2009 Iowa State Fair, Day 1

I narrowly averted disaster at this year’s Iowa State Fair trip. The forecast on Friday night made it sound like storms would be slowly rolling into Iowa from Nebraska during the day and would hit the Des Moines area at some point Saturday evening. While I didn’t want to see a stormy night, I nonetheless accepted it as a better scenario than waiting for Sunday when there was an even greater chance of all-day storms. I woke up Saturday morning at around 8:30 and checked the radar to see what was shaking and felt the pit of my stomach ache as I looked at a giant cell of storms already in western Iowa…about six hours ahead of schedule. Now what, I asked myself….

I know I had said last year that I was gonna go to the Fair later in the morning in the future so that my aching feet could hold out longer into the evening. Unfortunately, that plan went out the window as I decided I better head to the fair as early as possible since I was likely to be rained out as early as mid-afternoon. I was already at the fairgrounds before 10 a.m. expecting a short day but managing a very long one, holding out until almost 11 p.m. with only a couple spurts of frustrating but brief rain. All told, I got extremely lucky as the hardest of the storms moved north. Was it worth it? Sort of. I know I said last year’s Iowa State Fair was a fairly mediocre day, but having reread my narrative from last year it sounded downright exciting compared to this year. I didn’t get any epic sightings (you can’t count on those every year) but managed only three genuine blockbusters and one infuriating would-be epic sighting. Numberswise, I did manage a best-yet 107 sightings, topping last year’s 101 sightings, but I was there an extra half hour or so this year and the quantity didn’t necessarily mean quality. There were alot of third-tier caliber sightings that only nominally met my threshold of “satisfying”. Most disappointing was the dearth of underage smokers. Now I know from general observations at my local skate park and last month’s Summerfest that there are still plenty of underage smokers in Iowa, but for whatever reason, they weren’t to be found at the Iowa State Fair this year. Anyway, time to let the sightings speak for themselves…

I arrived at the grounds around 9:40 with the sun still shining and generally feeling the usual invigoration I feel upon walking into fairgrounds knowing I’ll be seeing girls smoking for hours and hours to come. The storm clouds on the horizon sunk my spirits a little, but I was determined to make the best of a shaky situation. Mornings tend to be lacking in sightings and tend to be really frustrating when you see middle-aged parents sitting on benches smoking next to adorable teenage daughters who don’t yet smoke. For whatever reason, I see a much more disproportionate number of older people versus younger people smoking at the Iowa State Fair than any other venue. The state of smoking in Iowa is still robust if you count people over 40. I cobbled together a few modest sightings in the first hour before scoring my first memorable one of the day with Sighting #5, a mother-daughter sighting with an attractive 22-ish brunette daughter and her mom puffing away next to a dumpster near the bathrooms at the edge of the grandstand (one of my most productive venues of the day). Both women drug hard and deep from their cigarettes with some serious hold times in their lungs and impressive exhales while casually talking. The adorable matriarchal bonding moment ended when both women tossed their cigarette butts into the nearby dumpster. I’m always disappointed when I see women and girls throw away their butts rather than simply flinging them.

Sighting #6 was a young mother smoking on the curb next to her son and two teenage girls I assumed were sisters. Mom had long and curly light brunette hair and her outfit of tanktop and capris made her look much younger than she apparently was. From the back, you could have sworn she was 16, but when you saw her face you could tell she was mid-20s. She was one of a handful of impressive young mother sightings I got this year. Sighting #10 would be in the same realm with a long-haired dirty blonde in the company of two other couples pushing strollers. She was the best-looking girl of the three and the only smoker as they rested near the bathrooms.

Sighting #14 was a family that had just entered the gates. Mom was smoking, dad wasn’t, and the two college-age daughters were split. The younger-looking of the two was an adorable brunette who unfortunately was not smoking, but her dirty blonde ponytailed 21-ish big sister was afflicted with the addiction, dragging intermittently from a freshly lit cork filter. I followed close behind and was very impressed with this girl’s figure, concealed in a skimpy tanktop and khaki shorts. She was chatting with the younger sister between drags and looking amazingly hot. As the family was about to enter one of the buildings on the grounds, girlie dropped her cigarette to the pavement and stomped it out before proceeding inside. I looked down to see the butt was a full-flavor Marlboro Menthol. Not bad girl!

