The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Things You Can Learn at the Fair

Mr. K and I took a small break yesterday to go a local fair--a smaller one, in that we only had to wait in traffic about 25 minutes and could see the fairgrounds from our parking space. Our state has a larger fair where neither of these things would be remotely possible--to avoid slamming our heads repeatedly into the dashboard in frustration, we avoid that fair.

In any case, fairs can be terribly educational if you seek the opportunities, and I was able to experience the following learning moments:
  • Our fairs have decided recently to ban trans fats from fair food. Now it's perfectly healthy to eat a mound of curly fries as big as a size 10.5 shoe box, 12 onion rings the size of frisbees, fried dough spread with a softball-sized wad of butter and lovingly sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and, for the fearless, a deep fried Snickers bar.
  • Those of us who prefer to keep our arteries at least slightly open and pliable may choose from cotton candy in terrifying colors, or water. Oh, and you can also get an apple...if you want to scrape the caramel made of cream and butter and sugar off.
  • Children love most of the above mentioned foods. They also love the giant, spinny rides that toss them about like rag dolls. The combination should come with a warning label, a barf bag, and a 12-foot clearance zone.
  • Cows have a pregnancy about as long as humans. However, their infants can stand within moments of birth, come find food when they want it (both breast milk and solids), and do not require changing or potty training. This seems patently unfair.
  • A petite 12-year-old girl showing a largish jersey cow, should be certain ahead of time that either the cow is cooperative, or the judge is patient...and that she herself has no objection to being led around the ring on the cow's timetable.
  • Sneakers are more comfortable for walking through several barns and other assorted buildings; boots are more likely to keep pants hems out of cow and horse dung. It's a toss up--non-mutilated toes or crap-free hems. (I voted for the toes were unimpressed)
  • People look at you funny if you press your face for too long against the case with the cake competition winners. Especially if you drool down the glass.
  • If you can imagine doing it, there is a competition for it. Including the layering of soup ingredients in a glass jar. Also trail mix--you can take home a blue ribbon for putting pretzels, m&m's, raisins, and cheerios in a jar with a lid. I sometimes wonder if we've lowered our standards for skill and excellence in this country....just a tad.
  • The sheep barn is a bad place for a knitter who does not live on a farm and whose husband is not the slightest bit interested in making it so she does.
  • Mr. K is not remotely swayed by the argument that goats eat wild blackberry bushes (terribly invasive plants in this neck of the woods) and could, if the correct breed, also provide cashmere--a win for everyone.
  • Men do not always see perfect logic when it is presented to them.
  • Men are also perfectly capable of holding one of the free kittens at the feed store near the parking lot without actually taking it home. I think this terribly odd.
  • Men do not necessarily see sheep as "yarn on the hoof" no matter how clearly it is pointed out to them. Neither do they see them as "an investment in years of hobby time and warm garments".
  • Karaoke anywhere is a dreadful invention. Karaoke at a state fair where everyone is hopped up on sugar and easily convinced of their country-and-western prowess is just plain mean.
  • It is possible to convince people to buy nearly anything if you demonstrate it at the fair and throw in a free one for the first 20 buyers. They'll be all the way home before they realize they didn't actually need one, let alone two.
  • Demonstrators of such treasures are not receptive to questions like "But, if it'll last forever....why do I need two of them?"
  • As long as there are fairs, there will always be an endless supply of cheap jewelry, rubber shoes in mind-altering colors, hats with fake dreadlocks hanging out the back, sheepskin car seat covers, and clothes made of cheap cotton that will absolutely positively fit the nearest barbie doll after one washing. And people to purchase them.
  • Children will always think it's a great deal to spend $23 "winning" an ugly stuffed animal they wouldn't have given $5 of their hard-earned allowance for.

I do love the fair, though. I make fun, but you notice I'm there every single year for the privilege of petting horses with feet the size of dinner plates (we have Clydesdales at our fairs) and oohing and aahing at the cows and bunnies and sheep and so on. Oh, and so I can look at the knitting and claim, once again, that I will definitely enter next year because I can knit as well as most of these entrants. I won't do it...but I'll say it.

Speaking of knitting:

Current total miners blanket square count: 5 1/3. Still needed: 174 2/3. I'm going to buy some more yarn today. And rent some movies to knit by.


  • At 10:15 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    What??!?! No deep-fried Twinkies? Or is that a Midwestern thing? I have also seen deep-fried Oreos...never quite worked up the nerve to try either one. I'm afraid that I've grown kind of fond of the whole cardio-pulmonary circulation thing...

  • At 11:18 AM, Blogger Marianne said… shoes in mind altering colours...? see? I KNEW I was missing out on something! (no kidding? rubber shoes? mind altering colours?)(and you didn't get a photo of them? drats)
    There's just no accounting, is there.

  • At 12:20 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Ahhhhhhh, the fair!! Talk about memories! Ok, I haven't been to one since they started getting deep fried Snickers bars and curly fries. I'm so deprived. But at least they had elephant ears in Ye Ancient Dayes. Of course, the thought occurs that: A) the fairs I competed in were in Columbia County, definitely country - so not that many vendors, it was mostly, you know, animals and crafts; and B) the last two, while here in Portland with plenty of vendors, were when I was in my mid-20s, and busy being show secretary for the 4-H horse show. I didn't have time to eat! (You try dealing with 500 or so kids and their horses for 3 days. Plus attendant parents, judges, 4-H leaders, etc. etc. and etc.)

    LOL on the cow! I think it's most unfair about the sheep. (I say again, Ed would be in heaven. Think of the stalking opportunities! Or maybe you could have the first sheepherding cat.) And I so envy the Clydesdales! (Although we have awesome black Percherons.) Did they have any pulling contests? Those are amazing!

    And they have ribbons for soup ingredients and trail mix?

    To quote the Harlot's fascinated Jamaican muggle on the subway: "Well, shit girl, I could do that!"

  • At 2:23 PM, Blogger ~Tonia~ said…

    LOL That is so funny about the fair experience. It is funny becuase it is so true.

  • At 12:52 AM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    Rubber clogs are called "Crocs" here and look like they should be kept strictly for gardening . Deep fried Snickers ...well I am amazed I thought only Northeners here ate deep-fried Mars bars live and learn.

  • At 3:15 AM, Blogger Mrs Nito said…

    Ohh My dear all brings back such memories of our own village fair. Next year Moony and I decided we just may not have anything to show and we may very well not go. We should get a sheep maybe...

  • At 5:17 AM, Anonymous debbi said…

    I am sending a square or 2 out in the mail on Thursday, along with a hand dyed skein, 100% merino, 400 yard dk weight called Autumn. I hope you like it. Thanks again for doing this.


Post a Comment

<< Home