With the last week of summer looming we did what many people do in this corner of the world. Please note that I didn’t say smart or even cautious people. I just said people.
And the thing these people (and I have to assume some of them are smart, more probably cautious but they are here because they all understand
that resistance is futile) do is go to the fair. Just like generations and generations have done before them. They leave the comfort of their indoor
plumbing to, depending on your fortune, get licked by a llama or some other such generally thought of as disgusting activity.
Seriously, if you were walking down the street of whichever city you happen to inhabit and you’re standing there, possibly waiting for traffic to
subside or pretending not to watch some guy acting in a very uncivil manner with some invisible person screaming in their head (blue tooth or
crazy person is a game I so love playing) and anything licked you you’d run, not walk, to slather anti-bacterial all over your body.
But, at the fair, a llama licking your bare arm from wrist to elbow is part of the charm. Or so I’m told.
And don’t get me started on the mud. Why do they all have to be in the mud? We drove there! On a highway! Covered with hardness! Couldn’t
they have just continued hot topping the area where they know hundreds, if not many hundreds, of people are going to walk on their way to the
tilt-a-whirl? I think that’s bad fair planning.
But there’s mud. And right on top of mud are my sneakers. Or should I say, my ex-sneakers. Every step cakes them with an ever increasing layer of
muck. I go in with my normal size feet (normal for me, your size may vary) and end up leaving with icky brown clown shoes. And don’t get me
started on that cacophonous sucking sound with each step. I don’t like it one bit. I’m sure you can figure out that there’s only one sucking sound below my waist I like.
But we’re there. Every. Fucking. Year. And you know what? It NEVER changes! Never! Oh look! The fried muskrat booth! EXACTLY WHERE
IT’S BEEN FOR THE LAST SIX HUNDRED YEARS!
I’m sure the fair settlers had a meeting even before they oxened in the first load of mud (tons of it must be trucked in every year due to the sneaker coating loss because it’s just not natural that, by now, we’re not down to the tectonic plates) to decree that ye olde fried muskrat tent would be given the place of honor right at the entrance next to the cabin ‘o creamy delights.
Sorry if I’m rambling and a little incoherent. I think I’m still experiencing a sugar high from walking past all the fried dough booths.
We finally arrive (it could have been ten minutes, could have been ten hours. There’s no way to really tell. The moment you plunk down your $22
– and I’m NOT going to talk about that. Or the fact that I also paid $10 for the privilege of parking in mud! No, I told myself it would be in my
best interest to avoid that subject – your internal clock unplugs. It’s a survival mechanism really) at the midway. They call it the midway because
it’s the half-way point between reason (“No, I don’t think I’ll have a fourth fried snicker.”) and insanity (“You know what? That whole lamb leg
being fried in fat back looks delicious. I think I’ll have another one.”).
At one point we’re standing still (being experienced I kept moving my feet. You can’t let the mud take hold. Why do you think most of these
people are working here? They got stuck in the mud so someone built a booth of fried fries around them). We could have been watching a
juggler. Maybe a topless guy using his wife as a whack-a-mole. I was just too numb to comprehend. I begin to look around at the vast array of
humanity splayed out, like a giant autopsy, in front of me. At this moment I had the thought,
“Boy, America sure is going to waist.”
No wonder they have to have these things outdoor. There is no structure in the world large enough to contain the breadth and girth of those
And then something licked me.
That’s when I knew we had to leave.
Because I didn’t even turn around to investigate.