It’s that time of the year again. School starts, temperatures rise to the upper 90’s, the grass is turning a dirty brown and I am once again compelled to eat my body weight in fried foods. Yes, the state fair is back and tonight I got to partake in a feeding frenzy that has left me five pounds heavier and more than a little nauseated.
Ever since I honeymooned there something like 12 years ago, the state fair has captured my heart. Ok, I didn’t actually honeymoon there, but the first time around we were very young and very broke, so we got a hotel one night and spent the entire next day at the fair. I actually got sick twice then, once from the late night Papa John’s and once from an abundance of fried cheese. Still, no matter how upset my tummy gets or how many times I swear I’m not eating anymore deep fried sweets, each year I show up eagerly at the gates to consume, consume, consume.
By sheer luck (or lack of a babysitter not married to me), I got to go tonight, the only relatively cool day since the fair opened. At first this may sound good, but it actually made me overconfident. The lack of sluggishness and sheer exhaustion from walking the grounds did not hit me and instead of turning my stomach, the greasy call of each food trailer whispered my name. Tonight I ate (with a little help from my friends): fried pickles, fried cheese, fried corn fritters, honey lemonade, a lemon shakeup, peanut butter honey ice cream, a funnel cake and yet more fried corn fritters. It’s no wonder I feel like my insides are turning themselves completely outside and that I’m expecting vomitting to commence at any second. I did pass up the frozen chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick, but only because it was not the frozen chocolate covered key lime pie I’d been dreaming of. I was too disappointed to waste my money. In hindsight it would have stopped me from eating the second batch of corn fritters*, but as it would have come directly after the ice cream, I might actually have puked in front of the dairy barn.
The only non-food ventures we made tonight was a quick jaunt into the pig pavilion to see the piglets. We actually entered three different buildings, but only with the intention of buying specialty foods. Eee was quite disappointed to find out the honey gummi bears she’s been craving for roughly a year were not available. Apparently the business has been sold and the one of the millions of honey vendors was not able to get them. The other buildings were entered in search of honey ice cream and honey sticks. Yes, we do love our honey. And apparently so does everyone else at the fair as every third vendor not selling somethin deep friend and on a stick (including tacos), was selling honey in some form. Soap, hand lotion, lip balm, candles, creme, candy, shirts, toe rings…okay I made those last two up, but I’m pretty sure everything else at the fair was made of honey or corn.
Speaking of corn, the theme for this year’s fair is corn. Now, did I miss something? When exactly did corn become a theme? A tasty side dish, sure. A vegetable I’ll buy, but a theme? Someone needs to speak with the fair organizers. Enchantment under the sea…now there’s a theme.
The fair has changed for me as I’ve gotten older. The rides of my youth now recieve no more than a pacing glance as I try to find the fried cheese shack. The buildings full of free samples and leaflets I used to wander around for hours in I now only duck into to escape the heat, use the bathroom or grab a honey product. The thought of actually walking through one is madening. Even the animals have lost much of their appeal, mostly because the stink of a horse barn after 6 days of 90 degree weather is just not worth it.
So tonight I paid $8 to blister up my feet walking around to food booths where I spent far too much to crash my diet and give myself a tummy ache. I can’t wait for next year.
*The corn fritters were absolutely amazing. I’ve never had anything at the fair this good. As an added bonus, they have a restaurant called Mudbugs. My friends and I have already planned to go and eat many more fritters.