I took my daughter to the fair yesterday. She just turned seven a few months ago, so now she’s getting up there where she can go on some of the cooler, more exciting rides – adios, twirling teacups! The fair we went to was the Antelope Valley version, which means when we got there at around 3 it wasn’t crowded at all, and it was as windy as…well, as windy as a typical summer afternoon in Lancaster, which means you need to hold on to your hat.
We had the run of the place for a while, so the first thing we did was…you guessed it, go to the petting zoo. Lots of goats, demanding that you buy the pellets to feed them. That’s a nifty circus scam there: I paid $2 so my daughter could feed the goats and cows. Curse you, lazy and clever carnies! I’m guessing a bag of their “special feed pellets” costs around $20-30, and they probably sell the contents of the bag for about $200. Helluva markup! But my daughter was having fun so it was worth it.
After that, a ride on a horse that was obviously performing some sort of penance, along with his co-conspirators on the circle of hell. Round and round they go, plodding to nowhere in this hot and windy purgatory! Again…my daughter was having fun…
Next up were some rides. You all know them, the same rides that are at every fair. They’re actually pretty fun! They also make you appreciate the relative comfort of the rides at the theme parks.
Once we were done with our first batch of rides we checked out the caged birds. Fowls of all sorts and ages, roosters crowing, feathers everywhere. When we had had our fill of our feathered friends, we went back to the front to meet my brother, and checked out the vendor barn. I have a rule about vendors at fairs: NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM THEM! A few years ago I bought an RC airplane from them – got it home and it didn’t work. The next year after that I bought a Big City Slider station knock-off (here’s the original: https://www.bigcityslider.com/flare/next) that seems to work OK, but makes such a goddamn mess that I never use it. Not gonna fool me thrice, crafty fair vendors! However…we did find some tasty honey, and since I’m on a honey kick lately we stopped by on the way out to get some. We also got some dipping dots. Novelty ice cream! Yummy.
After that, some more rides. There’s a ride called the Yo Yo; if you don’t remember what it looks like here it is:
It will be stuck in my mind because of the pure joy and awesome smile on my daughter’s face when she rode it! That was beautiful. Highlight of the day for pops.
Then it was time to get some grub. I opted to go reasonably healthy and get the ceviche. Zoe went with what my inner child was craving, nachos. We found a table in some shade and sat down. I put my plate on the table, and the wind promptly blew it over, scattering my uncooked fish. I’m sure my face was priceless. Fortunately, for situations like this the five-second rule is expanded so I was able to salvage my grub.
We had a few minutes to walk around after that, and then it was time for Weird Al. Whoo hoo! We had seats in the sixth row, so we were at nerd central. This was my first time seeing WA, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the stereotypes ran true. Lots of Star Wars t-shirts, lots of…well, nerds. Just like me. Al started with a medley of songs and he was a rock star to the crowd. People in the front row would jump up at the start of every song and scream with joy. It was fun watching them, and watching the stage. Between songs there would be videos of Al TV to kill the time while they were changing costumes backstage. Some funny stuff in there; Al doing bizarre interviews with Madonna, Jessica Simpson, Eminem, etc. Then the lights would lower and the band would reappear. My daughter enjoyed some of it, got frustrated in the middle when she was really tired, but picked up for the encores when I was holding her on my hip (an activity whose expiration date is rapidly approaching, due to her advancing age and size!). She loved the Star Wars-themed songs as much as I did, if not for the same reasons. It was a blast seeing the stormtroopers “dancing” onstage and Darth Vader standing there, somehow expressing disapproval with no facial expressions and little movement.
Props also go to Al’s band. I think that most, if not all of them have been with him throughout his career. They’re tight and fun to watch.
It was about 10 when they finished, so it was definitely time to go. We hit the honey vendor on the way out and called it a night. My daughter said it was the best night ever! Of course, she’s still young and un-cynical, unlike her dad, so five-star reviews are pretty common. That said, I’ll take it.
I should leave you with some WA, so…