Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's Fair Season

So I whined and whined that I wouldn't get to go to the fair, and my mother, who hadn't been to the fair in years, took me to the Great Windsor Fair in Windsor Maine. I don't care about the rides any more really, except one or two, but I'm perfectly happy not going on them. I'm a little bit old timey so I really enjoy the agricultural aspects of going to the fair. I will always make a bee-line to the goats. always.


Aside from the exhibits of large pumpkins and examples of the best of this year's squash and entries into the pie contest that I can not taste, one thing I love that people are surprised at are the horse pulls. Now on this particular trip horse pulls weren't scheduled. In their stead: ox pulls. This was a first for me. Horses, when they pull, are eager, excited, and lunge forward in their straight line to pull as far as possible before they are unhitched from the blocks and the distance measured. With oxen, you have a pair of stupid, straining, slavering, snotting bovines being poked and prodded by their handler into place. There are starts and stops and it's not a straight line as they pull, but figure eights, where in one pull I saw a man almost lose control of his team where they turned those massive ball-tipped horns toward him. No form of bovine is intelligent enough to show enthusiasm for pulling, to enjoy the challenge for the sport like a horse does. I'll stick to horse pulling in the future.

Now pulling, Herp and Derp

The fair brings all sorts of people together in one place. Senior citizens go for the fresh air and exercise, parents bring their screaming brats, teenagers walk around hoping to be seen, there are carnies trying to get everyone's attention (I had to scold my Mom for stopping and engaging with them. Eyes forward, don't engage, Mom), farmers in the cattle barns milk their cows to keep them on schedule while people gawk on. You overhear snippets of conversation here and there, see questionable wardrobe choices, bad tattoos. And then you get the Inappropriate Old Man. He's not inappropriate on purpose, he's just from a different generation where you talked about things differently. And that's kind of awesome. Mom and I were in a sheep barn, us, a woman with too many little girls all over the place in the way, and Inappropriate Old Man. As we made our way to the end of the barn, a woman was haltering and leading a ram out of an end stall. Inappropriate Old Man turned to Mom and I and said "Did you see the balls on him? They practically dragged on the ground!" Oh, Inappropriate Old Man, I want to sit at your Thanksgiving table some day!

Executioner sheep will see you at the chopping block

I may not have gotten a doughboy, and there was a gyro vendor I really wanted to investigate, but overall, my visit was a success. The sights, the sounds, the smells of all the food and the gamey sharp smell of livestock... it was all just what I was needing for this regressive summer.

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