2013 Minnesota State Fair, Day 1

There was real potential for a disaster at the 2013 Minnesota State Fair.  Between the two-month-old $8-per-pack cigarettes in the state of Minnesota and the new smoking restrictions put into place, I figured I’d really take a hit in my sightings numbers and quality.  When I first learned of the smoking restrictions back in January, I was beside myself with outrage and fear that my primary engine for sightings year in and year out was about to derail, but in the back of mind I pondered the potential upside of designated smoking areas corraling sightings in a few spots and ultimately helping me.  When further details came out, I became less fearful of the new restrictions as there are 18 designated smoking areas on the grounds and they are not roped off or isolated in a way where I would stand out like a sore thumb observing smoker girls in them.  As I looked at the fairgrounds map to see where the smoking areas were, they were by and large in places that have long been hotbeds for fairgoers taking “smoke breaks” for years.  Add to that the likelihood of fairly significant disobedience of the restrictions, which frequently occurs with outdoor smoking bans, and I really didn’t fear the changes so much anymore.  There were plenty of other things to be just as if not more nervous about, not the least of which was the aforementioned massive tax increase.

So how did it work out?  With a general sigh of relief.  I had an above-average day of sightings, and I believe the designated smoking areas did prove helpful in the morning and afternoon in corraling smokers and helping me get my first 50 sightings of the day at a pretty impressive pace.  And the designated smoking areas were quite accessible and not at all isolated so I had no problem at all lurking without arousing suspicion.  Once in awhile, I’d walk past a part of the fairgrounds that reminded me of where a classic sighting once occurred but which is not a designated smoking area and I lamented the reduced likelihood of future sightings at that spot, but other than that it was pretty much business as usual for me on August 24, 2013.  And as day turned to night, the smokers started roaming free quite a bit more and it was really business as usual.  I hit 100 sightings by 6 p.m. which is quite impressive but the law of gravity caught up to me in the evening hours as the smoking areas themselves had fewer visitors and the declining number of smokers overall kept the evening hours from being as prolific as they’ve been traditionally.  Still, I wrapped up the day just a tick behind my first day at the MNSF last year.  In 2012 on my first day at the fair, I scored 185 sightings.  In 2013, I had 180 sightings.  I continue to be impressed at how resilient the Minnesota State Fair is for sightings.

I entered the gates at about 8:45 a.m., again with my parents who always like to go up to this event as a family as we’ve done since 1986.  The forecasted rain seemed nowhere in sight so I entered the grounds feeling pretty chipper but still was keeping my eye open for these smoking areas with a bit of trepidation.  If it were up to me, I wouldn’t bother with the morning hours at the fair as sightings are sparse, and indeed while the smoking areas were all populated as I walked past them, it was always with middle-aged men and women who wouldn’t be making my “hot chick smoker” count.  It would be well over a half hour before I scored Sighting #1 at the smoking area near the Coliseum on the grounds’ south side.  I had a very nice selection of family sightings yesterday and this was one of the best, as a family grouping of about five included this one cute 21ish blond in a white tanktop and jean shorts, with her long blond hair in a ponytail jutting outside her Minnesota Twins baseball cap.  The girl herself had an unfortunate bit of acne that took away a bit from her beauty, but she was still very cute and made for a memorable first sighting of the day.  One of my biggest concerns of the new smoking areas is that the butts would all get lost in overflowing ashtrays next to the benches, but that wasn’t the problem with IDing this girl’s butt as she stood up and started walking away with cigarette in hand and I was giddy about being able to identify her brand, but she still managed to screw me over by dropping the butt in a water puddle and drenching the cork filter.  I attempted to scoop it out of the water with my shoe but only succeeded in ripping the remainder of the cigarette to shreds.  Oh well…..I was still happy to see at least one cute girl still smoking in the company of her family in the new world of $8 per pack Minnesota cigarettes.

And only a couple of hours later, I would see this family again, this time gathered at the smoking area outside the grandstand’s east side.  My girl was smoking another cigarette, all spread out and relaxing on the grass in a spot where I could lean against the grandstand wall and observe.  While her style wasn’t distinctive per se, she was a solid smoker.  Unfortunately I still wouldn’t get the butt ID as she crushed it out on the grass just behind her yet the family stuck around gabbing for several minutes.

