A fair cure for my post- partum blues
For the first time in 19 years I did not attend the local county fair. I am the only person in the county who did not attend and who will admit it. Given the enormous popularity of this five-day extravaganza, most of the other truants have the good sense not to mention their absence to any of its rabid boosters.
No, I did not forget. The local newspapers and radio stations made sure of that. And even if I’d abstained from all media, I drive by the fairgrounds regularly. The traffic jams and hordes of jaywalkers would have jogged my misfiring memory.
In the past I’ve been both a fair attender and a fair vendor – many, many times. To the point where I am experiencing fair ennui – extreme burnout. Still, it is difficult to admit that I wasn’t out there, covered with cotton candy and clutching a giant plush toy liberated from the midway at great personal expense.
The thing is, once the carnies packed up and departed, I began suffering from PFS (post-fair syndrome). PFS is not a genetic condition, but it may be jean-etic. My jeans miss the fresh coating of grease they got each year when I wiped my hands on them after a visit to the food concessions.
Rather than endure withdrawal symptoms, I cobbled together a virtual fair experience right here at Clear Creek Ranch. For starters, I drove a mile and a half out to our mailbox, parked, and walked back home in the noonday sun. My wife did not accompany me.
“You simulate ‘the parking lot experience,’ dear,” she said. “I’ll stay here and simulate the ‘dropped off at the main gate’ experience.”
Once home, I still wasn’t completely dehydrated, and stood fully clothed in the sauna until both my eyebrows and my shirt spontaneously combusted from the heat. Again my wife declined to join in the fun. She was too busy reclining on “the interactive quilt display.” This display is on our bed all year long.
Next I spritzed myself with a potent fairgrounds moisturizer of stale soda pop, sugar cubes and cooking grease. Then I “bought” myself a paper cup loaded with soft drink-coated ice cubes and visited the canned goods pavillion in our pantry.
Most of my time was spent in the Pointless Produce Preservation section, where we keep things we harvest and can every year but never get around to eating. It is fascinating how the color of canned goods changes as years go by. The gray tomato-like entities won Best of Show. Again!
Then, before I simulated a carnival ride experience by spinning around until I was dizzy and nauseated, it was time to eat. Fair food is finger food! But why stop there? Let it drip down your forearms and up past the elbows.
Undercooked tofu hotdogs smeared with coagulated condiments sounded good to me – as long as they were properly prepared. You’ve got to drop them on the ground a few times and sort of rinse off the big foreign chunks with whatever you are drinking. My wife quickly informed me that she had just begun a 24-hour fast.
Gotta have a sticky picnic bench in full sun and some overpowering barnyard aroma. I placed a sack of manure upwind and a big wad of crumpled dollar bills (representing my usual fair time fiscal irresponsibility), and fired it up until it was smoldering vigorously. Surrounded myself with lifesize cutouts from TV’s “America’s Most Wanted” to simulate a realistic crowd, and the fairgrounds ambience was complete.
My wife just doesn’t know what she’s missing. Or then again …
Mike Drummond is a Nevada County writer whose column appears on Tuesday. You can write him in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945; or e-mail him at email@example.com.
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Parents are becoming aware of the use of critical race theory in their children’s instruction, particularly as distance learning has given them a window into their classrooms.