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!