Ball O’ Paint
My all-time favorite Weird Al song is “The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.” He somehow perfectly captures a Midwest slice of Americana in a way that both satirizes and celebrates a way of life that is perfectly happy to drive “three whole days and nights” to see “the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota.” It’s catchy and fun, and I think it’s the best song he’s ever written.
My family was never one to visit these sorts of attractions (the biggest family vacation I remember was a visit to Washington, D.C.), so I didn’t have much experience to draw on to enjoy the song.
This weekend, Kat’s sister (We’ll call her “Missy”) came to town with the express purpose of making us all go see the “World’s Largest Ball of Paint.”
There are a few things you should know about the World’s Largest Ball of Paint:
1) It is not in our town.
2) It is, in fact, over an hour away.
3) It looks bigger in person.
We met the nice man and his wife that you see on the main page I linked to there, and we got to paint a layer on the ball ourselves. We painted layer #19,069, in case you were wondering, and we each got a certificate declaring that fact. We painted a yellow layer, at Kat’s request (it was her birthday weekend, therefore, her choice.)
The World’s Largest ball of Paint is not in a museum. It is not easy to find. It is in a shed built specifically to house the World’s Largest ball of Paint on Mike and Glenda Carmichael’s property. It weighs over 1,700 pounds. It has been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live and is in the Guinness Book of World Records. Tom Green taped a segment for his show at the actual location, but his show got cancelled before the segment aired. I asked Mike if Tom Green behaved while he was there and Mike said, “No.”
The World’s Largest Ball of Paint was not the only activity we packed into the day. We also saw an improv group in Indy (they weren’t very good; in fact, the farther away I get from their performance, the worse I think it was) and ended the day with some Cosmic Bowling, which is like regular bowling except the lights are off, the music is louder, and you’re surrounded by teenagers.
I’ll soon forget the improv group from Indy and my bowling experiences will be eclipsed by new ones before long, but I’m not likely to forget the World’s Largest ball of Paint any time soon.
Now if only I could write a song about it…