Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Human Zoo State Fair

We went to the Iowa State Fair yesterday afternoon. If you've never been to a fair, it's quite the experience. We tend to do the swoop method, as opposed to the lolly-gag method, although, to be honest, we have done the lolly-gag in years past, so we do know how that goes.

It was "Older Iowans" day at the fair. This means small wrinkly smelly slow 60-year-olds could get in cheaper. As we parked our vehicle in the nearby neighborhood, we began the four-block walk to the fairgrounds. Entering the grounds, there were park bench after park bench lined up along the path with shriveled up raisenettes old people sitting on them. Lots of wrap-around black sunglasses, large sun hats, and white oxide nose sun block.

As we moved further into the fairgrounds, it is like coming home. All the smells and sounds are familiar. Every possible food has been fried and put on a stick. Hubby must go directly without passing GO to the beef tent where they serve roast beef, steak and hamburgers. (Normally, we don't eat for 24 hours before attending the fair to give your stomach the maximum amount of room to fill with fair food.) Then we must search out dessert. Wonder Bars! That works. It is a huge cube of icecream on a stick dipped in chocolate and nuts. Hubby and daughter work on it together as I try and figure out what I want next. I turn and look back at the line for the Wonder Bar booth. There are five women in line, not one of them under 400lbs. Yep. Just what they need. A Wonder Bar.

The fair is where you will see more fat people than you've ever seen in your life. Not just moderately heavy, but F-A-T. Now, I'm not Twiggy and never will claim to be. I could stand to lose some weight. But I'm telling you, these people are on the obese order. How they can even walk all over the fairgrounds is amazing to me! Besides the F-A-T people, there are way too many examples of inbreeding. You can tell. Trust me.

I could swear I saw this girl at the fair. She may have even been cloned, as I could have sworn I saw her more than once.

There are lots of things to do and see at the fair. For you citified people who have never attended, here are a few of the things you have missed:
  • The biggest hog
  • The biggest steer
  • The butter cow (this is a cow sculpted out of butter)
  • The Tiger Woods butter sculpture with his pet tiger butter sculpture (changes yearly)
  • The biggest pumpkin
  • The Honey Queen (Daughter and I felt she probably should have been the Pork Queen.. )
  • The story of corn
  • The hog-calling contest
  • The husband-calling contest
  • The rolling-pin throwing contest
  • The horse/hog/beef/sheep/chicken/small animal barns
  • The big slide
  • The Flea Market
  • Snakes Alive!
  • The quilts and sewing and crafts and needlework displays
  • The farm equipment
  • The livestock equipment (automatic waterer, anyone?)
  • The Hall of Flame (as pleasant as it sounds - run by the Iowa Highway Patrol - do YOU wear your seatbelt? Hmmm?)
  • The Varied Industries building - (think infommercial on crack)
  • The Cultural Center - photos, paintings, other art - my favorite place of all
  • Funnel cakes, chicken on a stick, chinese food, corn dogs, watermelon in a cup, homemade potato chips, pork chops on a stick, gyros, deep-fried twinkies, grilled turkey legs, fresh lemonade, sweet potato fries, giant cinnamon rolls, salt-water taffy, cotton candy, real ice cream, apple slices, the beer tent
  • The tractor pull
  • The live concerts that are free throughout the fair
  • The live concerts that are not free at the Grandstand almost every night
  • The Bill Riley talent sprouts contest
  • The Blue Grass rides run by people from "Carnivale"

These are just a few of the things that are highlights of the fair. As we left the fairgrounds, we passed bus after bus after bus lined up to take the senior citizens back to where they came from - in time for dinner at The Home, most likely. As I say, the people by far are the best. I just wish I'd remembered my camera!