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ISSUE 115 VOL 19 PUBLISHED 4/26/2002

Twining for adventure

By Erin Piel
Staff Writer

Friday, April 26, 2002

After being around this campus for four years, I've started to run out of ways to amuse myself, so I've had to become more and more creative with entertainment options. Sometimes this leads to interesting and fun activities that I otherwise wouldn't have done, and sometimes the results are pure crap. For those of you who have been to the Twine Ball in Darwin, Minn., you know what I'm talking about. Perhaps you think I'm being unfair. A big ball of rope, a road trip to a quaint little place named Darwin  what's not to be excited about? I must admit that my expectations were rather high. I'm still trying to figure out why I expected so much from a mass of rope, but sometimes you just get excited about stupid stuff. I set out Friday afternoon with my twine ball convoy and after a brief gas and Caribou stop (fuel for the car and body), we were off. Somehow, whenever we attempt an excursion to someplace interesting, we end up doing so right smack in the middle of rush-hour traffic. The on-ramp of 494 was the last time I saw the rest of our twine ball convoy, but part of that was due to the fact that I stretched out across the back seat and took a nap. I awoke about 45 minutes later when my friend slammed on the brakes, causing me to roll off the seat and onto the floor of the car. I'm still harboring ill will towards that white Hyundai Elantra that cut us off. I've got to start carrying my voodoo doll around all the time to facilitate the proper karmic response for such incidents. Once I was properly strapped back into the car, my friends in the front seat told me it had been quite a while since they last saw car number two of our convoy. So we decided to pull off and wait for them to catch up. Plus we needed a potty stop. Some people just aren't blessed with bladders the size of septic tanks. Fairly certain that car number two was now in front of us, we ventured back out on the road. We left the traffic nightmare that was 494 only to enter into similar conditions along highway 12, but with fewer lanes and more farm smells. Don't ask me how it happened, but somehow three almost-college-graduates can not read simple road signs and we missed the highway exit we were supposed to take. The worst part of it was that we didn't realize we were on the wrong road until we came to an intersection that was unfamiliar to my chauffeur, dug out the map, and saw we had driven 40 minutes out of the way. After a few choice and colorful words left all our mouths, we turned around and headed off in the correct direction. It's rather amazing and noble the number of people that actually follow the posted speed limit signs. They ate our dust. Needless to say, we made pretty good time getting to Darwin and I was more than ready to take in the great sight that is the world's largest ball of twine. To say the twine ball didn't quite live up to my expectations would be a slight understatement. For some reason, I had pictured the twine ball multi-colored, so when I discovered it was all the same color of brown rope, my grand, preconceived notions were crushed. A gazebo-like structure held the mass of rope and was completely enclosed in glass. I like to touch things, and the fact I couldn't touch it left me feeling very unsatisfied. I was one of those children museum people hate because I wanted to, and felt it was my right, to touch every priceless thing I possibly could. And the twine ball is hardly something I would call priceless, so I felt hoodwinked. The only satisfaction I took during the entire excursion was the fact that at least I wasn't riding in number two and didn't sit there staring at the twine ball for half an hour, waiting for the car number one to show up. That, and we heard two Linkin Park songs on the radio while we drove home.

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