I had the rare privilege of attending a county fair last week. It was back in my home turf, so there was none of this fancy monster truck rally stuff going on. It was a small and intimate affair that emphasized the family nature of producing your own food.
It’s rural America: nothing to do but sit around and prepare for the coming apocalypse. Don’t forget peaches packed in brandy!
Note to self: make sure you go to the fair in the beginning of the week. Yes, I waited too long to go to the fair. I managed to get there on the last day, and let’s just say that some of the exhibits had that “not so fresh” feeling. Now, the rules of this county fair require the exhibitor to leave their products there all week. The pies and baked goodies all look extremely tempting when they’re dropped off for judging on Sunday. Unfortunately, by next Saturday, those taste-tempting creations look a little more like this:
Gee, it’s a blue ribbon winner. I don’t mean to question anyone’s taste, but I believe I’ll pass.
It must be heartbreaking to go through the effort of making an award winning pie with home made crust only to have it go hairy before the eyes of the public. Oh, if only they could use as many preservatives as Hostess.
I’m sure it was great in its day. Too bad its day was about a week ago. No, no desert, thank you, I’m drinking.
Speaking of drinking, I must take a moment here to discuss the arcane liquor laws that plague Pennsylvania. You can’t import liquor, wine, beer or even rubbing alcohol to PA unless you fill out an assload of forms, pay approximately one fuckload of money to get the right tax stamps and pay the state store system a motherfucking shitload of money to carry your product. That’s why we don’t ship there. If you think that’s bad, try buying alcohol in this bass ackward system. You can’t buy liquor before noon on Sunday, no alcohol in grocery stores or convenience stores, restaurants can’t get liquor licenses (forget that wine with dinner) and you need to go to designated distributors to buy a full bottle of wine or case of beer. Don’t try to buy a bottle or glass of alcohol, it just isn’t worth it. Man, it makes you just want to strike out and make your own.
The only thing that’s not fair about this is that I didn’t get to be a judge. Seriously, these people have no respect for their wine producing brethren from across the nation.
At least you don’t have to worry about a hangover. Since you don’t have a hangover, and there’s no Taco Bell for about 1000 miles to cure one if you did, you might as well make some breakfast. Just don’t use the eggs we left on the table.
Yes, they won an award. Too bad they’ve been sitting on that table outside of the fridge for about a week. Say, I should take one to throw at my old landlord’s house.
Oh, yeah, and you want to avoid the coffee as well. There’s no Starbucks there (no, I’m not shitting you) and their idea of gourmet, hoity-toity coffee is Maxwell House. I swear if you stop at a convenience store to get a cup of coffee, chances are you’ll have to beat it with a stick to get it to stay in the cup. It’s a little bitter and little frisky.
I’m not the only one in bad need of a little pick me up after last week. You know you spent one too many nights partying at the fair when you end up looking like this guy here:
Maybe we should try to comb it or something? You know, dude, you don’t look that bad. Really, it could be worse. You could look like Nick Nolte’s mugshot.
The fair invites us to smell the pig shit while downing corndogs and deep fried Oreos. No, that’s not a joke. I saw signs for deep fried Oreos, deep fried Twinkies, deep fried Snickers and deep fried Coca-Cola. I have no idea how that last one is made, and I don’t want to find out. Apparently the good folks at the fair have never heard of the ongoing obesity problem this country is having. It could be worse. They could expect you to dig in to this:
This is chow chow. No, I don’t know what the hell it is either. It’s a pickled vegetable medley of some sort. I tried it once. ONCE.
1 c. chopped green tomatoes
1 c. chopped bell peppers
1 c. chopped cabbage
1 whole cucumber, chopped
1 c. chopped onions
2 qt. water
1/4 c. salt
1 c. chopped carrots
1 c. chopped green beans
2 tsp. mustard seed
2 tsp. celery seed
2 c. vinegar
2 c. sugar
Soak tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and onions overnight in water and salt. Drain. Cook carrots and green beans for 10 minutes and drain. Mix all ingredients. Heat to a boil. Pack in jars and seal.
Of course, you could always opt for the fresh vegetables instead.
Ummm, maybe not. What was it, exactly?
I know I should have shown up a week ago. You know, even the animals are tired at this point. They can’t be bothered with you, the judges, or even their own owners. However, you know you’re nobody in this world until you’ve been ignored by a pig.
They’re eating and don’t have time for your camera bullshit. That’s why we call them pigs.
The animals are tired, the vendors are fatigued from sitting out in 100 degree heat and the vegetables are dead. It’s hard to find a friendly face after a week of wafting cow shit, vomit and the heady mélange of a dozen different food stands. At least they don’t feel the need to nickel and dime you for no good reason.
That’s a good enough reason for me. Man, I NEED that sign.
Well, it’s just about that time. I guess I need to get my ass up on outta here…
You had to see this coming.
No, not that ass, silly. But now that you mention it, he looks pretty partied out too. I think the mule had a better time than I did. Now that’s no fair at all.