With three days left in the State Fair, thoughts conflict between reviewing what has happened with what is still in front of us.
First in looking ahead, there are three more days with potentially huge attendance. The second weekend is always full of people who meant to get to the Fair, but procrastinated for one reason ("It's too hot") or another ("It'll still be there next weekend"). Sunday is also when the humidity is supposed to break and the weather might almost be tolerable. (Side note; I came across this interviewey-type piece in which the guy prattles about people being too accustomed air conditioning. While he makes a decent point or two, he completely loses me with his lefty, waa-waa, Al Gore, too much energy usage garbage.)
As I said earlier in the early days of this year's blogging, I still get jacked about the whole scene... seeing kids excitedly exit a car only to droop back a few hours later, people carrying mops and door signs past the house, the general buzz of activity, turning onto Orchard St after work and gauging Fair attendance (and potential parking revenue) by how far west all of the legal street spaces are taken, etc.
In the first eight days, I've can tell you that there has been more activity in the neighborhood than last year. Cars that are parking in our yard have more people in them. I know a lot of it had to do with the economy, but whichever other factors that contributed to last year's slump appear to be much less. One of those factors - rain - has very politely been a non-issue this year, save for a couple hour delay in getting last Sunday started. If tonight's forecast rain can start as late as the Channel 58 guy said last night (that the rain will move in around midnight tonight) and can end in the morning hours (although as I post this, there is a big ol' line of storms coming... nothing like a weatherman being wrong, ain'a?) it will have been a nothing event for 11 days. Not bad after record rainfall in July.
Also looking back at the day I spent at the Fair this past Tuesday (and now that I've stopped sweating) I recall our walk through the Expo Center, where My-Sugar-Na and I (and about 236,000 others) had dipped in for a breath of recrculated air and came across a booth that had some sort back massage pillow on a rocking chair, and the chairs were full of people trying them out. At the next booth was a rain gutter display. The guy in the rain gutter booth must have had finished a demo and was hosing down his display when he missed his target and completely drenched a little old lady sitting in one of the rockers. It was hilarous! We were just about to pass the booths when it happened and got a front row view. The lady took it well, even making a comment about being "quite a way to cool off".
My good friend, I'll call him John from New Berlin, said that he was at the Fair on Monday and when he came upon a tent marked "healthy lifestyle", and it was deserted. I guess with all the unhealthy food being hawked they must have felt like an earring on a pig. A little Fair humor... get it?
My wife and I are going back on Sunday after we park our cars. That has been kind of a tradition, to "close" the Fair. We will go around 6 or so, then stay until they kick everyone out at 9 (Side note, Stubborn Old Man mentioned a couple of years ago why the Fair closes so early on the last day. I still don't think that's a good reason. Not disputing that it is the reason, only saying that I think it is a dumb one).
Speaking of Channel 58, they clearly read my blog, as their lead State Fair story was the hot, humid weather, and the increase of activity in the Bell Ambulance Center. This was not your typical Touching, Friendly "Golly its hot, but look at the hats and the cute kids sucking on popsicles and dumping water on themselves" vignette. They intereviewed people that had been overcome, spoke to staffers in the Bell Ambulance Center, and spoke to others saying that they were leaving the Fair earlier than planned because of the weather. Whodathunk... actual news delivered during the 9:00 news. Kudos.
Proving that I don't know much about much, we were able to park 12 cars in our yard yesterday, bringing the eight day total to an outstanding 90 (and already beating our 2009 revenue). When we only got two cars on Wednesday, I was sure it was because of the weather. If that was the case, was the weather six times better to account for the six-fold amount of parked cars? I should really stop trying to speculate reasons for why we park more or less cars and just enjoy the property tax offset.