The girl who would have been my third sighting of the day was the first who was representative of the big story of the day…..the electronic cigarette.  Here was this gorgeous mid-20s brunette entering the grounds with her boyfriend…and puffing on one of those ridiculous e-cigs.  I just had a feeling she wasn’t gonna be the only would-be great sighting that I was robbed of yesterday, and boy was I right.  It’s hard to believe only six weeks ago I was laughing these things off.  Nobody’s laughing now….and my real fear is a generation of young girls who view electronic cigarettes as the way to smoke.  I’m hoping it’s a fad but this one seems real, particularly in a state like Minnesota with outrageously high cigarette taxes.  There was no bigger gut punch than seeing two young hotties dressed in their sexy Saturday night party dresses….and sucking on that goofy piece of plastic in lieu of the elegant cigarette they would have been smoking just a year ago.  Yeah…..real sexy ladies.  With as many e-cig sightings as I got yesterday, and we’re talking a good three dozen, it’s all the more impressive that I still got 180 actual cigarette sightings.

Back to the good stuff, the group of mid-20s gals that would be Sightings #3 and #4 wouldn’t have gotten a writeup based on my first encounter with them but over the course of the day they won me over.  When I first saw them, the group of three brunettes was smoking in the area outside the east side of the grandstand.  All three were smokers but one wasn’t even good enough to count and another was very average, but the most attractive of the three was a dark brunette in a blue dress.  While she was an attractive smoker, nothing jumped out at me about that first performance.  But fast forward a couple of hours later, this time outside the west side of the grandstand, and I observed from behind a group of three young gals who I had not yet connected as being the group of three from earlier.  One was opening her purse and retrieving a pack of Camel Turkish Royals while telling the friends “she just picked these up this morning at Walgreen’s”.  I walked around the railing to get a frontal view and immediately recognized the blue dress belonging to the brunette, lifting her status another notch for me.  But it was my third encounter with her less than an hour later than really won me over.  The same three girls were now lighting up cigarettes at a more obscure designated smoking area north of the beer gardens block.  Apparently these heavy-smoking girls were trying out all 18 designated smoking areas on the grounds!  This time she really proved her mettle with an extended dangle in which she did two dangling drags before removing the cigarette from her mouth.  Not bad, girl!  The girl was maybe a 7 on the attractiveness spectrum and had little to no IT factor, but she made up for it with the frequency and style of her smoking performances.

Sighting #6 occurred outside the west side entrance of the grandstand, which was by far the most prolific destination for smoker sightings of the day.  It was another family of smokers sighting that included a father, and what I presumed was a late teen son and daughter.  The daughter was a long-haired redhead in a gray tanktop and jean shorts who looked about 18.  She was pretty cute but no means a bombshell.  Still, the family dynamic struck me in this day and age as I watched her puff away with dad and brother on her cork filter.  She stubbed the cigarette out on the pavement and dropped it to the ground, ignoring the ashtray around the corner which I find hot particularly given the growing stigma attached to littering cigarette butts.  After leaving I identified her brand as a Camel Blue.

It wasn’t even noon yet when I scored my first great sighting of the day, and part of what made this sighting so much fun was that it didn’t even occur in one of the smoking areas.  As I was walking southward towards the International Bazaar, en route to one of the designated smoking areas, I found a trio of late teens approaching me, two blond girls and a guy.  And one of the girls, a dark blond in a yellow T-shirt and white shorts barely visible below the long T-shirt, had a cigarette in hand to become Sighting #15.  Particularly heartwarming was that she didn’t look like a smoker at all.  She wasn’t milk-and-honey wholesome per se, but she definitely looked like a good kid who would not be inclined to take up smoking in the year 2013.  And the guy in the group had a beard but didn’t appear the least bit thuggish either.  Yet here they were strutting through the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in complete violation of the fairgrounds’ ban of smoking outside of designated locations.  I followed and snapped a photo from behind, delighted to see my first girl-next-door smoker cutie of the day.  Her smoking was solid but undistinguished but there was one disappointment in my first minute or so of observation of this sighting….and that was the fact that gorgeous long-haired blond friend was the only one of the three not smoking.  I hadn’t given up that she ultimately would, and I ended up being right….

