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Smith: Texas tradition runs deep – fried

Perhaps I should be ashamed to admit this, but I’m not. Before last weekend, I had lived in the Dallas area for seven years and had not attended the State Fair of Texas. Friends had suggested that we should go at least once, if for no other reason than the unique experience.

We went Saturday. I’m good now.

Saturday was a perfect fair day, cool and sunny with just an occasional bit of cloud cover to prevent sunburn. We took our son and new daughter-in-law with us and started the experience off with a nutritious lunch of corny dogs. That’s a hotdog on a stick, dipped in batter and fried a golden brown. It’s really not as tasty as it sounds, even slathered in mustard and ketchup.

I really can’t recommend the charburgers, either, unless you have a thing for grease. My wife had little good to say about the barbecue sandwich, either, but having spent about $25 for the repast we felt obligated to choke it down. We could have eaten fried alligator, but opted out. We observed a lot of fried stuff.

I’d like to offer a few other observations about the State Fair of Texas to any of you who have put off going, as we did for seven years. Of course that can’t be very many because most of you were there Saturday, and you apparently brought along your neighbors.

· If you think the place is crowded at 2 PM, just wait until dark. Then you can rub shoulders, literally, with about four million of your closest friends.

· Fairs used to be mostly about agriculture. Now they’re mostly about cars and trucks. I sorta promised my daughter-in-law I’d buy her a Mustang when I get rich and famous. Good luck on that one.

· Rides have much less appeal than they did 35 years ago, especially after consuming a greasy charburger.

· Paying five dollars to view a 1,000-pound crocodile also has little appeal.

· Why would anyone voluntarily pay someone to guess how much he weighs? He got it right, of course.

· Goats appear to be popular show animals at fairs.

· You can clip, groom and wash a goat all day and it still smells like a goat.

· People will gather around the prize-winning boar hog and make rude comments about his equipment.

· Anyone with a modicum of knowledge about livestock can invent strange names for unidentified breeds of cattle and have folks believe them. Ever heard of a red strangus?

· Some folks have a different definition of art and collectible than I do.

· Some things should not be fried, Snickers bars, for instance.

· Just because someone fries a Snickers bar does not mean you have to eat it.

· God created Tums in the off-chance that at some point in the history of mankind some mentally challenged being would look at a Snickers bar, a bowl of batter and a pot of boiling grease and go, “hmmmm.”

· My son will eat anything.

· People will spend money on the oddest things at a fair, such as trying to catapult a rubber chicken into a moving cook pot.

I may need a small loan to pay my bills until next payday.


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