My next hot mommy sighting was Sighting #21, a flashy-looking early 20s mommy in the company of two middle-aged women that looked like older relatives of some sort while standing behind the grandstand. All three were smoking.

Sighting #22 would come only a few moments later at the edge of the midway. A hot 18-19ish light brunette cutie with a spectacular body draped in a tanktop and form-fitting striped shorts was standing behind a vendor booth with a guy about her age smoking. I’m thinking both were fair workers out on a smoke break rather than boyfriend and girlfriend. She was one of the more wholesome looking smokers I’d see during the day and as I walked away she was standing there engaged in what appeared to be a b###hing session about work, her sweet voice raising while talking to the guy and her cigarette fairly animated in her right hand while talking.

Next would come my would-be epic sighting of the day. I’m still beside myself with frustration that I couldn’t have stumbled upon this only two minutes earlier than I did. I’m navigating through the crowds on the busy south side of the grounds and almost stumbled right into a knockout 21ish hottie (in the company of a boyfriend and another couple….none smoking) with a baseball cap, long light brown hair flowing down her back, and a pair of uber-sexy white shorts that were frayed on the ass. In her hand was a mostly smoked Black and Mild cigar. My breath was temporarily taken away. As I’ve said in the past, cigar sightings are the Holy Grail for me. I followed at a close distance, expecting one of my hottest cigar sightings ever. But only about 20 seconds later, I heard her whisper to the boyfriend asking if he’d put this out for her. He took the cigar, lifted his foot, and crushed out the cherry on the bottom of his boot before handing it back to her. She held onto it until they got to the next gas station and then tossed it. I was devastated. I didn’t even get to see a single drag! I didn’t get a single splash of smelly cigar smoke streaming from her lungs into my face. I wouldn’t get the chance to rate this sighting as an epic…..or even a blockbuster. It just barely met the threshold of classifying it as Sighting #23. I nonetheless followed the group into the nearby building they walked into to get another look at both her white short-draped ass and that beautiful face. She was indeed a knockout…and it would have been such a treat to see just one puff off that cigar of hers. But it wasn’t meant to be. I’d see her and her cluster twice more on the grounds that day….and neither she nor the other three in her company would be smoking.

Despite the disappointment, just the fact that I saw this cutie with a Black and Mild in her possession gave me a burst of energy. Sighting #26 was the next that caught my attention. A cute college-age ponytailed brunette sat on the rear of one of the buildings with a cigarette in hand. She was checking texts with her nonsmoking boyfriend looking over her shoulder. Few things more adorable than cute girls smoking in the presence of nonsmoking boyfriends.

Not long after that is when it happened. At three different stages earlier in the day, I had watched ominous storm clouds just to the west, but the reports I heard on the radio stations playing at various points in the grounds was that all these storm cells were avoiding the Des Moines area and heading northeast. My luck would run out at 3 p.m. however. A steady bout of rain began to fall and everybody was racing to get inside the already-crowded buildings. I was concerned my day was effectively over standing elbow to elbow in the entryway of a building, but in about 10 minutes the rain stopped. Not only did the rain stop, but the sun came out. Sure, it was suffocatingly hot and humid, but the rain crisis was over and I felt a metaphorical rebirth to the day that would be consistent with my sightings as I was poised to score amazing back-to-back blockbusters, two of my three best sightings of the day….

