Sunday, November 1, 2009

Musings on the Fair...

Yesterday was insanely busy.  Not only was it that crazy candy day known as Halloween, but I had promised my boys earlier last week that I would take them to the fair on Saturday.  (How could I forget that Saturday was Halloween!?!?)  I couldn't break a promise... so I braved the masses.

I have always loved the South Carolina State Fair.  The greasy food is the best.  I always look forward to my yearly indulgence of salty Fisk fries with lots of vinegar.  And a corndog smothered in mustard is always a treat.  There are other smells to tantalize:  fried mushrooms, elephant ears covered with powdered sugar (thank goodness I'm not a sugar freak!), and humungous ice cream cones.

I used to ride all the rides when I was younger.  The faster the better. Upside-down, I'm in!  Roller coasters - sign me up!   One particular ride my friends and I would all crowd into was the Super Himalaya.  The cars all went backwards around and around to the fabulous "hair bands" of the 80's, and the carnies who operated the ride would yell, "Do you wanna go faster!?!?!?"  Of course, we would all scream, "YES!!!" as we crushed against each other due to the centrifugal force.  We LOVED it!!!  The rides were all dirty, of course.  We all would go home reeking of "the fair".

But what ALWAYS amazes me these days is not the new ride or food:  it's the people.  And I'm not even talking about the people who work the fair.  I mean, I expect them to look and act a certain way.  It's the people who GO to the fair.  Let me tell you, compared to most of the fair's patrons, my sons and I were in the minority.

I've always wondered where these people come from.  When I was little, my father said they all lived under the fairgrounds and just came up when the fair was in town. Tank tops, tight jeans, lots o' tatoos, a few teeth missing, and (this beats all) no shoes.  And they are always in family groups. 

Here's one family I witnessed.  I kid you not!!!
  • long-haired grandpa in a dirty undershirt, overalls and Bad A** trucker hat (because he is the only one who has a job)
  • grandma (lugging a huge stuffed pink snake that she spent $26.00 to win)
  • son (chomping on a footlong corn dog while he is pushing the umbrella stroller full of more "made in China" merchandise.  Where's the baby???)
  • his younger brother leering at everyone around him (with his one good eye).  I can't even begin to quote what was written on his hat!
  • son's bleached blond with black roots girlfriend (in a Nine Inch Nails tour tank top) with the illegitimate runny nosed baby girl (pierced ears, of course)  in one hand, the other holding her Marlboro Reds and Bic lighter, and finally...
  • her best friend, multi-tasking by chomping gum, smoking her cig, and chipping purple nail polish off her bitten fingernails.   

I can't make this stuff up!  I saw this menagerie of people!  So lucky me... I think I've come up with my family's Halloween costume theme next year!

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