2013 Iowa State Fair, Day 1

It seems as though my all-day Saturday excursions to the Iowa State Fair go in pairs in terms of quantity and quality.  In 2008 and 2009, I had generally average days of sightings with a few memorable moments and, respectively, 101 and 107 sightings.  Keep in mind I probably lost out on a dozen more sightings back then by arriving earlier and leaving a little earlier (usually before 11 p.m.) because my feet were shot.  In 2010 and 2011, it was looking like the Iowa State Fair was rising to the level of the Minnesota State Fair in terms of sightings quality and output as I scored blockbusters and epics left and right and ended the days with, respectively, 136 and 143 sightings.

And then there’s 2012 and 2013 which were also very similar years, albeit in a dubious way.  Last year’s first day at the Iowa State Fair was one of my worst days of fair sightings ever…..and this year was even worse than that.  I did exceed 2012’s haul of 109 sightings with this year’s 114 sightings as the evening hours produced pretty good numbers.  But last year I had one epic sighting of an uber-wholesome mid-teen brunette smoking outside the sheep barn (ISF #11) who made the whole mediocre day worthwhile.  This year there were no epics.  A handful of sightings rose above the fray to the point of putting myself out there to observe the sighting in full and a couple may make the outer edges of my favorites list, but I don’t think anything I saw today would even make the top-10 list of last week’s impressive local county fair.  You always have to be prepared for days like this because they’re always gonna happen, but when you’re hot off of the awesomeness I saw last week an abysmal day really seems like a letdown.  The upside, I guess, is that I should have one of the shortest fair write-ups of recent memory.  No 25,000-word epochs like last week.

I arrived on the grounds via shuttle bus at almost exactly 11:30 which is about the perfect time, giving me just over 12 hours of primetime fetishing and keeping my feet from getting as blistered up as they do if I try to stretch it into 13 or 14.  Hot off of last week’s successes at the FCF I’ve been extremely excited all week about the ISF, especially since it’ll be my only fair this year that isn’t beset by higher cigarette taxes or some level of smoking bans, and it was one of those mornings where the energy was palpable climbing off that shuttle bus to a sunny day of 80-degree weather dedicated to smoker girls.  And the first hour of the day went along surprisingly well.  After a modest first sighting, I went to the fairgrounds’ south side and saw Sighting #2, a very attractive late 20s blond mommy in a gray tanktop and jean shorts who was with a nonsmoking husband and a daughter who looked about three or four and was looking for a bathroom while mom smoked.  They found a port-a-potty for the daughter near the entrance of one of the livestock buildings and mom hung back to smoke her all-white, which was a joy to observe with her solid style.  The day was underway and the possibilities seemed endless.

And the sightings continued coming at a decent clip for this early hour, with Sighting #5 playing out within the next 15 minutes.  This was a foursome of smokers seated in the south side seating area, including a middle-aged couple and a young couple, with either the young guy or the young gal, both in their mid-to-late-20s, likely being the son or daughter of the older couple.  All four were smoking but obviously there was only one that interested me.  The younger gal was a decently attractive dark blond in sunglasses, a pink and white striped top, and jean shorts, and she was an impressive smoker.  Her drags were frequent and her hold times were well above-average.  I sat and watched most of the show before it became clear that I was looking too familiar to them.  However, only about an hour later I would see the young couple again, by themselves this time, seated on a bench and smoking again.  The younger gal continued to impress with her serious smoking style, particularly those lengthy hold times.

Sighting #7 came shortly after the first sighting from my #5 girl.  Near the horticulture building entrance was what I assumed was a family consisting of a middle-aged guy, a young adult daughter, and her two late teenage brothers.  The only one smoking was the daughter, a fetching dark blond in a black top and jean shorts.  She was talking to the dad as she smoked while the brothers waited to their side.  I only got in on the last three drags of this one but appreciated the family dynamic where only the daughter smoked.  She dropped the cigarette and crushed it out before they walked away.  I identified the cigarette butt as a Camel Light.  Things were well on track at this point for a solid day of sightings…..

And that’s when the bottom fell out.  After that first hour, sightings slowed to a complete trickle and I could not believe how dead things were.  We’re talking one or two mediocre sightings for hour after demoralizing hour in the early-to-mid-afternoon.  It was just brutal.  And as big as the fairgrounds is, I kept wondering if my problem was simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time and missing the smoking that was inevitably occurring elsewhere on the grounds.  For whatever reason, the daytime hours at the Iowa State Fair are more often than not kind of mediocre but this was a whole new realm of sightings wasteland I had never experienced.  I’ve said for years that nothing worthwhile happens at my local county fair before dark and I cringe at the thought of either of my state fairs becoming sightings deserts during the daytime hours as well since you can see a lot more detail in the daytime sightings.  For now I’ll chalk it up to bad luck and hope things go less miserably next time.