I was passing by the extended seating area behind the grandstand when I caught Sighting #30 in the corner of my eye, two fresh-faced teenage girls with freshly lit cigarettes extending from their fingers as they sat. My heart raced as I migrated towards the seating area for a closer look. It was an ebony and ivory sighting, with one black girl and one white girl, both in the 17-18 age range and neither looking like smokers. The black girl was a little chubby and not particularly attractive, but her more pale-complected friend was the very picture of innocence. She was slender and wearing a T-shirt with blue denim capris. Her light brown hair was propped up in a ponytail at the top of her head, and as if her face wasn’t youthful and innocent-enough looking, she also had braces!!! It was a sight to behold as this pair sat amidst the crowded seating area openly smoking their cork filters. Her smoking style was largely that of a fairly new smoker. She was clearly inhaling but her exhales weren’t particularly cloudy or intense. I got to see almost the entire cigarette get smoked before she tossed the butt to the still-wet ground and crushed it out. Moments later, the girls left and I swooped in to take their bench and check out the brand name on that butt. It was a green Camel cork filter. And this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing from these two girls.

Riding high after this sighting, I headed down to the south side of the grounds where I would score the second of my three best sightings of the day. Right next to a cluster of water fountains is another large seating area. As I was taking my sip of water, I looked up from the fountain to spot Sighting #31, two small and cute early teen girls, one with a pack of smokes proudly displayed next to her jean shorts. I quickly headed that direction to find this amazing duo of 14-ish blonde cuties seated on the cement burm in the middle of the seating area with ample space surrounding them. Only one of the girls was smoking, but both were a sight for sore eyes, with blonde ponytails, cute tanktops, and skimpy jean shorts with smooth teenage legs flowing from outside the shorts. They had just the slightest badass appearance to them. They weren’t the middle school class sweetheart stereotypes, but definitely had the look of the “second-tier” cuties who hung out with a rougher crowd and were the crowning prize of whatever lucky working-class bad boy could score them. But the best part was the blonde smoker’s specific pack of cigarettes displayed next to her denim-clad backside was Newports. Newports are incredibly rare in Iowa and cost about a dollar per pack more than other brands because of their scarcity….yet here was this adorable 14-year-old girl committed to ingesting the most expensive and highest-tar, highest-nicotine cigarette on the market into her petite body…..

Regrettably, her cigarette was almost finished and I only got to see two drags, but she smoked it down to about a tenth of an inch from the filter before flinging the cigarette airborne right into the middle of the pavement in the seating area. She stuffed the pack of Newports into the front pocket of her jean shorts and got up with the friend to walk away. As I beheld their youthful beauty, I heard the friend (who I never saw smoking) talking to the smoker and said, “Yeah, when I’m smoking with (some random friend)…..”. This took me aback since I didn’t see the second girl smoking. Might she have simply finished her cigarette before I got there? Is she only a social smoker? Or was she talking about getting high? Whatever the case, I was elated to hear the second girl likely has a nicotine addiction of her own. After the two walked away, I looked to the pavement where she threw that Newport butt, impressed with how little tobacco was left in it and briefly admiring the sight of the thick, creamy Newport smoke rising from the still-wet pavement. I would actually see these two little gals a couple more times on the grounds in the next hour or so. They weren’t smoking, but they were journeying through the grounds at a very fast clip….not quite a run, but a very hasty and jubilant walking pace in the way you would expect to see two 14-year-old girls excited about the fair. What a treasure it was to know that at least one of the two girls had that pack of Newports in her shorts pocket and was likely tapping into it more that day. Had I been able to see more of her smoking than just the two drags and hear more of the girls’ smoking-related conversation, this would have easily been my best sighting of the day and possibly even crossed the threshold into epic status. As it stands, it’s in a close three-way race for the best of the day.

After about six mediocre hours, I seemed to have finally found my stride in the mid-afternoon and, during this stretch, would get one more great sighting (my fourth best of the day) in the midway. The Iowa State Fair midway rarely delivers anything worthwhile, but I would score a very impressive Sighting #35 at the far edge of the midway yesterday. As I was dodging carnies and the lines for rides, I caught out of the corner of my eye a glimpse of two 18-19ish girls (one tall and one short) and got a quick look at their pretty faces. Nah, I thought to myself….they don’t like smokers. Thankfully, at the next opening, I looked again, and the tall girl did have a cigarette! I got behind her at the first opportunity and discovered that these two cute-looking girls were in the company of this shirtless, badass-looking guy who had those crazy ear piercings where his lobes are stretched around some giant earring. I think they look disgusting, but apparently these girls were digging it. The best part was, however, that the guy wasn’t smoking. Could it be that this cute and tall long-haired brunette in her black tanktop and white shorts was the real bad influence in the cluster, corrupting both of her friends by exposing them to her secondhand smoke. It was a hot idea to ponder as I watched the cutie take a couple final drags from her Camel cork filter before dropping it to the midway pavement and crushing it out.

