Our town hosts the County Fair and each year the community braces for it. I have a friend who used to work at a discount food store. When the fair was in town they usually assigned him the same mind-numbing same every day for eight hours: stacking and unstacking pallets of dog food with a fork lift near the door. This strategically placed job was less about accomplishing anything and more about acting as a theft deterrent. When all the dog food pallets were stacked, it was his job to unstack them, and look busy about it. Give customers The Eye as they come in. And repeat.
This year marked Isobel’s first trip to the fair as she was finally old enough to appreciate live stock, fried food, and people watching. I was giddy with excitement. Judge away! I know I’m some sort of hick for admitting this, but I was really looking forward to sharing this with Isobel. After the fair, I was thinking about taking her cow tipping!
My bestie just happened to be working at a booth at the fair this year so our first stop was a giant, walk-through, anatomically correct heart, complete with whooshing sound. It was air conditioned making it easily the best booth at the fair. Afterward we took a few photos of Dr. Isobel and her buxom nurse, Anthony.
Isobel is quite familiar with horses because she has several that she likes to play with. We taught her the theme song to Bonanza and she gallops her horses across the coffee table. The thing is, she’d never seen a real live horse before so we head to the stables.
The first horses Isobel sees in her life are the largest ones possible, taller than most grown men with feet the diameter of dinner plates. The Budweiser Clydesdales. They were monstrous. And they were beautiful.
Isobel was so excited as soon as she saw them. She even whinnied a few times. I tried to get a video of her looking at them and neighing like a horse but of course stopped as soon as I pulled the camera out. She clammed up so all I recorded was a video of her with me in the background saying, “What does a horsey say? NEEEEEEEIIIIIIIGH! What does a horsey say? NEEEEEEEIIIIIIIGH! NEEEEEEEIIIIIIIGH!”
Basically that video will never see the light of day.
I’m deleting it as I type.
Another thing she learned about horses is that they poop. And if they are Clydesdales, they POOP. They drop loads of epic proportions; it’s like dumping an entire bag of organic fertilizer on the ground at once. Which I suppose it kind of is. In fact they had someone whose sole job was to follow behind the Clydes wherever they go and clean up giant crap-piles with a giant snow shovel. That man was kept very busy.
After we saw the Clydes Isobel was very ho-hum about all the other horses. They were just not that exciting in comparison.
We wanted to get photo booth photos since we get them every year, but it was so hot outside the machines were malfunctioning. They had a company mechanic working on them but he said they were all overheating. It wasn’t even as hot as it usually is, probably only 96-97 degrees F. It could have been much worse. We went back later in the night when it had cooled off and took Isobel for her first photo booth experience. She was mesmerized by the flash.
The highlight of the trip was probably the petting zoo. Isobel called all the goats ‘chuchos’ and woofed at them to let them know she was their people. She got along with the goats as well as they got along with her: they tried to chew on her hair and shorts and she tried to pull on their horns. Basically they were each fascinated and curious about each other and not worried to get in each others’ faces. Neither seemed to mind.
While I was trying to get cute pictures of Isobel petting a goat another goat came up to my left arm and started licking it. I’m sure it was after salt as I was quite sweaty. It gave me this look like, “I totally love you!” for a bit then it resumed its licking. I had to move away from it because that goat did not want to stop licking me.
We didn’t bring our stroller because we knew there’d be masses of people and not a lot of space in some areas. We brought the sling and the fair was kind enough to let us borrow a simple umbrella loaner stroller provided we left them with Anthony’s driver’s license as collateral.
Remember the mushrooms from last year? I was super excited to see that they were at the fair again this year, along with last year’s rainforest theme.
The night ended with us returning the stroller and packing her up in the sling while she started falling asleep. I held her against me and rubbed her head as we walked and her eyelids drooped. Isobel may not remember her first trip to the fair, but Anthony and I always will.