Irish ultimate player and Snapchat enthusiast Liam Grant recounts his journey from Poultry Days to Potlatch in the latest installment of Through Irish Eyes. Is he a great writer with a drinking problem, or a great drinker with a writing problem? Make sure to read parts one, two and three to find out.
Ohio, the number one tourist destination in America (on opposite day). We all know it’s fun to say Ohio, but is it a fun place to visit? I decided to find out. Leaving the light of my life, my van, behind in California, I flew to the Windy City to begin my quest. As a country boy at heart, cities tend not to fare well with me, but there’s something uniquely beautiful about Chicago in summer. I could feel remnants of the roaring twenties from its living, breathing city streets, jazz oozing from every orifice.
Before long I was in a mini bus, playing some Mario Kart amidst some of Machine Ultimate’s finest on my way to Poultry Days. Occasionally, I glanced out the window at the flat corn fields that stretched to the horizon with a few desultory chicken prisons blemishing the farmland. Nevertheless, the sight of a drive-thru liquor store quickly restored my faith in humanity.
Poultry Days takes place in the rural town of Versailles, Ohio (pronounced phonetically, to the dismay of the French). For one weekend, the ultimate community and middle America merge together in a bumpkin bliss of festivities. Players flock to the fairground for corndogs and funnel cake, while Miss Chick and her teenage entourage scour the fields for their knight in shining feathers, Mr. Cluck. For those of you who are unfamiliar with funnel cake, I suggest keeping it that way. Try to imagine battering and frying your tangled headphone cables or perhaps some discarded shoe laces, then, sprinkling them with powdered sugar for a vomit inducing dessert.
The all-star game takes place on Saturday evening, featuring very few all-stars. Most champs prefer to take an early shower and have a few beers on heckle hill than cleat up for a sixth game (although hucking it to Miss Chick is an eggsperience not to be looked off).
After Poultry Days wrapped up, I decided to keep up with my trend of visiting random states and trundled up to Lake Michigan to play some beach ultimate. Having never seen such a massive body of water before that wasn’t the ocean, I was skeptical of this “freshwater” phenomenon. However, after drinking some of the water, I verified that it was indeed fresh and actually tasted rather good.
There are many ways to get from Michigan to Seattle; I prefer to travel via the ultimate community. Borrowed cars and generous lifts saw me on my way, resting my bones on ultimate couches. eventually reaching Washington in time for Potlatch. My friend Ted Werbel has already composed an informative article on this years Potlatch, so I thought it would be best to take a more obscure approach, sharing my thoughts through the medium of poetry:
The Last Latch
On the 4th of July, we remember the day,
When old Tommy J led the world astray.
It’s fireworks and family for many folks,
as a rare few choose different strokes.
Bags packed, with condoms and bacon!
The taste of anticipation is rarely mistaken.
Setting up your tent, a brew in hand,
“slap on a koozie or else you’ll be banned!
The games start, the green grass glistens,
the Spikeball and Kan Jam are all in position.
Take to the line to face your foes,
wizards, Christmas, spidermen and crows.
Immersing yourself in a sea of bedlam,
where lunacy is high and sobriety is seldom.
The night falls and the rage rises,
endlessly twirling through Potlatch surprises.
Awaken in a sleeping bag sweat,
Smear off the shame and forget the regrets,
Repeating the process, embracing the glee,
ears still burning from Spanish Flea.
The curtains start closing, the finals begin,
tents disappear as warriors grow thin.
The tourneys defeated, Monday blues set in,
and all that remains is glitter soaked skin.
Potlatch photos courtesy of Tino Tran — www.tinotran.com