The Fair

7 Sep

Our town hosts the County Fair and each year the community braces for it. I have a friend who used to work at a discount food store. When the fair was in town they usually assigned him the same mind-numbing same every day for eight hours: stacking and unstacking pallets of dog food with a fork lift near the door. This strategically placed job was less about accomplishing anything and more about acting as a theft deterrent. When all the dog food pallets were stacked, it was his job to unstack them, and look busy about it. Give customers The Eye as they come in. And repeat.

This year marked Isobel’s first trip to the fair as she was finally old enough to appreciate live stock, fried food, and people watching. I was giddy with excitement. Judge away! I know I’m some sort of hick for admitting this, but I was really looking forward to sharing this with Isobel. After the fair, I was thinking about taking her cow tipping!

My bestie just happened to be working at a booth at the fair this year so our first stop was a giant, walk-through, anatomically correct heart, complete with whooshing sound. It was air conditioned making it easily the best booth at the fair. Afterward we took a few photos of Dr. Isobel and her buxom nurse, Anthony.

Isobel is quite familiar with horses because she has several that she likes to play with. We taught her the theme song to Bonanza and she gallops her horses across the coffee table. The thing is, she’d never seen a real live horse before so we head to the stables.

The first horses Isobel sees in her life are the largest ones possible, taller than most grown men with feet the diameter of dinner plates. The Budweiser Clydesdales. They were monstrous. And they were beautiful.

Isobel was so excited as soon as she saw them. She even whinnied a few times. I tried to get a video of her looking at them and neighing like a horse but of course stopped as soon as I pulled the camera out. She clammed up so all I recorded was a video of her with me in the background saying, “What does a horsey say? NEEEEEEEIIIIIIIGH! What does a horsey say? NEEEEEEEIIIIIIIGH! NEEEEEEEIIIIIIIGH!”

Basically that video will never see the light of day.

I’m deleting it as I type.

ZOMG that thing is a horse?!

Another thing she learned about horses is that they poop. And if they are Clydesdales, they POOP. They drop loads of epic proportions; it’s like dumping an entire bag of organic fertilizer on the ground at once. Which I suppose it kind of is. In fact they had someone whose sole job was to follow behind the Clydes wherever they go and clean up giant crap-piles with a giant snow shovel. That man was kept very busy.

After we saw the Clydes Isobel was very ho-hum about all the other horses. They were just not that exciting in comparison.

We wanted to get photo booth photos since we get them every year, but it was so hot outside the machines were malfunctioning. They had a company mechanic working on them but he said they were all overheating. It wasn’t even as hot as it usually is, probably only 96-97 degrees F. It could have been much worse. We went back later in the night when it had cooled off and took Isobel for her first photo booth experience. She was mesmerized by the flash.

The highlight of the trip was probably the petting zoo. Isobel called all the goats ‘chuchos’ and woofed at them to let them know she was their people. She got along with the goats as well as they got along with her: they tried to chew on her hair and shorts and she tried to pull on their horns. Basically they were each fascinated and curious about each other and not worried to get in each others’ faces. Neither seemed to mind.

I was thrilled that she got along with them so well because I’ve always had a soft spot for goats, and let’s not forget their role in the extinction of the dinosaurs.

"What shampoo do you use? It's delicious!"

While I was trying to get cute pictures of Isobel petting a goat another goat came up to my left arm and started licking it. I’m sure it was after salt as I was quite sweaty. It gave me this look like, “I totally love you!” for a bit then it resumed its licking. I had to move away from it because that goat did not want to stop licking me.

Love me

"You has a nom taste."

We didn’t bring our stroller because we knew there’d be masses of people and not a lot of space in some areas. We brought the sling and the fair was kind enough to let us borrow a simple umbrella loaner stroller provided we left them with Anthony’s driver’s license as collateral.

Remember the mushrooms from last year? I was super excited to see that they were at the fair again this year, along with last year’s rainforest theme.

The night ended with us returning the stroller and packing her up in the sling while she started falling asleep. I held her against me and rubbed her head as we walked and her eyelids drooped. Isobel may not remember her first trip to the fair, but Anthony and I always will.

14 Responses to “The Fair”

  1. jenn September 7, 2010 at 7:28 am #

    petting zoo with isobel must have been like winning the baby lottery for her 🙂

    and thank you for still rocking the jansport.

    • LittleBig September 7, 2010 at 8:32 am #

      Well, now I’m all embarrassed, LOL. That backpack is leftover from high school. 😉

  2. MegaGood September 7, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    GOATS! goats goats goats. We have this petting zoo at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Lots of goats of course. Last time I was there, I saw a toddler trying to pick up a goat that was reclining. It was 4 times her size. Ever since then I have been counting the days until I can take Benton goat wrestling. ❤ Mammals.

    • LittleBig September 7, 2010 at 9:20 am #

      Goats really are perfect for toddler interaction because they don’t mind kids getting all up in their bizness nor do they mind kids smacking them or grabbing onto their horns. Goats are rude busybodies by nature so when they encounter a toddler they think they are just being normal. They’re like, “Sure kid, pull my horn. But I’m going to do my best to eat your pants while you do it.”

  3. Shelby Stidham September 7, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    So tell me, is the fair better when you go as a family?

    I stopped going to the fair a few years ago because I found it no longer appealed to me.. but I forgot about the things it has that attracts children and families.

    Seems like it’s almost more fun to go as a family unit than as a couple looking for cheap beer and live entertainment. Maybe I’m just a stick in the mud?

    • LittleBig September 7, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

      I find the entertainment value of the fair is in eating fried food, people watching, and finding weird and amusing things submitted as entries. (I’m actually going to post on the Weird Stuff a bit later.)

      Before Isobel came along my friends and I enjoyed the photo booth and the random weird things we’d find. I love goats and always insist on going through the petting zoo.

      I have fun at the fair because my husbands and friends are fun to be around, not because the entertainment at the fair appeals to me, because it doesn’t. You’re not a stick in the mud for not liking the mediocre beer or entertainment. 😉

      That said it’s super fun to go as a family, at least, it was for us.

  4. Marie September 7, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    With a link to cow tipping, you now have another reason to go to Georgia. Such lovely photos here of warm memories for Isobel when she gets older.

    And the world needs more giant polka dotted mushrooms.

    • LittleBig September 8, 2010 at 7:29 am #

      The world DEFINITELY needs more giant polka dotted mushrooms.

  5. laura September 7, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    love the photos! hometown fairs in the Central Valley are the best; she’s a lucky little lady. the excitement just isn’t the same over county fairs in Santa Cruz or Silicon Valley, where the holier-than-thous scoff at corndogs.

    i missed the Stan fair this summer and last because i was traveling, which i’m grateful i get to do, but to be honest i always just wanted to be at home during that week!

    • LittleBig September 8, 2010 at 7:30 am #

      I’ve always wondered about Fairs in non-ag places like that. I can’t imagine they’d be super well attended.

  6. purplequark September 8, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    Lovely lovely post!


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