August 3, 2010
Last week ended with us doing a couple of actual vacation-type things. Friday night we went to the Reds game and had a great time. The only thing missing from the game was a win for the home team. The evening started with us being prepared with drinks and snacks. You are allowed to carry in unopened drinks and bags of snacks. You really can afford to go to a baseball game these days if you plan ahead. And if you don't drink beer at the game. A beer is, wait for it, $8. Yeah, a bottle of beer you can get at the grocery store for less than $2 will cost you $8 at the game. Ouch. Plus, beer would not go well with the snacks we bring, other than the peanuts. Our other go to snacks are sugar covered orange slice jelly candies and Twizzlers. I do not partake in the candy stuff, so I made the mistake of buying Red Vines for Beth and CJ once....just once. Talk about a stare that would kill. The skinny is that Red Vines taste like flavored turpentine. I am not sure how they know what turpentine tastes like. Perhaps they swallowed some paint and needed to counteract it.
Anyway, the other shocking thing about our start to the evening was that we left early enough for the drive and walk to the stadium to be casual. The last couple of times we went, there was rushing. Steve does not like to rush to a ballgame. Neither do Beth or CJ, but they also do not care if they are in their seats before the first pitch. Steve likes to see all the pitches. So we got to our parking spot with plenty of time to walk to the game and be in our seats with peanuts in our mouth before the first pitch. Nice. The game itself did not disappoint through the first 9 innings. There was a clutch game-tying home run by the Reds, and a home run saving catch by the Reds' right fielder. We witnessed this with 40,000 other fans. It was the biggest crowd we have seen a game with. It really added to the excitement. Then they lost. Oh well.
Sunday included a trip to the city of Columbus for the Jeff Dunham concert. If you do not know who he is, google him. He is a comedian/ventriloquist who has been doing an act for 30-40 years. And he is hilarious. What we did not realize, was that the show's venue was at the Ohio State Fair. I have never been. The last state fair I attended was in Kentucky, over 30 years ago. My memories of it were that it was smelly. Hay and farm animals. Smelly people in wife beaters. A side show of circus freaks. And that was just the general admission crowd.
However, we figured attendance at such state fairs was probably down, and Columbus was probably a much more uppercrust type crowd. Wrong on both accounts. For a Sunday night, the crowd was huge. Some of the patrons even smelled good. However, the animals were not good smellin'. Since I am not a frequenter of state fairs, I am not one who understands the need to have farm animals on display. If it is anything like Charlotte's Web, maybe they still do judging for best pig, biggest heifer, and furriest lamp. You got me stumped. I may be looking at it all wrong though. I am fairly certain when we passed the sheep pen, a couple of the sheep looked at each other, made a face, and gave each other the universal sign for "boy they smell funny". You know, the hand waving in front of their nose gesture? Yeah, I think they did that. And me without my camera.
We got to the fair early enough to eat some dinner, so we walked along the feeding grounds and selected some of the best the fair had to offer. Steak on a stick (tasty), grilled chicken sandwich (way tasty), french fries (oily), and deep fried buckeyes. If you are not from Ohio, or have never heard of buckeyes, they are balls of peanut butter covered in chocolate. Then you deep fry them. Tasty, and good for you.
We purchased 5 buckeyes for $5, and left CJ alone with them at a picnic table. As we started to walk away to purchase the steak and chicken, we had a moment of clarity. Beth turned to see CJ about to stick the fresh from the deep fryer buckeye right into his pie hole. She stopped him and warned him about the potential for burn blisters and the subsequent skin grafts. She gave him a final look and said to him, "what do you think I will say to you if we come back and you are in mouth pain?" He looked at her and came up with an answer. "Walk it off."
Who needs comedians with CJ around?
In case you were wondering, the deep fried buckeyes were delicious. They also sold deep fried Snickers, Pop Tarts, and human fingers. We did not try any of the above, but even the finger would probably taste good deep fried in grease. Perhaps next year.
What is your state fair like? And what would your favorite deep fried morsel be? Let me know.