Lord help me, but I do hate crowds

Don’t go anywhere NEAR the part of town where the State Fair is, unless you’re going to the State Fair. And if you are going to the State Fair, don’t. Pick another day and another time. Save yourself and others the aggravation.

What would you do instead with the time? Oh, I don’t know…. Let’s see, it’s the middle of the day on Monday; maybe you could GO TO WORK!!!!

No, I’m not in a good mood. I made the mistake of going to my Rotary meeting, which as always was at Seawell’s, which as you know is directly across from the main northern entrance to the Fair. That’s always difficult at this time of year, but this time was BY FAR the worst I’ve ever experienced.

I tried to be philosophical about it. I tried to make the most of the situation, get with the holiday mood for a bit before going back to the office, which I could tell was going to take awhile. I decided to walk over and get myself a bag of cotton candy to take to work with me.

So I crossed Rosewood and went up to the ticket booth, and the guy said sure, go around there and get in line and get yourself a "lunch token" for $5, and if you get it back to HIS booth by 2 o’clock, you get your money back.

It was 1:54. I couldn’t even have purchased the token, much less have gotten my cotton candy, by then. And I had only $8 in my wallet. If I had given up the fiver, I couldn’t have bought the cotton candy. (That didn’t even strike me until later, so I’m glad I didn’t try to beat the clock.) What, I’d like to know, is magical about 2 p.m.? If I hadn’t had to go to Rotary, I wouldn’t have even thought about trying to get lunch before 2 o’clock. On the days I eat at my desk (the overwhelming majority of the time, that’s what I do), I never think about it before then.

So I was already feeling pretty alienated, before I walked back to my truck, and before I fought my way out of the parking lot, and had to go a mile or two in the direction away from my office before I could turn and fight my way back past the fair again.

You know when I got back to my office? 2:21 p.m. I could have walked it a couple of times in that amount of time, and would have if I’d had any idea how long it would take. Almost half an hour of sitting still idling, with gas at its current price, with my windows open, breathing the exhaust of thousands of other vehicles.

Even if my purpose had been to go to the fair, and I’d had plenty of cash in my pocket, it would not have been worth it. As it is, I’m in a foul mood.

And the only constructive thing I can derive from the experience is to warn you that, if you’re about to try to go to the Fair, please think twice.

10 thoughts on “Lord help me, but I do hate crowds

  1. just saying

    I’m still waiting for my annual pilgrimage to get a Turkey Leg and Funnel Cake! Well worth the crowds.

  2. Doug Ross

    I wish you had the time to go up to the Republican booth wearing your Obama button and vice versa. That would have been interesting.

  3. Brad Warthen

    Maybe we could have special lanes, like HOV lanes, for people who are just trying to get to work. Like the poor drivers of delivery trucks I saw stuck in that mess.
    And while we’re at it, when are the local Starbucks (Starbuckses?) going to set up separate queues for those of us who JUST WANT COFFEE, and have no interest in standing there for 10 minutes while someone states 20 or so modifiers on the sweet treat they’re ordering? Did malt shops take that long, back when there were malt shops?
    Over the summer I found a Starbucks in Memphis that does that, at least during certain morning hours on weekdays — a special line for coffee drinkers. Now that’s what I call civilization…

  4. Brad Warthen

    On Sunday at Barnes & Noble, I got to the head of the line with a mere glance of moral superiority at the young guy who KNEW his girlfriend was going to be awhile deciding on her nonfat mocha yadda-yadda. I didn’t even have time to get indignant. It was nice.

  5. just saying

    I think the SB on the USC campus has some set up to let people cut if they just want plain old coffee.

  6. bud

    I also went to the fair at lunch. Left about 2. Is this the new way to enjoy economic depressions, by spending $8 for the privelage of buying a $5 corndog?
    I’ve gone to the fair at lunch for years but I’ve never seen it so crowded. Someone told me it was kindergarten day. I guess that explains it. Still, I was shocked to see so many people given all the urgency about the economy. Frankly, I’m skeptical. Could this just be a conspiracy to give big bankers a few extra bucks?

  7. just saying

    It was raining at the end of last week so many people probably put off there first visit. Today is also a holiday for some, again increasing the number that can attend. Finally, its a once a year thing that people likely have planned ahead (although I doubt most have consciously planned for – would you have anyway of knowing if they’d given up eating out some other time this week to go, though?)
    I’m waiting for how the football and basketball tickets for next year’s college games will go though as my indicator.

  8. just saying

    Turkey leg and small soda, $10.00
    Funnel cake and small soda, $6.00
    Two hours at the fair with friends, priceless.

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