Once a year for seventeen days we throw open the doors and welcome over a million visitors. We sell them carmelized popcorn, rumbleberry pie, fried dough with their choice of several sugary toppings, locally brewed beer, Italian ice cream, a giant baked potato stuffed with everything-and-chili, foot long hot dogs slathered with everything-and-sauerkraut, and much much more. And my building is but one small part of this huge fair. Every year as I watch America waddle through the building, the crowd seems to get fatter and hungrier. I am reminded of that program called "Scared Straight" in which young urban toughs get exposed to hardened lifers who show them what life in prison will be like if they don't mend their ways. The sight of my fellow citizens stuffing themselves and their obese children is sobering and frightening. I double my time on the tread mill and can barely swallow lettuce without guilt. One year we tried offering "Health Food". They wouldn't have it.
Tomorrow our state Miss will be here to greet the crowd. She'll probably be a little too thin, but being in this building, like being on TV, adds ten pounds.