Well, it’s been awhile since my last list, and with the Wayne County Fair in full swing, I thought that I would bring you a very special “Fair Edition” of the Great 8 Lists. I hope you like it.
PEOPLE/GROUPS YOU SEE AT THE FAIR
1. Carnies – While I feel this goes without saying, I would be remiss if I did not mention the ladies and gentlemen who made county fairs what they are today – a tad awkward and scary. And at any fair, you’ll see the usual two different kinds: the “Ride Carnies” and the “Game Carnies.” Game Carnies are the ones that yell at you as you walk by and make you feel like a giant purple stuffed giraffe is something that you actually want. Ride Carnies are less abrasive, but tend to listen to music that you can hear in the parking lot 6.3 miles away. At that ridiculous volume, you can’t tell if it’s Three Doors Down, Nickleback, or Puddle of Mudd; but one thing you can tell is that it’s terrible…..and that’s the way they likes it.
2. Parents Who Haven’t Seen Their Teen Since They Arrived – You can usually spot them on the benches outside of the animal barns, sitting in the shade, sipping a Diet Pepsi, and watching teenager after teenager walk by hoping that the next one would be theirs. They get tricked into thinking that when the teen finally emerges from the horse barn that they are there to tell them that they love them, and that they miss them; when all they really want is to see how deep their wallet goes or if they can stay another 4 1/2 hours. Neither one is very encouraging.
3. Middle School Guy/Girl Relationships – These are some of the most interesting and at the same time some of the easiest to spot. They are categorized by their awkward hand-holding like they both think that they should, but neither one knows why or how. This becomes dangerous when you throw walking into the mix and puts everyone in the immediate viscinity of getting the back of their shoes stepped on. They can’t be faulted too much, being it’s probably their first taste of freedom; but as a casual observer, you may wonder why they are even together in the first place.
4. Overnighters – These are the hardcore fair folk that tend to have a camper on the fair grounds and spend a solid 7 days at the fair. These people love the fair. They can and will tell you where every single exhibit/booth/animal barn/food stand is and it’s relation to the 5 that surround it. They are incredibly helpful and if you can find one, they can get you to any point, regardless of significance, at the fair. Be careful how you talk about the fair around them, because as you can imagine, they are extremely protective (with good reason). They are the dedicated few, and without them, there would be no fair at all.
5. Students/Kids Showing Animals – This is the reason you (and I) go to the fair. They can be spotted because they are usually wearing some sort of boot and walk like they are on a mission. Until they show their particular animal, you’d be hard pressed to get them more than 50 yds away from their animal because they don’t want anything to happen to it. As a Middle School Youth Pastor, I love walking around in the barns and reading the names as I try to find students from my group. The more you can see, the better and makes the overall experience at the fair all the more enjoyable.
6. Slow Walkers – This is the most talented group out of any that frequent the fair. I say that because they have to be tremendously talented to coordinate being consistently (regardless of where I am or what time I’m there) right in front of me. They aren’t going anywhere in particular and always give the impression that they are going to stop at everything they pass. The more in a hurry you are, the slower they go (kind of like on the road) and almost seem like they know you’re behind them and they get a kick out of hearing you gnash your teeth and utter “Are you kidding me?” under your breath. They can hear you. They can hear you.
7. Out of Towners – This group will exhibit some “Slow Walker” tendencies, but have their own unique qualities that make them rather easy to pick out of a group. These are the people that first of all, just might be (9 times out of 10) be wearing a tacky t-shirt emblazoned with the name of the town or state that they are originally from. If you can’t see their shirt, check to see how many times their heads dart left and right with their hands pointing at every single thing. And if you are unlucky enough to get close to one, you can even hear them say things like, “We don’t have that at our fair back in ____________.” Try to avoid as much as you can; unless they’re your relatives……then show them a good time. : )
8. Families of Six – What would a fair be like without the large family trying to make a day at the fair seem tolerable? First you have the dad, who’s doing all he can not to grab everyone and throw them in the car and say, “We are NEVER going to the fair again.” He’s got the “Baby pouch” (that thing you put your kid in so you can have two hands to eat your elephant ear) with the youngest in it who’s either asleep or crying. He may or may not be in charge of watching the oldest one (who’s 5) and making sure he doesn’t walk behind or underneath the horses (his name being shouted repeatedly to keep this from happening). Then there’s mom pushing the double stroller with the kids that are constantly climbing out of it. And after about 49 minutes of this, dad grabs everyone and throws them in the car and says, “We are NEVER going to the fair again…….until next year.