I have been writing about little excursions here and yon recently, haven’t I? Well, I’ve been taking these little trips, after all. No reason not to mention them. For example, today I drove MBW and the HA down to the State Capital for the State Fair. Rides, livestock, and fried foods. Under a brutally punishing sun. What’s not to like?
The State Fair brings out all sorts, doesn’t it? Whether you want them out or not. Still, for a writer, it is top shelf people watching. The composition of the jostling crowd raises all sorts of questions. What’s that guy’s story? Why did her mother let her dress like that? What’s this dude’s interest in sows, anyway?
A lot of stories and novels occur in and around fairs and carnivals. Think Ray Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” Jack Vance’s “To Live Forever” starts off at a perpetual fair/carnival. Jim Butcher set a Harry Dresden short in a fair. There is something about fairs that encourages the dramatic instinct. The crowds. The venial air of the midway, with the knowledge that the games are rigged. What is going on behind the scenes? What is hidden behind the veneer of paint and jollity? Is the pie-judging rigged? What’s really going on in rancher’s trailers after hours? Is it really worth all the cases of heat stroke to be able to sell three-dollar bottles of water instead of simply installing a few frickin’ drinking fountains? (Okay, that last one is more of a personal gripe, rather than a story prompt.)
The HA enjoyed herself. In indulged her in a few carnival rides, a skee ball game, pony ride, etc. Might as well encourage a few good memories, right? I can hold those over her head once she hits her teens. (I kid, future daughter, I kid.)
Here are a few pictures for you.