Anyway, I would finally break the drought during the 3:00 hour with Sighting #12, my second best sighting of the day.  I was fast-approaching full-blown panic as I circled the seating area behind the grandstand when my guardian angel arrived in the form a teen brunette with her family.  Two parents, a boyfriend, and the girl were all approaching the grandstand to walk through the vendors operating underneath the grandstand.  The 17ish daughter in a striped T-shirt, jean shorts, and cowgirl boots was the only one with a cigarette.  She was pretty cute too….not cute in a way that made my knees buckle, but cute enough to where I didn’t get a smoker vibe from her in the year 2013.  I watched her take a few drags and my hours of sunburnt disappointment briefly disappeared in a way that only the sight of smoky carcinogens flowing from a pretty teenage face can do.  And then the sighting became a mother-daughter sighting if only for a moment as the girl offered mom the cigarette for a quick drag, which mom took her up on.  There was nothing about mom that did anything for me as she was just your typical middle-aged Iowa mother with no sex appeal, but I loved that mom handed the girl back her cigarette and then went into the grandstand with dad….while the girl and (presumably) her boyfriend hung outside.  She offered the boyfriend one drag from the cigarette as well which I could have done without just for the sake of the storyline, but again, all he got was one drag before he had to relinquish possession of the cigarette to its teenage female caretaker.  I snapped a couple pics but didn’t get a close-up shot of her face unfortunately.  She finished the cigarette and crushed it out before heading under the grandstand with the boyfriend, hoping I’m sure to catch up to the parents who got at least a minute head start on them while the daughter was preoccupied with her nicotine needs.  The butt was a Marlboro Light.  While this wasn’t quite the “FINALLY!!!” moment that last year’s teen cutie (ISF #11) who broke a long dry spell was, I did get a renewed spring in my step and went on a mini-roll in the next 15 minutes.

Sighting #14 came shortly after, consisting of three 20-something smokers sitting on the curb on the Grand Concourse, including two guys and an attractive redhead.  They had just lit up and were puffing away, with my redhead being one of the more attractive smokers I had seen in hours.  Nothing that warranted an extensive writeup but definitely another sight for (literal) sore eyes at that point.  Another form of relief came when thick clouds came over for a few hours around 3:30.  Normally I’m all about sunny and 80 degrees, but when out in the baking sun all day like this, I’ll take some cloud cover to limit my exposure, especially when I’m looking at another 12-hour day at an amusement park the very next day as I was on Saturday!

Sighting #15 came only moments after the previous and came as I looked down an alleyway leading to the backside of The Depot, the oft-cited fairgrounds bar on the northwest side of the grounds.  I could see an attractive young lady wielding a cigarette on the horizon.  I boogied on over to see if she was worth the hype and alas, she was….a beautiful late 20s or possibly early 30s dark blond with sunglasses wearing a black top and pink shorts.  She was talking to a nonsmoking couple and I sat on a convenient nearby bench and snapped a decent photo.  I watched her take a few drags and she was a rock-solid smoker with some cloudy combination nose-and-mouth exhales.  It was only after a good 45 seconds watching this that I realized she was holding a cigarette in each hand.  I knew what that meant and about 10 seconds after that observation a guy I presume was her boyfriend or husband showed up with beers and reclaimed the cigarette she’d been holding for him in her left hand.  I had a bit of a problem though as there was a guy sitting next to me on this bench and I didn’t realize until after the fact that he probably knew I snapped the photo.  Much as I wanted to stick around to identify her cigarette butt (pretty sure it was a Marlboro Light), I couldn’t risk it and ended up walking away.

Like I said, I was on a semi-roll here, but never was able to completely break the spell of mediocrity and slow sightings pacing.  At 5:00, I only had 24 sightings.  This is important because when I come to the fair after work during the week for a half day of sightings, I enter the gate at 5:00.  Is it worth those 5 ½ extra hours on the grounds in the hottest part of the day for 24 sightings?  At least for now I’ll brush it off as a uniquely painful aberration, but it’s something worth considering if this pattern continues.

