Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Minnesota State Fair Makes Me Miserable

Blessed Baby Jesus in a too-small car seat, I hate the Minnesota State Fair. This is just one of those things that I’m going to have be unreasonable and evil about. You can reminisce all you want about your magical memories and you can scold me for being a shitheel stick-in-the-mud elitist and you can try to convince me of all the fun and wonderful things that happen there, but in the end it won’t make any difference. Oh, I might be a little quieter about my throbbing loathing for the fair in order to preserve your feelings or your good opinion of me, but the hatred will still be there, festering and growing and spreading deep in the secret recesses of me. You cannot kill it. It is too powerful. It exists beyond all logic and decency. The only thing I can do is try to accommodate my life to it. I must not indulge it, however. No, no, no: that would be wrong. Dangerous, even. I wish to be known as a responsible commentator on current events and prehensile penises. I don’t want anything to do with the ranty side of the internet. That’s a dead end, full of burnt-out sad people and shrieky nobodies. It’s important to avoid that sort of discourse whenever possible.

But, when it comes to the Minnesota State Fair, I don’t know if I can help it. Because the Minnesota State Fair is an obnoxious load of steaming monkey snot bubbling up from hell itself. The Minnesota State Fair is a warty, cottage-cheese ass spewing stringy diarrhea into a pail filled with scorpions and eels and buzzards and all manner of other unsightly things. If the Minnesota State Fair was a kitten, it would wait until I feel asleep and then start chewing on my perineum with its sharp little teeth. If the Minnesota State Fair was an ice cream cone, it would be filled with bits of broken glass and herpes. If the Minnesota State Fair was a condiment, it would be mayonnaise mixed with the tears of serial killers.

Let me tell you fine people what goes on at the Minnesota State Fair: eating, eating, looking at farm equipment, eating, throwing up and eating. That’s pretty much it. Sure, there’s a “giant slide” and a boat ride and a barn full of horsies and a barn full of moo cows and every fucking politician in the state trying to shake your hand, but eating is the main thing. And eating of the most deadly sort: cheese curds, mini-doughnuts and those hot dogs that explode in your mouth like meaty firecrackers before you even bite into them. It might taste good, but it also turns your intestines into strangly vines and your stomach into a septic tank. You’ll stay away from it if you know what’s good for you.

And will someone please tell me how Minnesota can flounce about proclaiming itself the smartest, most well-educated, specialest state in the country when half of its citizens make a bee-line here during the hottest month of the year for the express purpose of sitting in a crowded tent and drinking glass after glass of milk? Just the idea of an “all-you-can-drink milk tent” gives away the secret that we’re a state full of beastly perverts who should never, never come out into the light of day. In the great, noisy pub that is the world, Minnesota is the creepy, heavy-breathing guy sitting quietly in the corner, slurping his milk with a straw. The rest of the place is wary of him, and with good reason. He’s got that weird accent and he’s wearing overalls with nothing underneath.

And, while I’m on the subject, would it be improper of me to point out that every third person at the state fair weighs at least four hundred pounds? And would it be untoward for me to wish that more of these people would pick out shirts big enough to cover their vast, wobbly bellies? What’s that you say? It would be improper and untoward?

Forget I mentioned it then.

But I’m afraid I cannot be silent on one of the most ludicrous and depressing aspects of the whole hideous affair: the fact that every broadcast outlet in the entire state takes essentially a two week vacation to wank off at the “Great Minnesota Get-Together”. Aliens could incinerate Beijing, Kim Jong Il could take over the White House, and Satan himself could rise from the Middle East and begin enslaving the human race, but we here in Minnesota wouldn’t hear a thing about it until after Labor Day. Our media would be far too busy instructing us in the proper way to eat corn-on-the-cob and regaling us with the ten thousandth cute anecdote about a hundred-year-old fisherman from Cloquet. Goddamnit, important things are happening every second of every day, but all we’ll get is shit like this:

ANCHOR #1: So, are you folks having fun at the fair?


ANCHOR #2: How could you not, Bill? It’s the fair!

ANCHOR #1: That’s right, Tina! There’s always a good time at the fair!


ANCHOR #1: Say, have you made it up to Machinery Hill yet?

ANCHOR #2: You know it! I always like going up to Machinery Hill. Every year! How about you folks, do you like Machinery Hill?


ANCHOR #1: That’s the fair for you!

ANCHOR #2: It sure is!

It’s enough to make someone want to tear their own face off. It really is.

Still, I have to admit that the boat ride is pretty damn cool. When I become governor of Minnesota, I’d ship the rest of the fair off to some godforsaken country corner of the state and use the cleared-away space for an even bigger boat ride. I’m a testy bastard, but a slow canoe trip through a dank tunnel with a couple of cheap dwarf dioramas can warm my heart every time.