...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Monday, August 13, 2007

you give me just a taste so I want more

Excluding frogs, Fred Flintstone and Fantasy Island, I love many things - both nouns and verbs - that start with the letter F. At this time of year, when fair season kicks in, my favorite F fantasies fixate on funnel cake.

Greasy, hot, twisted (greasy), powder-sugar coated (greasy), funnel cake. Freakin' heaven on a plate, baby! I indulge once a year at our state fair, and last Friday was to be my day to feast!

Through years of research, I've found it best if you don't just shoot your load immediately and dive into a funnel cake all willy-nilly. Nope. The way I see it, and the way I do it, is as follows:

Earn it.

Make it's doughy goodness yours only after you've endured the heartbreak and the hardship that comes in a relationship with something so saddled with calories and decadence, because you just now your heart's going to break the moment your lips touch the powdered sugar.

That was how I was able to step up to the state fair vendor with an open heart and my pride cast aside. Maybe drooling a little in anticipation. Just a little. I'm not a funnel cake slut, after all. I'm a respectable junk food eater. To earn this treat, I did the following:
  • Gave 14 hours of hardcore family togetherness with my mom, sister, two nieces, my two sons and the nearly 97,000 other diehards who wanted to be around us.
  • Basked in the sweet aroma that 97,000 people produce when Mother Nature decides to go all bad ass and kick the temps into the high 90s and a heat index in the low 100s. Note to the dude in the FFA shirt wafting down the grandstand - just because you work with livestock doesn't mean you have to smell like you just rolled around in the pasture, my friend.
  • Cringed at the distinct possibility my four year old niece would drop a treasure in the back of my mini when, 30 minutes outside the fairground gates, in a crunch of cars and nowhere to go, she started wailing with the desperate need to use the bathroom. For not one, but two reasons, if you catch my drift.
  • Stared in wonder at a pair of finely pierced man boobs. God bless you, Grandpa, and your A cups for having the guts to try and carry that look off.
  • Ascertained that the mohawk has taken the reigns over mullets as the go to hairstyle in the midwest. Finally! The young and the old were totally rocking that look. By mid-afternoon, I was messing with my kids' heads, trying to figure out how they'd look with the killer stripe.
  • Stood aghast as I watched a film of the calving process. I found it, honestly, terrifying. The look on my face, the one kind of like this, clearly indicates I'm a suburbs kinda gurl. Cows are for gettin' in my belly after being cut into delicious steaks and hamburgers. I don't need to know how they come to be.
  • However, my sons apparently do, for I found myself busting out "the talk" with them while we rested on a park bench outside the agriculture building. Seeing nature in all its infinite glory will apparently make a young man's fancy turn to science and biology. "So, babies come out of your stomach?" my oldest asked "Well, um, not necessarily." "So, where do they come out of?" my youngest asked. "Oh, hmm. Well, sometimes they come out of where you potty," I replied, giving them as much technical detail as feasibly possible in my quest to always tell them the truth, and "potty" seems like a pretty scientific word to me. Alas, my attempt at teaching was met with uproarious laughter. "Say that again!" my youngest begged. Stupid me, I did. Five or six times. Nothing like a child's laughter to make your heart sing and remember why you birth those calves in the first place.
  • Made upwards of 590 stops for temporary tattoos to cover every visible body part four children could find. Shockingly, though, in comparison? Only five bathroom breaks.
  • Spent 30 minutes wading through an ocean of people to make it from the middle of the fairgrounds to the other side to hear an ABBA tribute band. Hell yeah, my babies! If you change your mind, I'm the first in line! Do not mock me. Also, do not mock the tribute band members, committed to their shiny jumpsuits and dutch boy hair. Well, ok, I may have, just a bit, when I turned to my sister and said, "Do you think there is pride in their voices when someone asks them 'What do you do for a living?' and they are forced to admit they sing "Chiqitita" three shows daily at state fairs across the country?" Sue me. It was 13 hours into the fair for me by then.

And at the 13th hour mark, I got my funnel cake! Sweet success! Greasy fingers, powdery sugar goodness at my grip...

Until four kids looked at me like I just delivered them the keys to the chocolate factory. When I told them to bugger off, they then proceeded to maul me, zombie style, until before I knew it, they had eaten the entire funnel cake and I got none! Not one bite!

