html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: The hypnotist is back!

Monday, August 07, 2006

The hypnotist is back!

The State Fair is coming! I love, love, love the State Fair. Seriously. I can’t even tell you how much I love the State Fair. The State Fair a few years ago was my first fair and I was blown away. I had no idea you could go hang out with the livestock, and that the crafts would be so incredible, and that there are shows, and baby animals! For some reason, more than other occasions or trips, the State Fair triggers a longing for a boyfriend. I have this fantasy of walking through the fair, holding hands and sharing a funnel cake, in golden slanty light and slow motion as we toss our heads back to laugh. I think it is because there is so much going on, so your chances of stumbling on something really neat are pretty high, and finding a neat thing together is one of the best things you can do as a couple.

I am almost at the point where I would rather go to the State Fair alone than go with someone who isn’t as into it. I hate being rushed through the antique tractor exhibit, just when I was starting to follow the gearing. I want to look at all the giant bugs, and pet goats until I’m tired of it. But the part I love best is finding some exhibition for the aficionados. Last year I wandered into the police dog training show, where dog after gorgeous dog ran through the same moves and the announcer explained small differences in technique. I could have watched for two hours. Or the livestock judging. Kids in tight white pants bring out half a dozen indistinguishable animals, and the judge tells us why some are better than others in dense jargon. I absolutely love jargon, and I also love that there are people who can tell pigs apart.

I talked Chris into going to the State Fair with me last year. I knew he wouldn’t have patience for the ag stuff, so I went for a couple hours first and it is his own fault that he has never pet llamas and longhorns. It was cool that he made me go on rides I would have skipped. But he was worse than useless in the crafts exhibits. Instead of being interested in the quilts, he just divebombed me while I was trying to look, saying “bor-ring” in my ear before he veered off. I would say he was worse than my baby brother at nine, but I think it was about the same.

This year I think I’ll go to the Fair alone, unless someone with as much enthusiasm as me shows up. When you love something so much, cajoling and convincing someone to go can take the excitement out of it. Once you are there, you feel responsible for their good time and keep hoping the fair is living up to your promises. Walking around alone feels ache-y, and I don’t want a whole funnel cake, I want half a funnel cake. But it is better than missing it, or being there with a bored person, or having to leave the sheepdog exhibition early.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

go alone, and who knows? maybe you'll meet someone there who is just as into it.


11:22 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I don't mind going alone, but the whole "maybe you'll meet someone" setup is just asking for disappointment. It makes the boy-hunt the focus of otherwise fun activities. It makes you self-conscious about how you present yourself and brings your attention to your aspect as you do things rather then the doing.

It gets your hopes up until you realize that most people are scared to go somewhere alone and even more scared to talk to strangers and it is very unlikely that you will find and be compatible with one of the few lone strangers. Then you're disappointed again, because you didn't bump into someone like in the movies.

I have been single for way too long to maintain hopes about "maybe I'll meet someone there". It is just a bummer and a bad way to be. The activity has to be the reward; the State Fair is definitely reward enough.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Aaronlane said...

I'll go with you if you like, but you have to indulge my own particular pecidillos:

* I will attempt to pet any minature horses within 50 feet of me.

* I want to know the differences between all the apparently identical flower arrangements, honey jars, doll houses, bell peppers, and other things competing for ribbons.

* I will arbitrarily hand out the "Aaron Awards" to the ones I think should have won.

* I once tried to pose as a judge to try all the homemade wines.

* I will and must be allowed to eat at least one of every kind of food-on-a-stick that we pass, regardless of the obvious health detriments.

* I will dart off toward any game, contest, or freebie like a small child. Often, you might be dragged in tow.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Pandax said...

I still haven't been to the State Fair. I used to always love going to the county fair right after school ended for the year (in mid-June).

Someday I hope to make it out there. (I'd go if I could convince a pack of friends to join me for the 2-3 hour drive, each way.) I assume the same rules apply that you need to go early to see the baking contest displays (before they get moldy). I'm kind of a medium-pace person - I'll walk through the quilts, paintings, animals, but I'll only stop every few for that longer look. Now that I'm older, I bet I'd take forever in the gardening exhibits.

Eat something fried and unhealthy for me!

2:12 PM  
Blogger capella said...

If I lived in California, and if I weren't imaginary, I would be a good State Fair companion for you. I can be interested in practically anything for a long time, and I love animals, and I have only been to a fair once and then only for a couple hours. I wanted to go to the Illinois State Fair this year, but it is right before I defend.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Come visit! Sacramento is Southwest's featured destination until tomorrow! Besides, you sound bored.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Southwest doesn't fly out of Champaign. She'd have to go to Midway, or St. Louis 3 or 4 hour drives.

And, flying out of Champaign isn't cheap.

She should just go to Legends and get drunk, then to Zorbas for gyros, mmmmmm.


4:18 PM  
Blogger capella said...

Flying out of Bloomington isn't bad, though, and parking is free.

Legends - Zorba's - yuck.

