The State Fair
The State Fair
Digger and I met the parents of a friend of ours who had recently visited England. We naturally asked what they thought and were surprised by the answer, “It was great,” they said, “apart from the food.”
We were momentarily taken aback. That was until the dad said, “yeah and the beer was awful” whereupon they lost all credibility in our eyes and we were forced to change the subject, “big bens nice though innit.”
Having well and truly sampled the beer here and found it to be like a ranch hands spit bucket we can safely judge that the southern palette is dog.
Last week my dad came to Columbia for a few days and I would put money that he is back home right now saying the same thing, “It was great, apart from the food. Oh and the beer was awful.” Actually, considering all we did was eat and drink beer it probably made for an awful trip all round!
We had been waiting for him to arrive to go to the State Fair which is in town. This was because we wanted to see it, and all its American-ness, experienced through the eyes of a newcomer. See we have become acclimatized to ridiculous cuisine; our student union, where all students eat, is a fast food haven. Pizza to Americans is like a cup of tea is to the English, and a cup of tea to the Americans is drunk cold with a mountain of sweetner on the side of fried chicken or some easy mac&cheese. But dad was fresh from the land where regular fries were a regular size, not big enough to feed a whole Irish hamlet, and we were eager to see his reaction to the fair which people have told us is “all about the food.”
The stalls didn’t ease him in. The first one was selling deep fried oreos, milky ways, mars bars and snickers, the second one sold deep fried dough and deep fried butter! We tried our best to make him fit in by dressing him in a huge Gamecock football jersey but from the wideness of his eyes and the length his jaw dropped he stood out like a deep fried thumb.
The stall owners were truly geniuses, pushing fast food culinary expertise to the limit. A calorie counter wouldn’t find a calculator big enough to deal with delicacies such as the dohnut burger, a sliced in half dohnut with a burger inside, the pizza burger, a burger in-between two pizzas, and the ice cream burger which is just a burger but where Europeans would put lettuce it has scoops of ice cream.
In between the food stalls there were rides, magicians, games and an animal show where you could ride an elephant or pet rabbits (I realize that might read as you can ride a pet rabbit but in this case it means stroke). The most obese rabbits, who probably lived on dohnut burgers, were given pride of place on the tables and people marveled at their rolls of fat, “what majestic creatures!”
We were kindly shown around by a friend of mine and his lovely girlfriend but hurried out so as not to risk the old man catching a coronary. Strangely on our way out we passed a bedding stall. We wondered who would come to the fair to buy bedding but, more alarmingly, what the odds were that your mattress would come deep fried.