Monday, August 31, 2009

Our Fair Lady

Arriving early enough to beat the fray at the parking lot, Mrs. Hall, along with Master Ian and Mistress Colleen, dashed across the footbridge and joined the merry throng coursing through the entrance to the Great New York State Fair. Having done it before and a glutton still for more punishment, Mrs. Hall had volunteered to work with the Masons and the Eastern Star Ladies at the Child ID booth in the Pepsi-Cola Pavillion that morning. Checking in early, they dashed off to the Chevrolet Court, to be just in time for Sunday services, al fresco, with the fair workers. Then Mrs. H, handy around computers, went to work fingerprinting, taking pictures and burning dvds of countless toddlers and their mums; all for free, as a service of the Masons. Ian had dashed off to see the Marine booth- he had been working out for several weeks and had set his sights on 1) impressing the sergeants (and possibly, as a side benefit, some young ladies) and 2) earning a free Marine teeshirt. Score 100% on all accounts: Ian was a hit with the recruiters and stayed the entire afternoon, despite an afternoon shower, encouraging all who came by, to try and beat their personal best.
Of course, as everyone knows, the fair is the one time of the year when folks are encouraged to not only to view, but knowingly consume, the most objectionable and unhealthy foods on the planet. To this end, the Halls, no pikers when it comes to eating anyway, have risen to the challenge once again. This year, it was Shark on a Stick, prepared fresh for them on site, washed down with Hawaiian Shaved Ice, in three of the most improbable flavors, all chosen by Colleen. Not exactly the Atkins Diet, remarked Mrs. H., but yummy nonetheless. She passed on the shaved ice, but the aroma of the sugar waffles was too much for her. Driven by the same Proustian desires that fill our hearts when confronted with scents from our past, Mrs. H. drew a beeline directly to the booth, and, save emitting a few satisfied sighs, was silent amidst the din of the fair while she happily devoured the fried feast. Wiping powdered sugar from her face, her clothes and a few unlucky bystanders, she tried to explain the connection between her memories of summer, Eldridge Park, and that enchanted confection, but she knew, that to one of Colleen's tender years, it would be impossible.
Mr. Hall had had his fill of Fair fun last Thursday, and had opted to join his flying buddies on the golf course that morning, so he missed out on seeing the marmosets, pythons, killer rats, racing pigs and miniature horses, all vying for attention. It's just as well, Mrs. H. said. If the scary advertising around here doesn't keep me up all night, then my indigestion will surely finish the task. Exhausted from dodging raindrops and massively overstuffed strollers, the little clan made their way back to the family flivver and headed home.

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