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I got ‘shushed’ at a Lard Dog show!

Dancers Jenny Emerson and Donlin Foreman added another classical layer to the Weekend of Chamber Music’s Music Talks concert series held at the Old North Branch Inn.
TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

July 30, 2014

Was I talking during the show? Yes. Amidst the flurry of activity surrounding the Celebrate Callicoon Street Fair, ( and surrounded by scores of kids who were shrieking with glee, I stopped taking photos for a moment to greet pal Cooper Boone (, while dodging flying pretzels, beach balls and balloons being flung at the crowd by the Lard Dog himself. As the confetti of rolled oats rained down on the audience, I dared to speak. It wasn’t easy to be heard above the din, since the “Human Lard Dog and the Band of Shy” ( pride themselves on a reputation of “blowing the roof off the place” and being called “Pee Wee’s Playhouse on a salty, sugary high.” (Hmm—would love to know who said that.) True, there was one woman (just the one) who felt it necessary to shush me as she closed her eyes and reverently mouthed the words to the House of Lard’s memorable lyric: “He’s Ploop, not Plop, Hoo-La-Lee.” I was stunned. “Really?” I asked the cool, icy blonde who admonished me. “Really?” Clearly hoping that looks can kill, she responded coldly, “Yes, really.” Holding a finger to her lips (I won’t say which one), “Be quiet!” she whispered.

Properly chastised, I completely ignored her and joined in the fun that was (as always) infectious during a performance of the wild and wacky group known for the pandemonium that they encourage. The street fair itself was thrumming with activity, and as I strolled the booths with the Wonder Dog at my side, it was difficult to understand why my decorum was in question, as pop-up performances took place throughout the day with multiple bands, painting demonstrations and members of the Delaware Valley Opera (DVO, regaling the crowd with selected songs. As the talented troupe sang “Over the Rainbow” in unison, while promoting the upcoming presentation of “La Traviata,” DVO rep Carol Diefenbach encouraged the revelers to join in, with nary a wagging finger in sight.