(Leather Life column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #296, September 29, 2006)
The Corn Haulers, a leather/levi club in Des Moines, Iowa, recently became the latest leather club to reach thirty years of age. To celebrate, the theme of this year’s Corn Ball 2006 run was “The XXX Wedding” (“After thirty years together, we might as well make it legal”). The banquet, the show, the games and the cocktail parties all played off the wedding theme.
Representatives of over twenty other leather clubs attended the festivities, which also incorporated the Fall meeting of MACC (Mid-America Conference of Clubs).
Following are excerpts from the journal of Andrew Bertke, an Atons member who made the trek to Des Moines for the run.
We arrived Friday just in time for the first cocktail party. This was followed by a buffet lunch and then more cocktail parties sponsored by various clubs. The Atons cocktail party had a Hawaiian wedding theme: “tropical” punch (with umbrellas), Spam on crackers, and wedding mints, served by the lovely Atons in coconut bras and grass skirts.
After the Atons party, we headed out to two local bars, The Blazing Saddle and its neighbor , Buddy’s Corral. Then back to the hotel for one final post-bar late-night cocktail party, then to bed.
Saturday started early for run attendees who were club delegates for MACC. Not being a delegate, I woke up at about 11 A.M. and went to the lunch, games and show at The Garden, another sponsoring bar/nightclub.
The games included a wedding bouquet toss, “count how many votive candles are in the jar,” poker draw, and others. The show started with several love and marriage songs performed by hag drag stars. A roller-skating Madonna performing “Like A Virgin” while wearing her wedding miniskirt was precious. Another charmer was the sad little forlorn “girl” who lip-synced to a Carol Burnett ditty about fairy-tale lovers from the Broadway show “Once Upon a Mattress.”
My real favorite was the bride in the tight punk-rock wedding dress and bright pink shoulder-length wig lip-syncing to “Cherry Bomb” while maintaining a snear on his mustached face.
Then the “Cherry Bomb” bride and the groom got up on the stage for the mock wedding. The service was led by the run MC, playing a southern-Baptist-style preacher complete with plenty of amens, hallelujahs, and praise jeebuses.
Saturday night started with yet more cocktail parties, soon followed by the official run banquet. This is the one event where we are expected to dress up and club members don their club uniforms.
The run banquet began, as usual, with a parade of colors. (“Colors” are club patches or flags.) This was an especially long parade of colors in honor of the Corn Haulers’ thirtieth anniverary.
Several times during the evening the “groom” (played by MACC president Threasa) responded to our clinking glasses and kissed the “bride” (played by one of the male Corn Haulers). Each time she was called up, the groom would slip mystery food items into the bride’s mouth: an olive, a piece of fruit, and finally a glob of whipped cream.
After the banquet we headed to another cocktail party and then back to the Blazing Saddle and Buddy’s. The bars were packed with a mix of locals and run attendees. The only annoying moment of the night was when a lesbian, who will go unnamed, decided she needed to bite my “cute” ass. I wasn’t expecting it, so it sent me jumping halfway across the room. Damn teeth left marks!
After I recovered from that, we hung out at The Saddle until 12:30, then headed back to the hotel for the post-bar party. This was really nice. They had sandwich fixings and cookies. The MN Storm Patrol was serving their vodka/fruit punch/fruit cocktail drink.
Sunday morning we headed down for breakfast. Traditionally, Sunday breakfasts at runs includes awards and speeches. Awards are typically given to game winners and for things like who had to travel the farthest to attend the run. There are also thank-you awards for the participating clubs.
It was fitting that all the awards were packaged as wedding gifts. Surprisingly, the Atons won the Best Cocktail Party award— a toaster oven!
After the awards came the speeches. This is when each club gets up to congratulate the host club and to possibly promote their own runs and activities. To bring the run to a close, Threasa (the groom) announced that the wedding was annulled, and presented clean sheets as the reason why.
To see photos of the run, visit < http://public.fotki.com/drewan/travels/runs/conrn_haulers-2006/> for Bertke’s photos or <www.cornhaulers.com> for the club’s pictures.