Monday, September 13, 2010

About the Fair (or: A Post that Degenerated, But at First Was Promising)

Sometimes don't you just want to tell a person you've only just met, "At first I was into talking to you, but while the tip of the iceberg promised so much, now I realize THAT was the whole iceberg?"

Take Saturday night, for example. I went to the fair with Stoker because he wanted to get footage of neat bright lights and colorful objects with his new Canon Eos SLR camera that also does video. What I really wanted to do was stay at home and play World of Warcraft because I'm sick and twisted inside, but I adore Stoker and want to make him happy (and deep down I somehow manage to  be awesome), so I went along.

For the most part, it was a very strange environment. The fair in Utah and the fair in Tennessee are somehow, inexplicably very different. Or perhaps my memory is all screwed up (it probably is, let's be honest). I don't want to start throwing labels out, but I DID feel like I was in gang territory and to be fair (to me and my label) the Metro Police GANG UNIT was there milling about in their SWAT vests and jeans and stuff. It was odd.

Anyway, once Stoker ran out of memory card space (something that happened very quickly, because as I am told, HD video adds up fast, and a 4 gig card cost $50, which is why he only has one so far), we tried to get into the actual fairness of the fair itself. 

Perhaps it was because it was the opening day. Or perhaps it's the way the fair in TN just . . . is . . . but there were quite a lot of rides and ridiculously stupid games with outrageously lame prizes, and practically NO neat trinkets to buy. 

This may surprise you, but aside from spousal support, I was there for the trinkets, the funnel cake and corn dogs, and IF there happened to be any neat animals, I wouldn't have minded seeing them. 

As I remember the Utah State Fair, there are always lots of stupid trinkets.

Perhaps it's the idiot in me, but I love buying trinkets. I'm a sucker for China Town in any big city, the fair (if there are trinkets), arts festivals (if there are also trinkets), street festivals that feature trinkets, book fairs that have trinkets, farmer's markets with booths selling trinkets, and any sundry trinket booth/cart that pops up anywhere with trinkets on display. Pretty much any kind of event where I can peruse and purchase trinkets I will endorse. And by trinkets I mean little rings, lighters, wallets, swords (I bought a sword at the Renaissance festival this year. Oh yes I did), fake tattoos, earrings, knives, throwing stars, you name it. 

When I began to realize there were no trinkets at the fair, I started to feel creeped out. A little worried. The lights and carousel music took on an eerie Twilight-Zone-Something-Wicked-this-Way-Comes tone*. The laughing people and joyful children suddenly seemed sinister. "Where the crap am I?" I wondered. "THIS is NO FAIR." 

But it was. It's just that I'm used to one thing and Tennesseans are used to another. 

I guess. And I'm getting to the opening quote, don't worry. 

So in my search for trinkets, I found where they keep the animals.There were only a few cows and a couple sheep. Which was also weird. Rows and rows of pens and only two pens were full. Eerie.

Then I found out that Saturday was the first full day of the fair. "But then, how do all those jars of preserves and honey have ribbons on them already?" 

That was a question I never had answered.

But I did have the chance to talk to the Bee-man and the Sheep-woman. From the names, you might imagine they're super-heroes. They are not. They were just two people having a discussion that I (impolitely, most likely) interrupted in the room with the pen of sheep. Fifty pens and only five sheep.

Still, it was like a dream come true. The only thing that could have improved it was if Chicken-man had been there. Or woman.

I want to have bees and sheep. And some chickens. And runner ducks. And geese to protect the ducks. And a little farm with some horses, and maybe a few rug-rats running around in cowboy boots and hats. 

Moronic dreams, I know. Sounds like Oklahoma! or something. 

So anyway, the Bee-man. I talked to him for just a bit and I quickly ascertained that he judged me to be a moron. My argument isn't that I'm not. My argument is that I didn't really want to talk to him after just a few quick exchanges, but I was forced to out of politeness and that's probably why I started to seem like a moron. When I saw that his main goal was to impress me with the knowledge that having bees in the city is A) easy; B) cheaper than I expect; and C) if I don't get the bees right now, he's going to force me to get bees, so help him; I just didn't want to talk to him any more. I wanted to go back to talking to Sheep-woman, who was friendly, interesting, and my new hero. 

And I'm not a moron, really. I DID want to be an entomologist at one time, and I think I really AM truly allergic to bee-stings, and I HAVE seen people wearing those kinds of black boots with the ring on the side while they ride their Harley. 

Basically, I guess, the problem was that Bee-man didn't live up to my romanticized notions about beekeeping and beekeepers. I LIKE living in a fantasy world that assumes that "getting back to the land" will actually be fulfilling and that beekeepers commune with bees in a way that's kind of magical and the relationship is mutually beneficial between the bees and the beekeeper, and not only that, the bees somehow LOVE their keeper. I want to be the queen of bees. 

Sheep-woman DID live up to my romanticized notions, although I hope that should I ever get a herd of sheep, I will not also have to begin wearing shirts with sheep on them. On her they are rather adorable. On me a shirt of that sort would only accentuate how inept I am at being adorable and cute. 

*There's a carnival in Something Wicked this Way Comes, isn't there? I can't remember. Been too long. 

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