Hack Attack: Survival Guide for Festival Season

. June 5, 2018.

There’s something odd about Northwest Ohio.

If you’re from here, and don’t venture outside the swamp much, you might think it’s normal for every church, every ethnicity, every neighborhood, and every fat-laden culinary option to have its own festival. It’s not.

Most other cities have one, maybe two, major festivals per year. Columbus has ComFest, Dublin has its Irish Fest. When outsiders come to T-Town they’re amazed at our affinity for stuffing our faces with beer and elephant ears, at multiple locations, every weekend all summer long.

Take the weekend of June 2nd and 3rd. OLPH had its parish festival, Sylvania had Maple and Main. It was Point Place Days, and the Old West End had its massive summer kickoff weirdfest. And not to be outdone, Promedica brought Gladys Knight to the riverfront.

Thousands upon thousands of people flooded these events, drinking gallons of booze and absorbing way too many fat calories. And where thousands of people gather in the summer, surely that great and fearful predator will follow.

The every greedy, never sated Political Hack.

Logos and clipboards

You can’t miss ‘em. They travel in swarms, with identical logos on their sweat-stained Ts, hawking stickers and wielding clipboards. They swoop down on the unwary festival goer with a simple greeting that belies their rapacious hunger for your affirmation. “Are you a registered voter?”

Like asking, “Do you love your mother?” Even if you don’t, you’d never share that secret with a sweaty stranger. So whether you’re registered to vote or not, you smile back and mumble, “yes.”
Oh, you poor unwitting victim. It’s chum to a shark. They will immediately latch on, and your day will go sideways.

They’ll offer you campaign lit, wax eloquent about their chosen candidate, ask if you’d like to volunteer, slap a sticker on your chest. Of course, you can’t fend them off by answering, “no.” They’re well-prepared for that old ruse, because they carry packs of voter registration cards. So off they’ll go into a spiel haranguing you to register.

They love these little games, while you squirm and hop from leg to leg because you were on your way to the PortaJohn. Never fear, dear reader, there is relief from the Hack, a way to escape their predatory ways and reclaim your summer fun.

Make Festivals Great Again

There’s only one way to defeat the Hack. Beat ‘em at their own game.

As soon as you spot the swarm, identify their candidate. Then make up a totally insane story about that person, and take the fight to the Hacks.

See a swarm sportin’ shirts for Candidate A? Light into ‘em with something like, “Candidate A? CANDIDATE A? That sum beetch swindled me outta four hundred grand at an after hours craps game!” Then mutter under your breath and stalk off. They’ll be stunned into silent submission.

Remember, don’t let ‘em approach you. Be on the offensive. Slip a Hack a note, “Tell (INSERT CANDIDATE’S FIRST NAME) I’ll never forget that night in Paris in Ninety-Seven. Call me!”

Take off on a Hack with, “Hey, I been looking for you guys all summer, I’m with the group Fascists for (INSERT CANDIDATE NAME), we wanna get her to speak at our rallies!”

Knock ‘em off-kilter. Nothing is too odd for this task. In fact, the odder the better. Get creative! Whip up unique festival T-shirts with witty, off-putting slogans. “Ammosexuals for (INSERT CANDIDATE NAME)?” Why not. “Ask me what (INSERT CANDIDATE NAME) likes for breakfast?” Sure thing.

Attack the Hack before the Hack gets its legs. It might not keep every Tom, Hack, and Harry away from you. But it’ll sure be a helluva a lot of fun.