boxes.
    chicago and Illinois should sue indiana for criminal facilation since they are making money off of selling the tools of murder to anyone who can pay for them whether the customer is a babbleing idiot ( i.e. indiana voters) wearing a klan outfit ( Indiana used to have largest % of klan membership north of Mason-dixon line)
    or just a run of the mill normal ammosexual whack job ( sorry redundant)

  • This little pierogi went to market (tweak big toe) this little pierogi stayed home (tweak second toe), this little pierogi went to festival (tweak third toe) got his ass shot off (tweak fourth toe) and cried wee wee wee all the way home. Tweaking over. You gotta understand nursery rhymes I guess.

  • Unfortunately, that seems to be the case and it will be interesting to see how large events try to cope with that reality. Really, aside from the routine sorts of security measures that are already common, that will probably wind up being just hoping someone doesn't run amok at their event.

  • Safety Man! says:

    @Inkberrow

    Actually, there isn’t any intellectual dishonesty. I would gladly ban all the mosques in this country if I could also ban all the pedophile priests and their cover organizations. I believe you call them churches.
    The real intellectual dishonestly lies in pretending one is worse than the other.

  • @ Safety Man!:

    Inky hasn't, to my knowledge, demonstrated either intellect or honesty. Since he can't be blocked and Ed seems to have pretty wide latitude on what constitutes trolling–the best plan is to ignore or laugh at him. I usually do one or the other except when he c&p's something that looks like it came right out of the George Lincoln Rockwell Playbook.

    I am not, btw, godwinning, since Herr Rockwell was one of our own homegrown p.o.s.whitetrashnazimotherfuKKKers.

  • Safety Man!:

    Actually, there is ethical and intellectual dishonesty from the Left just as I outlined, and we didn't see any cris de coeur like this one from Big Ed or other progressive intellectuals after 9/11 and the other attacks I listed. Quite the opposite, in fact, just as I outlined. "Gosh, don't exaggerate a minor problem"….

    "Pedophile priests and their cover operations" is another Pyrrhic victory for you, in that it applies to mosques as to Catholic churches, starting with the Proph himself. Plus the massacres. Plus the violent misogyny and homophobia. Plus the worldwide vector towards fundamentalism, not reform.

    But the enemy of your enemy is (you think) your friend, hence the uneasy current alliance between violent religious philistines and secular materialist levellers. They are wise because they hate America, Western Europe and Israel too, eh? They'll grow out of their dogma, youbetcha. It's a stage.

  • I've decided that if white people can call the cops on black people for harmless things like sleeping-barbecueing-using-a-public-pool while black, I'm certainly within my right to call the police every time I see a white male with a gun. Safety first. Let em explain themselves to a SWAT team.

  • "Actually, there is ethical and intellectual dishonesty from the Left just as I outlined, and we didn't see any cris de coeur like this one from Big Ed or other progressive intellectuals after 9/11 and the other attacks I listed. Quite the opposite, in fact, just as I outlined. "Gosh, don't exaggerate a minor problem"…."

    Really? And your evidence is?

  • terraformer says:

    Hey Buster, I'm in Waukesha county, too.

    It is comforting, on some level, to reside in the most reliably red county in all of the USA, at least in terms of the vote turnout and percentage that votes red.

    That might explain why a neighbor literally slammed on his brakes when going by my house, rolled down his window to see the "Russ Feingold" sign I had in my yard, and started to get out (presumably, to remove my sign). Until he saw me throwing a baseball to my son in the front yard, and then closed his door, glared at me, and then drove a few houses down to his driveway.

    Within a month, he sold his house. I suppose he didn't like that I was besmirching the good redness of Brookfield with a blue sign. But given his response, even in deep-red Waukesha, it seems we're not safe even here. I do worry for the kind of world my son is coming up in.

  • @ Terraformer:

    Teach him to throw the baseball with pinpoint accuracy. A baseball in the face at anything over about 20 miles an hour will give a strong man pause. I would also say, teach him to handle guns, so he'll know what to do after he beans the asshole and takes his handcannon..

  • I go to shows (sorry, "concerts") pretty frequently, and I admit that I make a similar calculation myself every time I go to a bigger venue (lest we forget Bataclan and Manchester.) It's tiring.

  • When I go to anything, I don't expect to leave alive–yes, there are that many lavahotburnin'stoopitbatshitKKKrazeepantsmuthahfuckahz out there–and far too many of them are armed.

  • @anotherbozo

    re: Polish food on Long Island.

    ZAGLOBA POLISH BAR & RESTAURANT
    700 NY-27A, Amityville, NY 11701

    This place is magical.
    Food is delicious.
    Polish beer (really good)
    Televisions showing Polish soap operas or soccer
    The later it gets the louder the polish electronic dance music becomes
    Prices = super reasonable

    This is definitely not the Hamptons.

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