That's a wrap!
For the year, the James Family Lawn Parking Concern parked a new record total of 144 cars, and missed the record revenue (set in 2008) by $1. During the work week, market price for the parking was $3 based on our location, and if we could have gotten those extra two bucks from one stinkin' car...
Around 6:30 PM, My-Sugar-Na and I wandered back to the State Fair (using the hand stamps received earlier in the day) for a dinner and a last shot at people watching.
Though My-Sugar-Na had gone through most of her $20 in State Fair garbage purchasing money, we still made it back to the Expo Center and she found an "I Love My Pomeranian" license plate holder. While she was transacting business, I was rootching around the shop when I found a "Pomeranian Rules" matted framed thingy, with rules for the humans, like (1) The Pomeranian will stay off the furniture, (2) Well, he will stay off if he wants to, (3) Actually, he gets the furniture with the humans (4) In reality, the Pomeranian may allow the humans on the furniture, etc. I am going by memory, but you get the jist. At this point, the money stayed in my pocket.
As we walked from the north exit of the Expo Center, the band at the nearest restaurant was covering "Love Rollercoaster". We walked up the Grandstand Ave and my heart stopped (and no, it wasn't from one too many cream puffs. That one will happen in about four years) when I saw the little truck selling Mexican corn. In my mind, the ultimate food on a stick.
Mexican corn is corn-on-the-cob, completely coated in mayonnaise, dipped in parmesan cheese, sprinkled with paprika and then dribbled with lime juice. Do not knock this until you have tried it (Side note; Unfortunately, you won't be able to try it for another 353 days). I first had Mexican corn at the Fair about four or five years ago and haven't seen it since. I did find it once at the University of Illinois - Chicago Pavilion at a sporting event, believe it or not, so I absolutely had to have one yesterday, and it was wonderful. It was better than I remembered. My wife couldn't stop laughing as my face was covered in mayo and parmesan, and the paprika had covered my shirt. While I stopped to eat, the band at the nearest restaurant was also covering "Love Rollercoaster".
(Side note to all who think that the State Fair isn't a big deal; There really is something there for everyone to have that "A-ha" moment. But nobody can tell you what that moment is... you have to go and find it yourself.)
Once I got all the mayo off my mustache, we went to the Cattleman's stand for a rib eye sandwich dinner (excellent) and the Usinger's stand for another Beef Frankfurter with Sauerkraut (Side note; I had considered going to Benno's to save four bits, but I was afraid that I would have run into Stubborn Old Man standing riot sentry. Just kidding. I kid because I love). The band at the nearest restaurant was not covering "Love Rollercoaster". Apparently, they didn’t get the memo.
My wife decided she, too, wanted an ear of corn so she went to the Lion's Club stand. As I was waiting for her, it occurred to me that the Wisconsin State Fair is really a foot fetishist’s convention. 85% of the women and 42% of the men were wearing sandals or flip-flops, and many of the women's toenails were painted. Although there can be a striking beauty to a well-maintained woman's foot, it doesn't really get my motor going. But if I noticed how many painted toenails were in view, I imagine that a true foot fetishist would be quite in his happy spot.
After a farewell cream puff, and as the sun was setting over the Giant Slide (Side note; My Blackberry takes a pretty good picture), I was talked into going back to the Expo Center to get that damn Pomeranian Rules thingy. Considering we had budgeted about $30 or $35 for dinner, Expo Center garbage alone cost me that much. Sigh. Good thing it was an almost-record year.
As we left the Fair around 8:30 PM, we were amazed at the number of people still walking in. Since ticket sales had ended an hour earlier (and the Fair would close a half hour later), the Capital police were stopping anyone who did not already have a ticket or a hand stamp. Looking at the people as a set, one can only generalize that they all looked like people who never even considered checking the hours of operations.
Taking that bittersweet walk home, I felt myself waxing nostalgic....
- Goodbye, cream puffs
- Goodbye, sunglasses vendors
- Goodbye, Coke Zero samples hawkers
- Goodbye, traffic
- Goodbye, hammocks
- Goodbye, parking flags
- Goodbye, Central Ave
- Goodbye, cows
- Goodbye, Mexican corn
- Goodbye, cover bands
- Goodbye, beer cans left in the yard.
- Goodbye, hot tub displays
- Goodbye, neon lights in the Midway
- Goodbye, Lefty’s milk barn
- Goodbye, radio station’s live, remote broadcasts
- Goodbye, toes
- Goodbye, fill-in-the-blank on a stick
- Goodbye, near collisions caused by one car looking to park and another looking to leave
- Goodbye, racing pigs
- Goodbye, 80s bands playing the race track.
- Goodbye, trash cans with cow print liners
- Goodbye, bubble machines
- Goodbye, horse manure near the Coliseum
- Goodbye, $1 bottles of water in front of the Fair
- Goodbye, $3 bottles of water in the Fair
- Goodbye, No Left Turn signs
- Goodbye, crooked carnival games
- Goodbye, Rupena’s Hungarian Grillers
- Goodbye, rabbits and chickens (you all look alike after the first row, anyways)
- Goodbye, wondering what the neighbors are charging to park cars
- Goodbye, WE Energies replica hard hats
- Goodbye, Swarovski crystal earrings
- Goodbye, puff pieces on the news
- Goodbye, excited kids
- Goodbye, exhausted parents
- Goodbye, summer
See you again on August 4, 2011.