Thursday, August 7, 2008

Our State Fair is a Grand State Fair

I want to tell you about a magical place. It's a place of many many wonders and while most of the sights were familiar, they were still entertaining.

Some friends were in from out of town and wanted to go to the Ohio State Fair. Jen and I generally skip the fair for all the usual reasons, but our friends were genuinely excited to go, and it kind of rubbed off on us. I ran home from work, threw on some shorts and headed out the door to take in the big show. Below is a brief sketch of the sights I saw.

1 - Bellies. Lots of bellies. Some of the "Rah-rah Cheerleader" variety, and some were in the "Hope I can pick up a man and take him back to my trailer" vein. Most however were "I'm a man who has a t-shirt three sizes too small for my stomach" variety. As a large mammal myself, I'm especially sensitive to these men and women who dangle a good three inches below the hem of their Harley Davidson shirts and I want to pull them aside and let them know the garment industry is adapting to accommodate their ever expanding needs.

2 - Blatant abuse of the English Language. We shuddered collectively when we heard the mother tell her toddler "You bout got runned over!" I will never profess to have good grammar, but still....damn. On the plus side, we spent the rest of the night telling each other that we're lucky we didn't get runned over.

3 - Food on a Stick. I realize this is old hat for a State Fair and it's a running joke that's become a cliche. Seriously though...Egg on a Stick?

4 - Arts and crafts. This is a broad category that runs from the intricate and beautiful to the...Well, to this:

I know what you're wondering, and the answer is yes. All Ohio counties were represented by a decorative hat.

5 - Corndogs. Mmmmmmm...corndogs.

6 - A giant scruffy fellow in a "Boobies Make Me Smile" T-shirt. Yes they do, my friend. Yes they do.

7 - Foot Massage Stools. These contraptions look like half a barrel with a metal platform to put your feet up on. For a mere 25 cents you too can enjoy jarring vibrations for 45 seconds accompanied with a rumbling sound not unlike a passing New York City Subway Train. Relaxation, State Fair style.

8 - Vendors. In what I believe is the Exposition Hall, all of the Vendors come out to sell their wares. The amount of things you can get (and the variety) is staggering. All under one roof you could accomplish the following:

Buy one of half a dozen magic cloths that hold 16 times their own weight in spilled Kool Aid.

Order a new Social Security card.

Buy pots and pans (the last set you'll ever need).

Bulk candy, ya'll. Bulk candy.

Get saved and sanctified with one of the local churches.

Buy a hot tub.

Sober up with the county Drug and Alcohol Awareness office.

Get tattooed.

Learn more about Scientology at the L Ron Hubbard booth.

Buy "designer" fragrances for half the cost of the real thing.

Have your ring cleaned.

Request a free mobility chair. ("Screw you, I'd look good on a Jazzy!")

The bottom line is, the fair aint all bad. I guess it's all in what you're looking for. And as long as there's preacher asking "Did you know there are two things that God can't do?" as I walk by his booth, I'll be coming back. (For the record, possible answers included "Make me come back to your booth?" and "Find a rock so big he can't pick it up?")

Good times.

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