To be completely honest, I didn’t plan on attending the Minnesota State Fair this year. I knew it would probably be the same old fair it’s always been, and an unnecessary source of spent money and consumed junk food.
But when my friend Mark invited me last minute on Saturday afternoon I happened to be at that perfect point in a day spent almost entirely all alone—the point when your disposition is on the precipice of going temporarily sour and existential—so I acquiesced.
And you know what, I’m glad I did.
As our shuttle bus saddled up to the gravely drop-off in the heart of St. Paul, our bus driver announced that the last bus departed at midnight. Right , like we’ll still be here then—that would be the day, we all joked with rolled eyes.
I suggested that the only way I’d still be at the fair at midnight was if I was face-down on the cement somewhere passed out. (Valiantly, we caught the 11:30 return bus that night.)
First Stop: Animal Vaginas
I’m going to go out on a limb here and share a theory I have about the Miracle of Birth Center. Could it possibly be that this building is located directly inside the fair, before the rides and food, because it’s nearly impossible to make it through it without experiencing a moment of complete queasiness?
At one point I found my eyes irretrievably glued to a string of bloody placenta that was hanging out the rear end of a cow. TVs on the ceiling were fixated on the crotch of a pig. A video of a man cutting up the torso of an unidentifiable animal was playing in an empty side room, along with some exotic-sounding and strangely upbeat music.
Outside the Miracle of Barf Center we were approached by a youngish looking girl trying to hawk a pair of Weezer tickets. I immediately declined the girl, and was surprised to see the look of consternation on Mark’s face. “What? What’s wrong? Did you actually want to go to that show?” I asked him. “No. No! I’m just a little upset that that girl thought we looked like Weezer fans.”
Within an hour of arrival we’d already spotted our first fair victim—a man who’d literally fallen over next to a bench who couldn’t get up—I suppose he beat me to the punch on that one.
A journey through time and space we took on a ride that jubilantly announced in blinking lights “ROCK IT” (I wisely avoided the Zipper due to an experience with the ancient ride two years ago involving a nine-year-old, his mother, a lot of vomit, and a 3-gallon bucket of water that constituted the ride’s “cleaning system”).
- 65-year-old man making out with 21-year-old woman outside the MPR building who was seated on the man’s lap with her legs wrapped around his saggy butt, rubbing his you-know-what. Hey pervs, can’t you see we’re drunkenly trying to eat a flowering onion right now? Have some decency!
- Temporarily losing my phone on the gravitron ride, which resulted in me having to directly communicate with multiple carnies and feel like an idiot.