Anyway, as afternoon approached evening I would score a few more above-average moments, and the mother-daughter sighting enthusiasts would probably enjoy Sighting #26, which consisted of a middle-aged mother and a cute 19ish ponytailed brunette daughter sitting on the curb and smoking respective cigarettes.  A nonsmoking dad sat down next to them with fair food and joined in on the fun with the smelly females in his life.  I saw a few drags by the daughter decked out in a tanktop and jean shorts before she crushed the cigarette out on the curb.   Now for the sighting’s downsides….the mom was smoking Marlboro Lights and the daughter was smoking L & M’s.  What kind of a dynamic is that where the mom smokes a higher-quality cigarette than the daughter?!?!  And the daughter, while otherwise looking pretty wholesome, had a couple of piercings in the center of her face that were a big buzzkill for me.  The piercings didn’t ruin her completely for me, but it took a little gravitas away from a sighting that could have otherwise rocked pretty hard.

Sighting #28, moments later, was another that registered as fairly solid but lacked the special flair needed to get the late afternoon up on its feet.  It was a young worker at one of the bar and grills near the center of the fairgrounds in front of the midway.  Their workers all wear red shirts so it’s pretty easy to identify one out on a break, and this short-haired auburn-tinted 19ish cutie was definitely one of them.  She sat there in a pair of multi-colored jean shorts leaning up against the wall, with her legs in adorable arch as she texted away with a cork filter cigarette protruding from her right hand.  The girl was cute, but didn’t have that innocent look I’d been searching for all day.  Still, it was a pretty solid sighting and I got a modest photo of her.  I had hoped to identify her cigarette butt but another nonsmoking girl came and joined her, sitting right next to her and I knew the break would be longer than I’d be able to stick around for.  The good news is I returned about an hour later to see the same two girls in the same spot, with my auburn-haired cutie smoking another cork filter cigarette.

There is one lengthy stretch of the grounds I generally don’t get around to much on the northeast side of the grounds just east of the midway, but I should perhaps rethink my relative abandonment of the block after scoring three sightings there on Saturday afternoon.  The best was Sighting #31, a very attractive late 20s blond in a pink top and white shorts smoking a cigarette while conversing with a nonsmoking black guy on the steps in front of a building.  I got a mediocre photo and was able to see a few of her drags which were quite nice albeit not particularly distinguished.  She bent down and crushed out the cigarette on the pavement in a way that I knew she’d be hanging onto the butt and tossing it in the trash rather than leaving me lay there to identify….and I was right.   If I was able to score a really great sighting at this point in the day, perhaps I’d get more satisfaction from sightings like this as icing on the cake, but since greatness never found me, I continued to feel as though I was getting robbed.

Sighting #37 came within the next half hour or so on the Grand Concourse as I was hanging behind a young couple where the guy was smoking but the adorable blond girlfriend was not.  I figured I’d sit there a few minutes just in case she at least took a drag from his.  She didn’t, but a trio of 19-20ish girls passed in front of me and the cutest one was smoking.  She was another brunette in a black top and jean shorts.  Like so many other girls today, she had no real IT factor but at least fit the mold of a “slightly above-average young female hottie” with a cigarette on a day where even that was a huge victory.  And she was a pretty skilled smoker as well with nicely timed drags and exhales that were recklessly scattered about and which I was able to walk through.  I saw the cigarette in her hand was a cork filter, but I saw the pack and it didn’t look at all familiar to me.  I wasn’t able to get close enough to read the pack either, so now I was determined to see the sighting through and identify the evidence of the discarded butt.  I got to enjoy one of the better performances of the day while in pursuit but got a brief scare when the trio ran into somebody they knew and stopped to chat for a couple of minutes.  Thankfully, they separated just in time for the smoker to relinquish the butt and I eagerly approached to see what the mystery brand was.  It was a brand I had never ever heard of called “Time” with a cork filter and a red circle comparable to the blue on Camel Crush Bolds.  I asked regulars on one of the smoking boards if they had heard of this brand and the consensus seemed to be that they were generics.  The branding seemed to be a little sophisticated for generics but since I’ve never heard of them before I figure they must indeed be cheapos.  Shame that such a pretty girl has to settle for such a pitiful cigarette.

