80’S CANCER JAM OF THE DAY:
Ahh, Fall. The leaves are starting to show off their red and gold hues. There’s a little nip in the morning air. The kids are back in school. And Darryl and his other brother Darryl pull out their cleanest pair of overalls, splash on some Electra aftershave, grease up the mullet just right, and drive the pickup with monster tires over to the Mountain State Fair.
Yes, my family and I voluntarily head to this spectacle each September to see what canvas of humanity will spread itself before us. We are never disappointed. No matter how sophisticated Asheville gets over the years, you will find the same group of redneck troglodytes that has inhabited the fairgrounds since 1957. I don’t know where they come from. I don’t see them in my everyday life, grocery shopping, walking in the park. Yet they band together en masse at fair time.
Let me see if I can’t paint a picture that will burn out your retinas as it has mine. This year, our fashion contest winner was a 60-something cougar wearing cut-off denim shorts that revealed her sagging ass cheeks with the prison heart tat on one side. She paired this artfully with a skin-tight midriff-baring satin tank. Her nipple ring kissed her belly button ring just so. When she smiled, her three meth teeth sparkled as they held her cigarette dangling elegantly from her bottom lip. It’s a good thing I wasn’t on the prowl for a man; I didn’t stand a chance.
Then we had the 400-pound woman wearing tight knit slacks and compression stockings to keep her from getting a blood clot as she made her way to the fried mayonnaise balls (seriously). She stopped in kiddie land to let her grandson ride the carousel and to rest on the fence. As she reached for her pack of cigarettes, she dropped her cane. Luckily, her 500 pound son came to her rescue with a folding lawn chair just in the nick of time. Phew!! She collapsed in the chair and lit her Marlboro black.
And let’s not leave out our parent of the year award. Remember Darryl from earlier in our story. He brought his family out for a lovely evening at the fair. He in his overalls with no undershirt and his blonde Joe Dirt mullet. He was also rocking the home-drawn tats up and down both arms. Darryl was pushing the baby in a stroller, keeping him content with a bottle full of Pepsi. Running a few steps ahead was an older boy, maybe 4 or 5. We’ll call him Darryl Jr.
Darryl Jr. was fairly rambunctious in his excitement to go on the rides, probably a side effect of his awesome nutritional plan. He kept getting a little too far ahead of the rest of the family, and Dad would yell at him to come back. This went on 2 or 3 times, and then Darryl had to pull out the Dr. Spock parenting manual for his next move. He screamed out, and I’m not making this up, “Jr.! Get your ass back over here or I’m gonna break your fuckin’ legs!” Well, let me tell you, I think he must have the right idea, because Jr. sprinted back to the family, no questions asked, no time outs. I’m definitely writing this down for future reference.
Once I got my steak pita and hot apple dumplin’ fix, I decided that I had just had too much fun for one night. The senses can only take in so much. I waddled back to the car and tried to erase the images from my mind. I want to have a clean slate for next year.