When throngs of people, young and old, make their annual pilgrimage to Raleigh to pay homage to ridiculously overpriced deep-fried foods, rides, and games all designed to drain fair-goers financially dry, fill your home with more cheap shit destined for donation, and raise your cholesterol by a thousand percent...
When traffic on any given day is completely constipated, interstate and roadway alike, within a five mile radius of this fiasco...
Where parking is a terrible joke, especially for handicapped patrons dumped like cattle for slaughter into the general traffic sometimes miles away while on-site parking is reserved for tractor trailers, campers, and monster trucks...
And every year we subject ourselves to this freak show, why exactly? Well, I'm not really sure. --For the sake of our impatient, over-stimulated kids who are so tired after an hour or two that absolutely everything invokes a tearful tantrum?
Example (upon having just had my son's face painted and him wiping his mouth with a baby wipe)...
My sweet angel boy: "It's uggeley!"
Me: "Let's go see if they can fix it for you."
My sweet angel boy: "No! (crying) I don't want it anymore! It's uggeley!"
Me: "Okay, well we don't have to. Want Mommie to clean off your face for you?"
My sweet angel boy: "No! (cries harder) I wanna fix it!"
It wasn't all bad however. The Fair is bubbling over with photo opportunities and it goes without saying that I took lots of pictures. I got to spend some time with one of my best high school friends, Karen, and her daughter Cheyenne, and saw my "other dad" Sammy. I had a turkey leg and stocked up on my usual stash of candied apples, fudge, and honey cotton candy and discovered the wonder that is "fried Oreos." I also discovered that my four-year-old is insanely terrified of heights - which made riding the Ferris wheel amusingly entertaining (although I have to admit it's hard to console a child when you're laughing uncontrollably). And when the kids weren't busy crying or sitting down without warning in the middle of the street, watching them laughing and giggling full of childhood wonder made me forget for a brief spell that I really hate massive crowds and thus the Fair.
Perhaps it's those blissful few moments that make us do such crazy things. Gluttons for punishment we are.
"The world is for thousands a freak show; the images flicker past and vanish; the impressions remain flat and unconnected in the soul. Thus they are easily led by the opinions of others, are content to let their impressions be shuffled and rearranged and evaluated differently."
...Johann von Goethe