My third best sighting of the day and one of the only girls I feel confident in identifying as being an underage smoker was Sighting #39 on the midway.  There was a cluster of five friends walking past me and I saw an unattractive girl in the group handing a cigarette to a guy that may have been a boyfriend and may have just been a male friend.  I didn’t expect much from this group until the final member of the quintet showed up and I discovered I had given up on the group too quickly.  She was a 16-17ish light brunette sexpot in an aqua-colored backless top and acid-washed white jean shorts.  The outfit and her hairdo were kind of a throwback to the 80s (without the hairspray-induced “big hair”) which I found kind of sexy.  And in between her fingers was a pretty fresh cork filter cigarette.  I was able to snap a couple of photos of this one and really thought I was in for a treat when I saw one guy and girl weren’t smoking at all, the unattractive girl and the guy she was with were sharing a cigarette, yet the one person in the group who had a cigarette all to herself was this sweet-looking underage light brunette in the bright-colored outfit.  And she had a pretty sweet style as well, with combination mouth-and-nose exhales streaming from her cute little face.  I was all settled in for a great show but unfortunately the fun stopped far sooner than I anticipated.  She bent down to crush out the half-smoked cigarette while digging the pack of Marlboro Reds from her purse to put the remainder of the cigarette away to save for later, one of the most annoying thing smoker girls can do for me.  I was glad to get in on what I did but again felt that potential greatness short-circuited itself.

Afternoon plodded on into early evening.  I always use the 7:00 hour to determine how close I am to my baseline from the 7:00 hour of years past.  The average is about 70 sightings by that time of night.  Last year I thought I was really stinking it up with only 51 sightings at 7:00.  This past Saturday night, I managed to lowball even that with only 43 sightings.  And reinforcing how mediocre things were continuing to go, my next sighting that warrants a writeup wasn’t even a sighting at all.  Sighting #56 was a long-haired mid-20s blond walking with mom and wearing a pair of tight dark jeans.  In the back pocket of those jeans was a pack of Camel Pink No. 9s, a favorite brand of mine from 3-4 years ago that has become very scarce since.  She and the mom stopped at a spot near the center of the grounds an hung around for a while.  I returned to the spot a few more times to see if that pack of Camel Pink No. 9s ever came out, but it never did.  I still counted her as a sighting since there was just cause to believe the cigarettes were hers, but it was still yet another lost opportunity.

Sightings #58 and #59 consisted of a duo of 20-something dark brunettes hanging out with a nonsmoking guy who I saw smoking on the south side.  One girl was the prettier of the two, decked out in a black dress, but the best part of this sighting was that there were two attractive young ladies smoking at the same time.  “Multiples” sightings are what really crank up overall numbers, and this was only my second sighting of the day of more than one girl, which more than anything else was the problem with Saturday’s weak numbers.  Back to the duo in question, I’d see the same trio on the grounds about an hour later, and the prettier girl was smoking again.

It was now right on the cusp of sunset and I had a big choice to make.  One of my favorite music bands as a teenager, the country-rock group BlackHawk, was performing on the free stage that night, and I really wanted to see them.    Unfortunately, the stage where they were playing is in the far southwest corner of the grounds and is a good half mile walking distance from the center of the fairgrounds where I figured I had the best chances of seeing worthwhile sightings.  So if I committed to this concert or even half of it, it would come at quite a cost time-wise.  If the day had been an unqualified success, I’d have probably ridden the momentum and skipped the concert considering how few days a year I get to do this, but since I was getting little satisfaction from fetishing the grounds, I decided I’d go to the concert after all.  Turns out it was the only good decision I made all day, from a musical standpoint and, more surprisingly, from a sightings standpoint.

The band had already taken the stage by the time I got there around 8:15 and I scored back-to-back separate sightings within three minutes of arrival of two Asian girls both in the company of separate sets of nonsmoking Caucasians.  Neither girl was particularly gorgeous, but the second girl (Sighting #65) was the better of the two, extracting a pack of Marlboro Lights from her purse and lighting up while in casual conversation just outside the concert.  I continue to marvel at the national reports showing that Asian women have smoking rates comparable to Catholic nuns because in the Upper Midwest, where there are more Asians than you’d expect, especially in Minnesota, it seems as though Asian women are considerably more likely to be smokers than any other racial group, particularly Asian women with Caucasian upbringings and largely Caucasian friends groups.

As I continued to peruse the perimeter of this BlackHawk concert I was surprised to continue to tick off sightings of above-average young ladies, but after thinking about it, it sort of made sense.  I came of age in the mid-90s when BlackHawk was at the peak of their popularity.  At the same point in time, teen smoking rates were spiking at their highest rates since the late 1970s so a lot of the late 20s and early 30s gals who were fans of BlackHawk back in 1995 have likely carried their smoking habits with them into adulthood.  While I wasn’t likely to get any sightings of 17 year old cuties at this concert, it was clear a good number of my demographic contemporaries were aging gracefully here, and if you had told me I’d stumble upon my best sighting of the day on the periphery of the BlackHawk concert, I’d have told you that you were crazy, but that’s exactly what happened….

