Annual trip to the Minnesota State Fair Check.
We haven’t missed the State Fair in any of the 17 summers we’ve lived in the Great State of Minnesota. Not once. Not because I didn’t want to mind you, *shaking my head* not because I didn’t want too…
I thought this might be the year that we didn’t go. However the oldest kid has missed it the last 3 years due to school and wanted no part of missing this annual excuse to get outside one last before it snows yet again. He doesn’t have to be at the University of British Columbia until after Labor Day, so we were going. The kid worked at the fair for years, bussing tables and taking out garbage at a buddy’s restaurant, Andy’s Grille. Cheese steaks and beer, nuth’n better, and they do some very good cheesesteaks at Andy’s.
He’s only home this weekend, dude is leaving Monday morning for points west. So, it was Friday night or Sunday, as we had Saturday plans. Since I’m always in a foul fucking mood on Sunday and don’t really like to do anything except sit around the house and brood, the family picked Friday.
In all my years of going to to the State Fair I don’t think I’ve ever seen it as jam assed packed as it was Friday. I took the bus from downtown and even the bus, with preferred taxpayer subsidized lanes, got hung up in traffic. Even the damned bus. Mrs S and the kids drove, and if parking was any indicator, they parked further away from the gate than ever, about a 3/4 mile down Como. Not so bad coming in, sucks ass going home.
I’ve also never been out there when it was as hot and humid as it was on Friday. I counted 4 different ambulances making their way through the crowd, lights going. I’m guessing, heat related stuff. At one point I had sweat dripping into my eyes as I was trying to read a menu, je suis comme un cochon. And all that humidity, didn’t help the general disposition of others, I gots to ta tell ya.
For example as I was sitting my own secretions at the diner a woman taps me on the shoulder and announces “We” I subconsciously looking around and asking myself who is we? “WE Are going to have to ask you move because we” there she goes again, “are bringing a scooter this way.”
We are talking in a spot where there are about 100 tables packed so tight that there wasn’t room for Iman and Kate Moss to walk through much less a fat ass and a scooter. Simply said: fucking not going to happen. Well, apparently I didn’t move fast enough because the lady was back about a nano-gawd-damn-second later. “SIR! we have disabled person coming this way and you’re simply going to have to move.” Mrs S looked up from her cheesesteak with a quizzical look, she had missed the first part. I filled her in, “This broad and the mice in her pockets are clearing out a path for a scooter.” Well Jaysus on a stick as they say at the fair. Apparently “broad” isn’t the current term du jour for wacko fat old lady with the attitude of dog shitting tacks with Lindsay Fucking Wagner Bionic Woman like hearing.
My comment to my wife started an open and honest conversation about being rude and why “broad” is better than “bitch “ but I’m going to use them interchangeably here if you keep it up Fattie McTavish . I take my insults from Dickens sometimes. Well she had the whispers to husband thing going and the point the mean fat dude out to the douchey grandkids thing and just like that, we are all in clusterfuck city baby.
Finally I brought reason to the situation as I tend to do, “We WILL move, but at the moment I don’t see a wheelchair, scooter, bicycle, tricycle, unicycle, walker, or even an old person anywhere dear, other than you and I, so when you need a space we will make a space, capcisce?” Heat and humidity aside détente was achieved. Choose Peace I always say.
BTW, here’s Mrs S explaining to the owner of Andys Grille that her husband, while short of temper and something of a douche can be talked into apologizing to grandma-zilla over there, if you but give him a couple beers.
I was however on the side of right so whatever and not apologizing to anyone who doesn’t have the power to make he happy in some way. That would be as big a waste of time as eating corn.
It was so hot and humid that we didn’t really do much of our traditional walk around. We’ve done the same path through the fair since 2008, when we initiated a change to avoid passing the midway. I don’t know, at one point I looked at my wife, she was hot and she’d raised a blister on her foot so she was on the wrong side of euphoric, and said to her “same old shit, year after year, maybe we don’t do this every other year anymore.” Shockingly to me, she agreed.
