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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Going to the Fair: It's different with small children ...

Ahh, the good ol' State Fair. What a fun place to hang out! When you go there as an adult, you might go on a roller coaster or sip from a flask while riding through the haunted house. You might blow $20 playing games you know are rigged, but they're fun so you play them anyway. You will definitely eat curly fries and funnel cake and corn dogs and deep fried butter until you feel physically ill. You might even go see a concert or a rodeo. Going to the Fair as an adult is fun as hell.

Lol this guy might even die!

But going to the fair with little kids? Oh god. No.

For starters, there are the strollers to consider. Have you ever been in a crowded place and been incredibly annoyed by all the people with strollers blocking the aisles and clipping people's heels? Me too! Those people are annoying as f***!

Know what's even worse? Trying to negotiate a crowded place full of people with strollers while you also have a stroller. Trying not to block the aisles or clip anyone in the heels ... except oh, now your kid wants to look at a llama, or eat a cracker, so you have to try and pull over out of everyone's way, but no matter where you pull over you're going to end up blocking someone and pissing off someone so eventually you just say f*** it and become one of those aisle-blocking heel-clipping assholes you used to hate. It's unavoidable.

This picture is giving me anxiety.

The Fair turned me into a person I hate. I resent the Fair for that.

And then there's the food. America is full of people who are fat, and the main reason people are so fat is because they love eating awful unhealthy food. So there we were at the Fair with a very impressionable young baby. She's learning to eat adult food, and is always interested in trying whatever we've got. Does this mean I'm supposed to give an 11 1/2 month old baby some deep fried butter to eat? Should I give her a taste of my ice cream? If I give her a bite of this deep fried Krusty Pup corn dog, am I going to create a monster who demands nothing but corn dogs from now on? Will she recoil in horror from the plate of tofu and zucchini I put in front of her, screaming instead for curly fries with ketchup??

I decided to play it safe and only shared part of my scone with her. And then made her eat turkey and cheese with bread while I stood out of sight slurping down a gigantic chocolate milkshake.


Also, if you were wanting to go on any rides or play any games, you're dreaming. No matter how many times I assured the carnie that I had "a strong grip" and would "really hold her tight," he still wouldn't let me take Audrey on the Zipper.

Uhh, even if I dropped her, those cages are fully enclosed so it's not like she'd go far. I think that carnie was just drunk with power.

Nope, if you want amusement at the Fair with small children, you're going to have to get it somewhere else: the animal barns.

Did you childless folk even know that there are animals in barns at the Fair? Like, a whole ton of them. Every animal you can think of. It's madness!!!

Maybe not every animal.

We started out in the cow barn, pushing our strollers between stalls of giant lowing beasts standing with their assholes pointed directly at us. My brother in law made a comment about how it would suck if the cows had diarrhea, and suddenly I was afraid because I hadn't even thought of that. So I tried to push Audrey's stroller a little faster, desperate to get it out of the line of fire in case one of those cows was about to have a bad reaction to some deep fried butter it ate.

"When it comes out of your bum like a bullet from a gun ..."

We got out of the cow barn and back to the relative safety of the great outdoors, but immediately my two-year-old niece started having a meltdown. She wasn't done looking at the cows! SHE WANTED MORE COWS!! And when you take little kids to the Fair, if you think for one second that you are going to be setting the agenda, well then you are naive and a fool.

We tried enticing her with tales of whatever animals lived in the next barn. "You don't want to see more cows! You want to see ... the SHEEP!" But she was not having it, and so her dad took her back in the Diarrhea Barn to run the gauntlet one last time while the rest of us moved on to the next barn.

"When it's running down your legs like a plate of scrambled eggs ..."

We visited llama and alpacas. We made eyes with goats. We strolled past pigs. We made a special stop in the rabbit and poultry barn, where I took Audrey out of the stroller and let her have a good look at the bunnies and at some newly-hatched chicks in a big incubator. She was as happy as a baby could be, trying to leap out of my arms and into the incubator where she would almost certainly strangle and smash the little chicks to death one by one.

We even went into the horse barn, despite my incredible and well-documented fear of horses. Luckily, they were contained in stalls with heavy steel doors to keep their bloodlust under control. Extra luckily, the barn with the draft horses was closed to the public because they were preparing for a show of some kind. Those big f**kers aren't locked behind steel bars, but are just milling about in open stalls like the cows, ready to indiscriminately murder or spray diarrhea onto unsuspecting Fair visitors. We looked at them from behind a rope, and then went and got ice cream.

(in deep bassy voice) 

By the time we left, we had spent $12 on parking, $20 on tickets, $5 on a shitty photo strip that washed us all out until we looked like vampires, $25 on food, and several hours clipping people in the heels and dodging airborne diarrhea while playing NASCAR with strollers through barns that smelled like the inside of a cow's asshole.

Remind me again why we thought this was a good idea??

Oh yeah -- that's why. 

Sigh. See you again next year, Fair.

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