After returning from the state fair, I’m not sure if I should pop into a Catholic Church and make a confession or create an online account for Weight Watchers.
We came. We saw. We ate.
Oh, did we eat. Fried things, deep fried things and deep, deep fried things.
They were delicious, every grease-soaked bite.
Summer isn’t summer without an elephant ear — deep fried dough coated with sugar. Not even the name stops me, and it should. If you are what you eat, do I really want to eat something with elephant as part of its name?
Apparently, I do. (She says, licking her greasy sugar-coated fingers.)
We passed sandwiches made of shredded turkey stuffed between two donuts, and it struck me that cardiologists should set up booths interspersed among the food stands. How would they get people to stop at their booths, you ask? Offer free fair food.
We tried practicing some modicum of moderation, splitting food items instead of going whole hog (no offense to the Pork Tent).
When I hesitated at a soft pretzel with cheese dip you could grease axles with, someone in our group goaded me, saying, “It’s only one day out of the year.” True, but that’s also what they tell you before wheeling you away for heart surgery. “It’s only one day out of the year.” Then they start the IV and everything fades to black.
In defense of fair food and balanced diets, there were vendors offering vegetables — peppers and onions on the Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and roasted ears of corn-corn that drips with butter. As a matter of fact, it was more like butter with corn as an afterthought.
You could also find fruit: apples coated with thick caramel and nuts.
Of course, we did more than eat. We toured the agricultural building with award-winning zucchinis, tomatoes, cabbage and pumpkins (all of which would be tasty deep fried.)
We also toured the animal barns, viewing the world’s largest sow and boar (even though every neighboring state also claim to have the world’s largest sow and boar), and got a whiff of cows and chickens.
Then we went back outside, and everything we’d seen inside was available outside, except slathered in barbecue and with a side of fries.
One of the grands lamented that she had never had cotton candy, as her mother told her it comes with cockroaches. Her mother had cotton candy when she was 4 and it did have a cockroach in it, which I grabbed and threw to the ground. I bought a cotton candy and thoroughly inspected it. The girl pulled some off, stuffed it in her mouth, closed her eyes and floated toward the heavens.
She made it last three delicious hours and even had some left to take home.
The State Fair is a summer ritual of sights, sounds and tastes we will carry with us for months to come — in our minds, on our hips, midsections and who knows where else.
And now, we are back to reality — and spinach salads.
Borgman is a columnist for Tribune News Service and she may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.