All’s Fair

October 8, 2012 — Remember in college, when you’d need a class schedule for the week and a party schedule for the weekend? Well, me neither, but that’s how everybody describes their college experience to me. However, during the Fall season, that really is how it is. Just with less alcohol poisoning.

In September and October, we can count on foliage turning, pumpkins ripening, and every single weekend overflowing with uncountable carnivals that magically spring up in the middle of town squares and open fields across the country. Every town has one, every state has one, every organization has one, every Fall-related industry has one.

Yesterday, we went to the Topsfield Fair in Topsfield, Massachusetts.

Bring me the head of
Frankenstein's monster.

Topsfield is about 20 miles north of Boston, and its 200-year-old fair lasts for about 10 days each season. It’s relatively large as far as fairs go, but it still averages out to everything you’d expect from a Fall fair: food, livestock, shows, games, rides.

And that’s suspicious to me.

Honestly, I secretly believe that these places aren’t set up. That they’re unexplained alternate dimensional phenomena that just happen to line up with our own inclinations at this time of year. I can’t explain it otherwise. Their pumpkins grow to mind-bogglingly monstrous sizes. You have to do a currency exchange for tickets in order to participate in anything. Copyright doesn’t exist. Ordinary farm animals demand queuing up and gawking at. Cheap toys are the pinnacle of material excess and are suddenly worth all your efforts, industries, and ambitions. Complicated rides that in our world take multiple engineers, manufacturers, safety inspectors, and testing go up in minutes and are entrusted with our precious children. The massive staff that is needed to run one of these come out of nowhere like Oompa Loompas expatriated from hidden shores. You can survive on sugar and fat for longer than the FDA would lead us to believe.

Their world is a much better place than ours.

I won’t go into details about our day, but mostly because I want to ignore how much money I spent. Highlights definitely included Clydesdales, the world’s largest pumpkin (2,100 pounds…over a ton of pumpkin flesh), Texas longhorns, corn husk sculptures, the dark ride and haunted house facades (although never the dark ride and haunted house themselves), my daughter’s first roller coaster, the funnel cake and cider, and that guy dressed as a clown in the dunk tank that made fun of my glasses.

Somewhere between the pig house and the rabbit house
was the lost children house.

Pictures don't do this monster justice.

I have no clue what this was about.

You can't handle the Crazy Bus.

Corn husk sculptures are terrifying.

We thought it was the Tunnel of Love.