Wednesday, October 02, 2002

So, Kristen and I were really excited as we crossed the gates to the fair. We were at the entrance right near the Ag exhibits, where they give out free milk. Getting free stuff from the boothes is one of our favorite things to do. Stickers, pencils, rulers, magnets, it's a cornicopia of crapola! Our health system had a booth, and I was suprised to see our sister units, Bone Marrow and Palliative Care, represented. I would have loved to have stood near the booth and answered questions. IVNA offered flu shots. I got a map, much to the Better Half's delight, from the VDOT exhibit.

We next attempted to find my knitting project on display. The knitting, usually sequestered to one little section of the arts and crafts building, was spread out throughout the building this year. As I predicted, there was a lot of red, white and blue. I asked one of the arts and crafts volunteers what the judges were looking for, and was crestfallen to hear that the judges were more focused on perfection than anything else. She told me that the sewing judge evaluates every stitch. And that just because you're the only entry in a catagory doesn't mean you'll automatically win the blue ribbon. They can give you a second place ribbon if they don't feel your work is up to par with first place. We saw a cake that was really cute, shaped like a train, but it was disqualified because it had cookies on it, and it was entered as a baked good. "Jeez," Kristen muttered as we were walking away, "People, it's a hobby! A hobby." I remarked that I would look towards style and creativity over perfection.
I'll give it a shot next year, and focus on just having fun with my project.

The animals are also a big highlight for me. I showed Kristen the Racing Pigs, and soon she was waving her arms trying to get picked to be a Pig Cheerleader. Then we went to the Young McDonald farm to see the Baby Ducks Slide Down The Slide. Unfortunately there was no poultry this year because of avian flu. So there was no Ducky Slide. It was disappointing, yes, but we carried on.

We met up with the gang as UB played their second and third sets. Kristen and I mainly hung around together and ate between sets 2 and 3. The Better Half showed up around 7:30. After UB's 3rd set, the Baheads united and went off to ride some rides.

I must admit, I'm not a ride person, no matter where I go. I'm a big big weenie. I hate things that go really high. I don't ride anything that goes upside down. I used to be able to ride things that spin, but now, no dice. I stay away from anything that goes over 60 miles an hour. And I haven't ridden a Midway ride in almost 10 years.

I watched My Better Half and the majority of my friends get in line for a ride called, The High Roller. The High Roller consisted of a large oval with a train inside of it. People sat in the train, and the oval rocked back and forth, then went upside down. The little train chugged around the track on the inside of the oval, so it looked like you were constantly spinning. Kids, if Aunt Jenn rode the High Roller, she'd be The Big Barfer.

My friends are highly educated people. I consider them, as well as my Better Half, to be sensible, responsible, productive citizens. So, it really shocked and almost disturbed me to see how they flocked to this ride like it was made of $20 bills and Twinkees. I watched as my Better Half was shut in a rather unsturdy looking wire mesh cage and was flung about. I realized that if I didn't jump on the bandwagon of "C'mon Gang, Let's Go on The Rides!", I'd be the "Hold Everyone Else's Stuff While They Go On The Rides Without Your Chicken Ass" girl.

SO I relented. I dragged myself on The Crazy Mouse, a roller coaster in which a demented mouse takes out his revenge on those higher than him on the food chain. The mouse took my picture. Then he released me from his vile clutches after he turned, spinned and dropped me. I stolled over to the trash can. The Baheads started shifting around uncomfortably and sheepishly, reminding me of how the castaways on Survivor would act right before they were about to kick that weak link off the island. I tried to explain that I just didn't ride rides that well. They did try to find a "rider friendly" ride (aka, something the Wussy nurse with bad vertigo and a height phobia could ride) and we went on the Bumper cars. Then it was back to flingy high riding rides, including The Hang Glider, The Gravitron, and The Music Express. And I was okay, except when my Better Half, who was trying to defy gravity on The Gravitron, caught me with an elbow to the eye. But I was a trooper, got some ice from one of the vendors, and carried on. The Music Express and The Orbitor, in which we were flung and spun and flung and spun, and flung and spun for what seemed like an eternity, was the death nell rattle for all the Baheads. I was doubled over in agony, and must have looked rough, for Chris, in his compassionate way, stated with some glee, "Hey Jenn, you're the color of Green Eggs and Ham!"

For the next few minutes, I sat on a bench, staring at the Bahead's shoes and trying not to lose my rather expensive fair cuisine on the pairs of feet surrounding me. Marian remarked to me how long, on the Music Express, it took the Better Half to put his arm around me, as the ride requires the riders to grip each other in an embrace to keep from being flung like a frisbee into the night. "I mean, you're his girlfriend, and he finally put his arm around you!" To which I say that it's true love not when the man puts his arm around you during a fair ride, but when he holds your hair away from your face so you don't puke in it after the ride- that is real love. Thankfully, Grantham and Kristen got me some water, and I was able to trudge towards the car, my head pounding and my neck starting to stiffen.

I slept all day and went into work feeling rather retched. My neck stiff and my head swimmy, I trudged through the first 1/3 of my shift. The Better Half brought me menthol rub for my muscles. Now, that is love.

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