The beautiful blond with the pink and white hat, the pink tanktop, and the incredible ass draped in very pale blue cutoffs made my day at the Minnesota State Fair worthwhile when she took possession of the cigarette from the blond friend and turned the sighting into a two-for-one and become Sighting #16 about 90 seconds into the sighting.  It’s girls like this I spend so much time at these fairs to see smoking as her feminine profile could not have been more perfect and the insertion of the cork filter cigarette between her lips made the masterpiece complete.  Her smoking style was like the friend’s in that it offered no bells and whistles but still impressed with some nice draw times on the drag.  The trio eventually sat down on the curb to finish their cigarettes.  Obviously I would have preferred if both girls had their own cigarettes, but the shared cigarette sighting was perfectly acceptable given the otherwise delicious optics.  I lurked in the forefront, sneaking a few photos (it’s much easier to sneak photos with my new camera phone than with the old one) and watching a solid performance.  The original blond in the yellow top, who was a solid 8 on the beauty spectrum herself but was still wildly upstaged by her friend, wrapped up the cigarette and smoked it incredibly close to the filter before crushing it out on the curb and leaving with the guy.  I checked out the butt and could only identify the green ring on the filter which I believe is a variation of Marlboro Menthols.  From there, it was just a matter of watching that blond in pink walk away, my heart melting watching her ass wiggle in those pale blue cutoffs.  If this was the best sighting I scored for the day, the day would be worthwhile.  And it ended up being my third best sighting of the day, probably poised for a position on my blog as one of the year’s best.

I had 20 sightings as the noon hour arrived which is exactly on track with what I had the previous year.  Sighting #21 was memorable for being a pleasant surprise.  On a bench directly outside the grandstand and not in a designated smoking area was this light brunette in a knee-length puffy white skirt smoking a cigarette.  The glare from the sun prevented me from immediately identifying her age as I approached, but the profile looked nice and I hoped she’d be young.  And with each step closer, it became clear that she was.  She was attractive and looked about 25, appearing quite wholesome and increasing her wholesome bona fides with the rather conservative white skirt she was wearing.  I watched for about 30 seconds as she finished the cigarette, missing out on most of it but getting in on just enough to be satisfied.  She crushed the cigarette out and unfortunately tossed the butt into garbage can before going into the vendors underneath the grandstand.  This girl made a return appearance a couple of hours later and would end up being the only midway sighting of the day as she sat in the middle of a bench in the midway’s designated smoking area.  Once again my timing was off as I only caught her last couple of drags.  This time she dropped her cork filter butt to the ground and crushed it out rather than throwing it away as she did before.  What I found odd was her seating arrangement, as a middle-aged guy was sitting to her right and a chubby 11-12ish boy was to her right.  She was too young to be the boy’s mother but was perhaps his older sister and the guy their father.  It was unclear, but she got up to go to the nearby bathroom right after finishing her cigarette.  The two males on both sides of her were still on the bench so I didn’t get a chance to identify her cigarette butt, but it was nice watching her ass wiggle towards the bathroom in that cute white skirt as a closing image to the sighting.

Sighting #22 was another sighting that led me to believe this whole “designated smoking area” thing might not be so bad after all.  Mother-daughter sighting enthusiasts will love this one, even though it had the potential to be far more.  A middle-aged mom sat on the cement foundation outside the grandstand’s west side smoking area while smoking her cigarette….and right next to her was a mid-20s dark brunette daughter in a black dress smoking with her.  The daughter was quite attractive, but I’m pretty greedy and took notice of the even more gorgeous dark brunette daughter in a blue dress standing in front of them.  Unfortunately, she wasn’t smoking.  Still, a mother-daughter sighting of this caliber doesn’t come around every day and I was enjoying the show, brief as it was, snapping a photo that unfortunately didn’t get much of the smoker girl in it.  I got to see three drags from the dark brunette daughter before she lobbed her all-white butt into the overflowing ashtray in front of her, denying me a butt ID.  The daughters exchanged a few words with mom and then walked off in their sexy dresses while mom stuck around to continue her cigarette.

