Deep-Fried in the Heart of Texas

At the Texas State Fair it is probably more surprising you can pet a zebra than eat one, deep-fried and covered with bacon on a stick.

Wandering around the fair this past weekend felt both familiar and bizarre. Everyone felt like my friendly neighbor next door, but the snakes monkeys and turtles each had two heads or three too many limbs. There was an abundance of cultural art, but that art was made of butter and judged on its anatomical correctness. Purell stations are located at each exit, next to the cow and pig manure on the dirt floor. Massage chair salesmen espouse the health benefits of their products just outside the food court where someone is consuming deep-friend bubblegum.

Like the state and county fairs I’ve attended in Wisconsin, the Texas State Fair felt like the great American equalizer. Social class and politics disappeared for the sake of an end-of-summer celebration for all people and by all people. The fair was a place where a man wearing camouflage pants and a “Secure Our Borders” t-shirt could exchange pleasantries and order cotton candy from a Hispanic fair employee. And that’s what we all love about it. We can eat our deep-fried s’mores and reflect upon the greatness of America.

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