I felt like my cholesterol was getting too low, so I went to the county fair. Ahh, the smell of cotton candy, corn dogs and port-o-lets. There is nothing like walking down the midway and saying to yourself, “Wow! I don’t look that bad after all.”
I’ve enjoyed the county fair since my early days as a 4-H kid. There was always the excitement of the pig or steer weigh-in. The goal was to see who could fatten up their pet the most in four months since the last weigh-in. Now that I think about it, why can’t my trips to the doctor’s office be like that?
“Well, Mr. Moffett, you only gained a pound a day since your last visit. We can’t give you a blue ribbon if you don’t start eating more.” Like my grandpa used to say, “Kids, if you want to be a grand champion, you need to eat like a grand champion.” This coming from a man who still holds 14 state titles and two hiatal hernias from buffalo wing-eating contests.
Sometimes at the fair, romance can be in the air. (Hey, that should be on a Hallmark card!) I’m not talking about the animals anymore. I had the biggest crush on Becky. She was a foreign-exchange student from Holland with the coolest shoes.I spent $75 to impress her by shooting a red star out of a target with a bent, rusted-out pellet gun.
In exchange for the oversized green “Gumby” doll I won her, she gave me my first kiss. Apparently, Becky Sue didn’t think it was romantic when I tried to swap her chewing gum with my chewing tobacco. I didn’t think she would notice ’cause they were both wintergreen.
The first thing I buy at the fair is the foot-long sausage dog. It’s normally about two bites in when I wonder: How long has it been since this meat was inspected? It’s then I wonder: Is this even meat?
Oh well, if there is anything wrong with this meat, the fried cheese, fried pickles and fried butter on a stick will fix it. And if anybody could tell me the shelf life of a caramel apple, I’d appreciate it. The vendor told me it was a George Washington apple – and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t grown any apples lately.
I go for the food and stay for the rides. Love the rides. The Ferris wheel is my favorite. Some of my best memories have been on the Ferris wheel. My first kiss, my first time “hurling” from motion sickness and my first romantic break-up – all that on one Ferris wheel ride. The Ferris wheel really sums up the entire fair for me. And I’m sure you will all agree.
We have all seen that one-eyed, tattooed, ex-con working the Ferris wheel. The guy that, for five minutes, I’m willing to trust with my life. Outside the gate, I wouldn’t let this guy oil the chain on my bike, but for some reason, when I’m swinging in a basket 200 feet in the air, I’m dang sure he remembered to tighten down all the bolts.
So get out to the fair, enjoy the animals, ride the Tilt-O-Whirl and eat like a grand champion. PD
Tim is a Florida dairy farmer and comedian. Hire him to entertain at your next farm-related event. Check him out at his website.