In my world the fair is really an annual event that most of us look forward to albeit not as much as football games of any kind but still a lot. For me the best part of the fair is the entertainment. I am not referring to the entertainment that cost money to see, that almost always is disappointing. My favorite entertainment comes with the price of admission.
When I was a child when I went to the fair there was always a tent where one could pay 50 cents to see some pretty unique and interesting people. At my fair unique and interesting people are not found in a tent, they pay the price of admission.
Among the best places to see unique and interesting people is down Food Alley. There one can see gluttony at its very best or some might say at its very worst. Since I am fascinated by human behavior I for one see the human drama on food ally as gluttony at its best. It can be said that some of the best entertainment at the fair is right there on Food Ally.
It is magical to see a parent and their little one interact together. Watching a father pitch an oversized soft baseball to his young son and watching him attempt to hit it with his oversized baseball bat is one of life’s little delights. Seeing a mother teaching her daughter to ride a bike for the first time is a memory not forgotten. Watching a father and son sharing a plate of garbage fries (I am not making the name up, you really can get them at our fair and they are pretty good, pretty darn good)is not a pretty sight. Almost as soon as a father and son begin to share the plate they become competitors in a race to see who can eat the biggest share. It’s not a real pretty sight but it sure is interesting to watch. Another sight not easy to see is a mother and young daughter engulfed in spun sugar or should I say eating cotton candy. The thing is even if each of them has their own cotton candy at first glance it looks as though some very sticky brightly colored cotton has attacked their heads. It is always a bit of a shock seeing two alien fuzz balls on top of two human bodies walking down Food Ally.
One of the nice things about a fair is that a day at the fair is a family outing but on Food Ally some of the family activities going on could cure a good thinking person of ever thinking highly about family activities again. It is common to see a mother, father, a teen age boy and a little girl each holding an over buttered ear of corn in one hand an over sized very greasy barbecued turkey leg in another while staring down at an ice cream covered apple dumpling and laughing causing all kinds of food bits to fly freely around them. For me if I get hungry while at the fair all I have to do is to walk down Food Ally and see a couple of these families and I am no longer hungry…………………..not for the rest of the day and in to the week.
If one is very adventurous a memory that will never be forgotten can be had by simply waiting for one of the families who have finally finished their eating family activity and sport brightly colored wrist bands over one of their greasy food stained wrists, follow them to the midway where they will get in line to ride one of the poorly put together roller coasters and then watch the fun begin. The thing is the only requirement on these roller coasters is that you must be at least four feet tall, no one ever asks if an enormous amount of food has just been eaten. I have never had to courage to stand by a roller coaster after one of these families have gotten into the ride. I am just not that brave.
Unique and interesting people aren’t limited to the midway and Food Ally they can be found anywhere. Anyone who has a camera or cell phone with a camera is someone worth paying attention to.Take for instance one man in particular who is trying to take a photo of a 20 foot high and ho knows how long concrete cow.This man seems to be having a very difficult time finding a spot to take his photo. For some reason he keeps backing up while trying to take the photo but for him anyway the photo he wants to take alludes him. He is most definitely one such person worth watching. As he is attempts to find the right position to take his photo he continues to back up without looking behind him of course as he backs up. He does this until he backs in to a very prickly five foot high cactus………………….wait I am describing what happened to me not long ago.
Moving on we come to a teen aged boy standing in front of a commercial building asking everyone he sees if they know where he can get something free. I tried to give him some free advice but he wasn’t looking for that kind of free something.
Beyond him there is a truly unique and interesting couple having a heated argument. She is wearing a short white wedding dress, veil and train. Her hair has little curls piled high. Her high heel shoes look appropriate for her wedding gown but wearing a wedding gown at a fair is not a sight often seen especially since the man with her is wearing an Atlanta Braves T shirt with torn cut offs. His sneakers are clean but not new. He has a sock on one foot but not on the other. Their voices grow louder and she is saying, “When you said that you would take care of our honeymoon I never in my life thought that we would spend it at the National Fair.” He replies, “You always said you loved the National Fair.” “But NOT FOR OUR HONEYMOON”, she replies. At this point it’s just best to move on as it looks like their next performance will be as participants on “Can this marriage be annulled?”
There is quite a lot of entertainment at the National Fair that is free but my favorite entertainment is the kind that happens unexpectedly with in these free entertainments. An example of this was done by a very unique and interesting young man that I am close to. It was a rainy day and for Georgia it was cold especially in September. It was 70 degrees. When it gets rainy and cold during the fair the number of visitors drop dramatically. This young man is highly susceptible to hypnosis as I am. He was bored and had seen everything at the fair pretty much. He decided to go see the hypnotist show. I warned him not to. He assured me that he wouldn’t volunteer to go on stage. I told him that with a small show he would indeed be hypnotized even if he wasn’t on stage but he just laughed at my concern. After all who listens to his father’s advice? About 40 minutes later he caught up to me and said, “Dad I didn’t volunteer to go on stage I really didn’t. I was sitting there enjoying all the goofy people on stage and the next thing I knew I was singing a Justin Bieber song and clucking like a chicken.” Dad gum the best entertainment of the whole fair and I had to miss it.