Not be cruel, but if you are not sold on childhood obesity as America’s worst health crisis, I suggest you go to the WNC State Fair.
At one point, tears literally welled up in my eyes when I watched an eight-year-old have to have a double seated ride car all to himself because no one would fit next to him. This is a major epidemic, and I think the fatal combination of TV/video games and fast food/processed food is going to take care of our population growth. Seriously, according to Barbara Kingsolver, this will be the first generation of Americans to have a shorter life span than their parents.
That said, I did partake in fair gluttony like all the rest of the men and women who I dearly hope were all in late term pregancies. I will now list everything I ate at the fair from best to worst.
1. Roasted Corn- I asked for “only a little” butter, and I was glad I did. This festive fair food was deliciously bright and sweet and worth the entire trip. You can also find excellent roasted corn at the Farmer’s Market at UNCA on Saturday mornings. Or in your own kitchen using a cast iron skillet.
2. Freshly Churned Ice Cream- Strawberry with a freshly made cone. Can’t beat it.
3. Deep Fried Milky Way- It’s good, ya’ll. Better than I could have ever imagined. Worth the stupified looks I received while eating it.
4. Blooming Onion- Or is it bloomin’? Or is bloomin’ trademarked? At any rate, the spicy, salty deep fried crunch was thoroughly satisfying. I could have eaten two. Not to mention the giant tub of Grey Poupon! Classy, very classy.
5. Deep Fried Oreo- In some ways I preferred this to the Milky Way, but the inside wasn’t up to maximum warmth capacity.
6. Funnel Cake- A Disclaimer: The old lady with the hot pink lipstick gave us this for free, to apologize for the tardiness of the fried oreos. I accepted with suspicion- was she punishing me for treating my arteries like trampolines? Did she think I need to put some blubber on my bones to fit in with the rest of the crowd? Was this truly an act of kindness? I accepted the latter, and promptly tore off a sugary, greasy bite of the evil stuff.
7. Grotesquely Gigantic Turkey Leg- What horned devil on my shoulder challenged me to partake of this bacteriofest, this perfect image reminiscent of savage European conquerors of old who I have spent most of my guilty adulthood trying to distance myself from? Why would I go for the basest example of food to mouth, disregarding all taste and self respect? Because I was fully committed to my fair-going experience. Oh yeah, I’d voted on the prize goat in the seniors competition, I’d tossed my rings into the rigged idiot game, I’d paid my penny for the Largest Horse on Earth. I was hook line and sinker, unironically, at the fair.
Boy was it fun.