Our politically correct times have rid fairs and carnivals of one of their most defining traditions – freak shows. The sideshows satisfied the exploitative and voyeuristic compulsions in American culture while at the same time, celebrating all our tacky splendor.
Man with two heads! Snake Lady! The world’s fattest twins!
While sadly fairs and carnivals have lost much of their kitschy appeal, one unintentionally freaky show remains at the state fair – the butter sculptures of the Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
It sounds innocent enough, yet there is something amazingly terrifying about 12 90-pound slabs of butter carved into faces. The hollowed eyes of curdled milk fat, I swear, can look directly into your soul.
Every year at the fair, Princess Kay candidates (all of whom are dairy farmer daughters) pose in a clear freezer, for all to see, and have their features carved into a giant block of butter. No matter the girl, each butter sculpture takes on similar qualities: The cheeks are those of chipmunks, the smile has a deranged serial killer slant and again, the eyes have a ghostly aura.
These sculptures are horrifying.
But nonetheless, I have always wanted my very own head of butter. This is mostly because every butter princess gets to keep her sculpture. And I can’t even imagine the unbridled fun and happiness that would come from obtaining one’s very own face in butter.
Alas, I never can be Princess Kay, for I am not of dairy farm blood. But that can’t stop me from dreaming of all the things I would do with my butter head.
1. I would eat my own face. I suppose it would be overly disgusting to actually take large bites out of the butter, but I would at least chip away my face with a knife and put it on some toast. The idea of eating myself is so creepy, the opportunity could not be passed.
2. I would throw myself a party that had to last until my sculpture had completely melted.
3. I would put my head on the back of a bicycle and ride around Lake Calhoun while a trail of hungry pigeons flocked behind.
4. I would allow state fair patrons to use my head to butter their corn on the cob. I would call it, “Stick Y’r Cob In My Face!”
5. I would bring my head to karaoke. Possible song choices include: “Dancing with Myself” and “Build Me Up Buttercup.”
6. I would keep it in my freezer forever and scare away any potential boyfriends by making them look at my head. Then, instead of the cat lady reputation, I will be the old scary single lady with a head of butter. I hope the neighborhood children call me Mrs. Butterworth.
7. I would take my head to Glamour Shots and we would wear matching jeweled cowboy hats.
8. I would let the butter get soft and then remold my face.
9. I would find my head a body.
10. I would pick an arbitrary house, leave my head on the stoop, ring the doorbell and run away. Imagine the horror of opening your door only to find a head of butter!