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August 17, 2003: State Fair

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Today I woke up stiff and tired, and my legs ache from all the squatting and lifting and lugging that we did yesterday. I know it was only one ton of rocks and I can say 'only' because building the wall took a few tons of rocks and all that dirt to fill that darn flowerbed weighed even more than the stones for the wall so 'just' one ton really wasn't too bad in comparison. But it didn't matter to my legs, which have spent the day in a permanent state of ouch, causing me to hobble up and down stairs and hills like an old lady, and making sitting and standing comical events in the meantime.

It made it a little interesting for our afternoon's festivities, which included a trip to the State Fair. It opened on Friday and we both decided it would be fun to go, and with both of us going out of town this week and everything else kicking in over the next few weeks, we figured this weekend was our best chance, regardless of how sore we might be.

So we went to the fair. We walked around all the county exhibits and tried to track down all the ones for counties we visited during our few months with Benthic Creatures. We tracked down the exhibit for our own county and found out later it had actually won an award for its sheer spiffiness. We wandered around the art exhibits and decided that the life-sized bull made entirely of butter knives (with a few metal pie plates thrown in here and there) was quite possibly the coolest art thing of all this year.

Then we meandered down the midway, where we searched but did not find any sort of haunted house ride (alas). We got free samples of some kind of new frappuchino, and also veggie burgers, and then said to heck with healthy eating and split a funnel cake (because Richard, the poor deprived soul, had never had a funnel cake before).

Fortified with our monthly allotment of fried bread products, we next set off (with a slight detour through the fountain to take advantage of the spray) for the vendors' exhibits, where we took shameless advantage of the booth selling industrial strength foot and back massaging equipment that looked suspiciously like portable sanders covered in fabric, and we had fun checking out all the latest in Things No Home Should Be Without. Fortunately, we decided that our home could somehow survive without all of those things anyway and headed next for the sideshow.

The sideshow was mainly things like exhibits of the World's Largest Cow, and also the world's largest snake a 400-pound python that looked as if it would have been perfectly capable of swallowing a few small people, if it could be bothered to wake up. For the petting zoo enthusiasts there were scorpions to play with (live, no less), snakes (of the smaller and less likely to ingest people variety), and various other critters. Richard took the opportunity to pet a giant millipede. I declined because, well, euww.

And what sideshow would be complete without a guy dressed all in black eating fire, or a guy who not only swallowed up to three swords at once, but also put live tarantulas in his mouth (yes the thought still makes me squirm even after I saw it done). And if that weren't enough there were also the Chinese acrobats, which include the guy who balanced on a stack of six or seven chairs standing on four wine bottles on a rickety little table, or the woman who folded herself into positions no normal person should ever be able to attain.

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