We Have Enough Mean – What’s Nice?

Mmmmm Piiiiiiiiieeee – Thanks New Hampshire.

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?”

“Excuse me?”

“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.


  1. That seriously looks like our kind of place Dan. But I’m afraid my hubby would have a quip for Mop girl. He’s getting a bit edgy with the ‘new attitude’ out there od rude and rude alike. Did you go inside that cool place with the imports, masks and wall stuff? I am imagining loads of Mexican pottery and native crafts. While not a Tot fan, that picture looked amazing as well as the lobster roll. I just can never pass up corn dogs and nachos a fair. The one time we shamelessly stuff our pockets with antacids and head straight for the smell of hot grease!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You’ve got my mouth watering for blueberry pie and lobster roll. Yum.

    I’m looking forward to the Cherished Blogfest, Dan, where non-mean people gather to extol the virtues of their prized possessions and loved ones. It’s an excellent blogfest and I already have a post in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t look at the pie. I have a donut, but pie – I mean, it’s pie. I should drive back up this morning.

      I am looking forward to the Cherished Blogfest – a post about something we love – yay! I think I know what I’m going to write about.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a gastronomical delightful day you two had. Wow! Glad NH can still provide you a good piece of pie. I actually made an apple pie this week, and it was quite good. :-) I have an observation about my fellow humans. If I am out and about and say ‘good morning’ to a person around 60, s/he will look up and respond in some way. If I say the same thing to someone in their 30’s or 40’s, they look at me like I am a criminal asking for a handout. Humans – we are interesting. I use to watch local and national news in the morning and evening. I have had to limit that to morning only because it gets too depressing. So…good morning, Dan, and have a wonderful week. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning, Judy and thanks for the comment. The NH building and blueberry pie historically was the first food consumed at the Big-E (now it looks like it’s going to follow tater-tots). My wife prefers the broccoli cheese soup, but now that vendor is also selling Mac & Cheese, and there’s a line rivaling the one for baked potatoes.

      I say hi to people that I pass in and around our office. I’m going to pay attention to the age of the ones who respond. You might be right, but that would be sad.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t been to the Big E in years, Dan. It really is a lot of fun… and a bit overwhelming. 90 degrees can crank up the mean streak. Blueberry Pie and Tator Tots usually keep that in check. I’ll be sure to go early the next time!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re right …. 90F is much too hot for a fall fair. All those people standing in a long lineup in the baking heat – I would not be one of them.

    I had Tater Tots for the first time last year. I had the oddest recipe for a salmon pie with Tater Tots on top and, omg, it was amazing. Now I’m hooked on the little bombs. I don’t know what *fully loaded* would entail, but naked Tots would be just fine by me :)

    Thanks for the heads-up about the Cherished Blogfest. Now I have to start thinking about this year’s cherished item. Mmmmm … Tater Tots …. now look what you’ve done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, such exciting food options at this fair! We went to the WNC (western NC) fair a few weeks ago and had a fraction of the food choices. However, the weather was perfect (except for Monday, when Irma’s winds were hitting us–they actually closed the fair that day). That pie looks wonderful (love blueberry).

    Liked by 1 person

    • The pie is a must at this fair. The food at the state houses is generally very good. We do most of our over-eating there. They’ve had very good weather for the fair, unless you consider the heat to be a problem (like I do).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Moo-Nuts? That’s a new one on me. Our big ‘Interstate Fair’ is later this month. I went once. That was enough. Our food consists of fried everything: gator, Twinkies, you name it–it can be fried. There is also a livestock auction and the canning tent. OK-I went twice. Many years ago, the Chippendales were at our fair. At our FAMILY-FRIENDLY fair! Yes, a girlfriend and I took off from work early and joined every other screaming female in town. And I have to photo to prove it! That was fun….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Family-friendly indeed ;-)

      This fair offers a lot of fried stuff, including ice cream and butter, but we tend to avoid most of that. Tater-tots being the obvious exception. Oh, and mushrooms, Faith likes the fried mushrooms.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, man, that is some seriously good food. I can’t imagine eating a lobster roll AND blueberry pie within six hours of each other, but I bet I’d do it at a fair and be none the worse for it. Maybe not in 90 degree heat, though. I never heard of a lobster roll before your blogs about it. Now I’ll have to find and/or make one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you’re going to make one, get a recipe from someone in Maine. The farther from Maine you get, the less they are understood.

      I ate all that and more, but you have to take it while you can. There’s no “let’s go get a lobster roll and come back here for pie…” No, pie is available, we eat pie. It was cooler inside the buildings, but the line for the baked potatoes started outside (another reason to go with the lobster roll).