Turns out I was premature in declaring that I had hit my stride. I was back in a cycle of mediocrity in the late afternoon, slowly cobbling together more mediocre sightings. One of the better ones was Sighting #45, a college-age blonde fair worker sitting at the traffic gate on the south side of the grounds. She was only a modest beauty (and nothing like last year’s amazing light brunette jean-shorted cigarette hottie sitting at the same gate with her milky-smooth and cellulite-free legs) but it was nice to see her smoking on the job this way.

Sighting #52 finally delivered something memorable for me. I was near the entry gate and saw this trio of two 18ish guys and one 18-ish girl enter the grounds. The girl had a cute face and very dark brown shoulder-length hair, a bit of a Goth look but not quite that extreme. Again, not class hottie material but an excellent catch for the average 18-year-old joe. Only seconds after entry into the grounds, girly fished around in her purse and extracted a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. She accidentally dropped the cigarette to the pavement, but quickly knelt down to pick it up, apparently applying the three-second rule as she would immediately insert her cork-filter Marlboro into her mouth. Neither of the guys were preparing to smoke as she lit herself up, and both headed for the first building in sight. As the guys walked into the building, she smiled and held her cigarette up to them, letting them know she’d be outside enjoying her cigarette for the time being. Damn it, there are so few public spaces where you can smoke these days that she was gonna take immediate advantage of that freedom at the State Fair. I watched for several moments as she dragged copiously from her cigarette, letting her male friends experience the fair without her.

In the next stretch, I would stumble upon two interesting asides, one that would later pan out and one that wouldn’t. Near the bathrooms at the edge of the grandstand, where I had already scored a couple impressive sightings that day, I observed a late 30s husband and wife lighting up beside an adorable 13-14ish blonde daughter. I watched from afar and detected a nervous energy between both father and daughter, and got myself excited about the prospect of dad handing daughter the cigarette for a couple sneak drags. I watched for the duration of the cigarette but it unfortunately never happened. Would have been the sighting of the day if it did as cute as girly was. Next as I migrated through the edge of the midway and the cluster of bars in front of it, my eye caught this stunning light brunette beauty. She had such an innocent and adorable-looking face that I would have expected she was about 18 even though she was probably more like 21. Most striking about her appearance was this pair of painted-on blue jeans covering her spectacular ass. The back pockets on the jeans were bursting off the ass, frayed in several spots and about two-thirds loose from the rest of the jeans. This girl really stood out to me, but she was not smoking….at least not yet. To be continued….

I had to settle for Sighting #56 in this stretch, a brunette hottie standing in between the two bars lighting up a Marlboro Light next to her blonde nonsmoking friend. She had a great body and a tight pair of black jeans that stood out from the crowd.

I was approaching the 7:00 hour holding up pretty well, both physically and in terms of sightings numbers. I had to leave the fair at 7:00 in 2007 because of heat exhaustion, but had 70 sightings at that point in the day. Last year, I only had 55. Today it was heading up to 7:00 and I was already over 60….and was heading back to that same area between the midway and the bars when it happened…..Sighting #64, which I’ll rate as my best of the day simply because there was so much going on. In between the two primary restaurant/bars is an office which is apparently the base of operations for the police on the fairgrounds. I saw several troopers inside the back door of this small building, but standing just outside and talking to one of the troopers with her friend was a very familiar looking light brunette with a very familiar pair of tight jeans with back pockets falling apart. Only this time, she was holding a freshly lit all white in her hand and had a pack of Marlboro Light Menthols stuffed underneath her belt. I was beside myself with elation….

