Finger Lickin' Good

Spud goes shopping for some bullion

IIt was October of 2013 when the US Federal Government had 'Shut Down'. With all government employees on sabbatical, Spud thought he'd head over to Kentucky to see if he could make a withdrawal from the country's largest ATM; the usually impenetrable, Fort Knox. Fort Knox is home to the United States Bullion Depository which is used to store a large portion of United States official gold reserves and occasionally other precious items belonging or entrusted to the federal government. The United States Bullion Depository holds 4,578 metric tons (5,046.3 short tons) of gold bullion (147.2 million oz. troy); roughly 3 percent of all the gold ever refined throughout human history. While Spud was expecting tumbleweeds to be blowing through the empty building, the tuber apparently didn't read the fine print and found that although most employees were off work, Fort Knox was considered important enough to keep a worker or two on hand.

A little bummed out, Spud remembered that he had no visirted Kentucky before, so that meant it was time to take in the sights! First stop was Louisville and what better place to go then the home of the 'Louisville Slugger': The Hillerich & Bradsby bat factory.

Louisville - Home of the Juiced Up Bats

H & B have been making ball swatters since the mid 1800s and anyone who is anyone in baseball has used their equipment. Spud was in awe of the company's pride and joy: an enormous slugger that stands outside the factory rising 120 feet into the air. The bat weighs in a bit over regulation size at 68000 lbs. upon further investigation, The tuber learned that the bat has been 'tweaked' and is in fact carbon steel made to look like wood. It's also hollow, so like many of the bats out there in professional use, the bat is juiced up and illegal, but will no doubt be used at some point when the MLB needs a ratings boost and they decide to arm a player in search of the home run record.

The Ali Center gives back to the Community like The Greatest himself...

Louisville not only knows how to pummel poor baseballs into oblivion, its hometown son knows a thing or two about pummeling other people; pugilists that is. Louisville is home to 'The Greatest': Muhammad Ali. The polarizing boxing figure that floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee, was born in Louisville and has the Ali Center; a museum and cultural centre located downtown.

Spud has always had great respect for men that would wear housecoats in public along with shorts with the waistbands pulled almost up to their rib cage. Usually that's only seen in seniors' centers. The difference of course is that these men elect to beat the tar out of each other for up to 45 minutes taking a few short breaks to have their bloodied faces wiped off with a sham-wow. Spud took a quick snap by Ali's Center then it was off to his next stop: Churchill downs. The home of the Kentucky derby

Anyone smell glue??

Run continuously each year since 1875, the Kentucky Derby is widely known as 'The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports', although many many with PE will debate that claim.

Churchill Downs has been the site of the 10 furlong race since its inception and sits 120,000 spectators with countless more clogging the infield while wearing outlandish hats and drinking mint juleps. Spud wandered thru the gift shop and the hundreds of items on offer. Amidst the derby shirts, headwear and DVDs, the tuber was perplexed that the shop was also selling small bottles of glue. Outside a statue stands of Barbaro. Barbaro was a thoroughbred racehorse who decisively won the 2006 Kentucky Derby, but shattered his leg two weeks later in the Preakness Stakes, ending his racing career and eventually leading to his death due to laminitis. The inscription on the base stated that this was the horse's final resting place. It was then that Spud realized why there was glue in the gift shop.

Chicken wringing good...

Of course Kentucky's greatest namesake wasn't the Derby. That sole honour belongs to the Pagoda of Grease, the Friar of Fried Food, The Pantheon of Poultry: none other than Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken (or KFC for those who wish the appearance of being health conscious), was born in Corbin Kentucky back in the early 1930s when Harland Sanders began serving chicken fried in a pressure cooker, to travelers in his home adjacent to a filling station. Spud learned that Sanders had perfected a way of cooking chicken remarkably fast compared to traditional pan frying and kept it juicy by ensuring the poultry was saturated in grease. A method passed down to franchises still to this day. Sure, you have to wring the chicken out like a wet towel before eating it, but it cooked in half the time!

Harland has long since passed on to a big grease trap in the sky, however Spud managed to get a shot next to his likeness at the Visitor's Centre. Ironically, Spud noted that the wax statue appeared to have the same consistency as KFC fries.


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