Unfortunately we have always lived within driving distance from the Fair and my ENTIRE family (growing up) always loved to go…me—not so much. One year I had perfect attendance at school and a mother who shall remain an unnamed Gigi went to school and arranged with the principal and teacher for me to miss school one day to go to the Fair (of all places). I only had to do 3x the work to make up for my absence. After she did all this orchestrating I negotiated with unnamed Gigi and convinced her it was in her best interest to let me stay home. Of course I couldn’t actually go to school because that would have been too complicated. No, I had to stay with someone, worrying about the load of homework I was facing and bemoaning the perfect attendance record that was no more.
I guess I just don’t understand the Fair…from start to finish. Why is it called the Fair? I think it should be called the UN-Fair and here’s why: There is nothing “fair” about it. I guess technically the weather is fair, but when it’s in the blazing dog days of summer, rainy would actually be a welcome relief. There is nothing fair about the attendees at the Fair. The Fair seems to draw every walk of life—even some I didn’t know existed. And then you mix these various walks with the hotter than heck weather and you get some not so fair smells, although I have come to categorize these smells as distinctly “Fair” smells. (Not so good.) The other Fair smells, like all that fried food, mingled with the attendees’ aromas is enough to make anyone want to gag. OK, well, I guess not anyone, but ME. It makes me want to gag. (If you would like to recall, I am the un-American girl who cannot eat French Fries, popcorn, hot dogs, or red meat. That’s another story for another day, but fried, processed food—especially the smell of it—is not my forte.) Don’t even get me started on the animal section of the joint! And then you’ve got the carnival rides. The rides seem to be held together with duct tape and safety pins. Yikes! And no matter where you step, the ground is sticky. Nothing makes me want to just come out of my skin like stepping in something sticky, which leads me to the restrooms. The restrooms should be sealed with crime scene tape OR they should pass out biohazard suits at the door. Seriously.
And then there are the buildings. There seem to be endless rows of never-ending buildings filled with displays, exhibits and all kinds of gadgets that work at the Fair, but never seem to have their intended effect at home. There is always too much stuff crammed into these buildings, with too many people shuffling through, all the while the product demonstrators barking at you. Inevitably someone steps on your foot a few or 27 times, elbows you in the back, knocks you over with their brand-new Sham Wow mop handle, or shoves you into the stacks of veggie choppers because they are trying to be one of the first fifty shoppers to get half price on the no-stick omelet/doughnut/stir-fry microwave genie attachment. A couple of hours minutes into this ordeal and I am ready to go home. Unfortunately, we always come in the same car, so there is no escape. I feel trapped in a crowded, noisy stench of all things UN-fair.
Now, add all these things together, along with a family who unreasonably and inexplicably loves to embrace these elements, and you have the recipe for an unhappy BusyBody. I have been fighting this yearly pilgrimage my whole life. Thank the good Lord the Fair only comes once a year.
In an effort to not seem so terrible and mean, I will admit there are a few (and I mean a VERY few) things that keep me from going over the edge on these outings. Number one: I do like to people watch. There is no shortage of material at the fair. Number two: there is one little shop that sells some very tasty fudge. If I can block the idea of vermin running rampant after everyone goes home at night*, I can eat a bite or two. Number three: if you go on a week day, it’s not as crowded and it closes at 10 pm. Thank heaven for small favors. And number four: unnamed Gigi loves the Fair. There is nothing better than watching her be delighted and excited at all of the fried food and the useless gadgets the Fair Folk try to fill you and your bags with. Most of the time I am truly my mother’s daughter…but the “I love the Fair” gene skipped over me. I guess seeing her enjoy it so much makes it tolerable for me.
And I suppose you are wondering why I am talking about it like it still happens—these forced outings to a place I cannot stand? After all, I am a grown adult, no longer required to travel to family activities with the family because I am too young to stay at school/home and fend for myself while the family ventures into the black hole otherwise known as “The Fair.” Well, as luck would have it, I was only granted a very short reprieve from my Fair sentence. I got married, and in one of those not-so-funny twists of fate, Hubs, as it turns out, shares that ridiculous love for the Fair with Gigi. Somehow or another they always manage to conspire to con/trick/bribe me into going. They play dirty and get Joy to beg…and that opens up a whole host of new germ/crowd/fear of carnival rides breaking down issues. Again, thank the good Lord that the Fair only comes once a year!
Oh, the crowds! Oh, the noise! Oh, the sickening smells! Life is definitely NOT fair!
Posted by The Editor for Busy Body.
*note from The Editor: This is an idea totally established by the original (1973) Charlotte's Web movie, do you remember Templeton's gluttonous night at the fair?