Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's all about the cream puffs

“So, Tasha, what huge epic thing are you training for now, continuing to blaze brightly as you embrace triathlon glory far and near?”

As you can imagine, I get that question a LOT. And lately I’ve had my work cut out for me, as I’ve trained for a monumental undertaking, one that truly tests one’s mettle, fortitude, and so on. It’s required hours of hardcore training, along the lines of practicing balance, strength, focus along with a host of other skills.

I’m talking of course about getting ready to go to the Wisconsin State Fair. This has meant long stretches of holding 2 plates, to practice balancing various foodstuffs and a beer, as well as keeping my elbows firmly akimbo as I walk along in any surroundings, to make sure that I’m able to carve out enough space for myself in my quest for food-on-a-stick. It’s been grueling.

However, I’m proud to report that all the training paid off, and this past Monday, my trip to the Wisconsin State Fair was an unqualified success. I was able to balance a brat AND beer as well as cream puffs, and we managed to stake out a table in the cream puff emporium thanks to my general speediness in getting to an empty table first. Hey, those elderly folks just LOOK frail – they’ve spent their whole lives on a farm, so who are they kidding??

But my true crowning achievement came when we found the shoot-the-puck hockey game. There was no one there when my friend Keith (who prefers to be anonymous, so henceforth he’ll be referred to as “Stan”) and I walked up, but soon a crowd gathered to watch this duel of titans from the hockey world. Umm, that would be us, in case it wasn’t clear.

So Keith, I mean Stan, goes first, and in his practice round, he gets 10 in; it’s basically a see-how-many-pucks-you-get-past-the-fake-goalie-in-13-seconds kind of game. Then it’s time to start in earnest, so I go first. 3 in. Clearly I was holding back, so as to not embarrass the man. Then Stan goes, this time for real. The pressure is obviously getting to him, as he gets 1....then another....then he’s up to 3. Zounds! This calls for immediate action.

Me: “Oh, you’re not going to let the girl with CANCER beat you, are you now?”

There are people watching us play, at this point, and they’re not sure if they should laugh or be horrified, so the look on their faces is a combination of both.

Me: “Come on, you call that shooting? Good lord, even CancerChick could get that many in!”

Luckily, my tactic works, as Stan is laughing so hard that precious seconds tick off on the clock while he’s unable to shoot, and he winds up with just 3 goals and I claim my righteous victory, in that ties always go to the person with cancer. So today’s word to the wise is this: while you don’t want to play the cancer card too often (i.e more than once a day), if you’re dealing with something really really important like the random shoot-the-puck game at a state fair where the only prize if you do win is a garden-variety hockey puck that retails for about ten cents, then by all means, do what you have to do.

After my glorious victory - and so that I can bask in the adoration of the public - we wander over to the carnival section of the fair, to perhaps play some games and otherwise get waaaay too close (i.e. more than 7 feet) to a band of people known as "carnies." I suppose it's fortunate that the games - and in particular the one I excel at, namely the water-shooting game - are $5. Yes, $5! Hmph. That meant we didn't linger needlessly, as once I saw the signs for the Giant Nuclear Radiation Beetle and Other Wonders of the World, I knew we were lucky indeed to escape with our lives.

We end the day by seeking out more food on a stick, in this case the chocolate-covered-bacon-on-a-stick, and the fried pb&j sandwich on a stick. I’m a little unsure about the bacon, but it begs trying. Which is something I soon regret, as it’s beyond heinous. If we had been talking crispy bacon freshly dipped in chocolate – maybe. That whole sweet and salty thing. But this was bacon cooked to a perfect state of flabbiness, then dipped in chocolate, then refrigerated. So my first taste was of cold, chocolate-laden bacon fat. Yuck. I grab the fried pb&j to remove the awful taste from my mouth – and then, in the interest of expository science and an adoring public who needs to be warned about such things, I take another bite of the bacon, making sure I’m trying a meaty part this time. Meh. Not quite as heinous, but still pretty bad. So in case you were thinking of whipping up some chocolate-covered-bacon for your next parties, I’m here to tell you: no. That is all,

1 comment:

t-odd said...

The Minnesota State Fair is in a couple of weeks and I will have a most entertaining description of all the wonderful sights, sounds and smells of this frightening mass of humanity. I will be sure to steer clear of chocolate covered pork products.

Did you have anything to do with the bludgeoning of the Milwaukee mayor at the fair? Be honest.