Thursday, August 28, 2014

Oddball Central: Our Annual Trip to the State Fair

Yesterday we got to spend the entire day with about 100,000 of our closest strangers, only most of whom had odd, undefinable odors about them. Yes, that's right, we went to the Minnesota State Fair! Known as the "Great Minnesota Get-Together", it's the place where all sorts of life's oddballs come out of the woodwork and make their one yearly appearance in my life. Or maybe I'm making my one yearly appearance in their life...hmmm.... Something to think about...

Going to the State Fair is always fun, in an odd, ritualistic, nostalgic kind of way. I've been going there since I was a kid, as most native Minnesotans do, and, for some reason, I always look forward to going back, despite the fact that I don't enjoy several aspects of it.

I'm not a big fan of being surrounded by a billion people, just because all those people make it difficult to get around. Wherever I look, there's another person, most of whom are walking right where I want to be walking, only not as quickly as I would like to be. So, there's a lot of bumping in to people, tripping over people, and running head-first into people, which really isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Another thing about the State Fair is that it's almost always hot. Late August in Minnesota can be sweltering and humid, not unlike Africa, and yesterday was no exception. Actually, it wasn't all that bad yesterday with a high of somewhere in the low 80s, but it was really bright, and I forgot to wear a hat, so my forehead got burnt to a crisp. I thought about buying a hat once we were on the Fairgrounds, but the cheapest one I found was $20, and I am far too frugal to spend that much money on a hat when I could use it to buy my kids a handful of mini doughnuts.

This is what happens when I fail to wear a hat to the Fair on the brightest day of the year...
Speaking of food, we have a habit of only buying the food that comes with a corresponding coupon in the annual State Fair Coupon Book. All the food at the Fair is overpriced, but if there's a coupon for it, it's slightly less overpriced than all the other food. Thankfully there was a coupon for a food I had recently heard good things about on the radio, Ollie's Crab Fritters, so I took the opportunity to try them out. Going in, I only had experience with fritters of the apple variety, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But I love crab, so I took the plunge. These fritters looked more like hush puppies that had been stuffed full of flaked crab meat. I don't know if it was the actual fritters that tasted so good, or the creamy red dipping sauce that came with them, but the combination was super yummy. I would highly recommend you try them out if you're going to the Fair in the next few days, or, if you don't like crab, buy some and bring them to me. And, tell all the oddballs I say "Hi".

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