My Fair Lady

Nothing completes the summer experience quite like the county fair. Or so I’ve been told by those who relish the sights, smells, and screams of farms animals, fried foods, and carnival rides.

I, for one, was traumatized early on when I took my horses to the two-day show and discovered those were the two days my horses were in heat.

While I was too young to fully grasp what had turned my normally mild mannered horses into wild things, the damage was done.  The event scarred me in the same way being offered cold coffee to quench my thirst turned me off of drinking coffee for life.

Unfortunately the fellow who was in my life before Bob loved the fair.  I warned him early on I would never be his fair lady.  I would never willingly use vacation time to attend the fair from sunup to sundown.  Sadly he clung to the hope I might change my perspective once I experienced the fair from his.  No dice.

Although Bob was under no assumption that I would want to accompany him to the fair, his company  fed many of the animals shown there.  Consequently, he knew I’d cave when it came to showing support for his business and even be a judge for the greased pig contest, which naturally scarred me – and the pigs – all over again.

So last year I switched from watching kids show pigs to watching kids show chickens.  Although the chickens seemed to be very hot and very thirsty,  they did not appear to be in heat and I did not see anyone serve them cold coffee.

I repeated several calming mantras to reassure myself that no animals were harmed in preparation for the fair.  Sadly, I cannot say the same for what happened after the fair and therefore will redirect this post to discuss the entertainment.

Bob’s business was one of the sponsors so we had backstage passes to the big name entertainment and the appreciation dinner beforehand.  Since Bob knows everyone in town and I basically only know their kids, I did what anyone would do and called in my parents for reinforcement.

They thought the whole experience was fantastic and it upped Bob’s approval rating in their eyes, if that’s even  possible.  He’s already above me.  I take my parents to places like Bombfire Pizza, which tends to make them wonder if I ever recovered from the psychedelics of the 60s.  (Not that I was old enough to do psychedelics.  I still assert it was the cold coffee that fractured my reality.)

In any case, this year I thought I was off the hook because our local fair took place while I was in San Jose. The timing of the Blogher Conference couldn’t have been better if I’d planned it myself.

There are certain people who can ask me things and I will agree to go or do or say whatever simply because they ask.  My sister is one of those people.  Imagine my surprise when on her latest visit home she said she’d like to go to the Whiteside County Fair, the very place “the incident” happened with my horses oh so long ago.

I learned at the Blogher conference that people love to take selfies.  One thing that I’ve always known about myself is that I don’t.  But here is proof that I can face my past and live to blog about it.

Here I am (standing in the very ring where I rode my horses) at the fair with my sister.  Our parents are as well there but they sat in the grandstand and pretended not to know us once we rushed the stage to see Home Free.

Below is my favorite photo.  I like to call it Peek-a-Boo.  I’m subtly trying to take my sister’s picture with the acapella boy band but I did neither her nor the boys justice.  We did, however, laugh our heads off and declared her the photographer in the family.  I’ll stick to writing.

As it turns out, these guys could really rock the place.  Of course my sister knew that which is why she insisted we see them live at the fair.  Despite the fact that we could be the mother of any one of them, they were so adorable and so talented we couldn’t help but argue over who we thought was the sexiest of the bunch.  There was definitely a reason they won The Sing Off last year and why I follow them now on Facebook.

This may just complete my summer series of concerts and fairs and other things that allow me feel like school should be starting again despite my inability to account for any lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

I will leave you with this amazing video of Home Free’s Ring of Fire.  It somehow seems fitting…. stepping into a burning ring of fire and all.   It just so happens there is a musician at Bombfire Pizza who sings this very song but with slightly different lyrics.  “And it burns, burns, burns…. my car’s on fire, my car’s on fire.”  

Maybe it does have something to do with psychedelics?

Share your fair experiences if you dare below.  Or just share what you’ve been up to this summer.

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