  9. Mmm, I would join you there. I would have lobster rolls and ice cream and be quite happy. But like here, when it’s SUPPOSED to be orchard weekend, it’s just too hot to Big E.
    Yes, still if you wanna sell a mop… Try not to insult potential buyers.
    If you have to harm an alpaca to make a sweater, I feel like you’re not knitting right. :/ Ew. But I suppose some people do not know that… If I were a sweater maker, I surely wouldn’t be mean about it.
    I appreciated the humor here, as well as the foodie pics :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, and thanks for the pingback. We planned for the heat. I actually wore shorts, which is not normal. Faith wore jeans because “it’s Autumn and Autumn means boots” and she likes wearing her boots. But we went early, so we mostly beat the heat. I would have died in that line we passed on our way out.

      I don’t get mean people, but we see them at shows like this. I have to wonder about someone who chooses to interact with the public and yet seems to hate people.


  10. Unfortunately, I missed our fair this year. It’s always the same, but that’s what makes it special. I don’t think I’ve encountered a rude hawker, but I can’t imagine doing what they do day-after-day and maintaining a smile. My husband bought those pans before we got married. I’d much prefer ones that look better (read more “chefy”), but they do work well. I gotta ask, what did California offer as its state food?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, it’s just the 6 New England states. California? I think when this fair started, west meant Ohio :)

      Connecticut didn’t have much to offer for food, but apparently, we have a ton of wineries. So, the other five states bring the food, we bring the wine.

      At least the pan-selling people have always been friendly.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Isn’t that just the truth? Seems like meanness is all around us! My poor Facebook page is currently reduced to advertisements and puppies ~ because I am sick and tired of people liking, posting and sharing things that are ultimately JUST MEAN! And since I don’t want to look at that crap, I have taken to using the Unfollow button with a vengence.

    As for things to replace meanness…well I’m all about a toddy and a fried twinkie at our fair. Or Basque chorizos, or bloomin’ onions, or elephant ears, or…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t started hitting the unfollow button, but the meanness seems to be creeping in. Some people seem intent on baiting others into a “discussion” that will ultimately have only one side. I steer clear. I can walk by a fried Twinkie, but elephant ears? that’s a different story :) Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love lobster rolls and haven’t had one for years, Dan! I’m drooling . . . This looks exactly like I had in the nineties, years not temperatures. 😊
    I like real blueberry pie with what I imagine the perfect vanilla ice cream scooped generously on top.
    See, for me the Big-E becomes a smorgasbord of tastes and flavors, not only because of your enjoyment but this is how at least 95% of fair visitors map out their entire day!!
    A lot of food you may buy other places but these are particularly specific to region and following traditional preparation.
    I liked the island paradise mixed with voodoo decorations in honor of Cheryl. She would have enjoyed the gearing, that’s for sure. Maybe different culinary taste buds, though. 😜
    I like the booths which go a little over the top like the Tater Tot concession stand! It must have been an extraordinary day for you and Faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a fun day, for sure, Robin. We had stuff to drink as we passed Cheryl’s shop, so we couldn’t go in. Maybe next year 🙂 That’s the thing about these fairs, at least for now, they return with the same food and only a slightly different experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Dan – I’d happily eat lots of that food and one does get enticed at places like this. The icecream looks good .. .and chowder and lobster … there’s always tempting goodies around – with interesting stalls to look at …

    Yes – I’ll be with you on Friday for the WATWBlogfest … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I certainly think there’s too much meanness and intolerance these days and it’s everywhere. Sometimes is so small that if you don’t agree with someone, they start ranting or using vulgar language. When people can’t even agree to disagree without being mean, we’re in a heap of trouble. Wow, what a depressing through for the morning! I’m going to concentrate on something wonderful such as the AC people coming to fix our AC today or the lovely pot of tea I’m going to make or my delicious breakfast. Gotta go!!


    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, there seems to be a very fine line these days between a simple misunderstanding and an “episode.”

      Anyway, another shameless plug: Even if you don’t participate in the two blogfests, you should plan on reading some of the stories. WATW is all good news – feel good stories from around the world. It’s a great way to end the month. The Cherished Blogfest is stories about things/people.etc. that people love – it’s hard not to like.


    • Wow, John. I’m not sure what I did, but a message appeared that said “Comment Trashed” – I was able to recover this from the trash, but I’m still not sure how I put it there. “Tots, Baby!” – I love it :)


  15. Great post Dan….I can honestly say I have never seen Tator Tots look so good….I’m with you on the food at a fair….stuff none of us would ever eat. I can see where hawkers could get cranky with that type of heat, but none the less…..

    Liked by 1 person

  16. thanks for the two links for the blog fests coming up.

    and certain places make us hungry for certain foods – I agree the fair is one for us too
    laughing at the ““No listen, no sample.” ha

    and the rude sales lady reminded me of a guy from the farmer’s market outside of Buffalo.
    I have met plenty of meanies – cos as you noted – they happen. ha!
    but this guy was pissed when we asked him prices. A young child was with me and later said how puzzled they were that the guy seemed bothered by customers – guess he was just having a bd day (bad year) but make a sign with prices – help everyone out…

    Liked by 1 person

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