Worthwhile (And Not Worthwhile) Things I Did Today 9/5/10: Adventures at the NY State Fair! Or: Some things really shouldn’t be flavored like Root Beer.

Visited the New York State Fair all the way in Syracuse, NY today! Jen did me the great favor of driving me about 5-hours roundtrip for this, so it needed to be pretty interesting to be worth all that fuss. Was it? Well… it was interesting…

I wonder if these chickens are flavored like cotton candy...

Worthwhile! Saw and took pictures of pastel chickens. This must be where Easter Eggs come from.

Worthwhile! Saw a ride vastly more terrifying than Mickey’s Death Wheel at Disney California Adventure. People stand in form-fitting cages that spin vertically 360 degrees forwards and backwards while the entire ride rotates 360 degrees around a central axis. I wouldn’t have had to worry about embarrassing Jen by screaming to get off this ride after a minute, because I’d have had a heart attack and been long dead before that minute was up…

I wonder if they put whipped cream on top of the beef?

Worthwhile! Saw the restaurant that’s home to what I think may be the sickest thing ever, the “Hot Beef Sundae”. It’s discoveries like these that make being a vegetarian totally worthwhile…

Worthwhile! Saw a giant butter sculpture of a farm in the GI Joe scale. I’m not sure why I’m categorizing this as worthwhile, but this is probably the only one of these I’ll see in my life, so…

Mmmmmmmm. Butter.Worthwhile? One of the main attractions I wanted to see at the fair was the world-famous racing ducks. No, I’m not making this up. I wish I was. Basically, the duck trainer took a couple dozen ducks and stuck them in a box, then hands them to people and they let them “race” down 10-foot lanes. That takes about 2 seconds per race, then rinse and repeat for about 5 rotations. I love ducks–I really do. But this was really quite stupid. I liked it because I love ridiculously stupid things like this. But it really wasn’t that good.

Apparently the guy who races these ducks was on The Tonight Show. I can only assume he was brought on the show in order to make fun of him.

I think the bottom-most one is "Speedy Gonzales".

Some things just shouldn't be Root Beer-flavored.Worthwhile? Saw cows and hogs up-close today for I think the first time. And I have to say, they’re really quite stinky and gross. I really didn’t like them much…

Worthwhile? …And speaking of gross things, I saw “Intense Milk!” vending machines for the first time out here. They contain milk that has been flavored–and colored–to match specific flavors. I don’t really like milk to begin with, but the notion of Root Beer-flavored milk and Mocha Java-flavored milk and Orange Cream-flavored milk and all the other crazy flavors they had on display really made me wanna puke. If this kinda thing really appeals to you, then… well, I really don’t know what to say…

Worthwhile? …And speaking of making me wanna puke: I had my first-ever funnel cake today. I’d never had one, so I wanted one. I knew that it was a super-fatty fried dough thing and would make me sick to my stomach. Even so, I wanted to experience it. And… it really wasn’t all that good. And I do indeed feel horribly sick to my stomach. I guess it’s good I ate it, and I have the photo of it for the scrapbook now, but god, I feel sick. Can’t really call this “worthwhile”…

In retrospect, this does look pretty gross.

Not Worthwhile. I’m a pretty judgmental person. Always have been. I’m trying not to be. But days like today make it really hard. The people at this fair were not exactly the intelligent, upstanding citizens I’m used to seeing when I go places. No, they were the type in tattered clothing, with giant rolls of fat sticking out because they didn’t buy shirts big enough to cover themselves. The kind that wear confederate flags all over their clothes and bodies, and let their kids run rampant at the expense of everyone around them. The type of people that flock around tapestries being sold with such clever idioms as “American by Birth–Redneck by the grace of God!”

Actual thing I heard over the speaker while walking past one of the bars at the fair: “Hurry in for Hillbilly Checkers starting in 5 minutes!” In short, I think I walked into the Redneck Jamboree instead of the New York State Fair. I shouldn’t be looking down on people that way… but man… some scenarios make it so hard…

Not Worthwhile. The last “show” we stayed for was a Native American Dance spotlight. However, as soon as they started up, the host said that most of the interesting dances aren’t allowed to be shown to outsiders. Which is understandable, but unfortunately they still had a park full of people they needed to educate, if not entertain. So instead, they showed us the special “Native American greeting dance”, which is just the men and women walking past each other. Even more thrilling was the “Woman dance” to honor all women, in which the women walked around slowly in a semi-circle and… well… that’s it. The next “dance” was twice as exciting, as it consisted of the women AND the men walking around the semi-circle slowly. Maybe this got more riveting and maybe it didn’t–I’ll never know, because we bailed at this point and went home. And I really don’t regret not knowing…

This is exactly as "exciting" as it looks.

Overall: I’m not gonna be a jerk and say the New York State Fair sucked. Because I don’t think it sucked, exactly–I think I’m just not the demographic for it. I did get to see some pretty interesting things and take some quirky photos, which are going to give me stories to tell for a long time to come. This is probably going to be my only New York State Fair ever–or at least for a very long time–but I feel like I got some of the campy funness out of the trip that I love so much. Worthwhile.

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