When agreeing or planning to attending any type of county or state fair. You have to open yourself to being exposed to some outlandish and outright redneck culture. Outdated and often unsafe carnival rides that feature soundtracks from the earl 80’s. D list cover bands who haven’t updated their sets since the Reagan. Deep fried everything and of course, the occasional Trump supporter or mullet fashioned family. It’s low brow entertainment in the third degree. And like it or not. Once you enter the fairgrounds, you are a consenting, willing participant and member of its subculture. For, it is only with that acceptance and embrace, that you will truly know the pleasure of eating bacon on a stick while crowding near a pen of newborn piglets to coo and look on in awe of their cuteness without even a minute sense of irony.
Over the last two weekends, we traveled to two separate fairs. One a County fair, the other, the mighty State fair. While I avoided the rides, one of which was featured on the news due to it breaking down. I took a bunch of pictures, had the worst BBQ in my entire life and chose not to seek the answer to the question, “WTF are elephant ears, anyway?”
So go, try the bacon wrapped hot dog, mount your five year old on an unwilling sheep and ride the wooden roller coaster and have a blast. Life is short and the rewards often outweigh the risks. Worst case scenario, you end up on the news when the fire department arrives to rescue you from a ride called “Satan’s Revenge”.
Earlier this evening I was interviewed for a project a friend of mine is working on. As her small crew (two people) went about setting up and making me feel beautiful I had a pretty good idea of the line of questioning I was in for. The interview went pretty much as planned. Being that I was being interviewed by someone who looked as nervous as I felt relaxed me a bit and made me feel a lot less self conscious. Then came the question that just took the train right off the tracks, “How Do You Measure Success?”. I sat there, reaching deep, like the scene in “A Bronx Tale” where Calogero is in the back seat of a stolen car with his friends and a case full of Molotov cocktails, “Someone was pulling the chain and I was going down the toilet.” Okay, so it wasn’t that bad but it was a question I felt needed the right answer. I stumbled and staggered for a moment before pulling myself from the abyss before referencing Henry Rollins and Ian McKaye as two individuals who became great successes both creatively and monetarily on their own terms.
In retrospect it was the easy answer. As I look back on my life I’ve had my share of successes and failures. I’ve cheated death a few times and fought back from what I was told to believe were insurmountable. Growing up I was taught to believe that success was gained by money and fame. It was a road I never really traveled. Regardless, I feel that I’ve experienced plenty of success in my life. Part of that success comes from the fact that I love what I do. I love the people in my life. Both inspire, energize and influence the feeling that I did something right with my life and I treated people as I wanted to be treated. I’m living life on my own terms. Booyah!!!