Friday, September 25, 2009

A Fair Day

Oh, my, I’m so very tired. It’s a good tired, though. Mom and I got up at the butt crack of dawn this morning and left the house, loaded down with student artworks, heading to the State Fair for the Glue-A-Shoe contest. I have almost come to the decision that I might could become a morning person, granted enough coffee is provided.

After a pleasant drive west (away from the blinding sun!), we got to the fair grounds with about 30 minutes to spare. Turns out it wasn’t just the contest happening today, but also the fair, itself! Holy crap! So there’s $10 for parking. Another $15 per person for entry to the fair. I’ve got the $2 per student collected and so that will cover some, but I was going to have to cover a good bit myself, since I had to miss yesterday and didn’t get to collect payment from everyone before I left.

You might imagine how incensed I was that none of these fees (excepting the $2 entry fee for the contest) was mentioned anywhere at all on the entry registration form. But I figured, ‘Whatever, I got up at a ridiculous hour, drove three hours to get here and I’m not giving up now!’ So I paid my $10 parking fee. After finagling my way to the very first row of the parking lot to within 10 yards of the entrance gate (!!!), mom and I both loaded up with as many shoes as we could carry and headed over to get in line and pay to get in.

Enter Mom: Deus Ex Machina.

Mom saw that there was a booth that was completely line-less, even though there were people in it. The sign overhead said it was for ‘Cash Only,’ but mom figured that nothing was ventured, nothing was gained so she went over (carrying her six shoe sculptures) to ask if we could pay with credit cards there. After a quick mumbled conversation, mom waved me over and the woman told me that since we were entering an event, we could go on through.

For Free.


So that rocked my world. We slipped in, headed up the path and got our shoes entered in plenty of time. The other people in line were duly impressed with my genius students. We had, among others, a Shoe (Sous) Chef, a surf board (Surfin’ Shoe-S-A) and Judge Shoedy (Judy). After a very long, very frustrating judging session that they let us watch, we finally got the results. While the Shoe Chef was overlooked (foul, I say!), Judge Shoedy and Shooby-Doo got Honorable Mentions. Considering we had never entered the fair before and I was pretty much flying by the seat of my pants, I’m pretty proud. Next year, we’re going to dominate.

After the judging and wagging all the non-placing (I hate calling them losing!) sculptures back to my rather auspiciously parked van, mom and I head back in to check out the fair some.

For Free. :)

We rode the ferris wheel, of course. We walked around and saw the exhibits. We smelled the food. (I’m proud to say that I didn’t eat a single bit of Fair Food—I had brought a light lunch and while we were returning stuff to the van I noshed on it.)

I love the sensory experience of the fair. The sounds of the game callers, the rides, the crowds. The smell of deep fried everything (they have Deep Fried Butter this year—holy cow!). The gamey smell of the animals when you pass their barn. The feel of the wind on your face when you’re at the top of the wheel, watching the miniature rides below whip tiny little ant people from side to side. For someone as antisocial and agoraphobic as I am, it’s amazing that I enjoy the fair as much as I do, but I think it’s the same thing as visiting a big city like New York. I don’t know all those people and so if I have a meltdown, I’m not worried about someone filing it away in their brains for the next time they see me. For some reason, when I don’t have to worry about that, I calm down a bit and don’t mind being around so many people who insist on breathing my air.

So. The fair was good. The contest was good. Time with mom was good—we don’t get to do that kind of just-her-and-me thing very often and so it was cool to do that today. Being out of work was pretty awesome, although I’m ready to head back on Monday and get back in the groove. But before I do that, I’m heading to the bedroom and hitting the hay. I’ve been up since 5 am and I’m exhausted!

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