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August 27, 2013

VILLAGE IDIOT: The state of the state fair

It used to be that if your body was tattooed from head to toe, you wore large hoop earrings and 50 necklaces, sported a beard and rode a unicycle, the only job you could get was in a circus sideshow, or running a midway ride for a traveling carnival. Now, you can be a basketball player, a famous chef, a star in a reality show, or you could just be an admission-paying visitor to the state fair — without being one of the attractions.

Of course, the visitors to the state fair are, at least for me, the big attractions. That, and rabbits the size of small cars, cows the size of big cars and chickens that look as if they are wearing hats in a royal wedding. But still, the animals come in a distant second to the people.

What kind of crazy, nutty, fruitcake-batty person do you have to be to eat a deep-fat fried Oreo? Oh yeah — me. It’s the state fair. You gotta do it. At first, my goal this year was to spend the day only eating food that came on a stick. But except for the traditional corn dog and the ever-popular chocolate-covered frozen banana, the on-a-stick pickings were slim. I’m nothing if not adaptable, and quickly changed my goal to only eating things that were deep-fat fried. Now, you don’t have to go to the state fair to eat deep-fat fried food. French fries and fried chicken are available almost everywhere, as are blooming onions and fried clams. But until someone opens a chain of franchises called “International House of Funnel Cakes” or “Fried Twinkie Hut,” you pretty much have to go to a state or county fair to scratch that particular itch.

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