The Fair

Those of you that tolerate my rambling over on Facebook know i’ve been working a booth at the Washington County fair for the last few days. I’ve taken tons of pictures, made fun of most of them, posted a multitude of comments and in general gave you all the impression it was a miserable 3 days. This is only partially true. Let me explain.
I don’t like people. If you’re friends with me you know i have a very low tolerance for rudeness, lack of common sense, laziness and overall stupidity. Which puts about 80% of the population on my shit list. As you would expect, there was an overwhelming amount of this at a county fair, especially one that is extremely farm/agriculture dominated. between the chew, the constant smell of any one of 12 different kinds of animal shit, the dirty, smelly, toothless people attempting to take 102 of every free giveaway we had, the 32, yes, 32 people so fat that they needed a motorized chair, but still managed to eat corn dogs while they were driving, and the general appearance of most of the crowd, i was semi miserable. I’m unapologetic for this. living in a rural community and being involved in farming is no real excuse to make nothing out of your lives. But there is another side to the fair.
As i walked around snapping pics and gaining 5 lbs on fair food, i noticed some of the better sides of the fair. The pride of the 4-H kids that managed to grow their own vegetables, herd sheep, lead their prize cows around the ring, even have their pig come in first in a pig race. I might mock these things, but i have to give these kids credit; they probably work harder than most adults in any city. While your little brothers and sisters are playing video games and going to the mall, these kids learn skills and work with their hands. In this aspect we might be the dumb ones.
My last observation is a bit more sentimental. As you leave the agricultural section and head towards the rides and games, the atmosphere changes. The families seem more “normal” the air smells of fried dough, not shit, and everything is brighter. Games ring out around you, flashing their lights, dangling their prizes. the game operators call out to you, taunt you to try your luck, dare you to win a prize. You know there’s little chance you’ll ever win anything worth the price of winning, but it calls out to you none the less. The haunted mansion and house of mirrors loom above you, even as an adult. You stare up and know they will never live up to their hype, but the child in you still remembers the anticipation; Maybe something will jump out from every corner, maybe the girl you met at the tilt a whirl will hold your hand during the scary parts, maybe, maybe, maybe…. it all seems endless.
And as the day fades into night, the ferris wheels light up in the sky and everything seems right. maybe you finally win that goldfish (that will most likely live 24 hours or less) maybe that girl will ride the ferris wheel with you, and as you stop on the top of the wheel, your basket swinging slowly back and forth, maybe you’ll have the nerve to lean over for that kiss. The night air at a fair makes everything seem new and exciting and endless. And maybe instead of the toothless and dirty, maybe thats the part we all should remember. That point in your childhood where a small county fair was an entire world, with adventure around every corner. I guess thats the part i forgot, but i’m glad i was able to remember for a few minutes, as i watched the ferris wheel circle in the sky.

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