Clearly, though, what I need is something to do with myself because I have much too much time on my hands. Maybe my thesis needs three appendices.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Yay! You weren't mad. After going to your blog and seeing how much you are doing, I felt a little bad about "you sound bored". I'm glad you didn't mind. I totally know you could do three appendices if you had to, but instead I hope you get to sleep for hours and hours at a time.

10:17 PM  
Blogger amanda bee said...

I went to the county fair in Mira Mesa with my pre-teen cousin and her best friend. They were swallowed by the skeet ball monster and I wandered off on my own to witness not only pies and jelly but the actual birth of a calf.

She was inside a chainlink cage, mama cow and wee-un, with an extra yellow rope to keep you back from the cage. All the little kids crawled under the rope and the 4H dude kept trying to convince their parents to make them move. About five minutes after the calf was born, the rest of the water came out in a giant tidal wave.

I think that a few parents will listen to the 4H guy next time.

State fairs are cool.

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went to three county fairs in the past month with my wife. I feel you, Megan -- every once in a while, I'd get this feeling that I was lucky to be with such a beautiful girl and that this would be something I'd remember forever.

Besides, there may be nothing cuter in the animal world than baby bunnies. And the food! Remarkable how small groups of local people can beat the pants off of the folks in the roach coaches.

7:05 AM  
Blogger Dubin said...

You know, it sounds like something made for Dubin to enjoy, but in reality I find the state fair depressing. Why? Well... how can I say this... When I went to the Sac State Fair in ought-two, I could not help but notice a lot of people eating a lot of things in large quantities. Things that you should not really eat in real life. You'd think that it's ok to eat these things on special occasions, like at the fair, but you can tell that for a lot of these people it's normal eatin'. Ok, I'll just say it: I witnessed in real life the American Obesity phenomenon! There, I said it! Lots and lots of fat Americans. I saw lots of really overweight families and it made me sad.

And then I ate a deep-fried twinkie and tried not to worry about it anymore.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous thelonious_nick said...

State fairs rule. I'm not so fond of the quilts, but I do like the livestock. I always look for the little spiders watching out for the pigs. Haven't yet seen one spell anything in its web, though.

I admire the carnies. Maybe when I retire, I can become a carny. Judging from the home-made tattoos, many are clearly ex-cons who've taken the position because you don't have to be a high school graduate and you can smoke on the job. I worked with many such on a road crew the summer after I graduated from high school. A few are scary but many are very interesting individuals, just with a different set of priorities and a narrow vision of what's possible in their lives. But they are good people to work with.

7:16 AM  
Anonymous UnderwearNinja said...

I hate the fair. It's dirty, the attendees are mostly dirty, the workers are mostly dirty, and parking makes me feel dirty.

I can get into some of the artsy stuffs, and the bonsai exhibit last year was cool, but overall I'm like "yawnsville" because I can see a lot of that same stuff on the internet without paying to get in.

Yeah, I'm totally Debbie Downer about the fair =)

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing about the fair: it tells you who's going to be juuuust fine after the coming peak-oil collapse of society. Just kidding.

But the carnies make you think: Man, if I could get $8000 together and custom-build my own trailer, I could beat the pants of these guys. -K.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off! Off these guys. -K.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

UnderwearNinja! What's with the hating?! I thought we saw eye-to-eye! I thought we were crew. And you hate on the FAIR! Baby sheep! Fried food! Piglet races!

Parking is for losers. Ride your bike on the bike path so you can go in the back way, park next to the front in the bike valet parking, get a discount on entry.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Dubin said...

Oh yeh, and I also had a panic attack on the chair lift that goes over the whole fair. I really wanted to go on it and then as soon as I got on it I lost it. MY face became white and I told my chairlift co-rider to grab me because I was going to melt off the seat. It was my only really terrifying panic attack and now I can't go on chair lifts ever again. Goodbye, skiing.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous nuclearpoet said...

Mmmm... state fair... I have fond memories of the Wisconsin State Fair from growing up. Llama jumping shows, horse pulls, all sorts of animals... oh, yeah, huge areas full of vendors hawking all sorts of products like the ones you see on made-for-TV commercials at 3 AM, complete with the half-hour demonstration of these amazing knives, this miracle clean-upper, this whatmacallit...

Oh, yeah, and the one time of the year when I would be able to get and enjoy a true, authentic Wisconsin cream puff... mmmm, not good for my arteries, but what the heck... it's only once a year!

8:53 PM  
Anonymous AEW said...

I went to the state fair a lot as a kid, and even more often as a teenager in Sacto, because, hey, fast rides. My favorite part, though, has always been the county booths. As a kid, growing up in Sierra County, it was always hugely awesome to see my littlest population county (Alpine is the smallest geographically, but Sierra wins the least people award) represented at the STATE FAIR. I mean, it meant we actually existed in some larger context. We were really part of California! My dad was also a county supervisor, so my entire family felt a great deal of civic pride in attending. Even if you go alone, go and represent. California is the greatest state. (And I say that after living in Iowa, which certainly has the nation's best state fair [ooh, I feel dirty even writing that]; still, Iowa is NOT the best state. It has no national parks, to start with.)

12:16 PM  

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