Reflections on the Fair

By the time you read this, the 2019 North Carolina State Fair will be nothing but mountains of trash, and memories.

The Matthews Family band is already thinking about next year (well, this member, anyway).

But I’m also looking back.  And since this space is reserved for the sharing of my thoughts (and it’s a heck of a gig which I highly recommend), what could be more appropriate than to share with you, Gentle Reader, my thoughts before, during, and after the great state fair?

For the most part, anything in quotes are my unspoken thoughts.  But not always.  Sometimes they are spoken aloud, to my family’s exquisite and highly entertaining embarrassment.

Before the fair: My thoughts all follow a similar theme: “THE FAIR’S COMING!!!” joyfully repeated hundreds of times a day beginning in late July, and increasing in frequency as the fair’s arrival draws ever mor near.

“What’ll I wear?” and the much more important, “What’ll I eat?”  Sometimes these two thoughts intersect, such as when I am readying my eatin’ britches (Jeans with enough lycra that they stay up in the morning, but have enough stretch to encase a body containing a metric ton of fair food later in the day.  And they also need to retain enough give to permit me to sit on the ride home).

At the pre-fair media luncheon, an event attended by locally famous media and government types: “OMG! There’s Linda Loveland!  She is taller, prettier and cooler than anyone I’ve ever seen.  I don’t think she’s even human.  She is an alien from Planet Glamorama.”

Guess which one is Linda Loveland?
*Hint: It’s not the large bird.

“There’s Cherie Berry.  I recognize her from the photo in every elevator, everywhere.  That woman lifts me up.”

“Ok, I’ll put less food on my tray to make room for my camera.  Yeah, right.  Who am I kidding?”

“So, if I put my hair in a ponytail and speak with a German accent will the guy serving Dole Whip recognize me?  It’s only my fourth trip.  Probably not…?”

At the fair as a food contest judge: “What were they thinking?  There is no way this combination of ingredients will taste good.”  “Well, what do ya know?  Frost my butt and call me cupcake!  That was tasty!” 

After the soybean judging: “With all apologies to the entire continent of Asia, tofu tastes awful.  Edamame, on the other hand…”

General fair impressions: “It is cold, rainy, and the state fair.  How/Why is that woman wearing stilettos and an extremely short cocktail dress?  In another venue, she’d be fierce, and I’d be impressed/jealous.  Here?  I’m curious/amused.”

“Ok, I have one stomach, but there are fourteen things I want to eat.  I think it just comes down to organization and motivation.”

“I don’t care who you are.  A pirate riding a parrot is comedy gold.”

“Ooh! A puppy!”

“How much trouble would I get into if I politely walked over to that family, grabbed that plastic toy trumpet out of that three-year-old’s hand, threw it on the ground, jumped up and down on it, and calmly walked away?”

“Every single guy at the Marine exhibit is a stone cold fox.  They look like camo-wearing underwear models.  Do they have an “aestetically perfect division”?  Actually, with those faces and bodies to distract the enemy, we couldn’t lose.”

“I think I’ve got room in my belly for a scuppernog slushie and in my fridge for a jar of blueberry bourbon jam.  Sure…”

After the fair:  “I walked into the fair with $150.  I was there four hours and I have $1.47.  What the heck happened?”

“The fair is coming (In 355 days)! Woo Hoo!!”

Thanks for your time.

Contact debbie at

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