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16 September 2007 @ 07:54 am
The Fair, where bad judgement meets deep-fried stuff covered in cheese.  
 Every year at the same time, the Tri State Fair and Rodeo comes to Amarillo.  And every year, hubs asks, "Do you want to go?"  Every year, I shrug my shoulders and go, "Okay."

And then...  I remember.

The fair is, quite possibly, the most bizarre and diverse microcosms of human life I've ever encountered.  You have the normal famililes, you know, the ones that entered things to be judged, like jam, giant pumpkins, photography, quilts, macrame, macaroni art (not kidding), there for the exposition, the midway, and are just there to pass the time on a Saturday night.

Then there are the rest.  Wow.  There are the boys and girls old enough to be without their parents, but obviously shouldn't be, finding dark places to snog each other and possibly make some other bad decisions as well.  You have the young women who, when getting dressed for the fair, stood in front of the mirror and thought, "What's the least amount of clothing that I can wear and not get arrested?" and then inevitably threw caution to the wind and decided that getting arrested would totally be worth it, because the cutoff shorts and pasties that passed for a top are just too cute.  The gang bangers, flashing their signs (in Amarillo!  How humiliating it must be to be in a gang here), their pants a miracle in the face of gravity, posing with their 'women', being glared at by the sherrif's deputies, the poor, the rich (who thought maybe wearing the $6000 dollar diamond ring may have been a bad idea), and the carnies.

Oh, the carnies.  These are the people Emma Lazarus wote about, "The huddled (unwashed) masses yearning to breathe free."  They either have a manic or dead look on their face, screaming about whatever it is that they're selling, "Only two tickes, ma'am," or  "Mister!  Win your lady a stuffed platypus!" or "Best lemonade at the fair!  I almost guarantee it!" (Almost?  What is an 'almost' guarantee?  I didn't ask him.)

And the food.  If it's doesn't have the fat content of a weeks worth of food, you won't find it here.  Some of the fare at the fair includes deep fried candy bars, fried ice cream, steak on a stick, hand dipped corn dogs, calf fries (don't ask),  entire plates of curly-Q fried potatoes, funnel cakes, fried s'mores, roasted ears of corn dipped in butter, cheesecake in a stick, fajitas, overpriced sodas, ginormous turkey legs, and beer.  Evidently they sold lots and lots of beer.

CPS.  "Hey, Carrie, what did you feed your children last night for dinner?"

Me.  "Erm, a corn dog, cotton candy and a funnel cake?"

(sounds of child protective services bundling my children up & taking them away)

The rides.  Oh, heavens.  I worked at Six Flags over Texas when I was in high school, and I was leery of some of the rides there.  The rides that were NOT put up last week by drunk carnies and held together with bailing wire and chewing gum.  Against my better judgement, we took the boys on the ferris wheel, which they LOVED, and I was sure would rust out while we were at the top, sending us careening down towards the animal exhibits or the petting zoo, squishing the baby zebra, the bored looking sheep or the gigantic blue ribbon pig (never mind!  Bacon for everyone!) .  They also rode the carousel, which looked safe enough.  I drew the line there, though.

We did have fun, even though we were filthy and had queasy stomachs from all the horrid (and by horrid, I mean SOOOOOO good) food, and when hubby asks next year if I want to go to the fair, I'll probably shrug my shoulders and say, "Okay."  By next year, my stomach will have forgotten how it feels this morning.  :)

Special thanks to alittleredhoodfor my new icon!  *pets icon*  I LOVE it!




 
 
 
I am:: home
I feel:: queasy
I hear:: hubs snoring
 
 
 
Comic Book Goddess: Calvin - Grrr Mirrorrainpuddle13 on September 16th, 2007 01:53 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, but you know that food at the fair has no calories. It's special food, like donut holes...

I haven't been to the state fair in ages. Now I want a polish sausage with peppers and onions and hot mustard like nobody's business.

Alas, instead I'm having french toast that is being fixed as I type. I smell bacon being fried.
Carrie Leigh: pic#66161074carrie_leigh on September 16th, 2007 02:06 pm (UTC)
I didn't know that about fair food. Score!

French toast sounds like a pretty fair trade for the time of day, anyway. I love the smell of bacon being fried.
Comic Book Goddess: Baby Monster Garethrainpuddle13 on September 16th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
Bacon, I'm almost positive, is the food of the gods. It's perfect and it goes with everything - other meats, cheeses, veggies, etc. MmMm...
Embellishedembe11ished on September 16th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC)
Ah, the fair. You just brought back a ton of memories from childhood. I didn't go to the same fair, of course, but ours was very similar. In addition to all the regular stuff, though you could get any kind of food you wanted on a stick (pork chops, alligator meat, anything). And then there were the oddities that you just couldn't find anywhere else, like the heads of the dairy princess and her court all sculpted in butter. Fairs are magical in a way, especially for children. But there is a really good reason they only happen once a year!
Carrie Leigh: Texas Rangerscarrie_leigh on September 16th, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, all the food on a stick. I guess it's easier to eat while walking?

We don't have butter sculptures! I feel cheated somehow.

Magical and once a year. That's great way to put it!
wistfulmemory: Floating Beautywistfulmemory on September 16th, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC)
Last year, a couple of my friends decided that they wanted to see if they could manage to eat only foods on a stick when at the NE State Fair.

Oh, I have a great loathing for carnies. I was at the ND State Fair with my two younger cousins (14 and 15 years younger than me), and I kept getting harassed by the carnies to win prizes for my "sons". My cousins learned new vocab words from me because of that (though thankfully no swear words; that's reserved for the other cousins to teach to them).

