Ten Proposed Changes To Make The State Fair of Texas Far More Bearable.
Bring up the State Fair of Texas in a crowd and you'd better be prepared: You can either agree that it's the best thing ever or you can ready yourself for a brawl.
That's no joke: We've actually seen folks almost get physical over the matter.
While enjoying some post-fair drinks on a Midlothian patio last fall, we witnessed a guy dressed as Santa Claus nearly get into a fistfight with a complete stranger after said stranger had the audacity to make a disparaging comment about the conditions in which the pigs at the fair were forced to live.
Even though the bar's manager quickly stepped in and quieted the situation, we couldn't help but side with the random stranger. The fair does kinda suck. It's overrated: The prizes you win aren't at all practical; you can't eat and feel happy with yourself afterward; all of your footsteps are crunchy thanks to all that discarded trash that covers the fairgrounds; things catch on fire; and, the whole time you're there, pretty much all you can think about is how quickly you can leave.
Look: We're not saying the fair doesn't have a lot of potential. It's just that, with all the fair's frivolous spending of late, we can't help but think that all this money could have gone to improving the fair in vastly better ways.
To that end, we offer up the following suggestions.
Beer as Prizes on the Midway. Because if you're going to be spending most of your paycheck on games you're probably not going to win, you should at least be rewarded for your valiant efforts with a better prize than a giant stuffed frog that'll end up in the back of your girlfriend's closet for years to come.
Fat-Free Turkey Legs. Hey, you save where you can. Everybody knows at least one person that would fall for this gimmick and end up parking their butt by the smoker for these things. These are the same people who see the “fat-free” label on a box of frozen, plastic pizza and buy 10. It's fat-free, after all. No guilt here, folks.
Alcoholic Sno-Cones. They'd be kind of like those frozen, sugar-laden margaritas — but better. And they'd come in those nostalgic wax cones that fall apart at the bottom, just like your health. Why isn't this a thing at the fair yet? A watermelon sno-cone with an extra bite to it, or ,maybe a cola-flavored one that's doused in whiskey? You know you'd buy one.
Deep Fryer Dunking Booth. The rules are easy: You hand over a wad of tickets to the teller and start chunking balls at the bull's eye. There'd be multiple options of food, and whatever you hit ends up falling into the fryer. Like we said before: Coming away with some fried goodness as the prize to an oft-rigged game beats having to lug around a Styrofoam stuffed animal with a broken neck any day.
Biodegradable Cutlery and Food Containers Because you're going to just throw your trash on the ground anyway. Screw trash cans, right?
Flame Resistant Clothing for Big Tex. A no-brainer, really. I mean, after spending half a million bucks to rebuild Big Tex after last year's disaster, we can only hope that they took a few extra precautions to keep our man from any sudden, fiery danger this year.
A Discrete Room for People Watching. Pay a couple tickets and you're in. It'd be like People of Walmart, but in real time, right in front of your eyes. You know you're going to be relentlessly judging people walking around the fair anyway. So why not do it with a clean conscious? And, hey, not having to awkwardly connect eyes with The Walking Lard? That's just a bonus.
Tofurky Legs. Vegetarians and vegans: This is what you've been waiting for. You can no longer sit on the sidelines and not partake in this iconic fair-food staple. And the best part? You don't have to worry about accidentally biting into a vein or that gelatinous fat. This sucker would be nothing but pure yum. And it won't make you feel sluggish after. You're welcome.
VIP Rooms on the Ferris Wheel for Nookie. It's pretty darn cute when couples go on the Ferris wheel together. But you could take thing from cute to sexy with the 10 extra tickets we'd charge for this option. These special carriages would come with discrete coverings — y'know, so you can still see the view but so others can't peep in on your makeout sesh. Unless, of course, you don't care, in which case you should probably just save your extra tickets for that tequila sno-cone that also doesn't yet exist.
Shitty Car Shows. Sometimes you get sick of seeing all of the nice cars on all those spinny wheels and maybe a bit jealous that you don't own a vehicle that's considered “expo-grade.” Easy fix! Just across the way from those “Cars From The Future” exhibitions, we proposed a “Cars of the Past” exhibit full of cars just like the one you drive. And, for a few extra tickets, we'll even let you grab a sledgehammer and take some of that jealous rage of yours out on the cars themselves. Hit the cars like a wrecking ball and get as emotional as you'd like. Miley Cyrus, if no one else, will understand.
Cover photo by Jeremy Hughes.