A few years ago I happened to become friends with several different people who all run catering businesses on the side of whatever it is they do for their day jobs.

Note: I don't really know what anybody does for their day job. I mean, I could tell you where my friends work. I could tell you how long they've been there. I could even tell you what their job titles are in some cases. But I never have any clue what anyone actually does for a living. And, unfortunately, sometimes myself included.

Anna Swayne and my Polynesian friend Emma run food booths at various summer festivals under their little business "Island Hopper." They make unbelievably delicious Polynesian food that accounts for at least 85% of the reason that we are friends.

Additionally, my Argentinian friend, Ana, runs a very successful empanada stand at the Salt Lake City Farmers' Market every Saturday.

I am mostly pleased that I know these people because my interaction with them has given me some amazing insight into what is the drama of the Salt Lake City food vendor scene.

"Well the pizza people haven't been talking to the Mongolian stand ever since the Mongolian stand put in a word for the pasta stand at the Arts Festival and so now the Mongolians are looking for a new ally for Summer Days and there's NO WAY they're going to go to the Korean BBQ people after how they acted at the International Festival . . ."

You guys. It's like Days of Our Lives. Except there's food. So it's EVEN BETTER than Days of Our Lives.

I bet the lemonade stand is totally the real father of the southern barbecue people.

This weekend "Craft Lake City" was held downtown and Ana invited Island Hopper to sell Polynesian otai drinks along side her empanadas in her stand.

In the past I've been recruited to come help work the Island Hopper stand as much as I can at these festivals. This is because, as it turns out, it is INSANELY difficult to be a food vendor at a busy festival so they need all the help they can get. And I can definitely say that dealing with a long and angry line of worn-out customers who just want something to drink is the most stressful thing I've ever experienced in my life. And that includes the time I accidentally hit the trunk button in the car wash.

The festival ran on Friday evening and then again all day on Saturday. We sold somewhere around eleventy hundred million drinks and empanadas. There was mango juice all over me. But for two days I wasn't locked away in an office somewhere dealing with something depressing like child abuse. And I kept thinking--I could do this for a living.

Then the health inspector came by and saw Tami.

The Island Hopper Crew, starring one Polynesian and three white people who just do whatever the Hell the Polynesian says.

~It Just Gets Stranger