Monday, August 20, 2007

A Fair To Remember (Shut up - I know it's corny (mmmm...corn!))

So it's raining and quite cold here today - in the middle of friggin' August. It's just not natural. Not that I particularly relish hot steaming summer days and all the mosquitoes, sweaty scalps, and burning car seats that come included, but it's weird to have all the windows closed this time of year and NOT have the air conditioner on. I'm just sayin'. (After my near death experience in a hot car in Houston last week it's probably wrong to complain about being cold - I know.)

If I was still in Columbus I probably would have been to the fair twice by now and plotting how to trick someone to go with me a third time. Why I have to beg people to go with me is incomprehensible. How could you not love the Ohio State Fair? It's your annual opportunity to see a cow sculpted entirely of butter, see the world's biggest workboot, watch pig races and a sheep shearing contest, gawk at people from all walks of mulleted life, and eat the worlds best corn dog and have a fried Twinkie for dessert - all in the same hour. I have been going my whole life as long as I can remember and with few exceptions have really only missed it since we've moved to Grand Rapids.

I'm sure Michigan has a fine state fair, but I'm not stoked about it enough to even bother to find out when and where it is. I'd sooner drive 5 hours to Columbus where I'm know I'm guaranteed the proper fair experience of manure, sweat, rain, red necks and roasted corn.

When I was a kid I went with my dad because he worked at the fair sometimes on the weekends, restocking and servicing the soda carts. I got to whip around with him, perched proudly in a Coca-Cola golf cart. It seemed like he knew everyone, people were constantly waving and shouting hello. People just naturally like him, and I've always felt lucky to be around him. When his shift was over he'd take me to the midway to go on the rides and then stuff me full of fair food (you should never eat before you ride). We would always bring home cotton candy for my mom and it would take half an hour for me to pick just the right color. These moments are some of the few in my life that I spent any time alone with my dad. I treasured them and that's probably why I get so sentimental about the fair.

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