Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You sir! You look like a strong young man...

For 141 years, our town has hosted a fair. And it’s a classic. 4H exhibits, rides, a midway, fried dough, live music, corn dogs, agricultural exhibits, even modified lawnmower races and a demolition derby.

And carnies! If I had any gumption at all, I would present to you a photo gallery of carnies from the fair but I simply couldn’t do it. I’m too intimidated.

I just know that every carnie in the place has more fist-fight experience than I do and I get the very real sense that they’d enjoy throwing down with a rube like me.

(For some reason I've always remembered a line from the Bill Murray stinker “Larger Than Life” where Murray’s character’s father was a carnie who offered this sage piece of advice: “Son, there’s two kinds of people in this world, carnies’ and rubes. Don’t be a rube.”)

But there was still a lot to see…and all of it was electric-thrill-neon-overload. Win this prize! Dare to ride! Eat! Show your strength! Test your courage! Suspend your disbelief! Witness! Marvel!

And if you ever sense that you’re falling into a rut where you live in a kind of insular world and see the same kind of people day-in and day-out, take yourself down to the fair. Where does the guy with the tank top and pock-marked shoulder blades come from? Where does he work? Why doesn’t he wash his pants?

What about the enormous fat guy who decided, fuck it all, to go to the fair without a shirt?

And how on earth can that lady be walking around in bare feet?

The looming presidential election makes me think that there is some kind of lesson to be learned here. This is America and these are Americans. Their tank-tops and t-shirts say it loud and clear.

So do the framed mirrors with eagles clutching American flags in their talons…and you can take one home if your aim is good.

C’mon fella, just knock all three down and win a prize for your girlie…

1 comment:

molly said...

THIS is a fantastic post. And, please post all photos of the carnies. I'm waiting.