That, of course, prompted me to mutter one of those F words I sometimes dig.

Yep. Fernando!

Damn if I don't also love a good ABBA tribute band...



Blogger Nanette said...

Honey I'm still free, take a chance on me.

And, toss me one of those f'n funnel cakes. Now! I need one, right this minute!


Monday, August 13, 2007 5:30:00 AM  
Blogger Edtime Stories said...


Monday, August 13, 2007 6:00:00 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Mmmm. Funnel cakes -- a treasure not to be shared. Damn kids. Mine did the same thing the last time I try to enjoy that incomparable fried batter.

(You don't like Fantasy Island?!? Aren't all Americans preprogrammed to love shows with midgets??)

Monday, August 13, 2007 7:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funnel cakes? Not talking ot that, once I start I can't stop. Ooey gooey white-out.

Hey, never watch a calving on film. The real thing is always better!

And oh boy, I'd not wanna be you when they find out babies don't come from where you potty .... just saying, that's a load you don't wanna have to clean up.

Monday, August 13, 2007 8:08:00 AM  
Blogger cat said...

The exquisite yumminess of Funnel Cake is known in the more northern parts as fried bread dough. And oh, boy, oh boy! Let me tell you there is nothing better than a fried lump of unhealthy goodness covered in icing sugar in the summer. We used to summer in upstate NY and there were two separate Church Bazaars that would sell this stuff. Talk about a heavenly experience!

Monday, August 13, 2007 9:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hearing that you didn't get to eat any of your funnel cake is one of the saddest things i have ever read. (note the single tear running down my cheek) Simply tragic.

scslnond (Oh you are definitely my Dancing Queen)

Monday, August 13, 2007 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Choppzs said...

Ok, I have a great recipe for funnel cakes! I have made them at home a couple times and they turn out great! Then you can do it in your free time, when you are at home, in peace and have no kiddos around! Then you can mow em down all yourself!!

Monday, August 13, 2007 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

Funnel cakes truly pale in comparison to the one great festival food that can only be found in hidden booths in the "top-secret" areas of the midwestern town carnival:

The elephant ear.


By the way, am I the only one that is wondering why on earth the organizers of your state fair would sign an ABBA tribute band to perform?

Was Carrot Top unavailable? Could the Menudo tribute band not make the trip?

Monday, August 13, 2007 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

FL I have to agree the elephant ear does reign supreme...Great post fadkog.

Monday, August 13, 2007 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

You can have the funnel cakes but I'll wrestle ya in a pit of strawberry jello for your elephant ear.

Shoulda told the kids they were going to be sold off to the "carnie's" in exchange for funnel cakes. Fair trade don'tcha think?

Monday, August 13, 2007 4:25:00 PM  
Blogger Recovering Soul said...

The only thing better than the Abba tribute band is the Prince tribute band I saw performing in Las Vegas.

Monday, August 13, 2007 6:08:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Nan - "Oh you can take your time baby, I'm in no hurry, know I'm gonna get you. You don't wanna hurt me, baby don't worry, I ain't gonna let you. Let me tell you now
my love is strong enough to last when things are rough it's magic.
You say that I waste my time but I can't get you off my mind.
No I can't let go.
'Cos I love you so."

Ok, sometimes I go a little overboard...

Ed - Thank you for that short and sweet compliment...as always, dear...

Kelly - Fantasy Island brings back bad Saturday night babysitting flashbacks. *Shudder*.

And next time? Next time I go totally stealth if I have a funnel cake around those heathens!

XI - Dude, the *film* traumatized me enough! Seriously! I watched my own kids being born and that was spooky enough! I don't want to see something have chains attached to it and wenched out ever again! Seeing that makes me *this close* to never eating a hamburger again.

But I'll probably get over that part, because seriously. Hamburger. Yum!

Cat - Basically, anything that consists of dough, frying and drizzling has me at full attention. It's a trifecta that can do no wrong!

Finished Last - Would the fact that I was left with only a lone, powdered sugared finger to lick compel you to muster up a second tear?

Choppzs - Spill this magical recipe you have! I wish to try and burn my house down with copious amounts of hot oil in an attempt to replicate this delicious gift!

