Lulu background

Thursday, October 13, 2011

{Fried Bubblegum}

If you live in North Texas, then you know exactly what the title is all about.  It's an award-winning new item sold at the State Fair of Texas.  It is an annual tradition for most North Texans to go to the fair every October from childhood to retirement.  Every year it's the same thing, with perhaps one or two vendors or bands switched out.  What makes this tradition so appealing and full of nostalgia?  I'll tell you a little bit of my favorite things divided into four distinct categories.

People watching
It's like "People of Walmart" meets the Failblog.  I saw so many teeny tiny shorts worn with knee high boots (cowboy, most often) that I almost got whiplash.  I saw tons of people who could have weighed tons (not really, but you get my point).  Children running everywhere or strapped to a leash or stroller.  Most often, people were walking and eating, eating and walking...which leads to my next subject...

The whole point of the fair is to eat all the crap they serve.  Where else can you get this stuff unless you make it at home in your industrial deep fryer?  Between my parents and myself, we had the following:
 - Fried Bubblegum (really a bubblegum flavored marshmallow fried with a sticky sugary sauce on top)
 - 3 shots of wine ("tasting")
 - one veggie street taco
 - two Fletcher's corn dogs
 - fried shrimp basket with fries
 - two free Borden's ice cream cones  
 - one nutty bar 
 - three Shiner Bock beers

Typically we'd go through the automobile building, but none of us were particularly interested in new cars.  Plus, that always takes forever to walk through.  We did, however, participate in a Chevy exhibit outside where we got to test drive the new Sonic and then test drive any other vehicle they own (I took the Volt for a spin, it was cool!).  My dad had to drive a Camaro.  It was the first car he owned, and first one he wrecked as a teenager, so it will always hold a special place in his heart.

Dad talked us out of seeing all the arts and crafts that people submit for ribbons.  I did manage to convince them to see the large butter sculpture.  It's never usually that interesting, but it's, you know, a tradition.  In that strain, I got to see Elise and little Beauregard in the dairy area as well.  

In walking through the marketplace areas, we sampled chips and salsas, told a bunch of people "we aren't interested" and acquired very little in the way of random brochures and flyers.  An amazing feat!  Honestly, there are some things in the general store that I'd probably purchase and take home, but who wants to carry that stuff around or make a trip back there to get it at the end of the day when all you want to do is get in the car and take off your shoes?  

Of course, we paid our respects to Big Tex.  Boy, has he gotten chatty!  All he did was spout out advertisements and "thank yous" to sponsors while we were in his presence.  I don't think I even got a "Howdy, folks!"  He reminds me of my grandfather in the way he wears his jeans and boots, the shape of his face.

Immediately after we parked, we saw this ride that has the swinging seats and it goes in a circle.  But this ride goes up high in the air and spins!  My dad and I both agreed that we would ride this ride at the end of the day.  After we watched the parade, we made our way to the Midway.  Carnivals are typically high on sensory overload, but when it's on the scale of the State Fair, well, it's downright mesmerizing.  Blinking, blurry lights, "chingy" sounds, loud announcers, bustling kids, suspicious teenagers, sticky concrete.  

Many of the rides and attractions (like fun houses) have been there forever.  My dad pointed out several that my granddad always made a point to ride when they would go back in the 50s.  Can you imagine?  When I was younger, I did quite enjoy the fun houses.  Who were they kidding?  I can totally walk up this zig zag walkway and find my way through a series of mirrors.  It's not that hard!  Plus, it reminded me of Grease.  

We finally arrived at the ride, aptly named "Vertigo," ready for our maiden voyage on her dizzying swings.  Crap!  It's 12 coupons instead of 10.  Anyway, we got the one 50 cent coupon we needed and Dad and I boarded.  It was nothing crazy, but I have realized that in my older age, I have become more sensitive to motion sickness.  I got dizzy in the head, even when trying to find a focal point at each spin.  The moon was full and we got a view of it and the rest of the Midway, Fair Park, and Dallas.  Texas Star, the infamous Ferris wheel, shown bright.  

When we got down, we both admitted to feeling woozy and imbalanced.  I'm surprised my dad drove home because I don't think I could have.  After a quick pit stop at my parents' house in Grand Prairie, I headed home.  I still felt light headed from the effects of the Vertigo.  I just knew I'd have crazy dreams about the food, the lights, the experience; but I think I was just too worn out to dream!  So concludes another year of State Fair excitement.  Until next year!

1 comment:

  1. Fun Houses always remind me of Grease too! Sounds like a great time :)