Now, it wasn’t all bad, there was some goodness, the State Fair is traditionally a gut busting, artery clogging, culinary nightmare as we graze our way from one fried novelty to the next. I’m quite pleased to report that this year I avoided it all. I settled for a plain hamburger at Andy’s. You see dear readers, Mr Sank-a-ray needs to get some control on his input as he is approaching Critical Mass and will become his own Gawd-damned black hole should the current trends continue. So I ate sensibly, and patted myself on the back for it.
Here’s some OITW Shorts from the Fair Experience-
- Alan Jackson was playing last night. Interest was around 2 on a 7 million point scale, 1 being would rather be using the buy one get one coupon at the colonoscopy clinic. But I did recently see the Chattahoochee river when we were at Auburn and did hum “way down yonder on the Chattahoochee, where it gets hotter’n a hootchie cootchie”, which are lyrics from an Alan Jackson song which I’m told was once popular with the masses who don’t have access to that je ne sais quais I like to call “taste”. And as I recall the lyrics I think maybe I overrated my interest in Alan Jackson.
- From the Banana Peel to the Grave food category POUTINE. Somehow in all my trips to Montreal for business and pleasure, including visiting mothers family, nearly all whom live in Quebec, I missed the culinary delight known as poutine. Cheese curds and gravy on fries. This is yet another reason we can’t have nice things in America. The Canucks may not have a army to invade us with, but the sneaky bâtards have found a way to kill us so they can take our southern beaches, the bee-ah-t-chees.
- Avoided the swine barn. All the talk about a new strain of swine flu being present in some huge percentage of the pigs therein made me think maybe this year we don’t have to see Minnesota’s Biggest boar, which BTW is not me but thanks for asking. And doesn’t common sense tell you not to lick a pig with a runny nose? I’ll interact with my swine friends once they’ve been smoked and cured thank you very much.
- Super disappointed that the modular double wide mobile home they have on display every year has been replaced a giant group sing thing which I believe serves no purpose other than to allow people like to me to pick out the truly lame from the herd. Yeah I said it, standing in front of mike with 100 other folks singing Billy Joel and Journey songs categorizes you as “Simple” in my mind. I miss the house. I like to show Mrs S what retirement for us is going to look like, our hopes and dreams are to achieve a state of “not as bad as it could have been” one day. I think a trailer home fits well in that dream.
- Corn Roast. I don’t eat corn on purpose. If it’s around and all other foods from the “good” category have been exhausted, I’ll pick up an ear. State Fair corn is decent, but not worth $3.00. For the rest of Team Sank, it’s on the MUST DO list to eat corn. I don’t know, maybe they’re all tracking their digestion or something. Eat a pork chop, tastier and lasts longer.
- Cars, I don’t like cars. Smelly expensive penile extenders. But, and this might be a serious reflection of my advancing age, I’m finding a weird attraction to the Cadillac’s these days. I know, bizarre eh? Desert heritage coming through? Not to stereotype but there were a lotta caddies in the Shul parking lot growing up, maybe that weird logo rubbed off somehow.Caddies BTW, replaced these days with Audis and Volvos with Obama stickers preinstalled. I don’t know this for a fact but I think if you place an Obama sticker on a Cadillac it will spontaneously burst into flames. Which is why I’d have to tape it into the winder.
Perhaps as an alternative a little different kind of car. This year the fair had a couple stormchaser vehicles. Oddly enough the body style of a chaser car and CTS, vaguely similar.
- Kids suck. No news here. So Alan Jackson, no good. But Wednesday Kiss is in town. Who doesn’t love Kiss? Every other damned Sank-a-ray that’s who. Seriously. No one wants to go with Dad to see Kiss? NO ONE? Kill them when they’re young people, easier that way.
- Tractors. Used to be the Fair was the place where a guy could come over to the area called Machinery Hill and browse through all the implements, all the dealers were there. Well, now that we’re all urbanized and homogenized combines and spreaders have given way to lawn mowers and stupid mass karaoke messes. Luckily they still have the vintage stuff. And my personal favorite, Minneapolis Moline. Something about a big yellow tractor makes me smile.
So, other than Mrs Lincoln the fair was fine. And it is truly the same shit, different year.