February 16th, 2009

L.H.O.O.Q.!

So Winter Carnival was last week on the Church Street Marketplace, which of course involved some snow sculptures on the top block. Unfortunately though, it seemed that only one team of snow sculptors had actually taken their job seriously, carving a fantastic train out of snow, and the others, well... a giant snowball on a platform. Yeah, that's all it was. We walked by it day in and day out, wondering what the hell these people had actually tried to accomplish by carving their masterwork next to a far more impressive model, and mocked it for its half-ass beauty. Seriously? I thought every time I walked by the ball. Seriously? That's all you could make? Shit, that's more embarrassing than an ice sculpture of two pancakes! So instead of letting it tower over the marketplace for another day of bland roundness, we decided to take matters into our own hands. I mean, did you guys really expect us NOT to fuck with it?

Being that the giant ball had been sitting there in freezing weather for over a week, it had now turned into a massive ball of ice that probably weighed no less than a ton. We'd formed a group of about ten people with whom we thought we'd have enough manpower to push the structure over, but when we dwindled down to four, we decided to take matters into the hands of our good lumberjack friend Davé, who conveniently had a two-man saw hanging around in his humble abode (Obviously). The four of us headed to the sculpture with our deadly weapon and started hacking away at it, sawing through the base and pushing with all our might until the beast finally toppled from its platform. Now, we asked ourselves, What the hell do we do with it next?


Because the object weighed so much, rolling it only worked for a few feet until it landed on a flattened side, at which point four people was simply not enough to move it. Fortunately, we're not the only hooligans in Burlington, and we were quickly joined by three drunken bros who had also observed the sculptures sheer pointlessness over its week of glory. It was obvious to them as soon as they saw us struggling that they had to run to our aid, and the seven of us continued pushing. Our original intention had been to roll it to the Radio Bean and set it outside, but since it was turning out to be such a mission just to push it ten feet, we decided that the entryway to the newly relocated Urban Outfitters just across the way would be plenty satisfactory. Heaving and hoing with all our might, we had pushed the ball maybe twenty feet before Ben's roommate Steve ran in from the cuts to fill the spot of our eighth man. "I saw you guys from way down the street and I knew from way down there that I obviously had to come help," he said.


Finally, after twisting and turning the massive block of ice, we decided to try and pry the sucker off its flat edge and see if we couldn't get it rolling again. After a five minute dumpster mission behind Papa John's, Ethan and Greg returned with a cinder block and a long plank of wood. Unfortunately, after only three tries, the cinder block shattered, and when replaced with a chunk of ice from the deceased train sculpture, the plank fell victim to the ball shortly after. It was back to pushing, but we weren't giving up. No stupid ball of snow was going to conquer us in our city. The "One! Two! THREE!"s echoed through Church Street as the eight of us pushed with everything we had left in us, until finally the giant ball was resting directly in the doorway of its designated spot, and we could all stand back and laugh with high fives and satisfaction with our great deed. There was only one thing left to do.


Steve piled some extra chunks of train on top of the ball, and Ethan ran to retrieve a can of black spray paint from 30 Decatur. Another fifteen minutes later, our happy little friend was sitting pretty outside his new home, looking much more content and as if people had actually put some effort into him this time around. I like to think that even if the city didn't find it so funny, at least the employees of Urban Outfitters would have a smiling story to get them through their day at work. Once again, you're welcome, Burlington. Just givin' a little back to our beloved community.