FTN - I only say this about funnel cakes because in my "top secret" world, I can conquer an elephant ear by going into any grocery store at any time! So take that!

In fact, I'm gonna go buy some tomorrow and nibble on one while pondering your apparent long-standing fascination with Menudo...

Cat - Nice to see you here again! Thank you, too! When I go buy my elephant ears today, I will save one and pretend to share it with you, k?

kmmyk - People may actually pay us to wrestle in jello. If such be the case, I say game on, sista! We split the proceeds and immerse ourselves in all the elephant ears and fried dough we can get our ever-lovin' hands on!

And seriously? My kids would freakin' LOVE if I sold them off to carnies! They want access to the bad prizes they give away at fairs. In their book, carnies rule!

RS - Sweet lord! I am going to email my state fair board and immediately request this magical Prince tribute band be booked for next year's run!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 1:33:00 AM  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

Funnel cake? Elephant ears? Never had either one of them! I've seen them I think...but never had them. I'm a cotton candy girl myself....maybe I'll try one next time I go to a fair...on the other hand, maybe I'm better off not trying it..I might like it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 6:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chains? Man, they'ze kinda hard-core out there. We just reached in grabbed and yanked ... wow.

Maybe it'd be sweeter watching with your funnel cake? No? Never mind ...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 9:04:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Stacie - Funnel cake and elephant ears are like crack for those with the sugar jones. Seriously. Thank god I have the restraint not to buy them in the store, and only hit the fair once a year. The best suggestion is not to even start!

XI - Had I watched the calving while enjoying a tasty funnel cake, perhaps the experience would have been different. But I'm thinking not.

Especially when I saw them also stick their arm up there. Honestly, the only person I want to see sticking their arm up an animal's bum is Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs. I will watch that over and over again. Cripes, he'd probably convince me to stick my own arm up an animal's bum. I am honestly that easily swayed by the charming and the snark, I tell ya.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll send an e-mail to Mike and see if we can make that happen!

I might watch the show again just for that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 1:39:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

XI - I used to watch the show to learn something when I watched it (and sure, I still do) but mostly I just watch it for Mike.

Now, please excuse me while I go compose myself, having spoken of him so much again of late...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant, very well done. You're quite the chef.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 8:38:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Nocturnal - Pretty sure I could replicate these in my kitchen, but instead, I like to dump loads of money down at shady vendors for my caloric indulgences.

You should, however, check out my monkey bread.

Thursday, August 16, 2007 1:40:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

So sorry to be dropping in so late to the party DKG; I've been on vacation a lot lately. . .

Oh, my goodness, so many directions to go with this. . .

First, and least, I (sadly) have nothing to say on the funnel cake front; back in my day, it was pretty much cotton candy or nothing. . .

Re calving, have you ever seen the old BBC "All Creatures Great and Small" shows? I don't know exactly how they rigged the cameras, but I'd swear that, a couple times, James was shoulder-deep in a cow's, uh, vagina. . .

And, I couldn't stop laughing at the idea of an ABBA tribute band. I mean, Elvis impersonators, I kinda understand. Beatles tribute bands, I get (altho, having seen a few of 'em by now, it must be stated that all Beatles tribute bands are not created equal). Maybe a Stones tribute band (altho the Stones themselves are doing a pretty decent gig lately as a Stones tribute band. . . just sayin').

But ABBA? A tribute band? Sorry, I just don't get it. I mean, you can get the actual Tommy James and the Shondells to play at your fair (they regularly appear at the one in our county) - Crimson and Clover, and all that. Or Creedence, minus the Fogerty brothers (and, given this summer's general weather pattern, I wanna know - have you ever seen the rain?). So an ABBA tribute band just seems, I dunno, sorta less-than, y'know?

So I'm thinkin' maybe you're right after all about the ability of The Middle to attract big-time acts. . .

Thursday, August 16, 2007 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

desmond - How does one amass this fortune of vacation time!? Is it sad that I am viewing the return to school as my vacation time!?

While I am so entrenched in the middle I couldn't dig my way out, I have to admit, cheesy as it was, I kinda dug the ABBA tribute band. Dancing with my four year old niece didn't hurt, either.

Of course, bear in mind I own every single ABBA album on LP...

Friday, August 17, 2007 10:04:00 AM  

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