Thursday, September 4, 2014

if we sit forever and the fish don't bite

The State Fair

was last week, in the town where I live.

Influx of campers and trailers, driving by on the main street, and on the highway. 

When the State Fair is in the town where you live, you find some people don't like it.  (They might like it better if it were far away.)  On the flip-side of that phenomenon, some people who live here go to the Fair every day that it's open.

Every day.

Each person has his own way of enjoying things.  Some people enjoy the Fair by going every day.  Some enjoy it by going one or two days, or to one concert, or something.  And -- some people enjoy Not Going to the Fair.

I remember one year, a woman talking rather endlessly of her plans, schemes, organized efforts, and arguments, at Fair-time, to keep her husband out of the "Beer Garden."  Hmmh.  The idea floated through my mind that this assignment she'd taken up for herself was not "about" the Fair, or the Beer Garden, but rather an ongoing 24-hour-a-day seven-day-a-week battle-for-control.

Answered -- vaguely, politely:  "Oh, uh-huh."

Thought -- "Yikes-ety - Yikes-yikes..."

One of my co-workers said she doesn't like large crowds of people and for that reason is not drawn to the idea of going to the Fair -- and, she said, "There are just so many stupid people."  Asked what she meant, she answered:  they park all over her neighborhood and some of them walk through her yard.  I agree that's kind of thoughtless -- it seems obvious, the sidewalks are for walking...

And when you think about it, any place where you have a large number of people, there will be some people who do things differently from how you do them -- "stupid" people? ... "inconsiderate" people? ...

This led me to remember the first time I went to this State Fair:  my family had just moved here, I was about to be a freshman in high school.  We went to the Fair because it was convenient, so close to the town we had moved to...typically, it was hot, sunshiney, and dusty.

Something about the fair which I thought was terrific was, there was music everywhere.

There was a Democratic garage, and a Republican garage, and you could meet candidates and get a sticker.

That day, standing in a crowd of people waiting for something -- cannot remember what, I suddenly felt a really sharp sting-y pain on my leg.  It startled me, and hurt so much, I gasped and sort of screamed, I think.  Was looking down at my leg, thinking what happened?  What is it?!  The people standing in line for whatever-it-was were packed together rather tightly, and next to my ouch-y leg was a woman with a lit cigarette.

I looked at her, automatically, for a moment in dismay and pain.  And the thing about it was, she just stood there, with a sort of -- attitude.  Sulky, sullen.  Didn't say a word.  As if Life had already beaten her, and she didn't care if someone got burned by her cigarette -- or maybe even, So much the better....  It seemed odd, to me.

She probably had little experience standing in crowds.  Took a puff and just automatically relaxed her arm and wrist, down and a little off to the side, as if she were standing alone on her porch at home, instead of in a crowd of people.

I found it weird.

And thought, the other day, maybe that woman was one of the sort of people referred to when co-worker said, "so many stupid people."  The crowd-cigarette-woman probably walks through people's yards, too, if that seems the shortest distance.

However, must give State Fair credit -- the wonderful concerts I've enjoyed, over the years:
the Charlie Daniels Band
The Judds
Mary Chapin Carpenter
the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Kenny Rogers - (Hell-yes!)
...all much better than being burned by cigarettes, for sure....


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