I continued to marvel at the family sightings that came one after another in the early afternoon in the smoking areas, and another great one was Sighting #29.  A group with a wide age disparity, clearly with familial ties, hovered in the center of the smoking area, with four people smoking.  Dominating my attention was this sexy mid-20s brunette who reminded me of actress Laura San Giacoma standing as everybody else sat, smoking a cork filter and conversing with the others in her group.  She had a cool sexiness about her appearance with badass sunglasses, a zebra-striped tanktop and jean shorts, and I got a pretty good frontal photo of her.  She wasn’t wholesome though and had a definite weathered smoker girl look about her, and it became clear why when observing her intense drags.  Once again, the cigarette was deposited into the ashtray she was standing right next to so butt ID was again denied.  I knew that that would be my biggest problem with the designated smoking area, but thankfully I didn’t come up totally empty.

The smoking areas continued to work for me in the early afternoon and I was ahead of schedule with sightings by 2:00 as I was pushing 40 sightings.  Keep in mind that by that time at the Iowa State Fair two Saturdays ago I was only at about 10 sightings.  Anyway, I began to notice that this alleyway between the livestock buildings and the beer gardens seemed to be a sanctuary for smokers and I made a couple of passes through.  Doing so I ran into Sighting #40, who must have been one of the employees at the beer gardens as she sat at a table behind the building with three guys, also presumably employees, smoking a cigarette.  She was a very beautiful brunette in a tanktop and jean shorts.  It was an incredibly awkward position for me to fetish so I had to settle for roaming into the dead end area where they were sitting as if I was lost, turning around and getting a good look at her.  I only saw a partial drag but it looked nice, and she was one of the prettier smoker girls of the day.

During the daytime hours, the smoking area to the west of the grandstand was far and away my best source of sightings.  As I walked the perimeter of the seating area I noticed one of the smoker girl grandstand workers (an unattractive early 20s blond) was making a brief passing friendly comment to a group sitting inside the railing, and as I looked at the family I spotted a cigarette in young female hands.  I made the quick loop around and got in on the show, at least the last couple minutes of it.  Sighting #44 differed from my family of smoker sightings in that the only smoking family member was the attractive mid-20s daughter, sitting there smoking in her tanktop and khaki shorts with her nonsmoking mom and what I presumed to be her younger brothers to her left, all choking on big sister’s stinky cigarette fumes as she smoked.  The girl wasn’t a bombshell but had a stylized blond hairdo that made her stand out in the crowd.  She reminded me of this smoker girl named Sherri I briefly dated three years ago.  I arrived a minute or two late to get a full show, but I sat down on the steps and had a front row seat as she took the final drags from her cigarette while intently conversing with mom.  All too quickly she stubbed out the cigarette on the pavement in front of her and left it lie.  The family got up to leave and I walked over to check out the butt.  It was a Camel Red.  I wasn’t scoring anything particularly epic so far today, but I was getting enough above-average sightings on a steady enough basis to keep me satisfied.

Another smoking area that delivered bountifully yesterday was the one near the food building, and one of the memorable sightings was Sighting #51.  It didn’t start out that way though as a couple in their early-to-mid 20s that included a light brunette who was mildly attractive but didn’t stand out in the crowd sat down.  The guy was taking out a pack of Camel Crush Bolds and offered one to the girlfriend.  She stuck her nose up as if to indicate she didn’t want one at the time, but she ended up taking it.  Whatever reluctance she showed at first was quickly forgotten as she inserted that cigarette in her mouth and dangled it for several seconds before he approached it with the flame from his lighter.  I was in awe as she took a huge dangling drag from the light-up and then proceeded to do seconds worth of talking dangles to the boyfriend, the cigarette bouncing up and down in her mouth with wisps of smoke spewing from her mouth and nose as she spoke.  The girl’s lack of IT factor was more than up for with the opening of this smoking performance.  While the rest of the sighting was pretty routine, no sighting yesterday began with as much pomp and circumstance as that one.