The new horse building on the grounds served as kind of a back wall to this outdoor concert venue and it served as a good spot for people seeking some level of isolation for a smoke break.  And luckily for me, I got there in time to see Sightings #68 and #69 doing just that, a duo of late 20s blonds who FINALLY  brought a little glamour to the evening.  The first girl was plenty pretty, a darker blond in a dark top and pink shorts, but the second girl was a perfect 10 knockout, a curly-haired platinum blond with a blue-and-white striped top and rocking a tight pair of white pants.  She was by far the prettiest girl I had seen all day with a cigarette in her mouth with soft features that matched her feminine outfit, and her smoking dominated my observation.  It’s possible that she noticed me as she was constantly changing positions making it hard to get extended vantage points of her smoking even though I was close, but the drags I did see were very pleasing, with nice slow and extended draws producing pleasured looks on her already gorgeous face that didn’t abate until the smoke slowly trickled from her face.  It was easy to focus on her because the other blond dropped her still-smoldering cigarette to the edge of the shrubs not long after I got there.  Moments after that, the dark blond asked her more attractive friend to watch her purse while she went inside the horse building to visit the bathroom.  Now it was just me and the beauty, a few feet apart and her with a cigarette, both rocking out to BlackHawk music which created an even more charged atmosphere to accompany the sighting….

The friend may have surrendered her cigarette earlier than she needed to, but my beauty queen wasn’t giving hers up that easy.  She kept dragging from it long after I figured she would, enjoying every drag and waiting for the friend to resurface.  Finally the cigarette hit the pavement and she crushed it out.  But I was sooo gonna stick around to identify that butt.  It would require a little more patience though as the friend emerged from the bathroom moments later and my favorite girl took her turn to empty out her bladder.  In the meantime, the dark blond in the pink shorts picked up her purse.  Hot damn she’s gonna get more cigarettes, I thought to myself.  And she did…but oddly enough, it was an orange pack of Pall Malls (!) that emerged from purse.  Not again!  It’s still a bit of a bummer to me when hot girls settle for Pall Malls, which is something I haven’t come across until the past two weeks when my favorite girl from the county fair and now my favorite girls from the Iowa State Fair were suddenly smoking Pall Malls.  I didn’t let it ruin the sighting though as things were still going nicely here with the dark blond firing up her second cigarette of the last few minutes.

Moments later, the beauty queen was back.  The thought had crossed my mind that maybe she’d smoke again too now that the friend was, but I didn’t want to get greedy.  Sure enough…the same orange pack of Pall Malls, which they must have been sharing, re-emerged and my glamour girl was lighting up her second as well.  At this point, since I didn’t really have anywhere to go anyway with the concert ongoing, I was hoping to just hang back and enjoy the show, but this time they both walked away, cigarettes in hand and proceeded closer to the concert stage.  I held up some hope that maybe the blond’s first cigarette was not a Pall Mall so I knelt down where they had just stood and was taken aback to see four Pall Mall butts with orange logos right beneath where they had been standing.  These gals had apparently smoked ANOTHER cigarette before I even got there.  These are my kind of girls, Pall Malls or not.  Unfortunately they were long gone at this point and I couldn’t catch up, but I would see them again very late in the evening, this time not smoking.  Finally, I found a sighting that got my adrenaline going, and I’d be fortunate to ride out the momentum for the remaining 15 minutes of the concert.

I proceeded closer to the stage on the right-hand side where people were standing, and hopefully smoking.  Lo and behold, there were more, starting with Sighting #70.  An attractive young couple in their mid-to-late 20s had just lit up cigarettes as I arrived.  The blond gal was very pretty wearing a pink top and tight pale jeans, always a combination that works for me.  She didn’t have the glam factor of the two I had just spent the last 15 minutes watching, but she was a girl-next-door kind of cute and a pretty solid smoker as well as I was able to watch from behind as she puffed away.

Moments later, I wandered into another standing-room-only crowd and came across a group of mid-20s blond babes in stylish dresses.  One solid dark blond was lighting up a cigarette as I got there and became Sighting #73.  I scanned the friends’ group and briefly took note of an even prettier blond friend in an even sexier black dress….and then noticed she was smoking too!  Unfortunately, the Sighting #74 girl was on her final two drags.  The drags were very impressive producing cloudy skyward-bound exhales that really lit up the night sky like Haley’s Comet firing from her mouth and nose.  I would have loved to have seen more but her cigarette was gone and she crushed it out beneath her foot.  The crowd was too tightly packed to identify her butt, and I stuck around a few minutes to see the friend smoke, but her style wasn’t nearly as solid as the other girl, so I departed, feeling a little disappointed on missing out on more potential greatness but for the first time in 10 lame hours on the grounds I was genuinely psyched about the sightings renaissance and the soundtrack that accompanied it.

