Every year I attend my local county fair and attempt to punish my insides for their blatant cowardice and insistence on hiding away inside me like fearful babies. Well insides, you’ve never won the battle yet and this year was no different. With a wide variety of food choices that haven’t even been in the same room as a vegetable or a fruit, you’re pretty much guaranteed to leave the fair with at least a wicked case of indigestion, shame and probably little to any chance of a sexual encounter within the next 24 hours. Man, I trumped all that big time.
Last year I made a mockery of myself with the blooming onion, a deep fried onion monstrosity afloat on a sea of grease. This year I decided I needed to go more brutal, more hateful towards my own insides and more thick.
I bought chili cheese fries.
Oh, sweet merciless death. I don’t know why I thought this would be good, it literally looked like someone shat on fries and gave it to me, but dammit if I didn’t eat the whole thing.
The cheese served on chili cheese fries at a fair is what they may opt to call “nacho cheese” but in reality is some kind of yellowed, viscous liquid salt product that has cheesy undertones. It coats the fries the way paint coats a wall. It coats your insides the same way.
The chili on fair chili cheese fries is chili in the way that a raw pack of ramen noodles is Chinese food. Or the way lentils are technically a protein. Or the way masturbation is sex. It’s not quite right.
I ordered my $8 order of fries and watched as two teenage girls who apparently only could have been less happy to serve me if I was pissing on them judging from the looks on their faces collaborated to get a cardboard boat of some kind of some slop paper to line it before heaping in some fries. The cheese was spooned in from a massive vat with crusted yellow/orange edges. It was appetizing and I loved every second of it.
The chili came from a similar vat only I seriously didn’t realize it was the chili at first. The surface was red and still, like a blood-filled swamp at Twilight, the calm surface serving to disguise the horrors that laid within. Were there beans? Meat? Maybe. It had texture, I can swear to that. Someone I was with refused to glance at it a second time and called me a disgusting monster for eating it.
It felt like hot anger going down but dammit if I wasn’t enjoying it. The part of my brain responsible for self preservation died in a beer keg related accident when I was in college and ever since I’ve been known to eat and drink all kinds of terrible things fit for neither man nor beast. It’s a talent.
Of course I couldn’t end my foray into madness so soon so it was off to a deep fried truck to experience deep fried wagon wheels. You ever have a wagon wheel? It’s a snack for kid’s lunches, usually. Chocolate covered cookies with marshmallow in between like a sandwich, only horribly processed and therefore not nearly as good as it sounds? Yeah, they batter those and fry them now. Look!
It tasted like hot diabetes, that’s pretty much the best thing I can say about it. It wasn’t awful but really, once you start deep frying chocolate and marshmallow, in the same oil you cook chicken in, everything starts to taste the same and is pretty forgettable all around. It wasn’t nearly as traumatic as the fries but took more effort to get down mostly due to my dislike of sweet foods in general. I’ll eat pie, but that’s it.
Since we were at the deep fry truck, why not go all out and just get whatever other deep fried crap they served?
I had to borrow this photo as I never thought to take my own at this point, but that’s deep fried butter in the back and what they infuriatingly called a YOLO in the front. It’s a sausage pumped full of that same nacho cheese, then deep fried and slapped on a bun with jalapenos and some other crap. It was like eating all the feelings you ever felt after being bullied as a child, with cheese.
Deep fried butter is just disgusting. It shouldn’t exist and I feel like I deserve some kind of karmic disappointment just for eating it. Like maybe one day I buy a winning lottery ticket but on the way to cash it in I fall in a puddle and the ticket disintegrates, something like that.
No trip to the fair is complete without an elephant ear, desserts answer to “we have almost nothing with which to make dessert, what can we do?”
It’s dough that they fry and put sugar on. You can’t get much lazier than this. This is the kind of shit Oompa Loompah sailors would bring on long sea voyages to sustain themselves.
I managed to force down a giant cherry lemonade, a pulled pork sandwich, a frozen mojito (which was just a lime and mint slurpee) and some onion rings as well, at which point I realized I was a terrible human, I probably gained 5-10 pounds of pure hate, and I was going to really not enjoy the next 12 hours.
All in all it was a dissatisfyingly satisfying experience and I didn’t vomit, which is all you can ask for any trip to the fair, really. Did I learn anything? No. Did you? No. God bless us everyone.