All anyone could talk about was the Fair this, the Fair that, I hit it with a wiffle ball bat. Last week I was lucky to experience, for my first time, the Illinois State Fair for free (thanks, Donnie!). I wanted nothing more than to lay eyes upon the butter cow. I don't know why, but the thought of looking at a lifesize cow sculpted out of butter seemed intriguing. I found out from KBO that Iowa's state fair not only had a butter cow (with its own facebook page), they had a butter astronaut, too.
We had a butter Abe Lincoln.
Actually, it was a whole scene carved out of butter. There were three butterflies, an odd leg on the milking stool, a mouse, The Liberty Bell, three wood splitting tools (wedge, mallet, axe), a kitten, a snake, a wooden milking bucket, a small pile of rocks and a large pile of rocks (and of course, this was all listed on a sign).
Poor Abe, from the looks of the butter sculpture, he had a weak chin. Maybe that's why he moonlighted as a giant axe murderer.
I stared at this tall and skinny 30-foot anomaly, doing my best to examine it from many angles and all I could imagine was the sky growing dark and this booming voice, laughing maniacally BWAH-AH-AH-AH-AAHHH. And this creepy statue is right next to the welcome sign for the Senior Center. How welcoming.
I digress. Back to the butter sculpture.
What surprised me most is how anatomically correct this butter cow was. I really thought it was going to be smooth like a Barbie doll, but nope, it had a functioning butthole. Okay, I doubt it functioned, but check this out:
I spent at least ten minutes envisioning some artist wearing a maroon beret and white lab coat, laboring over this butter cow's nether regions, meticulously examinging photos of cow butts in a feverish effort to recreate its likeness almost too realistically.
Nobody warned me. After I explained my surprise to a Springfield local, he said: "Oooh, I forget that you aren't from here. Along with, 'Don't stare into the sun' and 'Don't spit into the wind,' remember 'Don't glance at the butter cow for more than a few seconds.'"
NOW you warn me.
Besides the two Abes and one butter butthole, what else did the fair have to offer?
Surprisingly, you could find out if you were going to get into heaven. That's right folks, it merely took a stop at the God Mobile and by answering two simple questions you will know if you've been a good little boy or girl and are getting in to heaven. This, of course, takes place after a visit to the neighboring stand for a corndog, hotdog or hamburger and a cold drink.
The Sky Lift offered great views. It was a little scary listening to the sounds of the cables creak and squeak while carrying each little seat through the air and bobbing up and down, swaying back and forth. It was hard not to notice that the fairgrounds were mostly empty, but I think that was because it was Republican Day (and it was a Thursday).
There was a nice variety of rides that all looked super sweet and of which I rode none.
Besides the readily available corndogs, cotton candy, salt water taffy made before your very eyes, sno cones and the beloved lemon shake up, fried anything is available at the fair. Fried mushrooms. Fried cheese curds. Fried green tomatoes. Fried Oreos. Fried Twinkies. Fried Snickers. Fried Hot Fudge Sundae. Fried cheesecake. Fried Key Lime Pie. I heard all about fried Pepsi but I never came across the stand that sold it.
The fried cheese curds were freaking amazing.
And damn, that fried cheesecake.
With chocolate sauce drizzled over it.
I had no idea fried cheesecake was so deee-lish.
As the woman handed it to me she exclaimed in her best carnivaly/step-right-up voice, "I cut your cheesecake in two, INstantly transforming it into a finger food!" Thanks, lady.
Now get me my stretchy pants.
Listening to: R. Kelly - Thoia Thoing