Around 9:25 the concert was wrapping up and I was departing to make the LONG walk back to the center of the grounds where sightings were more likely to transpire.  The concert was the best I have attended in years, which didn’t really surprise me since BlackHawk was one of the most consistent producers of music I dug back in the day, and even the very final throes of the concert as I was walking away produced Sighting #77, where a group of 17ish kids including two boys and one girl were sitting on an obscure bench in the agriculture-dominated southwest side of the grounds.  The girl happened to be taking a drag from a cigarette that I presumed belonged to one of the guys.  She was decently pretty but what stood out the most for me was her impressive chest which was nicely advertised in a low-cut pink tanktop.  The girl didn’t appear chubby but had one very significant set of tits bulging out of that top.  I only wished I was able to see her take a drag and make that chest expand even more!

And the momentum would continue, at least with some success, as I returned to the heart of the grounds.  I came upon a mixed-gender cluster of 21ish young adults and first saw one of the guys smoking, then hoped at least one of the two girls would be smoking as well.  Jackpot!  A cute curly-haired blond in a T-shirt and denim capris was wielding a half-smoked cork filter to become Sighting #78.  I followed to watch some of her performance and it was pretty nice.  No stylistic flourishes but she was another above-average-looking girl spewing cigarette smoke in a still-busy section of the fairgrounds in the evening, which on a day like Saturday was as close as I’d come to a victory.  The guy lost his cigarette at some point but the blond cutie (the only other smoker in the group) was still smoking hers, and the group hovered near the back of this line for a food stand while she smoked.  I got to see a pretty lengthy performance as a consequence before she piggishly littered the butt on the sidewalk at the back of the food stand.  They hung around a while longer afterwards so I briefly drifted away, but when I returned the butt was still where she left it and I was able to identify it as a Marlboro Red.

Moments later, I walked up to the bar on the grounds’ northeast side and stumbled into a very cute Sighting #79.  There was a family of smokers that included middle-aged parents, an early 20s brother and an unattractive 20-something sister, and the cutie of the bunch, a petite 18ish brunette baby sister in a white T-shirt and black shorts.  All five of them were smoking, but only four had drinks in their hands because the kid sister was clearly too young to drink.  She was, however, posing for photos with the siblings and later with the parents, cigarette in hand the entire time.  She took a couple of drags in between photo shots and was one of the better smokers I’d seen all day with cloudy exhale blasts fired from both mouth and nose.  The downside with her is that she had a pretty good-sized belly that didn’t fit with the rest of her petite profile and kind of stuck out like a sore thumb, and I’m pretty sure she was just chubby and not pregnant.  Either way, she was still very cute and I hung around as long as possible in this inconvenient setting before drifting away, still feeling pretty good that I might end the evening on a high note the way I did the previous year after a similarly blah day overall.

Next I was perusing past the center of the grounds and the teen hangout, coming up largely empty, but then drifting westward on the concourse where I got to see a full smoking performance from Sighting #83, a cute 19ish brunette sitting on the curb with her nonsmoking boyfriend which would become one of my top-five sightings of the day.  As I laid eyes on her, she had a cork filter dangling from her lips which got me interested enough to approach just in time for her to light up.  They were an attractive couple and it was all the more attractive that the guy wasn’t smoking but had to wait for his cute little girlfriend in a tanktop and short red shorts to smoke an entire cigarette.  A plate with a whipped cream-covered funnel cake was in front of the girl which made me hope for a smoking while eating sighting, but apparently she had enough of the rich funnel cake as she set it off to the side on the curb, preferring instead to ingest the warm smoky carcinogens from her cigarette.  And she really seemed to enjoy it as well, taking her time in a way that would ordinarily have annoyed me but which fit my mood that night, giving me a chance to sit on the nearby bench and relax my aching feet while watching a pretty girl enjoy her cigarette, exhaling nice straight-ahead plumes of smoke mostly from her mouth and beautifully modeling those smooth bare legs in a very feminine position.  If I was the boyfriend, I would have had a hard time avoiding swooping in for an ashtray-mouthed kiss from this girl watching her in this extended pose.  Unfortunately, the extended sighting ended in an annoying way as I failed to notice a dollop of whipped cream had fallen off the funnel cake she was previously eating and landed on the street in front of them.  As she finished her cigarette, she actually rolled it around inside the whipped cream and made a special point of burying the cigarette butt entirely within the whipped cream.  They hung around a few more minutes before getting up to leave.  I enjoyed seeing her stand up and brush the grass off of her outstanding ass draped in those skimpy red shorts but was still hoping to salvage a brand identification from her cigarette butt so I headed over after they left.  As expected the butt was entirely buried within the whipped cream and much as I wanted to know her brand, fishing the butt out of whipped cream was a place I wasn’t gonna go, so I walked away feeling a little disappointed but still much better for having seen the sighting.  Whenever I think I’ve run into every smoking sighting scenario that is possible at these fairs, I learn otherwise as I never anticipated seeing a girl crush out her cigarette inside whipped cream and denying me what seemed like an easy butt ID.