The conversation between the trooper and the two young ladies (one smoking and one not) ended very soon after I spotted them. The two girls then proceeded to the edge of the midway. I followed, unable to take my eyes off of how amazing that posterior looked in this pair of jeans. They were eventually met by a couple others, including a woman and a guy who looked considerably older than the smoker and her friend. Both the woman and the guy embraced my adorable smoker girl with a warm hug, carefully avoiding the cigarette smoldering between her fingers. Amidst the hug, I got another chance to admire this girl’s classically beautiful face. Even though I’m suspecting she was in the 21 age range, her fresh face screamed 17 or 18. That’s when it really got hot. This new couple had two young kids (a boy and a girl in the three to six years old range) who also greeted lil’ miss smoker. She hesitated briefly, but held her cigarette behind her back and embraced the two kids with a hug as well. I can only imagine the thoughts going through these kids’ heads, both apparently having nonsmoking parents, as they looked up at the pretty face of mommy and daddy’s friend but then being struck by how incredibly stinky she was as she hugged them….

At this point, dad took the kids and the three young ladies were headed for the entryway of the bars. Thankfully, I still had plenty of time to admire my girl’s smoking technique, which I had no suspicion at all would be as impressive as it was. The crowd in front of the bar was pretty intense so I really had to pay attention to keep track of my girl. On two different occasions, I saw the cigarette approach her lips followed by a pretty deep drag. She would then get caught behind a couple of people and I would lose track of her for 3-5 seconds. Damn, I thought to myself on both occasions….I must have missed the exhale. But lo and behold, a clearing would open up and I would see her head tilted upward, exhaling jet streams of smoke that had spent a pretty good length of time trapped inside her black lungs. Got me to fantasizing that the length of time she held that smoke in her lungs may have contributed to those back pockets bursting off her tight jeans from all the built-up pressure. The friends were heading into the entry of the bar, and of course the state smoking ban applies to fairgrounds bars as well, so my girl had to finish her smoke outside, taking one final long drag, but then apparently deciding to save the few remaining drags from her cigarette as she snuffed out the cherry with her fingers. It hardly seemed worth reviving the remaining 3/4-inch of tobacco left on her cigarette, but she nonetheless unlatched the MML pack from her belt and dropped the remainder of the cigarette inside. She then marched into the bar, never to be seen again that night unfortunately. This impressive performance certainly kept my spirits high for the generally lackluster evening hours to come.

The 7 p.m. hour struck and I had 66 sightings….a pretty good number for Iowa State Fair sightings (in the last three Minnesota State Fairs, I was between 110 and 125 sightings by 7:00), but unfortunately the best moments of the day were behind me and another brief spurt of rain was about to hit. Just before the rain came Sighting #70, which I only caught in passing as a family walked my direction. The family consisted of mom and dad and two teenage daughters. Mom and the oldest daughter (about 18-19) were both smoking. The girl wasn’t a stunner, but attractive enough to be compelling in this context. Unfortunately, my plan to double back and follow was stymied as I began to turn around and discovered dad looking back straight at me, almost as if detecting that his daughter was about to be stalked. I quickly went a different direction entirely, content with merely scoring the snap sighting of this nicotine family.

And it was a good thing I did. I turned the corner from this sighting to spot two of my favorite girls of the day….the ebony and ivory duo with the cutiepie with braces smoking. Both girls were on the bench eating at this point, but I had a good feeling what they were probably gonna have for dessert in a few short minutes. I made a quick loop around the general area and returned to the bench where the girls were sitting. And sure enough, they were both sitting them with two more freshly lit Camels between their fingers. Nervous about being spotted seeing as how I watched them from close range already once that day, I had to get creative and ended up sitting on some indoor benches behind them and watching their second nicotine show of the day from the rear. The cute girl exhibited an identical smoking style in the early evening as she had exhibited in the mid-afternoon, with intermittent drags of decent proportions and modest exhales. My vantage point turned out to be perfect as I watched the tobacco show in its entirety till she crushed out her second Camel underneath her flip-flop.

