The (bizarre) Bazaar

2010 June 20
by admin
Round and round, the wheel spins.

Round and round, the wheel spins.

This Saturday night found me enrobed in fried-dough vapor, absorbing the hard-rock efforts of a young-adult contemporary christian band called “LEVITICUS” (though not spelled capitol letters, it needed to be capitalized in order to do justice to the lead singers’ emphasis when revealing it), grinning in childlike wonder. Maybe I should explain myself: since my last stopover in DC, then Philadelphia, I am living in southern Maine for the summer, and summer is not summer in Maine without the local church fundraiser-event – the St. John’s Bazaar. This event is a local institution, and coming in mid-June, signifies the unofficial beginning of Summer for our small town. I’ve been to a few events like it, a few times in Ohio, in Utah and in Maryland,  so I can say that this sort of thing happens across the country every summer.   I can remember with ultimate clarity the smells and the feelings of going there when I was 14 or so.

Come children, spin untill you puke!

Come children, spin untill you puke!

I would look around, seeing friends sneak a purloined cigarette, watching girls push the boundaries of physics with their jean-shorts, looking at backpacks I was sure contained stolen beer, and watching the intrigue of young-adult faces lit with the glare of neon. It smelled of possibility, of sawdust, mechanical grease, frying dough, fresh, vegetal cigarette smoke, and night air.

Come children, tilt n' spin n'till you puke!

Come children, tilt n' spin n'till you puke!

I remember thinking: This is attended by adults, but it is not FOR adults. This is for us. This night is designed to excite teenagers, to make us feel young.   It is one of the few (perhaps the only?) things designed by adults that makes us feel truly young, truly alive.   And last night, like a passing whiff of fried batter,  I caught that feeling just for a moment, this time, alas, from the wrong side of the maturity-divide.   So, failing the youthful excitement of the fair, I had to settle for a more adult pleasure: Making fun of the ridiculousness of these small town events.

It's terrifying....it's AIRBRUSHED!

It's terrifying....it's AIRBRUSHED!

The number of completely un-ironic mullets I saw was staggering – like a clip from a bad 80’s movie played out in real life. I am used to modern youth doing shocking things and taking further all of the stuff I considered shocking in my youth. But, certain shocking things have logical limits I supposed, incorrectly. I was proven wrong last evening, however, in discovering that 14-year old girls have managed to make short jean shorts even shorter, and even tighter, than they could a mere 10 years ago. How is this possible? A revolution in textile chemistry? Changes in physics? Yoga? I’m not sure on this. The art on some of the rides was just as bad as I imagined it.

Such childish gleee!  But such a....crustache?

Such childish gleee! But such a....crustache?

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