About 15 minutes later came another of my top-five sightings of the day.  I was making my final run through the midway of the day around 11 and nearing the final stretch when suddenly I crossed paths with two attractive 21ish blonds.  Only one was smoking, but Sighting #91 happened to be the cutest of the two.  And she was a wholesome little thing, a long-haired blond with very soft features wearing a white top, greenish-blue shorts, and some sort of fedora hat that amped up her glam/exotic factor.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to see more than a couple frontal drags as I was mostly following her for the sighting, but she had a nice style from what I did see, and I got off how this innocent-looking blond was strutting through the crowded midway wielding her cigarette and exhaling recklessly.  Of the two girls, the nonsmoking friend next to her looked much more like a smoker, but at least at the time she wasn’t while the wholesome girl was.  Seeing her walk in front of me with the cigarette next to that feminine rear profile and the uniquely colored jean shorts was heartbreakingly cute.  She may well have been the most wholesome smoker of the day.  She gave me a couple of scares late in the sighting as she and the friend unpredictably switched directions and made my job of following more challenging, but I saw her toss the still-smoldering butt to the pavement near one of the carnival games as she and the friend walked off.  Without any whipped cream interference, I was able to easily identify this butt….a Marlboro Light.  I still longed for a storyline sighting that really rocked my world but was nonetheless having my best hour of the day.

As I was exiting the midway I waded through the crowd outside the beer gardens area just to the edge of the midway and scored three sightings at the same time of girls from two different groups.  The first group consisted of Sightings #92 and #93, two adorable mid-20s blonds in white dresses.  Both girls were very pretty, but the first girl I laid eyes on was really a knockout with softer features that really fit well with the white dress but did not fit with the cigarette.  The vantage point was not very good and she must have made eyes with me about four times over the course of her first few drags, so sticking around for the full show was not an option.  But as I was drifting away, I noticed another nearby group featuring a petite early 20s brunette who was also smoking, thus becoming Sighting #94.  She wasn’t as hot as the two blonds, but she was cute decked out in a tanktop and jean shorts, so I decided to see what she was made of.  Glad I did too as I watched her take a drag and then watched the ball of inhaled smoke disappear down her throat, staying in her lungs for a few seconds before making its getaway into the night sky.  My vantage point was still challenging but I wanted to see one more drag.  I was able to get another glance at both of the nearby blonds, still hovering closeby, take additional drags, and then got to see one more ball of smoke disappear down the petite brunette’s throat.  I finally seemed to be on a roll here, but was still hoping for the kind of sighting where the stars all align and that wasn’t happening. With only about 40 minutes left, I was doubting that it would.

The night was winding down but a few more girls had a few more stinky tricks up their sleeves.  The next to impress was Sighting #98, a curly-haired brunette who looked about 18 leaning against the back of a bench just outside the bar on the northeast side of the grounds.  She was the only one smoking around, including the people sitting on the bench she was leaning on so there was a hint of obnoxiousness to the proceedings that I enjoyed.  Unfortunately, there was a dark blond, long-haired friend sitting next to her who looked even younger (like 16 or 17) who was not smoking.  Had she been smoking along with the brunette friend, this would have been one of my best sightings of the day.  But even with just the brunette smoking it was still pretty solid, particularly since there was a cop hovering one bench away, ostensibly keeping an eye open for underage drinking but probably also taking note of her barely legal smoking performance.  If she wanted to buy a beer or a margarita and was hovering outside this bar for that reason, she had a problem, but thankfully she was able to smoke her cigarette without a hassle.  And she also had a nice style.  I was facing her from not too terribly far away and was able to see her combination mouth and nose exhales flow my direction.  But before the cigarette was gone, she and the blond began to walk to the east, most likely to the parking lot or the shuttle buses, and I briefly got mangled up in the crowd when she apparently took her final drag as the cigarette was gone when I caught up to her only a few seconds after separation.  There were too many cigarette butts on the pavement outside that bar for me to know which was hers.  Seemed like with just about every sighting on Saturday, at least one thing didn’t go quite right.

