Monday, August 29, 2005

the things I'll do for content

This weekend two of our favorite friends called to ask if we wanted to meet them for a day at the beach and a visit to the Marshfield Fair. Unfortunately, we had errand-running plans for the daytime, but I am not about to miss out on an opportunity for fried food, so we decided to meet that evening at the fairgrounds.

I wasn't expecting much for a small town festival, and was surprised to find rides and games and an abundance of food and a performance area and farm animals! It was a definite large scale fair, not some rinky-dink festival. It took us about 35 minutes just to check out all the food options and settle on four different options that would satisfy everyone. We finally had potato pancakes with apple sauce, a chicken caesar wrap, a kebob and grilled vegetables on fried rice between the four of us. Plus lemonade and sodas. See? Quite a variety there!

Stuffed on the varieties of food, we wandered over to the performance area and discovered... and I'm almost ashamed to admit this... but there was a Figure Eight Junk Car Show that was just starting. Our friend L got very excited over all this and began telling me about the joys of junk car racing. Her family has spent childhood summers visiting Vermont fairs and festivals and many of these include racing and demolition derby, something of which I'd never heard or experienced before.

For those of you that have also never had the pleasure of seeing figure eights or a demolition derby, I'll give an explanation. People (or perhaps I should say, white men, since that is all there was) bring these really old cars out to the fair and compete in these races or derbies. The Figure Eight race had about 6-8 old painted cars lining up and then racing around a dirt track that was a double figure eight. While they are driving around the track they crash into each other and push each other off the track and a few of them start smoking or stall out and have to be pulled off the course. A demolition derby consists of these same old painted cars on the same dirt track, but this time they crash into each other until all the cars stall out or break down and the last car standing wins. Crazy, huh?

We watched two of the races and a championship round, and then they announced that as a surprise extra, they would also be having a demolition derby with whatever cars were still going at the end of the races. I still can't believe people ACTUALLY do this. They lined up, tails of the cars against tails of the other cars, about 30 cars on the dirt field, and just start crashing into each other. And crashing into each other. Cars even caught on fire! And meanwhile, people are cheering and yelling for the drivers and booing when the cars finally shut down. It was a new experience for me, and left me a little incredulous as to what these people are thinking. I mean, they only win $500! I know $500 is a lot, but I don't think I'd risk my life for that much money.

We finally left the spectacle after a winner was crowned and the tow trucks started coming onto the dirt field to drag off the cars and I was granted permission to choose the first ride. I chose one of those pirate ship things that sways back and forth, almost like a swing, thinking it would be pretty tame. OH MY GOODNESS. Tame does not begin to describe that thing. I literally thought I might be having a heart attack at every peak because I couldn't breathe or even open my eyes from the fear. That ride goes wayyyyy too high to just have a little bar over your legs. I needed five different safety mechanisms to make me feel good about it. As it finally slowed down and the lights came on I began to breathe like a normal human being and stopped uttering curses at my choice. And then the other riders began chanting "one more time, one more time".

And yes, you guessed it, he gave us a free ride. It is a good thing that the other riders issued up a scream of thanks so that the children couldn't hear what I called him.

At some point during that second ride I lost control of my stomach and leg muscles. My legs started shaking from the effort to keep them on the ground and my stomach staged a revolt of the previously mentioned vegetables and fried rice. Blech. I did survive and after sitting on the steps of a nearby ride for a while and keeping my eyes averted from anything that moved faster than a snail's pace, I began to feel like I could walk again.

So I did what any rational person would do, I sought out some food that might settle my stomach. Fried dough seemed an excellent choice, even though I've never had fried dough before and I don't think I ever will again. I have to say that those 20 minutes of munching on that sweet cinnamony goodness was fantastic. But for the next 6 hours, I begged Josh to never let me eat fried dough again and to please put me out of my misery. Lets just say that I kept tasting it over and over and over again. Ugh. Shortly thereafter (well, after losing out on my opportunity to win a care bear), we hit the road back to our home and the throes of Cape Cod traffic.

Still, I think our fair going was a success. Don't all good fairs end in vomit?


liz said...

Yes indeedy, they really do.

ccw said...

Vomit aside, it sounds like a lot of fun!

Yes, I think all good fairs end that way, but who can resist the food?

Songbird said...

Fried dough is so good to eat, but so bad to digest. Bleh.
That sounds like a lot more excitement than I would be able to manage!

Yankee T said...

Fried dough! It truly is Fair Food. The Marshfield Fair closely resembles the Mid-South Fair we have here in September.

Chris said...

Oh I hate fair rides for the exact same reason. I can't even go on ferris wheels without feeling sick.

But fried dough... mmmmm.

Phantom Scribbler said...

So not going on the ride with you, but I'll split an order of fried dough anytime.

It can't be worse than the 7 joe's joes I ate after dinner, right?

jo(e) said...

I love county fairs! I can't count how many times I have declared that I will never ever eat fried dough again ... oh, it is so hard to resist!

Ninotchka said...

Oh my GAWD, what an adventure! Very nicely written recap/review. I particularly love the last line. ba ha ha ha

And, HELLO?, potato pancakes. You're killing me here! I ate those so much during my 3-years studying Hebrew. Can anyone say: YUM?

Now I'm going to have to dig up a recipe to make. Gee, thanks. (smile)

Running2Ks said...

Heck yeah, wooopie, vomit!

Running2Ks said...

Oh, and I very much love fairs! But then, I was a teenage carny ;)

Pink Cupcake said...

Oh HL, I'm sorry you vomited, but I love your descriptions of the fair, they really made me laugh. I can just imagine how you felt when the guy announced that you could all have a free ride! And, mmmm, I have to admit the fried dough does sound pretty good ;)

halloweenlover said...

I walked through Boston Common last night and there was a man selling fried dough at a booth. I was nauseous the whole way home. Blech.

Rana said...

Oh, eugh, fried dough. I feel for ya!

And also for the ride. While I don't get vomitous on rides, I do get so frightened, I don't have any fun. Hell, the scariest thing I was able to ride last and get any sort of enjoyment from was _spinning teacups_. I would have passed out from fear on that pirate ship thing.

(Oh, and have you ever seen the human slingshot ride? It's just what you think -- they hurl a person into the air by stretching down a cage suspended between bungies attached to big poles, then letting go. Insane!)

Honey Bunny said...

i'm sorry you got sick, but i'm jealous that you went to a fair! i miss them so much. that's why i want to move to MN :)

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