July 26th, 2014

krazy koati

You ain't never caught a rabbit and you ain't no friend of mine

To start the next day --- the Fourth of July --- we went to a grocery store for supplies, to put together a little picnic, that sort of thing. More specifically, we went to a crazy grocery. It's Jungle Jim's International Market, one of those places that grew from Farmer's Market to Tourist Attraction thanks to the eccentric ownership which decided that they should provide, like, not just a wide selection of wines and international foods but also salvaged animatronics from old Chuck-E-Cheeses. It was founded by Jim Bonamino, who apparently got the nickname because he started out in the early 70s and looked like a hippie so they called him Jungle Jim.

It's a big place, big enough to be a wing of a shopping mall. It's got a monorail outside, on a track that loops almost all the way around the store and the attached strip mall. The monorail is salvaged from the Kings Island amusement park. It's been there for about a decade or so, though it doesn't run because I don't even know why. At some point, after you've got the Chuck-E-Cheese's robot lion singing Elvis tunes and bumper cars salvaged from the Coney Island Amusement Park and an animatronic band of General Mills cereal mascots, you just have to keep on going.

It was packed, of course, because we didn't think about that everybody else in Cincinnati would be getting picnic stuff like salads and cheeses and all that, but we made our way through and besides at some point there being an impossible crowd is part of the fun. I regret that I hadn't brought my camera in, because bunny_hugger told me they had a strict no-photography policy, at least when she was a grad student in the area long ago. What we forgot is that it's 2014, so keeping people away from their cameras is a waste of time, and she got away with taking pictures inside the store, like everybody else who didn't just use the place as a good-sized grocery store and not a tourist destination.

If it were just normal grocery store stuff it'd be well-stocked and we were good for everything we basically needed, including getting some plastic forks to eat our salads, and some shandy and chocolate soda to drink. We're not really wine drinkers so we could wander in awe through a wine selection bigger than the Michigan Market up our home street. But then the International Section --- well, they pride themselves on having an aisle of nothing but hot sauces. For example. They also have many sections for all kinds of cuisines, Latin American, Asia-Pacific, South African, Polish, German ...

Underneath a huge overhanging canopy depicting Sherwood Forest and playing a loop of Robin Hood's archery contest was the British foods. I poked around to look at candies and found --- they indeed had StarBars. I grabbed four of the precious, wonderful candies --- I'd have grabbed more but wasn't sure how we'd keep them from melting in the car --- and told bunny_hugger, ``We're coming back before we leave town!'' (Alas, we couldn't. They didn't melt, though.) She was impressed but said she knew one thing they would not have is this candy she got hooked on in Australia and she hadn't even named it before seeing the box of Cherry Ripes. These are a cherry-based chocolate candy and are incredibly good, but also, here, incredibly expensive: five dollars a bar. We bought one for reach of us. They are good. Also, they have a huge overhanding canopy with an animatronic of Sherwood Forest and playing a loop of Robin Hood's archery contest.

We packed everything up, with ice, and photographed the sea dragon that pokes out the end of the parking lot, and made off for our real destination, and the thing that set our whole schedule.

Trivia: On 15 July 1381 subdeacon Jean de Bar loaned 500 florins to Pope Clement VII. On 12 December he received back 500 florins, plus an additional 15 florins as a ``gift''. Source: Gold and Spices: The Rise of Commerce in the Middle Ages, Jean Favier.

Currently Reading: Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter, Richard Barrios.