Thursday, October 04, 2007

This year's trip to the State Fair of Texas

So we hadn't really planned to go to the fair this year, or at least I hadn't. We didn't get out the schedule of things to see and map out what we were going to do. We rarely did that anyway. We'd just sort of go and see what happens.

Before we left we stopped at a grocery store to use the ATM. The sky was grey. It looked like it was going to rain all day. We debated on skipping the whole thing but decided to go anyway.

We didn't put on any sunblock.

We only live ten miles or so from the place, and we left early enough that we thought we'd get there at about 9:15 or 9:30. Dallas has a lot of traffic problems, but we thought that the major stuff would be done before 9:00. Not this time. It took like an hour to get there.

It probably wouldn't have taken that long if we hadn't gone on the freeway. Anyway, we're inching along and then for a while we're pretty much stopped, and I'm just sort of staring out the window at the junk on the side of the road, and I see something that might be useful in an upcoming art project. Very slowly my brain gets around to thinking that the car is actually stopped, and I can just get out and pick up the thing. But by that time we are moving again and my husband doesn't want me to get out of the car. No big loss.

So then we finally get there. It's actually starting to rain a bit and the parking lot people are all wearing rain ponchos. We pay the ten dollars to park. It's already a few minutes after ten, but I guess that everyone else was late too, so we still got a really good parking space. Parking costs $10.

We took our canned goods and went and got a coupon that said we had donated enough food to buy an admission ticket for a dollar. I thought it was free, but that's close enough.

I don't go to many places like this any more, so I forget that you're supposed to empty your pockets and go through metal detectors and have your bags checked and such. Still, there wasn't even a very long line for that, it was just a bit annoying to get a little wet while that's going on.

So we went to the Food and Fiber Pavilion cause they're supposed to hand out free samples of stuff from 10:00 to 11:30. Okay, I'm cheap. Anyway, this used to be a lot of fun, but they don't give out as much stuff here as the used to. I was wondering if maybe they didn't give out as much stuff on Wednesdays, cause they don't want to waste stuff on the cheap people who go on Wednesdays, but now I don't think so. I think that some of the people who were supposed to be doing that sort of thing were late because of the same traffic we were stuck in. And there seemed to be a lot of odd things in the building this year. There was a bit of stuff from the Dr. Pepper Museum. And the Texas Tourism people were set up there. But the thing I thought was really odd was this lady who was having a free drawing for some of her jewelry. What does that have to do with food?

So, there wasn't much going on in that building, except that there was free soft-serve ice cream. Other than that we didn't get much to snack on, so we decided to go ahead and have lunch. Most of the food and drink at the fair costs way too much. I noticed a couple of exceptions. In the Food and Fiber Pavilion, Borden sells pints of milk or juice or tea for a dollar. Also, between The Old Mill Restaurant and Big Tex is Dollar Dogs, and they do sell hot dogs for a dollar. Also at Dollar Dogs you can get about 12 ounces of lemonade for $1.50, and this is about the only place you can buy food with either cash or coupons. Most everywhere else you have to deal with those damned non-refundable coupons.

Anyway, my husband says he wants a corn-dog, which you can get at many booths, so I ask if he wants one of those or does he want Fletcher's. He wants Fletcher's, so we back track to where I thought I had seen one.

There are all these people trying to sell you stuff, and he decides to see what the deal is at a booth that says "Million Dollar Eye Test." That turns out to be a Christian group, and I laugh a bit, but my husband gets mad and walks off. So then I try to find a nice way of telling the guy that he has a cute speech, but my husband's a lowlife-atheist who doesn't like nice people to pray for his soul and such. We pray for his soul anyway, and everyone else at the booth wishes me luck and such.

My husband was ticked at me. Well, what was I supposed to do? He's the one who left me standing there. I wasn't going to be rude to the guy and run after my husband. But my husband got mad and not only left, but he didn't even wait for me someplace that I could see him. He could have come back and waved at me or something. As usual, everyone else is at fault, though we are just reacting to his bad behavior.

I find him half a block away in line at Fletcher's. I don't want a corn dog, so I take the rest of the coupons and buy and coke and a Frito chili pie. It wasn't great. It didn't even have any onions.

My husband is still ticked after lunch and wants to leave. We haven't done anything yet. But he's heading for the exit anyway. He calms down a bit and we watch half of a dog show instead.

I get a bit choked up watching the dogs after I remembered that Skidboot died.

The Texas Lottery has a show at the fair and they give away lottery tickets and such, but we got there too late to play.

We did get on the Texas Skyway and ride it over the Midway. Then we decided we didn't really want to do anything at the Midway and just rode the thing back. The ride looks different, but I'm still scared of the thing. I doubt that I will ride it again.

After that we had a couple of the Dollar Dogs and we watched the Bird Show. By then it was nice and sunny, and I regretted not wearing a hat.

Did I mention that we didn't put on sunblock?

By the time my husband was in a good mood again, we were getting tired. We decided to leave anyway.

I did not buy anything "as seen on TV." Since we left at about 4:00, we didn't eat that much. We did eat some fried cookie dough, just to say that we tried the new food prize winner. It costs six dollars for three pieces.

Okay, parking was ten dollars. Tickets were two dollars (plus six canned goods). A corn-dog, a coke, a Frito pie, two really small lemonades, two Dollar Dogs, two pints of milk, a bag of cotton candy, and the fried cookie dough costs $37.50. Two round-trip skyride tickets costs ten dollars. So we left early, but we only spent about sixty dollars.

I didn't even buy any lottery tickets.

I have somewhat burnt arms and my forehead is red. I think I will live.


Dame Honoria Glossop said...

We have county shows over here, they started as agricultural shows but now you get loads of other stuff too. I used to love them when I could walk OK, I still love them but have to sit down a lot, or be wheeled about by someone. This year there were no livestock classes (my favourite bit) because of Foot and Mouth.

dmarks said...

$60? Imagine what it might have cost if it hadn't been free.

I did a search and found one important word missing: "heat". I guess that is what happens when you have a state fair so late in the year. I think it was actually about 103 degrees in St Paul, Minnesota, the only time I went to a state fair.

Are Fletcher's corn dogs that good? I've never heard of a corn dog worth crossing a room for, let alone searching for in a fair.

Michigan has a state fair, but it is not in good shape, and I have never heard of anyone going to it. It is inside Detroit, on or very close to the infamous 8-Mile.

laughingattheslut said...

Okay, so I left a few things out. After it stopped raining, it was hot. Or, at least, it was still a bit warm for October.

My husband was in line for Fletcher's, and I found him and got the rest of the coupons. And then I found I was still short one and had to go buy one coupon before I could buy my lunch, and he was still in line. And then I got my Frito pie and Coke, and he was still in line. I walked back to the tables and such and ate half of my food before he got his corn dog.

dmarks said...

Such a long time in line for a corn dog. Surely, no corn dog is THAT good. Yes, I've had corn dogs and like them, but to me a corn dog is just a corn dog.

I've never had a Frito pie, however.

laughingattheslut said...

No Frito pie, no breakfast tacos or buritos, and you have salted spanish peanuts on hot fudge sundaes.

It's a wonder that people up north don't starve to death.

dmarks said...

There are breakfast burritos at McDonalds, but I don't think that counts.

But can you get pasties? Gibby's Fries? Hamburger with ground cherries?

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