My friends always seem shocked when I tell them I can count on two fingers the amount of times I’ve been to the Great State Fair of Oklahoma. When I was a kid I would hear rumors about “The Fair” – especially the seedy goings-on on “The Midway”. “The Midway” was where the lights would shine bright, teenagers with homemade tattoos would have their hands casually slipped in each others’ back pockets and don’t you dare look a carnie in the eye.
So, this year when my friend Ashley invited me to go to the fair with her I was up for the adventure. Ashley was the perfect person to go to the fair with. With grace, she moved from the $3 corn dog to jalapeno cheddar poppers to an Indian taco drowned in hot sauce and topped it all off with a 32 oz. jug of root beer. And not once did she threaten to puke. She guided me from the agtropolis building (where we admired goats and butterflies) to the agriculture building (where we said hello to huge horses and baby pigs) to the car building (where I watched men gaze at cars with transparent lust thinly veiled in a I’m-too-cool-for-this-car-anyway demeanor) and finally to The Midway.
Somehow, in the middle of the commotion everything fell silent – just like a scene in a movie. It was just me, flashing lights and the smell of fried food. In the middle of thousands of people I unexpectedly stumbled upon a moment zen. I even made eye contact with a carnie and didn’t lose my soul.