A Stingray Affair

State Fairs are fun.
They’re even more fun when you play hookie from work like I did last Monday.
A three day weekend? So worth it!

My dad was visiting from Small Town, USA.
Is that a legit town somewhere? Someone should look that shiz up on Wikipedia.
If so, then I totally just lied to you.

He’s actually from Iowa. The same place where yours truly comes from.
And if you’ve recently read up on your Iowa history then you’d know that my pops lives in the same town that President Herbert Hoover was born.
Poor Herbert. That’s really the worst name ever. Was his nickname Herby? Like Herby the dentist. Quick! Name that reference. (Herby the dentist from the classic Christmas tale of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer for those that have never experienced Christmas)

Anyway. State Fairs are always a good time. Rickety rides, corn dogs and small time vendors.
It’s really the only setting where you can buy a Tempurpedic and munch on fried butter. Yes, fried butter.
Only in A-merrr-i-ca!

You know what else you can do at the State Fair? Pet and feed stingrays!

Look, that one is smiling.

Now there’s a certain process that you must take to feed these bad boys.

Step One: Rinse your hands and arms. These things are super high maintenance. Your grimy body is just too much to handle for these guys.

Step Two: Buy fish. Let’s face it. The Children’s Museum has to make money somehow.

Step Three: Hold the tail end of the fish in your hand with your thumb tucked into your hand. These buggers will suck your thumb right off if you’re not careful. Plus, those fish gotta see what’s going to be their inevitable demise. Poor things. Disclamer: Don’t worry. Those fish were already dead. I wasn’t about to wrangle a fish to feed those stingray suckers.

Step Four: Lower your hand deep into the tank and let the rays swim over your hand and suck the fish right out of it.

And since I’m all for education, here’s some facts about these stingrays:

They don’t actually have any teeth hence the sucking. Man, they’d be a real hit at a crawfish boil.

They are extremely soft to the touch. Ah yes. My Spring 2012 collection will feature a stingray petticoat and matching fedora.

Kidding! Please don’t come after me PETA.

Other things you’ll see at the State Fair:

A man on a pole and not the Magic Mike kind.

How’d you like that job? With half your body somewhere else, you just sit there all day commenting on people passing by. Not really my cup of tea, coffee or pint of bourbon but to each his own really.

Now you can’t leave the fair without gorging on some sort of fried food.
I went with the classic corny dog.

Instagram makes my dog look real good. Or the mustard does. Either way it was a jalapeno-filled, cheese haven of processed bliss.

Now, I’m off to go test out some fried recipes so I can compete for the most artery-damaging food competition. I’m thinking a deep-fried bacon cheeseburger wrapped in more bacon and fried again in motor oil for a beautiful crunchy outside and a juicy, meaty inside. Genius! Grand prize winner right here!

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