Chimes Opinion Article
If there's one thing I learned from going to the LA County fair, it's that death is all around you. It's sitting next to you on the creaky ferris wheel. It's standing at your side as you pet an angered goat in the petting zoo. It's hiding inside of the deep-fried Snickers bar which is wrapped inside another layer of deep-fried bacon and zucchini. Yes, it might taste good, but if you wonder what's at the core of that Candy Apple, the answer is fear. I on the other hand had something else on my mind – was getting my hand on a delicious frozen banana.
Maybe I just don't do well in crowds. Swarming people often provoke me to close my eyes and frantically rotate my arms with closed fists as I run straight ahead screaming. It's a self defense mechanism that has proven useful time and time again. Unfortunately it was foiled by the sheer number of people surrounding me and I found myself protecting my life by delivering a constant barrage of small karate chops, which were in reality as effective as giving a stranger a pleasant back massage. After unintentionally messaging a clown, an elderly woman, and a runaway pony from the petting zoo, I found myself exhausted before I was even able to consume a single frozen banana. The fair has a way of draining all the energy one may possess.
Yes, Mr Moneypants, I could have saved myself some leg work had I dished out the extra five bucks for "premium parking" and not walked the half-mile from the car, but some of us don't have texting covered by our cell-phone service and sure as darned aren't going to call our fiance's to pick us up from work. This is America.
To me, the fair will always be a disappointment. My problem is that I always envision a day at the fair from Charlotte's Web, except without the thousands of hatching spiders at the end. I see myself and Templeton the Rat gathering a veritable smorgasbord orgasbord of discarded banana treats and sharing them with our other animal friends.
Of course, the fair isn't much fun without other people to join you. In fact, had I not someone else to tether the other end of my child leash onto I'm fairly certain I would have wandered into a circus trailer and never been heard from again. Luckily, I had Beth at my side and together we were able to shove our way through the miniature train tour until we found the holy grail: the frozen banana stand. With a banana in hand, we realized we had to head back the way we came. Luckily, we managed to bypass much of the traffic by taking the fair's glorious flying machine, which Beth informed me was a ski lift minus snow or skis.
There was a catch, however, in order to ride. I had to get rid of the one thing I loved the most, namely, my newly aquired frozen banana. I knew this was exactly what myself and Templeton had always trained for – eating a frozen banana as fast as possible. Having mentally prepared myself, I downed a bite of it before collapsing with a horrible case of brain-freeze. Beth meanwhile managed to complete the task for me.
Little did I know that it was riding above the fair itself that my limits would be tested. As the flimsy ski lift rocked back and forth, Beth and I questioned our ability to escape in case of an emergency. Instead we realized we would just have to resign ourselves to the terrors of the LA County Fair. Yes, if a wire snapped we would all face certain doom (unless we managed to land on a palm tree or an over-weight child), but as we slowly drifted over the hundreds of deep-fry stations we were just glad that we could share that terror together, and maybe that's what the fair is really all about.