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Five Things NOT To Do…When you’re taking pics at the State Fair of Oklahoma

6:00 AM EDT on September 13, 2012

Guess what…THE STATE FAIR OF OKLAHOMA STARTS TODAY! I know, I know…you’re all extremely yet ironically excited. Me too. The last time I wrote about the fair for TLO I made some disparaging remarks about the people who attend it just to mock and people-watch. Well, I guess I’ve matured because I pissed off our editor I have a completely different opinion now: I say whatever brings you a little joy in this short, stupid life – as long as it doesn’t actually harm anyone –  do it. Do it as much as you can. Just don’t tweet about it every damn time.

So, if you're one of the many folks vying for a night of awesome food and not having to drive in our annual photo contest, I’ve decided to help you out with some quick pointers. Now, I’m only one of approximately thirty judges for the contest, so these are by no means your ticket to some Deep Forkin’ (holler, PR people). Also, quick unrelated question: do you guys think Thanksgiving would be weird if turkeys had nipples?

Here we go:

1. Forget to turn off the flash: If you’ve ever tried to secretly snap a photo of someone who would disapprove, you’ve probably had this happen. The time it happened to me, I was at the bar of a fancy hotel’s restaurant and the hotel’s elderly owner was sitting next to me. At one point, I look over and he’s stone-cold asleep, which was hilarious and adorable (those also happen to be the names of Spencer’s fists, respectively), so I decided to snap a pic. I bet you can’t guess whose accidental flash woke up someone’s sleeping grandpa and silenced the entire bar. Yeah, it was mine. That’s a good way to get beat up at the fair, plain and simple. If you don’t believe me, just ask Hilarious and Adorable.


2. Look directly at your subject: I once stared right into the eyes of an angry black bear after she caught me trying to eat a fish she’d caught for her cubs. Call it a lesson learned, but if I were you, I’d keep my distance from the hellish nightmare you’re photographing. No matter if it’s a chick with a face mullet or a drunken toddler, your first priority should be your own safety. I’m just kidding – have you ever eaten at Deep Fork? Crawl inside some dude’s meth pipe if that’s what it takes to get the winning shot, chief.

3. Go straight for the stereotypes: This one could go either way, to be honest. There are standards to be met, but originality is always good. While you don’t necessarily want to be the one who emails us the 400th pic of the same pair of overalls being dangerously pushed to their load-bearing maximum, it’s hard to pass up a great pic when it presents itself. You really can’t go wrong, though. Have you ever been to this thing before? If you miss getting a pic of someone who’s slipped in their own vomit only to fall into horse manure, don’t worry – right around the corner is someone’s horny grandma, whose hands will be too greasy to stay on her walker. Be ready!

4. Get too drunk: Unless you’re some high-rolling aristocrat, I doubt you’ll get too drunk at the fair on their warm, watered-down $40 shitbeers. If you’re smart, you’ll pre-game it elsewhere. But if you’re that smart, you may be spending your precious time & money elsewhere, too. Damn. Anyway, if you're going, don’t get too shitfaced that you stop being the photographer and become the photograph. Just go easy on the “beer” and smoke the occasional bowl in the bathroom by the speedway, like the rest of us do.

5. Fall into the deep fryer pits: FAIR-GOERS BEWARE: This year’s craziest feature will be “Frydaddy Swamp” – a series of hot grease pits, where anything up to the size of an adult Shetland pony can be shoved in and flash-fried in under five minutes. It seems like a terribly dangerous and irresponsible idea at first glance, but then I saw that they were planning to put up a rope around it, with a sign. That should help. Be safe out there.

Bonus Thing: Run into my ex-wife Teresa: All joking aside, if you see this sociopathic bitch just run. She's a beautiful disease, with a black heart and a golden mouth. Don't believe anything she says. Ever. She doesn't have a sick kid and all her grandparents are dead. DO NOT GIVE HER MONEY OR LIQUOR. Run as fast as you can, to the nearest body of water. She fears water. For reference, here's the most recent police photo of her:

If there's something you don't like about your life, just follow Chad on Twitter to feel better instantly.

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