I wasn't too thrilled with the ND State Fair this year because it decided to occur during the record breaking highs for July. But I had fun on the rides (except for the one where the ride operator decided to serenade us while we were stuck in the ride...).
Carrie Leigh: mauled dolphinscarrie_leigh on September 16th, 2007 02:31 pm (UTC)
You live in North Dakota? Wow! What are the record breaking highs there?

Serenaded by carnies. *shudders* That is unfortunate.
wistfulmemory: Floating Beautywistfulmemory on September 17th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
I personally don't live in ND (I'm currently in Japan actually...), but I have a lot of extended family that does live there (both of my parents were born and raised there), so we were visiting my grandfather while the fair was occurring. For ND, the recording breaking highs in July are around 104F with a decent amount of humidity and no wind. Oh, and my grandfather's house has no form of a/c either, so that made the time there even more fun...

(And I'm loving your new icon!)
sue_bridehead on September 16th, 2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
You'll never learn, huh? ;) I'm not a big fan of the fair. The rides look dangerous, the carnies are annoying, and the food is usually pricey and lousy. Or maybe that's just here.

Now that you're home from the fair, did you get my final draft yesterday, oh lovely beta reader? :D Take your time, no rush - I'm working on something else right now anyway.

P.S. I showed my husband your picture of the dolphin and you. He laughed his ass off! (Sorry - I know it was probably scary at the time, but how often does one see a picture like that?) ^_^
Carrie Leigh: draco malfoy fictional boyfriendcarrie_leigh on September 16th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
I did get it, and I'll have it back to you by Wednesday. Does that sound alright?

I know. It is funny. My husband laughed his ass off, too.

I still don't like dolphins.
sue_bridehead on September 16th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
Wednesday is completely fine. Thanks! *hugs* By the way, the mascot at our kids' elementary school in Gilbert, AZ, was a dolphin. I decided not to show the picture to them. Didn't want to traumatize them-!

Hey, did you ever try my lyrics and writers music meme/challenge on my LJ? If you have time, go check it out. You might know some of them. (But like fallenwitch said, it's kind of a generational thing.)
dragonsangel68dragonsangel68 on September 16th, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC)
I love the fair! A great deal of my hubby's extended family were carnies (they've all left the scene now, unfortunately) and it made going all the better, because we never had to wait in line for anything *eg* and we could get a decent feed ;)

How I would love to tie my children to the carousel, but they've inherited my daredevil nature (which left me the moment I gave birth) and are only happy if they're on the biggest, scariest rollercoaster.
Carrie Leigh: draco malfoy fictional boyfriendcarrie_leigh on September 17th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC)
We used the "you're not yet tall enough to ride that," excuse. That won't work for much longer, though, considering Ethan is almost at my shoulder.
Cydney: Bovveredalittleredhood on September 16th, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC)
Some things:

1. I didn't make those icons, I just found them and they seemed appropriate. MORE than appropriate. Inappropriately appropriate. They were made by the fantabulous Cleolinda, who has an AWESOME LJ somewhere on here, but I am too lazy to look it up right now. She writes the "Movies in Fifteen Minutes" bits, so those icons are naturally from "TITANIC in 15 Minutes". I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 15 minutes" if you haven't already read it. You will DIE. However I get the feeling I've already highly recommended that to you, so if I have, disregard that.

2. Speaking of the fair, my mum decided to be sneaky and entered three photos I took to the photo contest behind my back. One of them won first place. Go figure.

3. I've just realized that Friday is homecoming... how do you think Ethan and Aaron would feel about being my and Carlee's dates for about half the game? (And by that I mean "how would you and Nolan feel if Carlee and I took them to see maybe half of the football game?") We'll make them tiny homecoming garters and everything! If you're down with that, that is. I just need to know so I can get tickets for us all.

See you Tuesday.
Carrie Leigh: imprint of a departed soulcarrie_leigh on September 17th, 2007 01:29 am (UTC)
I'll see if I can't credit those properly; I have read POA in 15 minutes and it was hysterical. Must seek out Titanic.

Congratulations! There were lots of great photos. You'll have to bring them to show me.

I think the boys would love to go to a football game! That's fine with us, if you want to take them.
rupert_talley: cute puppiesrupert_talley on September 17th, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)
How I loved the fair when I was young. I'd always do the ping pong game and bring home a sad little goldfish. My dad had really bad rheumatoid arthritis, so we'd do all the side shows and games. His specialty was the mouse game which has been banned by now which I have to agree with but when I was 8 I loved watching that thing go scurrying across the colors to find his/her hole. LOL Your descriptions of the people there is so right on. If I had youngins I'm sure we'd go and as we walk to the car would firmly say, "that's the last time kids." Followed by the next year with, "okay, okay but this will be the last time so enjoy it."
raynedayrayneday on September 17th, 2007 01:31 pm (UTC)
Ah, a Fair! Don't you just LOVE the small fairs, the ones they set up in parking lots? In our town, there was one yesterday set up in the parking lot of Bed, Bath and Beyond. Their was music, too. I think it was some sort of karioke, but hey, I heard music. Nothing like a drunk carnie singing Cher's 'Believe' HA HA HA.

And why do Carnies always look like they got punched out in both eyes? And there is always some sort of scab somewhere on their face. Yikes.

If they only had deep fried salad, then you could at least say you had a vegetable.