It’s County Fair Time again!
Fairs: you either love them or… it’s expensive, it’s hot, it’s dusty, it’s crowded, the food is bad, it smells like animals, all the vendors are con artists, and my feet hurt…
All of those things are true.
I love the County Fair.
County fairs are a cheerful remnant of simpler times, when people came together to sell, to buy, to share their work, to compete a little, and to perspire in common under the summertime sun. At the fair we can eat overcooked corn on the cob, sausage on a stick, sugary lemonade, and pie from the Methodist pie concession. We get advice from the County Extension booth, and admire the gigantic tractors,
or sit on them,
or drive them.
We gaze upon the patient cudding cattle mothers and marvel at their size,
and we eye the flat-backed steers on their way to the judging ring,
overseen by the haughty llamas, superior in every attitude
to the slumbering pigs,
the smiling, slumbering pigs.
Who cannot love a sleeping pig?
At the fair you can learn how to milk a cow.
You can admire the curls of the visitors.
You can buy a thrill,
or try your hand at winning a — whatever that was,
and eat pink stuff until you are ill,
and you can save your soul.
Or you can sleep it all off with your friends.
And then you go to the crafts hall to appreciate the prize-winning handwork which sometimes shows a fine sense of humor!
And some of it is lovely and detailed.
And you look to see whether you won anything with your own entry. And you did! You won a blue ribbon on the brown wool sweater in the front of the case!
So you take your tired feet back across the parking lot, and you drive home remembering that you didn’t actually ride the thrill ride, and you didn’t eat any cotton candy or a sausage, but you did have a piece of pie.
And since it came from the Methodists, you will probably not be punished for it later.