I’ve finally recovered enough to write and post this entry on our last trip to the fair. The weather tested our love for the fair on Day 5. It was hot. Hot and humid. Boooooo. Would we still go? How could we not? We didn’t even say goodbye the last time. But I hate heat and humidity. It makes me want to die. It makes me claustrophobic when I’m standing in an empty field – alone. So to walk into that fiery furnace of a fair on Sunday- shoulder to shoulder with people all shapes and sizes (some more prevalent than others) it literally took my breath away. Seriously, half way through our first food of the day – whilst enjoying beers at the Micro, I started having a mild asthma attack (not completely medically out of the question for me but mostly unprecedented). Maybe I was allergic to the Parmesan Truffle Tots(But they were too tasty to stop eating regardless of how my histamines felt.) Or maybe the scent of barnyard feces shrunk my breathing passages. I guess it could have been the heat, the humidity, possibly a panic attack wondering what I’d eat for the next 352 days; I don’t know what it was but it felt like a Clydesdale was standing on my chest. Tara kept telling me we should just go home – to which I replied something along the lines of, “what are you, stupid?” (through short shallow breaths). Instead of leaving, I did what any responsible adult would do, I rationalized. I figured I just needed to wash down whatever was doing this to me with some more food. One beer battered brat on a stick later (I had a coupon) and that theory seemed less sensical than it had a few minutes earlier – it didn’t work at all. But we pressed on and found respite from the heat in the oddly-less-crowded-than-usual and delightfully air conditioned expo center. I suggested to Tara that I lie down near this tombstone looking thing:But who knows what that black carpet is hiding…actually I feel like I do, I’m no stranger to the fair after all, and I didn’t want e coli or hep c. Anyway, I started finding my lungs somewhere between German Glue and Master Spas. Thank goodness. We passed by some interesting booths (as always) and I especially liked the salsa booth with dozens of signs telling passerby to “Ask 4 Chips!”
Man how I wanted to see someone just walk up and stick their finger right in a jar – thereby completely justifying signs that should’ve gone without saying. On the other hand, why not just have chips out? Like everywhere else – ever. Were people stealing chips? Can you imagine? I could just picture dude with 18” corndog in one hand walking past and grabbing a handful. F@#$ salsa, I just really want some stale chips from that basket everyone else at the fair has had their hands in. Having to settle for imagining all these scenarios instead of witnessing them we moved on and back out into the inferno we went.
It had been 15-20 minutes since I last ate so I insisted that we hunt down some new eats ASAP. We remembered mention of “Beer Cheese” on a sign near the tunnel entrance and like a zombie searches out brains, we Walking Deaded ourselves over that way. That Miller Lite Pavilion was where it was at and you could get it on mostly anything on the menu (and believe me – I would have). We chose the loaded chips which turned out to be a nice variation of nachos – using crispy kettle chips as the base instead of the tortilla variety. They were tasty, filling and reasonably priced.
We moved on with our New Foods list and State Fair Map in hand, trying desperately to find Fried Fruit on a Stick – I couldn’t even tell you what for anymore – but all that matters is that we didn’t find it. Instead we did find this banner of Tara eating at the fair (or so it appeared…weird!)
Where’s the commission checks? Or at least that sweet shirt!?
My mind was torn about leaving at this point (just about as much as my shorts were about to be if I kept eating like this) but I thought – one last hurrah. So back to the Machine Shed for an ol’ reliable deep fried PB&J on a stick.
We thought we’d get one last beer and give killing a keg one more chance. It didn’t happen but I did drink some delightful Leinenkugels special fair beer – not sure what it was called but it hit the spot.
If things seem like they’re getting fuzzy at this point – they were (alcohol had nothing to do with it, but gluttony and oppressive heat did). We were both feeling the weight of the day on our sad shoulders. Our conversation turned slightly weird at this point,
Tara: “I wish we had rascals to drive around in.”
Adam: “I wish it was a tandem so you could just drive” (because at this point even driving myself around the fair would be apparently too much)
Tara: “Yeah, we’ll do it when we’re old, then I can just bust into people so they get out of our way”
Adam: “Then I can just shrug and say, ‘women drivers’ and people will think it’s kinda cute cause I’ll be old.”
It was somewhere around this time where we decided it was time to go to leave the fair and walk through that tunnel exit for the last time in 2015.
As we walked out through the track I looked back and saw a few hundred people in the grandstand waiting to see Kenny Rogers – I wondered how they got their rascals up the bleachers and if Kenny Rogers would sing from one as well. I kind of wanted to stay. But then a fresh wave of heat and exhaustion fell over me and I thought to myself, it’s probably better that the fair is only 11 days long – to paraphrase the inimitable Rogers – I knew it was time to fold ’em. See you next year!
PS Check back tomorrow for a very special fair themed guest post by Tara