The Great State Fair of Oklahoma 2021: A Salute to Sweat, Snakes and Covid!
5:00 AM EDT on September 21, 2021
I walked into the park sometime around four, entering through one of the less popular gates. While it wasn’t that crowded where I was, in the distance I could hear the caterwauling of children and smell the beer-drenched shirts of their parents. As I got to the ticket-stall—entry was only $2.00 today—the unmasked ticket-buyers looked at me like I was a monster for intruding on their playtime.
It is September in Oklahoma City which means that all those of concerns about infectious spores and the like are forgotten about as our city welcomes the great state fair of Oklahoma, the state’s greatest possible super-spreader event since that Tulsa Trump rally. And then there’s me, walking through the gates with a mask tightly wrapped around my face.
As I went down the filling street towards the overflowing midway, past the children gleefully begging their parents to shell out untold dollars to ride the forlorn ponies, all of which were tied to a wall except for one that his head down, possibly out of embarrassment. I felt bad for them and wanted to free them—the ponies and the children—in an absolute act of rebellion, but I just kept walking.
Reaching the midway, I looked around. Much like the hordes of the walking dead in a Romero flick, the area was a full-on testament to the death of public health. There were no mandates, no masks, no melioration of mankind, all for a meaningless ride in giant metal teddy bears. To be fair, even if there were no pandemic, I’d still be keeping my distance for the fear of some sort of disease jumping onto my skin.
I stopped at a food-stand that was seeming out of the way, a place called Cheese Curd Tacos. As I gave them ramshackle man behind the register my $12.00, in return I was given a pair of intriguing fried tacos that had cheese spilling out the sides. With each bite, the perfectly fried cheese curds and tortilla combos provided the sustenance needed, each crunch refilling the life bar that hangs over my useless head.
Refreshed, I continued on my journey through the park. Men dressed as cattle-rustlers stood watching as a small child rode a mechanical bull, a grown man wasted untold dollars on a pitching game that he had no skill at and the games that gave away the biggest of teddy bears sat useless and unplayed, with the operators throwing out charmless insults to any sucker that walked by with a bulging pocket of cash.
For some reason, I traversed through a building full of cars I can never afford and trucks I’m sure that they can’t afford. The building, however, was so nice and so cool, that air condition sputtering and spitting in the face of a God that has heated this land a few degrees below Hell. Walking past a large assortment of letters that read Chev—I guess they left the Y at home—I made my way out.
I came to a chuck-wagon called Wild West Cowboy Cookin’ that I was about to walk by when I saw a little added sign underneath that read “Rattle Snake Sausage.” Without fault or fail, I ordered up one of those devilish delights, done up corndog style ($8.00), with a fountain drink ($4.00) to assault that beads of sweat that ran down my forehead.
Tasting much like one of those sausage-in-a-flapjacks I used to enjoy when I got free breakfast in public schools, it was actually quite delightful. Somewhat spicy and somewhat venomous, if I caught a deserved variant of the coronavirus today, I’m sure this belly-crawling bad-boy would definitely cure it. Sucking that phallic treat down my gullet and washing it up with my soda, I felt satisfied.
It was time to leave I thought to myself, about to make the long walk home. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a sign that read “Gelato Tacos.” Never having had one before—never having gelato, for that matter—the Funky Flamingo help to quell this sudden need, piling a few scoops of vanilla gelato on a study cone shaped like a taco shell ($8.00).
Sitting on a park bench, unduly enjoying the taco, in front of me was the livestock petting area. Looking closer, however, was a white goat, smugly smiling at me as we locked eyes. Like a form of demonic transference, the remaining gelato fell out of the shell and onto my shoes; that goat started to silently cackle, as if to say “Don’t come to my Great State Fair, you judgmental buffoon!”
Obviously hallucinating, I decided it was time to head home.
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