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By Scott Sullivan


Mid-Life Crisis

Probably you’ve been prepped on the 7 P’s: Piss-Poor Planning Promotes Piss-Poor Performance. Which is why I’m bound for the Fennville Goose Fest Saturday, whose 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. highlight will be Mid-Life Crisis.

At age 64 I can’t plan enough, assuming I haven’t been through this crisis already. Alzheimer’s planning might be more practical. To think I can get this done in an hour gooses me to go there.

How does Mid-Life Crisis in Fennville work? I asked correspondent Jim Hayden, who wrote our Goose Fest listings this week.

“They’re a band,” said Jim. “They play 1970s and ‘80s dance music.”

Many songs from that era might trip a crisis. “YMCA” by The Village People alone might do it. Add “Le Freak” by Chic and “Venus” by Bananarama and I’ll be dressing up like “The Brady Bunch” dad in no time.

“You don’t get it,” said Jim. “They’re an old guys’ rock band. That’s the joke.”

My crisis is a joke? Now I’ve bought a Corvette you tell me?

Since Jim is a journalist I know better than to believe him. Plus I’m desperate. Screw the Mayo and Betty Ford clinics; when I need help I look straight to Fennville.

Will an hour be enough? I’ve gone to past Goose Fests as a drive-by photo shooter, which has made things worse. As with life, being comfortable in all phases — seeing each step as part an integrated whole — is essential for health and balance. So this year I’m going to Goose Fest early.

Fun starts Friday at 5 p.m., if you believe Jim, with happy hour at the Goose Saloon, live music and a carnival. Bud Lights, bumper cars, elephant ears … let the healing begin, I say!

After things shut down, I will have till breakfast on Saturday to cruise Pullman in my ‘Vette, top down, 8-track thumping Donna Summers’ “I Feel Love,” seeking same with a paisley shirt unbuttoned to my navel to reveal a neck chain nestled in glued-on chest hairs.

The morning after, a Belgian waffle with Mrs. Butterworth will fuel me to win the 9 a.m. 5K Goose Run. I’ll park my ‘Vette at the Main Street car show and shop till I drop at the Goose Market. Bands, parade, Daredevil Circus, carnival … When the band steps onstage I’ll be prepped for Epiphany.

Post Mid-Life Crisis there’s always Hospice. Sunday I’ll trade my ‘Vette for a walker, undergo a skin graft because like an idiot I used Krazy Glue for the chest hair, and hobble downtown to win the Goose Quacker 3-on-3 basketball tournament, chalk-art and bags contests. Fun never ends in Fennville.

The aforesaid 7 P’s have a cousin: Proper Prior Planning Prevents the other three. I prefer planning afterwards. Hindsight is 20-20 plus then I can say, “I told you so.”

How soon prior should people start planning? Birth may be too late. Science shows babies start hearing, and to some extent learning words in the womb. Familiar sounds, voices … You can bribe your kid into Harvard. But to give Junior a real edge, start reading classics aloud at the moment of conception.

My wife wasn’t thrilled when I did this. But when our daughter’s first words were, “Stella, grab me a beer!” she knew we’d made someone special.

Although it’s too late for me — my parents didn’t have that foresight — Goose Fest won’t be over until it’s over. There will still be a Tractor Show Sunday, music by elementary students, carnival, Goose Saloon Happy Hour …

“Stella, grab me a beer!” I will tell the barmaid.

“A Stella Artois?”

“A Bud Light.”

“That’s a beer?” she’ll say. “Also, Stanley Kowalski never said that to Stella in ‘Streetcar Named Desire.’”

“How about Marlon Brando?”

“Him neither.”

“Are you suggesting I made this up?”

“You’re a journalist. That’s what I plan on,” the barmaid said.