04 November 2009

fairly wonderful!

For those out there in the ethereal masses who don't know, the fair is to my family what Christmas is to many others.

I have been to the Mississippi State Fair every year since I was either zero or one, we don't know for sure. I have been down the big yellow slide every year since I was one. I love it. I thrive on it. If i ever write a book, there will be a large chapter about the fair. And I'm sure people will want to read it.

Being a child at the fair is almost as great as being a junior high kid at the fair (hoping to sit by the boy you like on a scary ride). Which is almost as great as bringing home your boyfriend from college to go to the fair (and kissing at the top of the ferris wheel). Which is almost as great as being a parent of young children at the fair. Which, according to my parents, is almost as great as being a grandparent at the fair.

We love it. Every minute of it. And this year was no different. Our first fair date was rained out, so we had to postpone. But we went, on the last Sunday of the fair. Mama, Daddy, Little Brother Cliff, Paul, Me, All three Kiddos.

We have a fair routine.

We park fairly far away, and walk down the hill on Amite Street, always taking a great pic of the view. We park, up to 20 minute walk away, because we are cheap and we don't want to pay for parking.

We head straight for the petting zoo. Because it is free and just inside the gates - a great meeting place for the stragglers in our party. We look at things like Zebus. These are just Asian cattle, but "zebu" sounds so exotic, we are all amazed. The children beg to feed the animals. One of their parents or grandparents gives in because, well, it's the fair. (And if you say yes to this 25cent expense, you can later say "aww - we cannot ride the elephant (7$) - remember - we bought that animal food back in the petting zoo")

And then we head up the midway - get a free biscuit from Lester Spell, who has served as the commissioner of agriculture in MS since I had to ride in the backseat of cars. He gives away the best biscuits ever. He is my hero. As we munch on the biscuit, we start walking. We use the biscuit as a distraction as we walk past all of the fair games. We were never allowed to play and we aren't starting now!

And then we ride. (Eason and me on my favorite ride ever, The Orient Express - a dragon roller coaster that makes my heart sing with joy. And his too - see arms upraised.) (Ada on Bee - she is a cautious child, and this is about as exciting as it gets), (Paul and Eason on the merry go round - they don't look alike at all, i swear),

While Eason and I were in line for the dragon roller coaster, two different sets of children, approximately age 8, tried to cut in line. At their mother's behest. Hell in a Handbasket, I tell you - we're on our way. I mean - can you imagine - teaching your children to cut in line for a ride. In front of a two year old? One time i just poked my hip out, making it too awkward for them. The other time, the mother actually asked me if they could cut, and I, as politely and firmly as i could said, "Actually, we've been waiting in line for about 20 minutes..." (i don't do firm, polite very well - my usual mode is to be a pushover, and cuss about it later), and she said "Oh, well, they're kids and..." and I said "Well, so is he..." (pointing to Eason) and she said "hmmph" and walked off.

Who tries to bully mothers and two year olds so her eight year olds can cut in line? Who teaches their children such moral bankruptcy? I wish I would have had the woman-testicles to tell her exactly what she was doing to them. But, I am proud that I didn't let them get away with it.
Baby Steps.


And then we eat, making everything, even rude, soulless fair goers, all better. Mama always ALWAYS gets roasted corn, we always all get Penns chicken on a stick (which we could get 365 days a year, but never do), and sometimes we get dessert, as seen above. I like the pineapple soft serve, but i forewent it this year because it was slightly chilly out.

Collins also managed to eat the fair. That was a feat necessitating modesty and hygiene never to be surpassed.

And then, then, ladies and gentlemen, we always ride the big yellow slide. Some poor s.o.b. has to sit at the bottom and take pictures. But not this Mama. I've never missed a year and I won't start now.
I just love it.

This year, after Eason stood up, he said "I have to do it again. Please" in the most sincere, desperate, sweet voice he's ever used. My mother immediately gave in, bought more tickets, and a lucky few got to go twice.

The fair is awesome. Not objectively, really - it's dirty, expensive, and full of unattractive, often rude (see above) people. But, it's also full of families who are like ours - just like us in that they are making memories.

Memories so strong that my parents, who are no longer married, come together, laugh, and take their grandchildren to do the things that have made their children smile for over two decades. The fair is awesome, because not even Christmas can do that around here.

1 comment:

  1. this makes me homesick!! my fam is the same way with the fair... daddy even escorted our italian exchange students around the fair this year, to their embarrassment. LOVE the pics. precious, precious children.