american national exhibition

Don’t Stop Us Now

@softkent ‘s 14 Days of Love fic-a-thon, day 6: ruined surprises!

It all started because Katya decided to have mercy on Eric and let him take morning classes this semester. WGSS120 was an amazing class, Professor Atley had the coolest stories about how postwar industrialization led to compulsive female domesticity, and his seatmate wasn’t the worst thing to see at 9:30 AM every Tuesday and Thursday. He would have almost been dreamy if he had the slightest knack for small talk. As it was, Eric didn’t even have a name to go on, just intent blue eyes and an ass that even the baggiest of shorts couldn’t mask.

One day, Eric decided to drop a hospitality bomb on the guy and see if he could coax a response out of him. They were both consistently early to class, so Eric budgeted ten minutes for a brief chat before class started and turned to Cute Guy with a winning smile on his face.

“So how about that reading, huh? I thought it was fascinating how cake mix became a prestige thing- everyone in my family bakes, and I don’t think we’ve used a box mix in forty years.”

“Yeah,” the guy said, “I think it had something to do with the scientific advancements they made in food preservation for the troops. Shelf stabilization wouldn’t have been nearly as achievable in earlier years.”

Miraculously, once you got onto a clear subject, Cute Guy was actually a decent conversationalist. Eric found himself losing track of time as they dissected last night’s chapters of Marling.

“And the American National Exhibition anecdote!” he giggled. “Who can even tell the difference between Russian and American Coke?”

“I bet it’s easier with all of the Soviet Union breathing down your back. ‘Da, cola of Mother Russia is vkusno!’”

“Nice accent,” Eric told Cute Guy.

“Really? Thanks, I’ll have to tell Geno. He’s always knocking my Russian. He’s, uh, a friend of my dad’s, and we both play hockey.”

“So that’s what your weird doodles are? Hockey plays?”

“Yeah, I’m captain of the hockey team here. We’re not half bad, if I say so myself.”

“Wow,” Eric enthused, “you must be a pretty good skater, then.”

“Yeah, I guess. I could teach you sometime, if you want. I’m Jack, by the way,’ Cute Guy said.

Keep reading

James Geraty (after Frederic Arthur Bridgman), The American Circus in France (Steel engraving), Art Journal, London, 1876.

A model American kitchen at the American National Exhibition in Sokolniki Park, Moscow in 1959, which sparked the “Kitchen Debate” between Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon, a debate over Soviet vs. American superiority through the lens of household technology and consumerism.