In graduate school I had a friend who ate nothing but oatmeal because he claimed he was fat and this was the only way he could lose weight. In somewhat unrelated news, I gained, like, 40 pounds while I was in grad school so maybe I should have followed his diet. Or maybe I shouldn’t have eaten a bag of crisps every other hour. Oh, the stress! Anyway, about 50 miles north of Austin in the town of Bertram, Texas they have an Oatmeal Festival every Labor Day weekend. It began in 1978 as a spoof of the many chili cook-offs that are held throughout the state. Ken Odiorne of the neighboring unincorporated town of Oatmeal (but of course!) dreamed it all up and wrote to all the major producers of oatmeal cereal. But only National Oats, the makers of 3 Minutes Oats, responded. At the festival the cooks eat boiled okra and bake cow chip cookies. While the mascots of the festival are Ms. Bag, Groaty Oat, and Miss Cookie and Miss Muffin. And then there is the 20 ft. can of the 3 Minute Brand, the largest can of oatmeal in the world.