State fair food (an inventory)

1. Spiral-cut, deep-fried potatoes.  Opening salvos of grease are fired into my arteries to soften up the defenses.  Voluminous salt works to deaden the taste buds early, rendering them sensitive to (and craving) only more salty, fatty foods.  My mouth is prepared – it’s time to go to work.

2. Deep-fried Wisconsin cheese.  Globules of pure fat wrapped in fat-retaining breading, boiled in liquid fat and served in a fat-soaked cardboard tray.   My heart clenches up in anticipation of difficult times ahead as the first mozzarella stick intrudes on my mouth, but my brain assuages the lower organ’s fears with calm reassurance: “Marinara dipping sauce.  That’s vegetables, right?  We’ll be fine here!”

3. Lemon shake-up.  Sugar keeps me ambulatory, and enough water and ice to fill a basketball offset the payload of sodium I have already ingested.  This is a pre-emptive defensive maneuver – if I am to kill myself this day, measures must be taken that I can both pull myself to the ledge and find the energy to jump.

4. Funnel cake with powdered sugar and strawberry goo.  Another course of sugar, but this one brilliantly segues back into the world of the deep fat-fried.  My lips become see-through, saturated as they are with grease, giving me the appearance of a constantly smiling beauty pageant contestant.  But up close I am no beauty.  I am descending into a world of oil that drips from pores – blood that pumps desperately through tightening heart-valves, into struggling atriums and ventricles.  My voice is silent but my eyes scream a thousand wordless terrors.  I am mortal!  I face it at last!

5. Fried corn fritters with spicy mayo dipping sauce.  Oh my fucking god.

6. Chicken taco with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, and hot sauce.  This is it – the last pseudo-healthy thing I will eat this day.  Or ever.  After this, I plummet into a nightmare world of the breaded and glistening.  On this temporary oasis, this last refuge of the damned at the very threshold of the abyss, I choke down some meat that was cooked in only a few tablespoons of oil (though at least it is largely the fattier dark meat).  I fish through vegetables with my fingers to dig out the tastier shreds of processed cheese.  I throw away the tortilla, emptied and only half-consumed.

7. Deep-fried pickles.  The healthiest food on earth, the cucumber, has been murdered and sliced up and cooked into a pile of fat-pucks.  I ram them gleefully down my throat, ignoring the tingling sensation in my left arm and the despairing whimper of my weakening pulse. 

8. Deep-fried green tomatoes.  Et tu, tomato?  Obviously this dish requires more unpleasantly warm ranch dipping sauce to aid its dreadful slide into my gullet.  My heart stops a few times – God damn you, you quitter!  You don’t see ME giving up, do you?  I wipe my beard with a wad of napkins and they stick to my face.  I leave them there; there’s no room for vanity on a stretcher.  Not as big as I’m getting, anyway.

9. Something.  I don’t know what I’m eating any more.  The city spins around me.  People are staring.  A crying child – did I steal the ice cream from his waffle cone with my bare hand?  Perhaps.  A tractor runs over my foot.  As oil and mayonnaise and ranch dries into a sticky mass on my chest, I fall prone and look into the heavens – and I see the face of Jesus.  He is made of fresh farm cheese… delicious creamery butter… saturated, hydrogenated, fucking amazing fats. 

God bless the state fair, and guide me to the light.

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7 Responses to State fair food (an inventory)

  1. […] the Indiana State Fair after work. If you want to know what my evening will look like please read this entertaining prophecy by Special Agent Dale Cooper. The only things he seems to have forgotten […]

  2. Jen Fu says:

    OMFG that was funny. I can hardly wait to kill myself with fat and sugar. And sugar and fat. Last year, I tried the fried Pepsi.

  3. I wandered near the fried Pepsi booth just to see how the hell one fries a Pepsi. It appeared that they were just Pepsi-saturated dough balls, fried and topped with some sort of Pepsi reduction. That’s the general idea, right? It seemed pretty gross, and also kind of a cheat on the whole concept of “take something weird and fry it” that the fair is doing the last few years. If you have to mix it with dough to be able to fry it, that’s a cheat in my book.

    As long as I’m on the subject, here is my personal ranking of some of the weird fried crap of recent years (scale of 1-10):

    Fried Twinkies (8.0) – surprisingly good; was able to eat one on several occasions, but am now a bit sick of them

    Fried Oreos (3.0) – wouldn’t be quite this high except that they taste like Oreos and fried breading, which is always good no matter what. But what happens to the cookie when you fry it is unpleasant, to put it mildly. Twinkies are somehow magically improved by frying, but Oreos just disintegrate into a cloud of Oreo-flavored bits.

    Fried candy bars – various, but I tried the Snickers (0.0) – Nastyness. I wondered if anything other than the obvious would happen to a chocolate bar when you fried it, and the answer is a big fat “no.” Once you get inside the breading, the innards are like those candy bars you used to leave, half-eaten, in the back seat of your parents’ car on a brutal August afternoon at the mall. An hour later you’d return with a shopping bag full of JC Penney’s back-to-school sale items, and there it would be: a complete transformation of deliciousness into sugary vomit, replete with nutty chunks and rivulets of nougat. Gag.

  4. Jen Fu says:

    I agree that the fried Pepsi was somewhat of a cheat, but they did put a Pepsi syrup coating on the balls of fried Pepsi dough, along with some sugar.

    My reaction to it was weird. I ate one and said, “That was disgusting.”

    Then I ate another one. Fortunately, they were gone at that point since I was sharing with a group, and I still had enough free will not to get back in line for more.

  5. beetqueen says:

    Don’t forget the other cheat this year…deep fried latte. I don’t even like the real thing, so I can only imagine deep frying it is awful, but for anyone who wants to get a buzz while they clog their arteries, this might be it.

  6. beetqueen says:

    Looking back over this list, with the exception of the tomatoes (which we didn’t buy for you to sample), I think you ate all of this. Oh, and a bit of deep fried Twinkie. How are you alive today?

  7. JimPanzee says:

    There was no funnel cake. Somehow. Even adding in the three items from my list I managed to eat all of this (except those two things).

    If I go back…and there’s a good chance I will. I will get:
    Corn
    Corn fritters
    Lemon shake up

    and I will make sure to get the funnel cake. I really don’t care about the tomatoes; they’re easy enough to make at home.

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