It was your typical fair scene—vendors selling fried food, stables full of barnyard animals, games offering prizes of over-sized toys, and rusty rides operated by that odd portion of society that leaves one wondering, How did you end up here? And, for goodness sake, don’t any of you have teeth?
Surrounded by throngs of people (predominately high school kids), flashing neon lights, and the smell of funnel cake with an occasional whiff of manure, Tanner and I wandered the county fair last night, alternately soaking in the delicious nostalgia and stuffing our faces with as many fried delicacies as our stomachs would allow.
We visited the poor souls destined to become someone’s supply of winter protein before shamelessly indulging in sausages and corn dogs. I feel bad about this now, but when a fresh-from-the-fryer corn dog is waved in front of me, I tend to forget that I just saw his cousin and that I made a fuss over how cute he was.
Now, funnel cakes evoke no feelings of guilt beyond that which some experience after consuming calories in numbers beyond reckoning. Some might indeed see this as guilt. Others consider it pleasure, maybe even joy. For those of us whose glasses are half full—who load our funnel cakes with Bavarian crème and chocolate syrup and throw caloric caution and counting to the wind, I think we are unafraid to feel the latter of the two. And, among certain crowds, that’s about as brave as one can be.
Downing a crème laden funnel cake was not a sign of bravery or self-confidence among the crowd at the fair last night. It was typical, expected. To some, it might have even been a puny, amateur act of out-of-town, unseasoned fair-goers. Perhaps rolling with the “big boys” at such events means putting fried Twinkies and Oreos atop a funnel cake and washing it all down with fried beer. In any case, you know you’re with good people when the one concern about eating unhealthy food is how long you all have to wait in line to get it.
After throwing baseballs at beer cans and winning an adorable stuffed elephant, Tanner and I were drawn next to the flashing lights and terrified screams coming from the Rok ‘N Rol. On this ride, passengers are strapped into a metal cage, much like a hamster-wheel, that is set on a spinning track. As the track spins, the wheels begin to spin as well. The result is light-headedness, nausea, vomiting (depending on how many fried items previously consumed), and uncontrollable merriment.
Checking off most terrifying ride from our list of fair activities, we finally made our way back to Old Blue and drove home. The crisp, 65-degree air hit our faces and carried the scent of fall with us all the way back to our little house. And here we sit this morning. Tanner is mapping out a new deck for the back yard, and I’m finishing up my second or third or fourth cup of coffee. (Who counts anymore?) This quiet, overcast Saturday has brought with it pleasant memories of last night and hopes of more adventures yet to come, however commonplace they might be.