Chelsea and I parked 400 meters from the fair, walked down to the crowded parking lot, and into the most chaotic and entertaining venue here in Montana: the county fair.
Now, if you live somewhere rural, you know the fair: it’s a rodeo combined with a bunch of outdated, unsafe, and really awesome amusement rides. Lots of cranky adults, smoking carnival employees, and dirty children wait in line for food, rides, and games that cheat you out of money swirl around you while you wonder whether to buy 10 or 20 tickets. Roaming groups of teenagers stalk the area, with hungry looks in their eyes, while the best characters in town seemingly come out of the cracks- it’s a literal human zoo.
After Chelsea and I pooled our limited (read: pathetic) amount of cash, we had enough for 10 tickets each. After quickly doing some elementary arithmetic, we devised our plan: Go on the Yo-yo, a dilapidated swing ride, for 3 tickets, then the Typhoon, the terrifying and somewhat shaky ride for 4, and end with the classic Ferris Wheel. BOOM MATH!
In between, we ate the always healthy funnel cakes and caramel apples, went into the farm buildings and petted lambs, laughed at very fluffy chickens, ooed and aahed at the lop eared rabbits and stared at the alien looking earless goats that I definitely want to put as props in a sci-fi film if I ever decide to make a film.
The last ride, the Ferris Wheel, had the longest wait. Just as we were about to get on, a little boy who didn’t have anybody to ride with joined us- a precocious 7 year old named Ashton who had a remarkable vocabulary and told us that if the Ferris Wheel broke down he was a good climber and would save us. His cranky grandmother smoked a cigarette and held a blow-up hammer that he’d won while he waved at her with Chelsea and I.
After the Ferris Wheel we went home, with our stomachs full of junk and our eyes full of neon, the wind blowing in our hair and the cops at the exit, telling us where to cross the street.
I used my crappy Minolta Talk-O-Matic the entire time- it can take a beating. The pictures turned out better than I thought they would! Enjoy!