Over the course of the summer, Steve and I also managed to go to two separate County Fairs in our pursuit of the simple life. In early June, we went to the Marin County Fair which was within walking distance of my apartment. It was so convenient and we got free tickets from work, so we actually went twice. A large part of the fair was commercial, with booths selling any number of infomercial items. Another half of the fair was a carnival with games and rides. Buried between the two were a small amount of animals. All I can really say is, at least there were goats and a petting zoo.
At night, there were fireworks. In the middle of these fairgrounds there is a pond that shelters many ducks and other water fowl. Said birds had taken refuge in the center of the pond from the throngs of people around them. Some master planner had decided to light the fireworks from a barge in the center of the pond. The display was meant to have the beautiful effect of fireworks over water. Unfortunately to Steve and me, the effect was significantly diminished by the terror of the birds. As the first loud boom echoed through the night, there was an immediate reaction from the center of the pond. A wave a ducks came, half flying, half swimming, to the reeds in the shallows. I have to admit that this was a little bit funny. But then we noticed that there were still ducks trying to swim to shore. Little ducks. Baby ducks. These poor ducklings had been separated from their mothers in the panic and were calling to them as they tried to hurry to the reeds. Finally, the fireworks ended, but the calling continued. Slowly, the adult ducks started to emerge from the reeds. Steve and I waited by the pond until all the groups of ducklings seemed to be reunited with their mothers. Knowing that this display would happen there every night for two weeks, Steve and I wondered if the SPCA knew about these horrific events. But I really didn’t want to be the person responsible for ending the fireworks in Marin County.
All in all, we felt that this county fair lacked its countriness. Simply put, it was a pathetic excuse for a county fair. So, the next month we went to the Sonoma County Fair. Sonoma is a much quieter, rural, farming community. And this was a REAL fair. There were food vendors with corn and onion rings and corn dogs. After an hour or two, I really needed an antacid. There were buildings full of crafts and jams. And there were animals. There were barns full of sheep and cows. I got to pet the animals just like when I was a kid. I had an encounter with a beautiful bull. I think we could have had a real friendship had it not been for the mucous. Remember the confessional scene in The Blair Witch Project? Every time this bull breathed out, a string of mucous came flying at me, getting closer with every blow. Steve wanted a picture, but if he had taken any longer with it, I would have been soaked through.
There was no mucous when Steve and I encountered some very nice horses. I could’ve just taken this beauty right home with me, he was so sweet.
As I said earlier, this was a real county fair and we even caught a bit of the bull judging. Apparently, two bulls were in a dead heat to win, but one of the judges thought the winning bull had really nice testicular structure. Ah, the country life for me!