Here’s a quirky story from Saskatchewan dated August 28, 2002, via the CBC: Top grasshopper catcher wins Elton John tickets. Unfortunately, I can’t link to it because the CBC Arts Canada section uses Flash exclusively, so here it is in full…
Regina – A woman who collected 39,000 grasshoppers last weekend has won a pair of tickets to Elton John’s sold-out Saskatoon concert this Friday. Brandy Elliot, 26, beat her closest competitor in the radio-station contest by 6,000 bugs. “I had started on Friday by hand initially, and just put them in a bucket, but then I thought this is ridiculous I can’t get this many grasshoppers,” Elliot said. “So what we did is made three huge nets with the netting from screen doors and basically took our quarter ton truck and drove through the ditches. As soon you touch the grass they fly up. It was unbelievable.”
Elliot said she estimated the number of grasshoppers by counting the number that fit in one pail, and then counting the number of pails used to fill each of the bags she took to the radio station. After the official count, the grasshoppers were put in a dumpster behind the radio station. Elton John’s first-ever concert appearance in Saskatchewan sold out within minutes when tickets went on sale last month.
Saskatchewan is completely flat, so there’s not much else to do in summer except count the grasshoppers. Still, I bet it will make Elton John’s prairie debut pretty memorable.