Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fair Game

Last night I went to Cub Foods to snag some groceries, and as the cashier was ringing up my bread, potatoes, and other miscellany, she asked me, in a moment of very polite small-talk, if I had purchased my tickets to The Fair yet. I told her I had not, and did not intend to, even though I live within walking distance of the fairgrounds.

"Why aren't you going?" she asked, again with emphasis on the politeness.

I thought for a minute, deciding how to best answer her question without coming across as mean-spirited. "Well, I don't really like the crowds..."

"You should try going in the morning when it's not busy," said the woman in front of me who had already paid for her groceries and was busy packaging them in brown plastic sacks. "I don't like the crowds either, but if you go in the morning it's really not that bad." The cashier nodded in agreement as she drew a bag of broccoli across the scanner.

I was caught. Thinking on my feet, I tried a different angle. "Yeah, but it's so expensive to go, and then to do anything there." That would do the trick.

"Oh yah..." responded the cashier. "but if you get your tickets from the Customer Service desk," she said enthusiastically as she waved her hand, "they're only eight dollars!" She had a point there.

"And there's so many things to do for free!" responded the lady in front of me. "You can see all the crafts, and the animals, and look at the outdoor exhibits..." She went on, and I could sense a near-palpable enthusiasm and genuine sincerity in the voices of these two women who were trying their darndest to get me to reconsider The Fair.

"You know, maybe I'll give it a shot this year," I told the cashier as she handed me my receipt. "I haven't been there in about four years, so maybe it's worth a look." And I meant it too, even though I remained unconvinced. And so I left the store with two bags of food for thought, and who knows...maybe I'll give it another shot time time around.

But in the meantime, I will be attending a different kind of Faire with some of my cousins on Saturday. Huzzah!

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