Mustard Stain

I went to the fair this past weekend and didn’t even try the deep fried Twinkie.

I was excited to go.  I love fairs or carnivals.  I like the sounds, smells, people watching, flashy lights, I’m a fan.  This year I was pretty excited to partake in the stick food.  New fair food items…deep fried everything.  You can get an entire slice of cheesecake deep fried.  Snickers, peanut butter cups, a Twinkie, even Pop-Tarts, all deep fried.

I started simple…corn dog.  I’d never had a corn dog on an actual stick and I went to the yellow booth with the blue ribbon that said, “Best Corn Dog 2014.”  It was yummy.  The corn bread wasn’t too greasy and the hotdog part looked like a cheap hot dog should look.  I went with ketchup and about three quarters of the way through, I was done.  Corn dog overload and I wanted to pace myself.  Next up…Kettle Corn or a pretzel, or maybe it was time to head over to the deep fried Twinkie?

All of a sudden things were swirling and it was too much, I couldn’t decided.  I was paralyzed by the food choices and I went with some apple pie thing that was barely a step above a McDonalds apple pie.  That went in the trash after a few bites.  I went to the Twinkie stand and it just didn’t look as good as I thought it would.  When I was at home, skipping lunch, anticipating the fair food, I was certain I would have at least one deep fried Twinkie, but up close, being there, the smell of stale vats of grease, I didn’t want it anymore.

I’m a little disappointed in myself.  I didn’t even have cotton candy because it was in a bag.  When did they start putting it in a bag?  Cotton candy needs to be on a cone and swirly etherial goodness.  A plastic bag was not what I had in mind.

I build things up in my head.  Happens all the time, and then reality inevitably can’t keep up.  My stick food adventure was not what I pictured, but one of the great things about reality is the unexpected.  Here are the things I didn’t imagine before the fair.

When we first arrived we watched a smash ’em up derby car race thing that was loads of fun.  Fans with big sodas and popcorn, kids on shoulders, setting sun, booming announcer voice fun.  I’d never been to a wreck the car fest.  It was unexpected.

Michael wanted to go to the livestock exhibit.  It was poultry week.  I had no idea there were so many different types of chickens, or that eleven year olds raised them to compete at the fair.  Some of these chickens were incredible.  I saw chickens with feathers on their feet and a bare necked chicken which was kind of a cross between a mini vulture and a chicken.  Roosters, up close making their rooster sound, and geese.  Big beautiful geese.  I was five years old with wonder.  Unexpected.  I loved it.  Didn’t want to leave.

Half way through the fair it rained.  Poured.  Families running around, some of them trying to get out of the rain, others giving in and getting wet.  Kids giggling and guys handing over jackets.  We stood under a canopy, laughed and watched.  I closed my eyes and squished my soggy toes during a soft, cold nosed, kiss at the fair.

Sometimes when I write things in my mind they are beautiful.  Paced, lit from behind and as close to perfect as I can get, but life is rarely that way.  It’s the unexpected.  It can be a long line, lost wallet, or a mustard stain, but real life also gives depth, feeling, to the images and without it we wouldn’t know that you have to skooch a corn dog up the stick as you eat it, or how a kiss you’ve received thousands of times can feel so new at the fair, in the rain.

My thoughts from the laundry room.  Cotton Sheets.

2 thoughts on “Mustard Stain

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