After that, the rain fell and although it sucked, it only lasted about 10 minutes and made for some cute sightings of teenage girls with perfectly smooth and tanned legs walking around the grounds with mud splattered all over the backsides of their calves and thighs. Seemed like just about every girl I saw in my final midway loop of the evening looked as though she had just jumped in a mud puddle.

It was soon approaching dark and more than 10 hours of walking was taking its toll on my feet, requiring more downtime to sit and rest on various benches. At one point, I went to a free concert in one of the bandshells and listened for about 15 minutes before feeling guilty about all the tobacco being consumed on the grounds that I was missing out on. I was determined to stay until 11, depending on the weather, but would have 2 1/2 long and painful hours to endure to get there. This is the exact reason I had planned to hold off on arriving at the Iowa State Fair until around 11:30 a.m. this year….so the last few hours wouldn’t be so damn painful on feet. Shortly after leaving the concert, I passed a group of four 18-19ish couples, none of whom were smoking. In the group was a modest beauty, a ponytailed brunette in a white tanktop. She didn’t look like a smoker, but as I passed her I saw her fishing around in her purse. I assumed it was for a cell phone or for money to buy fair food, but nonetheless turned around to watch as I walked away…just in case. Imagine my surprise when an all-white is lifted from her purse to her lips, soon to officially become Sighting #74. I turned around and walked her direction, watching her surprise light-up and her first couple of drags in the presence of her nonsmoking clique.

The decidedly mediocre quality of the sightings in the mid-evening hours was making it hard to justify pressing forward on my sore feet, but finally around 9:30 I hit a patch of impressiveness that started with Sighting #79, where I caught the tail end of a 19-ish blonde smoker who I had seen on the grounds earlier in the day and who struck me as very hot. She was in the company of an equally hot light brunette in an unusual but strangely sexy plaid blouse. The light brunette was not smoking but the blonde was taking the final drags off of her cigarette before tossing the butt into the nearby garbage can. Wish I had gotten to see more, but it was satisfying just to know at least one of these girls was addicted to nicotine.

I migrated from there to the same bathroom area on the edge of the grandstand where I had already scored a few good sightings yesterday. Standing next to the wall near the bathroom was Sighting #80, a dark-complected mid-20s brunette in a low-cut yellow top and tight jeans, taking the final drags off of her cork filter before dropping into the pavement still smoldering and heading into the women’s bathroom. I walked up to see it was a Marlboro Red before migrating a few feet away and seeing Sighting #81, another brunette, this one a college-age cutie with black top and slacks in the company of a smoking boyfriend. The boyfriend was heading to the bar to pick up drinks for one or both of them, and the girl stood there finishing her all-white cigarette, which she would ultimately crush out where she stood. While watching this sighting play out, the Sighting #80 girl left the bathroom and walked towards the bar herself.

In just a few minutes, I sat at the edge of the midway, resting my feet and hoping to see some smoking among the cluster of teenagers that always hang out across the street from the midway. None of these teenagers were lighting up, but a pair of 18-19ish couples walked right up to the burm where I sat for a few moments. The girls were both attractive, one blonde and one brunette, and had the air of likely smokers. But they walked away without lighting up so I thought the opportunity was lost. About two minutes later, however, I would look towards that cluster of teenagers across the street and just to their left were the two couples who had just sat next to me, all lighting themselves up, including both girls who would become Sightings #83 and #84. I got to see a few drags before they got up and walked off into the darkness.