I went back to the edge of the midway where I had scored the three sightings at once about 15 minutes earlier.  There was a mixed gender cluster of early 20s guys and girls there once again in almost the exact same spot.  This time, however, there was only one smoker, a very pretty early-to-mid 20s platinum blond in a yellow dress who became Sighting #101.  She was posing for photos with the friends and it was cute seeing the prettiest girl of the bunch stinking the place up with a cigarette and holding it in the photos.  The location was emptier than it was before so I was in an even worse position to linger than I had been earlier, but I did stick around for a few decent drags and got to see her huddle in the group to look at the camera and see how the photos turned out.  Cute to imagine this beauty grossing out some of the friends with her tobacco breath in such tight quarters.  Wished I could have seen more from this one.

The evening would have one more tasty treat from me with Sighting #103, which occurred at an Old Reliable venue…the bar “The Depot” on the ground’s northwest side which was responsible for two sightings singled out on my blog in the past three years (ISF #18 and ISF #43).  And this sighting was just a tick below the two classics.  As I walked through the little “alleyway” on the west side of the Depot, one of the worker girls in the telltale purple “Depot” T-shirts was hovering in the grass smoking a cigarette in the company of a nonsmoking middle-aged guy.  The girl was a very petite blond in jean shorts and her body shape and the way she carried herself made it seem as though she was about 16, but her face, while attractive, looked a little more weathered, appearing as though she was about 22.  I still don’t really know which she was, but it’s easy to imagine her still being a teenager who simply had a weathered look based on her hard-core smoking style.  Her drags were long and deep and she took in a lot of smoke into her little body, much more than came out of it on her exhales as it appeared a good percentage of the smoke stayed inside her lung tissue.  Really cute to see this guy, who looked about 60, chatting up this cute and petite young blond as she stunk the area up with her cigarette.  Cuter yet, I had taken one of the Depot’s outside picnic tables to watch the sighting play out, and perhaps because her break was almost over, she proceeded to pick up some of the garbage left behind on the other picnic tables, and as she did this, she was dangling her cigarette right in front of me.  It was a nice long dangle too, and I’m not exactly sure how long because she then went directly behind where I was sitting to pick up the garbage left behind on my table, and I dared not turn around to get a greedy close-up of her doing so, even though I might have been better positioned to determine her age if I did.  And while I didn’t see her face in that really close proximity, I got something just as good….a pretty wicked smoker’s cough.  It was now more clear than ever that this girl was a pretty heavy and long-time smoker. As I heard her walk away, I got up and followed at a distance.  She was going back into The Depot through the rear entrance and I watched her drop the still-smoldering all-white to the ground before she went in.  The cigarette was a Marlboro Light.  I’m starting to wonder if the guy who runs The Depot (and it may very well be that old guy talking to blondie on her smoke break) has the smoking fetish given the number of cute smoker girls he hires to work there.

Anyway, the remaining 11 sightings that wrapped up the night were all pretty modest and didn’t warrant a writeup.  I held out until the last minute once again, hopping aboard the final shuttle bus at 11:57 before it left at midnight.  It was a long day and while my feet were pretty exhausted in that final hour, they held up like champions in my current pair of shoes.  I don’t ever remember a full day at the Iowa State Fair where I’ve walked away with less foot pain.  Between that and the BlackHawk concert, it helped me get over my disappointment with the lack of classic sightings the day produced.  I’m still returning Wednesday night for a seven-hour “half day” as I do every year, so the Iowa State Fair still has a chance to redeem itself.  Interestingly, though, I went with the smoker girl I’m currently seeing the very next day after this adventure to an amusement park in the Des Moines area and I had better luck with sightings there than at the ISF.  Those sightings will have to wait for my year-end top-10 of random sightings though.

Overall, the evening hours salvaged this day from being a complete trainwreck.  Based on what I had seen through about 6:00, I was prepared to declare August 10, 2013, as the worst day of state fair fetishing this millennium, but in the end it just turned out to be a little below-average.  With the mother-daughter sightings and some of the other niche market material I discovered, however, there should be a few writeups here that generate some interest among readers.  Still, I hope to do better on Day 2.

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