…On a Stick.

12 Aug

Budder Cow

I’m from Iowa and since 1854 we have had a State Fair.

Cue the banjo music.

Each year about a million people (literally) show up for this thing. This is pretty impressive considering there is only three million people in this Hawkeye State. This means one third of the people in this “Land of Rolling Prairie” pile into their Ethanol fueled vehicles and head for this giant circus.

I have a love hate relationship with the Iowa State Fair. I go every year because it is good fun for the family. My wife enjoys it and the kids have a great time. It’s always a good thing when the family is happy.

I on the other hand, am miserable. We spend the day dodging 445 acres of manure piles spewed from the rumps of large hairy, sometimes feathered farm animals. All these people and creatures are packed within a fenced area much like a zoo or a prison. Whenever we attend it’s always an extremely hot day or raining buckets measured in feet. At any given time you are likely to see some smelly behemoth defecating in the street or giving birth.

Throughout the day there are five stages filled with acts such as folk dance cloggers, clowns, adults crowing like roosters and twangy blue grass country music. Some of the finer competitions at this shindig are as follows. The sheep shearing contest, pigeon rolling competition, wood chopping, pie eating, monster arm wrestling, outhouse races and cow chip throwing (yes they throw poop for blue ribbons). It also hosts the world’s only Lawn Chair Toss competition.

Then there are the food venders. Most of these cuisine peddlers are large sweaty people hovering over your hot food in small-enclosed trailers. They are all master chefs in the culinary art of deep-frying something on a stick. They can turn a bright, fresh, healthy, nutrient packed apple into a fried angry, artery-clogging, cauldron of black death.

I visited the Iowa State Fair website and looked at the menu. There are fifty-nine food items that they put on a stick. The following is a sampling, peanut butter and jelly on a stick, fried pickle on a stick, pork chop on a stick, cheese on a stick, for the refined palate there is the shrimp on the stick, taffy on a stick, chocolate covered bacon on a stick and the number one item on the menu, fried butter on a stick.

Excuse me while I get a triple bypass because just writing about this food has raised my low-density lipoprotein.

As if these obsessions over heart attack cuisine isn’t enough they have erected a shrine in homage to coronary inducing food. All patrons make a pilgrimage through a mile long line of people to witness the Dairy Cow. It’s a cow made of actual dairy, butter. This life size sculpture has been a traditional centerpiece at the Iowa State Fair for over one hundred years. It is incased in a glass-refrigerated room to protect the monument from external elements such as extreme weather and hillbillies who would try to climb and ride it.

As I conclude this blog I am currently with my family, riding in the passenger side of the minivan. Our destination is the Iowa State Fair. I am in deep meditation purging myself of any feeling or thought in hopes that I will deprive my senses from this journey of depleted patience and physical exertion.

I do have one saving grace that will carry me through this day, my family. I love them and they love the fair. It’s always a good thing when the family is happy.

I’m from Iowa and since 1854 we have had a State Fair.


2 Responses to “…On a Stick.”

  1. stevemarks14 August 12, 2011 at 1:50 am #

    Good job Matt!! Im proud of ya dude for taking on this challenge! Its a tough one for sure, but totally attainable. I recently got to the biggest id ever been in my life and I totally know how you feel. I have lost 27 lbs in the past 5 months, and its been hard. But i will say that it does get easier. It really does. Now i have my days where i kinda have a lapse and eat bad stuff. but you know what? If i have one of those days, i usually get right back on board my healthy eating and it doesnt really show up on the scale. So just remember that its okay to cheat once in awhile. But find out what works for you. Stick with it dude, it really does get easier! You totally can do it. However one thing….you better not turn Vegetarian or i will personally find a horse drawn wagon to drive me out to the middle of nowhere where you live and whoop your ass!

    • mguise August 14, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

      LOL! Thanks Steve.

      I wish you success. Glad to see you are doing well. 27 lbs That’s awesome. I bet you don’t even look the same.

      I promise, no vegetarianism. I think they would string me up out here if I tried.

      Take Care

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