After that I hit another boring stretch, disappointing in those late evening hours. I kept scoring sightings but nothing particularly impressive or memorable. Finally, in my last half hour or so of the evening I woud score a few memorable moments, two of which came at the beer gardens area on the west side of the grounds. Just outside the beer gardens gate stood two girls and a guy, all smoking. Most striking was the first girl, Sighting #99, a brunette with numerous blonde highlights and a very pretty face. She looked about 23 and reminded me of this nonsmoking girl I recently dated named Annie, except cuter. Adding to her sex appeal was the torn denim miniskirt she wore, with frayed fabric along a good six-inch tear near the bottom of the skirt. Her modest brunette friend next to her was officially Sighting #100, but the miniskirt girl was hotter and a much sexier smoker, taking intense 4-5 second drags (not quite as intense as the six-second drag girl from my local fair last week, but in the same general realm as her) and releasing cloudy exhales. The guy and the other girl retired back to the bar, but my favorite girl wasn’t done with her cigarette, and leaned by herself against a railing to finish it off, finally wrapping it up and stomping it out on the grass.

Simply walking around the corner past the main part of the bar I would score the next sightings with a cluster of hotties seated at the edge of bar. Upon arrival, only one blonde (Sighting #101) among the cluster of very attractive 21-ish gals was smoking, but more was yet to come. Most impressive was that the location where they were seated was most definitely under the jurisdiction of the smoking ban, yet they didn’t seem to care. The brunette across the table from the blonde smoker was the prettiest girl of the four and the next to fish around in her purse. Sure enough…here came the cigarette (Sighting #102). Thankfully, there was a place to sit and watch this show unfold. The brunette lit herself up and then I saw the blonde sitting next to her fishing around in her purse as well. At this point, a new song came on and the two girls who were not yet smoking seemed excited, deciding to get up and dance on the street to the song playing, but I could see the blonde walking off with an unlit cigarette (Sighting #103) with the other friend, the only one at this point not in possession of tobacco paraphenilia. Nonetheless, I stuck around to watch the blonde and the very pretty brunette smoke their cigarettes at the bench. The pretty brunette was most impressive, dragging intensely and then releasing triple jets of cloudy exhales through all three of her beautiful facial orafices. I watched for 5-7 minutes before the show was completed and the cigarettes were crushed out, then headed out to the street to see if the two that departed could be seen with cigarettes while dancing, but couldn’t find either of them.

It was now 10:30 and I planned only one more loop around the grounds before taking my fatigued body home for a much-needed rest. Thankfully, I was in the right place at the right time to score my last impressive sighting of the day. Walking the opposite direction as myself was a young couple where the guy looked a few years older than the girl, both wielding cigarettes. The girl was smokin’ hot, looking about 19 with long blonde hair, a youthful and pretty face, pink T-shirt, and tight dark blue jeans with glitter and sequins sparkling from her ass. Needless to say, I reversed course for a better vantage point of Sighting #105. Amazing how the pain goes away when in pursuit of a quality sighting as I was able to keep pace with the couple, walking just far enough back to get splashed by some of the girl’s secondhand smoke yet not close enough to be easily detected as stalking. They kept walking until they arrived at a bar on the grounds. The guy was finished with his cigarette, but girly held back outside to finish hers as the guy went inside to buy a drink. A couple of minutes passed and, adding to my speculation that the girl was not yet 21, the boyfriend returned with only one beer…for himself. His adorable blonde girlfriend seemed perfectly content to keep ingesting toxic carcinogens from her cigarette however as they once again set their feet in motion on the concourse of the grounds. Eventually she dropped her butt to the pavement, which I would determine in passing was a Parliament.

I scored two more modest sightings in the final few moments before making that agonizingly long march to my shuttle bus just outside the fairgrounds, with 107 sightings under my belt. My best year at the Iowa State Fair was easily my first year, 2006. I only scored 85 sightings, but among them were two epics and good 7-8 blockbusters. None of my remaining ISF visits have lived up to that lofty standard, and 2009 was probably the weakest of the four. Still, I’ve had worse days of sightings at fairs in the past and had enough impressive moments to make the day, and its toll on my body, worth while. Beyond that, I still have my now-traditional second trip to the Iowa State Fair to look forward to either Tuesday or Wednesday night after work. I did this in both 2007 and 2008 and had several very impressive sightings both nights, so the 2009 Iowa State Fair experience is not over yet!

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