I’m a huge fan of the fair. When I was young, my parents took my sister and me to the Queen City Fair (Meridian, Miss.) every year. I’m well familiar with the Scrambler, which weaves you in and out of other screaming riders at high speeds; the so-called “carnies” and the various foods on a stick–apples, chicken and now bananas. I also, actually, like the smell that hits your nose when you walk through the entrance gates. Sure, it’s a crooked scent concoction of livestock and fried batter, but it brings back some good memories.
When you do something over and over again, like go to the fair, it’s easier to look back on life. Fairs have the same rides they’ve always had, same food, same smells. I like this fact. Yet, I found myself afraid to get on the Gravitron, which I owned in fifth grade. A candy apple seemed like too much of a hassle. Instead, I paid $1 to see a ginormous pig, and enjoyed petting goats and cows. This fair had a kangaroo and a camel. I wasn’t impressed. The piglets, however, really wowed me, and the bumper cars, an unexpected plus.
Because of the culture crosses, and opportunities to learn about our neighbors and ourselves, I say going to the fair gives a fair view of the humanities. Fair enough?
The fair offers a unique view of culture–albeit a bit dizzied. (Ride the Tilt-O-Whirl and you’ll know what I mean.) It, too, provides certain exposures–I, for one, encountered lots of different languages on my recent visit, both verbal and non. I learned there is a universal get-me-off-this-ride-right-now look, and similar tastes across ethnicities. At the fair, it seems we share a lot with those around us: long lines, fears, excitements, and, as the naysayers would point out, germs.
Because of the culture crosses, and opportunities to learn about our neighbors and ourselves, I say going to the fair gives a fair view of the humanities. Fair enough? It lacks a little in the academic and scholarly categories, to be sure. The fair, however, is about as true as it gets. In the chaotic mass that it is, somehow, a figurative gap is closed. There are no rose-colored glasses at the fair. We see society in its simplest form. All in all, if the humanities explore what it means to be human, well then, a lot can be learned at a fair.
In such a dirty place, I found the purest thing. It wasn’t the air, that’s for sure, nor the Port-O-Potty I was forced to visit. It was the chance to learn, and the consistency. These places never change. May they always stay the dilapidated, confused mix of society that they are. If so, I’ll keep coming back. I owe it to the nice man running the mini pony rides, who, when I asked if I was too big to give it a go, said, “No, the pony’s just too small.” Truth is, I am too big. The ponies have always been mini. And I doubt they’ll be changing anytime soon.
Written by: Katie C.