Sighting #57 is another one that started modestly but progressed nicely.  The bathroom structure next to the beer gardens was refurbished over the past year and the layout has changed some.  Just to the south of the building is a smoker’s area full of several benches.  Sitting right in the middle of a berm in the heart of the smoking area was this young couple in their mid-to-late 20s.  The girl was a wholesome cutie, a light brunette whose hair rested sweetly on her shoulders.  She wore a green and white striped tanktop and a short denim miniskirt.  Even a pair of sunglasses failed to make this girl look any less like the girl next door….or for that matter, the cigarette she was smoking.  Her location right in the middle of this huddle of smokers made it challenging to watch, but I managed a couple of not-too-shabby photos nonetheless.  She was making pretty quick work of the cigarette and all too quickly it was gone, and she was sitting right in front of the ashtray and merely had to lob the spent butt a few inches in front of her.  I found it cute that she outsmoked the boyfriend as his cigarette was not yet done.  Thinking the show was over, I detoured to observe the rest of the general area for about a minute or so, but was delighted to return to find my Sighting #57 girl smoking another cigarette.  It was just adorable watching this back-to-back performance, especially with the backdrop of this short denim skirt which her legs were pressed together so nicely in.  The boyfriend was now done with his cigarette and hadn’t lit up another one, and the more I observed this arrangement the more I was reminded of my classic sighting from 2010 outside the Hinder concert in the grandstand.  Just like that sighting, the girl was the alpha smoker of the couple despite her very wholesome profile, outsmoking the boyfriend very handily…and just like that sighting, this girl was also wearing a short denim skirt that looked adorable on her.  Now she didn’t have the Hinder concert girl’s IT factor or that sighting’s storyline, but I still found it pretty remarkable how many similarities the two sightings had.  I was becoming too familiar at this point and decided it was time to go, but continued to be pleased at how many above-average sightings I was finding at this time of the day.

The trend continued even when I made a questionable mid-afternoon trek up to the north side of the grounds, which is a 20-minute round trip.  As I walked past two of the north side’s designated smoking areas and saw nothing, I thought I made a big mistake.  But lo and behold, sitting on a bench by themselves was a 21ish couple that included a nonsmoking good ol’ boy and his bombshell blond girlfriend who instantly became Sighting #67 with a freshly lit cigarette protruding from her fingers.  She was a total sexpot, decked out in a gray tanktop that stretched out in the chest from her impressive set of boobs that looked real but were disproportionately plentiful for her slender body.  Below the waist was even better with her tight pair of blue and white shorts with a long pair of smooth and slender folded legs underneath.  It was one of the sexiest images of feminine pleasure I’d seen all day and the fact that a cigarette was being smoked by the girl responsible for this profile made this one of my top-five sightings of the day.  Facially, the girl was very pretty but with defined weathered smoker girl features that helped a little more with her sex appeal.  She looked like a more sexed-up version of this Jerrica girl I dated two years ago, also a heavy smoker.

There was no place to observe close, but I leaned against a tree and got a few photos that aren’t bad at all when I zoom in as I can do on my new phone.  More importantly, I just watched the show.  While blondie didn’t necessarily have any distinguishing characteristics to her smoking, she was still above-average stylistically with drags, exhales, and a natural presence with a cigarette that was really sexy.  She fiddled around with her phone with the cigarette protruding from her fingers for several moments and it was nice to get off my feet and watch this from a reasonably close distance.  It also wasn’t wasted on me that the boyfriend next to her exposed to all this secondhand smoke was not a smoker himself.  At this point, the sighting took an unexpected turn as a middle-aged couple approached.  None of them were smoking but just by looking at the woman it was pretty obvious she was the blond smoker’s mother.  The young couple got up and started walking with the older couple and I was eager to follow long enough to ID the butt from her discarded cigarette. I also welcomed the opportunity to get a good look at her awesome ass in those form-fitting shorts as she walked.

They wouldn’t make it easy for me though with two detours, the first of which added a new dimension of yumminess to the sighting.  There was some sort of mist machine that was spraying a cool wet mist upon the family.  When it was blondie’s turn to stand directly in front of the machine, she struck a pose like Marilyn Monroe did when the floor vent blew her skirt up as mild comic relief for the family and boyfriend.  Seeing this pretty girl with her hair blowing in the wind and a cigarette next to her beautifully framed lower body was definitely the high point of a sighting that already impressed the hell out of me. The family progressed southward from there, and I continued to see girlie working on what little remained of that cigarette and couldn’t believe she kept the thing going for as long as she did given how hard she was dragging on it.  And I was very concerned about losing the butt when they detoured again to see this old car next to a bar and grill.  But I spotted her dropping the butt in a remote location and all that was left to do now was await their departure and ID the butt.  But for all my effort there was nothing left to identify as she smoked the damn thing right down to the filter.  I’m thinking it was a Newport but won’t know for sure.  While yesterday didn’t have any bona fide epic sightings, there were a half dozen of this nature that will get acclaim come year’s end and were head and shoulders better than most of what I was seeing two weeks ago at the Iowa State Fair.

