Thursday, July 3, 2008

Swifty, the (pooping) Swimming Pig

I haven't braved the County Fair for years, my various excuses including the traffic, the heat, and the fact that it usually moves on to another locale just as my summer gets started.

But for some reason this year, The Fair beckoned. And I decided it would be the adventure I embarked on with my girls on my first day off with them (yesterday). I gathered up two of their cousins and another five-year-old neighborhood friend, loaded up the minivan with carseats and snacks, and we were off.

The only guidance we were given by Previous Fairgoers this season was Head to the Right for Kids' Stuff, Don't Miss the Pig Races, and Avoid the Koolickles.


Heading Right was Right On. In the livestock barn we found pigs snuggling each other, cows ready for petting, and lots of goats and sheep wearing shirts.

We washed the farm off our hands and had some time to kill before the Pig Races started. Two roped-off astroturf areas at either end of the track gave kids preferred seating, so my crew hunkered down while I nodded my head to entertaining country songs (Toby Keith's "I Wanna Talk About Me" was a highlight) and mused on the County Fair Lifestyle, as represented by the Swifty Swines deluxe trailer, from which were to emerge all manner of hogs and humans.

My two-year-old daughter was mostly "I scary" about the Pig Races, but when I talked her into taking just a peek at four hell-bent piglets careening around the track for an Oreo cookie, she too cracked up. There were three heats, each with a theme: sports stars (piglets named Trevor Hogman), celebrities (Brad Pig and Britney Spare Ribs), and politicians (Hilary RodHAM Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenhogger).

The highlight was Swifty the Swimming Pig, who would dive (so we were told) into a trough of water and swim the length. Swifty, a little Pot-Bellied Piglet, didn't look too game (what with the trying to escape and the squealing and stuff), but his handler coaxed him into swimming across twice--by putting him in the water and making paddling his only survival option.

On the third go-round, Swifty stopped to take care of business, and then, WOW! leaped unexpectedly to the midpoint of the trough's length, and swam to the other end, quite triumphantly. We were appropriately astounded and impressed (as well as wishing for an instant replay).

So when Mr. Swifty Swine Productions offered up Pooping Pig Keychains as souvenirs for $1 a pop, I recognized this as a cheap, entertaining, and unexpected Fair Memento from Auntie Fer: Kids, take this dollar here. Give it to the man. Get yourself a Yow! Disarmingly-Gross-in-a-Pretty-Much-Clean-Way New Toy. Your parents will totally dig it.

We wasted no time popping those pigs out of their plastic wrappings, exclaiming over their squeeze potential, and attaching them to belts and buttonholes for safekeeping.

(FYI: the gastro-intestinal tract of the Pooping Pig of Keychain Souvenir does not appear to be anatomically--or proportionally--correct. By a long shot.)

After that, we rode some rides in Kiddieland (that name makes me PUCKER), ate some ice cream cones, watched people ride elephants (is this really conservation outreach? Made me a little uncomfortable), and won ourselves some fish in tanks (let's be honest here: I paid to bring those fish home On Purpose, though my nephew DID throw a ball into one of the Impossible Fish Bowls, winning us an Additional Fish. Go, T!).

And, we got to glimpse the Monster Trucks/Motocross Extravaganza from the parking lot on the way out, since those crazy MoFos were catching some serious air.

All in all, I am happy about my 2008 Fair Foray. My only regret? I missed the Deep-Fried Blue-Cheese Burgers.

Maybe next year. Or, the year after...

1 comment:

JJ&K said...

I think you should have gotten a pooping pig for Mom's stocking at Christmas...:-)