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Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Festive mood is all around, Another world is what we've found
Step right up, let's make a deal -- Ride on the ferris wheel!

I have lived in San Diego for pretty much my entire life. In most respects I think of myself as a somewhat typical citizen of this county. I try and take advantage of much of what the city has to offer. However, there is one local event that takes place every year that I have always avoided, and that is "The Fair". Despite living here for almost all of my 31 years, I can't remember ever going (although I might have and just blocked it from memory).

Liz takes great pleasure in trying to convince me to got to the fair. Every year she organizes a little posse, and every year I get the same invitation. With sinister cackles and a mad gleam in her eyes she will plead with me.

I always resist. My dislike of the fair is really my stupid and silent protest against the traffic it brings to region. Really I can't think of anything more pathetically ineffectual (other than internet petitions) than my refusal to participate for this reason. As I cross my arms and turn my back on the fair it continues to generate all sorts of tourism and traffic for the region.

This year my resolve finally failed and on a humid, summer night I grit my teeth and entered the grounds....Ready to face my fair.

Unless you grew up on a dairy farm, the first thing you are liable to notice is the smell. There is an intense animal smell everywhere. I actually came in through the less conventional south gate, and as a result my introduction to the fair a face full of trailers, hay stacks, and garbage. I was "backstage" so-to-speak. Inexplicably the "pig races" are buried back here. This was a fun-for-the-whole family sort of event that was probably specifically hard to get to. Whoever sets this thing up may have purposely wanted to keep this attraction on the down-low.

After wandering around lost for a few more minutes I finally made it to "The Fun Zone" where the rest of my friends were waiting. I had been at the fair for about 6 minutes and already I felt dirty. Not dirty in a good, rough-housin in the sand way. More of a shameful, I just got caught picking my nose sort of way.

I was too late to join the crew on "The Zipper" (a fan favorite), but I managed to get on another ride that was a blast. The sense of danger and excitement is heightened by the fact that the same ride that is hurling you through space about 3 storied above the ground is not a permanent structure. It's actually designed to be broken down and come apart for easy shipping. Who knows...It could decide that the fair is over earlier than you'd like a break itself down mid-ride.

The rides were over and so it was time to experience the food. The Fair is the only place where I think deep-fried food is better for you than the other options. You know that any flesh-eating bacteria who's home may have been your chicken-chunk has probably been eliminated in the greasy waters of the frier.

So I had some sort of deep-fried apple-mass and freshly fried chips. The one thing I was determined to shove down my throat was a deep-fried twinkie. The legendary DFT. Let me tell you. That was my first and last DFT. The feeling I got after eating this thing was similar to the feeling I get when I sit down on a public toilet only to find that the seat is unusually warm.

It's really pretty gross. More than you might expect when you really think about it.

Ah the fair! More fun than a public toilet...but just barely.

I did learn a thing or two from the fair though. Mainly that people eat goat. When I asked the lovely woman inside the animal pen who eats goat, she replied, "whoever buys it."

ask a stupid question...




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