The Circus: Part I / by Deborah Clague

I decided to make my way out to Grand Forks a day early to partake in a little retail therapy before attending the Circus. It's a strange feeling entering the U.S. of A. At first glance, North Dakota is not much different from its provincial counterpart to the north. But I can't help but sense a sinister aura lurking in the air. Perhaps it's the omnipresent contrast between NRA bumper stickers and roadside billboards praising Jesus. Or it could be the physical sensastion of fat cells multiplying. Maybe it's just the juggalos (the greatest case against Darwin ever known). As beautiful and welcoming as it is, I confess that America intimidates me. 

First stop after checking into my hotel is Super Target, purveyor of my favorite shopping experience. There are those that claim Zellers is a comparable Canadian alternative...but those people are morons. Target is unrivaled in style, selection and price. The fact that people use their bullseye shopping bags as a status symbol is testament to how finely-tuned their retail brand is. In comparison, I'm pretty sure there's a family of rats living in the toy department of my local Zellers. 

Super Target wouldn't be super without their grocery section. I'm always amazed by the vast quantities of food and flavor combinations offered. The first item to make its way into my cart: P.B. Loco Peanut Butter infused with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I have been eating healthier over the last few months, but will admit that my celery sticks will now be smothered in this shit - cookie dough is the most sinfully delicious concoction ever! I also purchased a bottle of cupcake-flavored ice cream sauce, candy apple-flavored Hershey's Kisses and a large tube of Crest toothpaste. Lord knows, after this weekend binge I'm gonna need it.

The thing about being a reformed junk foodie is that the yearning never really goes away. My stomach craves carbs like Amy Winehouse craves heroin. To satisfy my fix though, I don't have to meet someone in a back alley...I just have to head over to slightly less questionable Dominos Pizza for one of their new breadbowl pastas. I admit, I was highly skeptical that it would be edible, but in the end I was greatly impressed and am trying to justify repeating the same order tonight. Sure, I can no longer fasten the button on my jeans but neither can half the people here. When in Rome...