Saturday, Faith and I went to The Big-E – The Great New England Fair. The Big-E is a harvest fair, an old-time agricultural fair. It’s supposed to be cool and breezy, with fair food and maybe a cup of hot chocolate, if you’re there very early or still there very late. It’s not supposed to be 90°f (32.2°c). We got there just before the big attractions, like the buildings on the Avenue of the States opened. When we got to the ticket window, there was only one person ahead of us. I tried to claim a senior discount, but alas, seniors have to go Monday – Thursday if they want to be special. Oh well, it’s not like $3 buys anything in the fair, anyway.
As soon as we entered, Faith asked “what is it about fairs that makes you hungry for food you wouldn’t normally eat?” I started to expand on that thought, then I saw the “Tots-A-Lot” booth. We weren’t 150′ (46m) from the gate, and I was buying Tater-Tots, and being proud that I avoided buying “fully loaded-tater tots.” The day was young.
We navigate the fair like old pros. We walk up the side by the main gate, swing through the state buildings, starting with Blueberry Pie, I mean New Hampshire and, via the side doors, Vermont, Connecticut, Lobster Roll, I mean Maine, Massachusetts and Seafood Chowder, a.k.a. Rhode Island. We turn the corner at the Methodist Church BBQ stand…what? The Agawam Lions… what the Brisket? The Methodists have had that spot forever! Oh well, that’s progress I guess, but not in my hymnal.
On our way back to the parking lot, we swing through a barn or two, as we work our way to the Better Living Center. The BLC is home to every sideshow hawker of wares you don’t need, but like those Tater-Tots, you want while you’re in the moment. Hot tubs, basement waterproofing, grandfather clocks, sweaters from llama whose owner assured us were not harmed or killed in the sweater-making process, and pots, pans, knives and stoves galore. My wife actually bought some pans here once – titanium clad cookware that cost a small fortune but has proven to be worth every penny. The BLC also has the famous of the famous hawkers – the folks selling shammies and Magic Mops. The latter is where it got mean…this time, but let’s look back first:
A few years ago, we were walking by the shammy salesman, as he was handing out samples. We wanted a sample to give Faith to try, for smushing charcoal around – it’s a thing artists do – and we were willing to pay the price. You know, sit and listen to the exalted benefits of this shammy over all other shammies and sham-like things for which no llama, goat, chamois or other animal was harmed in the making thereof. A woman came to the booth, took a sample and tried to leave:
“Whoa, where do you think you’re going?”
“Take the sample, sit and listen. It’s only three minutes. Have a seat.”
“I don’t want to listen, I just want the sample.”
“No listen, no sample.”
Back and forth this went until the woman threw the sample at the pitchman and left in a huff.
Fake chamois don’t work well with charcoal, so we walked by without stopping this year. As we passed the Magic Mop, I commented to Faith that I just don’t see the attraction. I wanted to get a picture. As I was trying to wade through the crowd to get closer, as man approached the woman hawking the mops and politely asked:
“How do you assemble the handle?”
“Seriously? The handle’s one piece.”
“Oh, I couldn’t tell from here.”
“What a dumb question…” as she started twirling the mop handle like a drum major’s mace.
I mentioned the meanness to Faith. We agreed that it was uncalled for, but after eight 90° days of shilling mops from 10:00 am until 11:00 pm, anyone might lose it. Still, if you want to sell a man a mop…
Sorry for the long-winded approach to the punch line. There’s enough meanness in the world. You don’t have to travel far to find it. Open the papers, turn on the news, or go to the fair, you can find it. The rest of our morning at the Big-E was wonderful, and I’m sure there are wonderful things in your life. Please consider sharing them. Where? you might ask – well, here’s two places:
1) Join the We Are The World Blogfest on Friday – This blogfest happens on the last Friday of every month from March 2017 until February 2018. I’ve posted every month, and I’ll be there again on Friday.
2) Participate in The Cherished Blogfest – This blogfest happens once a year. From Friday, October 13th until Sunday, October 15th, this is your opportunity to tell us about something you cherish. A thing, a photo, a painting, a person, a thought, a kind word from a stranger, a… well, you get the point.
Please consider joining both blogfests. You won’t regret it. By the way, no animals were harmed it the creation of these blogfests.