Thursday, October 22, 2009

Of food and flu shots

Last night, seven of us descended on the State Fair for our annual extended family visit. We wandered the midway, checked out the amazingly large vegetables--a 376-pound pumpkin and a 210+-pound watermelon were my favorites--enjoyed looking at the prize-winning animals, and so on. Our main mission, however, was to locate and consume a broad variety of foods whose only common point was that they were bad for us.

Mission accomplished. Some of the many things that went down our gullets included the following:

* pretzel with salt and butter

* fried plantains

* ginger beer

* Ting

* fried cheesecake drenched in chocolate and then covered with sugar

* fried cookie dough

* fried macaroni and cheese

* fried pickles (are you sensing a pattern?)

* ham biscuit

* hot dog with cheese

* cheeseburger

* kettle corn

* six enormous bowls of delicious NCSU ice cream of various flavors

* turkey leg

Please note that I did not eat all of these (just many of them).

I'm sure I missed something, but you get the idea: we consumed enough calories to warm the entire population of Livingston, Montana on a cold night when the pass is snowed over.

In one of the odder moments of the visit, we were walking toward the gardens (where I enjoy the benches and moments of contemplation while others stare at flowers and plants and rocks and things), when we spotted a booth giving flu shots. I hadn't gotten mine yet, and I wanted one, so in I went. The shot turned out to be free for those of us with my company's health-insurance provider, so less than ten minutes later, I emerged, as did Jennie, with a flu shot. What an excellent and well-done service.

I love the Fair at night, when the darkness obscures the grime and the lights transform the rides into magical conveyances. I also love the people watching, which frequently includes folks who clearly hope one day to become people of Walmart. Let's face it, folks: some of us can look more than a little scary when in our Fair regalia and so wired from sugar that we could power the rollercoasters ourselves.

I can't wait until next year.

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