Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fair Play

September 5, 2011.

It's the last day of the Oregon State Fair, which is apparently also "Cow Judging Day."  We can hear mooing from all the way out in the parking lot.  I wonder what the judges look for in a cow.  Bone structure?  Smiling with their eyes?  Did I just invent America's Next Top Cow Model?  Once, when I was a kid, I went to the county fair and played that carnie horse racing game and I won a stuffed cow. He was wearing overalls. It's the only time I ever won anything at those games, not counting the numerous ashtrays I procured from my stellar dime-throwing skillz.

Llamas, I think?  I went to this spinning wheel show once (and yes, I'm ninety-four. What?) and out back they had a barn with alpacas and goats and things, and I was talking to my little cousin about them and I called them llamas and the farmer guy there was like THEY'RE ALPACAS. And quite frankly I didn't care.  Just like I don't care if Koalas are or are not bears or what camels are called when they have one hump, not two.  But whatever these things are, aren't they cute? They're like big ol' poodles. I want one.

Mmmm.  To quote one Mr. Garfield the Cat: "Candy candy candy candy candy!" I especially covet the giant gummy bears.  Every time I go into a candy store and see one of those, I think I would love that. I'm going to get me one of those one of these days.  And really, they're only about $5 so it's not like it'd be this crazy purchase.  But something always stops me.  Maybe because when they're that size, biting off their heads (the integral part of consuming gummy bears) seems like it would be difficult. And I abhor difficulty, especially with candy. Which is why I've stopped eating Fun Dips. I'm sorry, but they simply take more than they give.

"Crazy Animal Races."  I've seen Pig Racing before, but not this.  This has goats and sheep and all manner of fowl.  They're lined up at the starting gate and then sent forth around the track while the audience cheers.  At the end, they get food.  Meanwhile, four kids in the audience get to be cheerleaders.  Whichever animal wins, the kid from that cheering section wins a small checkered flag.  After the show (which is actually quite adorable and hilarious) the announcer tells us that anyone can get their own checkered flag at the nearby concession stand for two dollars.  Gosh!

Then again, $2 sounds like chump change when you consider the price of being flung in the air on this fun contraption.  $30 will get you up there for a minute.  It's $50 if a couple wants to go together.  $20 grants you video footage.  I get that this thing must have to have insurance up the wazoo, not to mention pay somebody to run it, but it all still seems a wee bit crazy.  Much like the people who choose to ride it. 

Now this is more like it.  For $8 you can get zipped inside a big plastic bubble (like a hamster!) and walk around on the water (like Jesus!)  This is what I love about the fair.  Stuff like this.  Crazy new things you can try.  It makes the discontinuation of World's Fairs in my country a little easier to bear.

Now here's a ride I can totally get behind.  Har har, literally, amirite?  But serious, the chair lift thing is great.  You get to ride over the entire fair, thirty feet up.  You get to see everything.  Like... the tops of tents.  And... the tops of people's heads.  Not to mention the stuff behind the tents.  And after seeing some of the goings-on behind the food vendors' tents, well... it really makes your appetite waver.


 Yes, there's always an exception. I have some great, unbridled love for the giant baked potato.  Some fairgoers go for the corn dog, others the massive turkey leg, still others the old familiar sno-cone.  But I seek out the potato grande, and always will. I don't care if those potatoes are fed hormones to help give them their impressive girth.  I don't care that for the price of one potato I could go to the store and buy a whole sack of the things.  Nope.  I don't care.

Oh hey, yet another ride you won't get me on. I realize this is ten times tamer than the catapultchacallit, but still. No.

Well, it's about time to go. How about one last look at the animals? Here are some... uh...

 ... some goats? Mutant kangaroos?  Sigh.  Animal identification has never been my strong suit. 

That's better!  Those are goats.  Totally.  I mean... 
yeah, I don't even know anymore.  
I'm going home.

Until next year...


Emily Blair said...

This post made me laugh a lot. Your comments on Fun Dips were especially astute.

molly said...

I should make a list of candy that annoys me due to its packaging. Nerds would be on there. I always accidentally rip the box. They tend to spill. Some always get stuck in the box and rattle around, taunting me. :(