The big event happening in the Raleigh area right now is the North Carolina State Fair. I remember hearing about it last year. Mostly from people coming into the store where I worked or from the girl who cut my hair around that time. Everyone's always asking, "Are you going to the fair?"
Let me ask, what's so great about the fair? Sure you have rides. But they're rides that are put together and taken apart so quickly, there just have to be parts missing here and there. Are they really all that safe? And then there's food. Good Lord, how there is food. If you've been to one of these things, you know that there is a plethora of junk food. A trip to the fair is a new case of heart disease and/or diabetes just waiting to happen.
I'm just playing devil's advocate there. I love the fair. I think it's a great time. The other night I was invited by the Greenes to go along with them, Gordon, and our friends from church, the Dunns. Good times were had by all.
We really didn't hit any of the rides. I was being honest with my feelings about those rides when I mentioned them above. I just don't trust their construction. Don't get me wrong. I love amusement park rides. But the difference is that those things are permanent. They're constantly checked for safety. I don't know so much about these traveling carnivals. One loose screw on the ferris wheel and you have a bucket dropping from 150 feet. Not my idea of a good time. Besides, the price you pay to ride is borderline extortion.
I think the real reason we went was the food. I don't think I was kidding about the heart disease/diabetes remark. When you go to the fair, you discover that anything edible can be deep fried. I didn't gorge myself too much. I had a cheesesteak and Coke, which acted as a proper dinner. For dessert I went for the funnel cake. You can't go to a fair and not have a funnel cake. I split it with Nicole, 'cause I didn't figure I could eat the whole thing alone. But after taking that first bite, I was pretty sure I could have.
Between the six of us, I'm not sure what all was eaten. I'll try to give a run-down, but I'll probably end up leaving something out. There were barbecue ribs, green beans, cheeseburgers, french fries, deep fried Snickers, deep fried Milky Way, deep fried mushrooms, a couple types of fudge, funnel cakes, spicy sausage sandwiches, roasted peanuts and almonds, maple butter, homemade ice cream, and pickles. I think you get the idea. We ate enough to feed a small country.
Looking around at all the food vendors in that place, it boggles my mind how there can be families that go hungry in this country. As a nation, we are doing something wrong. That's a deep discussion for another time.
At one point in the evening we took a break from the cool night air and went into the art show inside one of the buildings. Fairs usually have this sort of display. A place to see the artwork of area school children and local amateurs. I couldn't believe some of the stuff that was on display that had been done by eight year olds. These kids must be some kinds of prodigies.
Something else you'll find at the fair are the age/weight/birth month guessers. You couldn't go anywhere on the fairgrounds without being within earshot of one of these barkers. Everywhere you looked, there was someone trying to sucker someone in. When we were in line for funnel cakes, there was one nearby (of course) who lost three times in a row. Not long after that, he was replaced. If you're giving away the crappy stuffed animals, you're losing money. Can't have any of that.
All in all it was a really good time. Sure, I didn't ride any rides and I didn't get to pet any of the animals. But I did have a better time at the NC State Fair than I ever had at the crummy old Salem Fair. The Salem Fair was a flea circus compared to this thing.