The state fair is a big damn deal here. I'd never been to a state fair before, but I was told to prepare myself for 12 hour days of drinking in the wine garden, petting zoo animals, seeing some crazy exhibits, and generally getting scorched by the cruel summer sun. There were also rumors of lots and lots of weird fried things that I wasn't supposed to eat before hopping on any rides. Especially the spinny ones.
Essentially, I was expecting to wander around like an excitable, saucer-eyed toddler, only a 28 year old version that might puke wine into a garbage can. Fortunately that last part never happened. And I did drink a few bottles of wine and have a corndog before riding spinny rides. Because I break all the rules. I also ate something that I can only describe as a churro fried with Jack Daniels and wrapped in bacon. How did I not lose my marbles all over the nice Sacramento folk as I was aerially jostled to and fro on so many of those questionably assembled metal death traps, with names like Magnum and the Zipper?
It's a state fair miracle.
So now that I've done the state fair (4 times!), I can say I've learned a handful of things to prepare for next year.
- If you're going to eat something fried in Jack Daniels and wrapped in bacon, make sure you're not so drunk you won't remember what it tasted like. Really.
- Bathe in sunscreen. Especially if you're painfully, heartbreakingly white.
- If it starts getting sketchy at night by the rides, and people start screaming that someone "HAS A WEAPON OHMYGOD," and starts running away in mobs, don't just stand there and be like, "where's everybody going?"
- Understand that because of #3, you now know that in case of an emergency, you are useless and probably will be the first to get shot.
- Don't pick up the baby pigs at the petting zoo. They don't like it. Neither do the baby goats. The llama is cool, though.
- A bottle of wine fits perfectly into the State Fair souvenir cup. Suspiciously perfect.
- The wine garden is awesome, but do not drink more than one wine slushy. It's toxic sugar in a cup and it won't even get you buzzed.
- Those corndogs though. Eat all of them. Same goes for anything with the word "tornado" in it.
- Don't wear flip-flops in the barn.
- **Edited to add** If anyone offers you something called "ghost pepper ice cream," under no circumstances do you eat it. Bad idea, y'all. Real bad.