Another girl with a vaguely similar profile came about 15 minutes later with Sighting #69.  This came at the smoking area near the haunted house on Judson Avenue where a young couple in their early to mid 20s settled in and lit up.  The light brunette girl immediately demanded to be noticed with a black top and black shorts, just a hint of bare midriff in between, and a pink blouse covering it.  The ensemble already had a hint of badass to it, and her sunglasses amplified that image.  The cigarette she copiously and quite ferociously dragged from also contributed mightily to the badass image, along with the weathered smoker girl look that accompanied it.  Even compared to the last girl, this one stepped up the smoking performance aspect of the sighting, taking frequent long drags and chugging out thick and cloudy exhales.  I was very impressed with the show and enjoyed how quick of work she was making of the cigarette.  I snapped a few photos, at least one of which is quite nice.  But as fast as she was smoking, the boyfriend still managed to finish his cigarette about 30 seconds before she did.  He walked over to the ashtray to deposit the cigarette butt and then returned to the girlfriend to wait for her to finish hers.  She took another massive drag and it was apparently a little too big for even her to handle as she did a coughing exhale.  And I was also prepared for her to be a goody two shoes like the boyfriend and walk her spent cigarette to the ashtray, but she pleasantly surprised me there as well, taking a final drag from the cigarette and then dropping it to the ground and squashing it out with her shoe, exhaling the last mighty blast of cigarette smoke with a final coughing fit immediately following as she and the boyfriend walked away.  This girl was one serious smoker….and it was a pleasure to see her performance.  The markings are as telltale as they come and before I even knelt down to ID her butt I could tell it was a Camel Turkish Royal, a brand I only seem to come across at the Minnesota State Fair.

Once again, at least 10 of my sightings on the day were of Asian women, who remain far and away the most likely demographic of female smokers in Minnesota.  Their shockingly low rate of smoking in national surveys continues to astound me given the regularity with which I see them smoking in my part of the country.  Sighting #73, an Asian smoker girl in a long black and white striped dress, was my best Asian girl sighting of the day.

While there was no shortage of mediocrity with some of my sightings and I did go through a few tepid periods, I never went more than about a half hour between sightings that were at least moderately satisfying, which is a huge relief as a fetisher putting in this kind of time. Next to deliver were Sightings #75 and #76, a duo of teen smokers at the smoking area on the east side of the grandstand.  They were both decked out in green hats and T-shirts for the “Deep Fried Pickles” stand where they obviously worked, sitting there on the lawn Indian style while smoking their cigarettes.  The most pleasing part of this sighting was that these girls were among the only bona fide teen smokers of the day, and probably underage for that matter.  Every time I approached those smoking areas, I hoped that mythical innocent, mid-teen cutiepie in white shorts would be standing amidst the grumpy old men with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth.  And while these girls weren’t of that caliber, they were about as close as I’d come during the daytime hours.  The cuter of the girls had a bit of a nerdy look with light brown hair and glasses.  She reminded me a lot of my high school girlfriend Jenny, who was also a teen smoker.  The other girl was a long-haired blond with sunglasses that was perhaps more conventionally attractive but completely lacked IT factor for me.  Both of them were average smoking-wise, as one would expect of girls their ages but it was still a nice show and I had a perfect front-row seat.  I got three photos, one of which is extremely close, and perfectly captures the innocence of these teen girls on a smoke break, sitting Indian style with their cigarettes next to their bare legs.  I got to see more than half of the performance before they got up to go, taking their cigarette butts with them and denying me identification of their butts.  Speaking of their “butts”, however, seeing the girls walk away reinforced my original impression that the nerdy brunette was a cut above as she had a sweet ass draped in jean shorts while the stick figure blond had no ass at all and her green T-shirt hung below whatever she was wearing below the waist, assuming she was wearing something on the bottom at all!  Ironic that they were heading back to the stinky Deep Fried Pickles stand because that’s perhaps the only place on the entire fairgrounds where the vendor stand itself would stink enough that nobody would notice the smelly teen smokers working there.

Things weren’t all sunshine and cotton candy though.  It was right around this time that the heartbreaker of the day occurred.  I was walking around the west side seating area of the grandstand and from down the steps come a foursome of sexy 17ish girls, the kind of cuties you hope you see all day with cigarettes.  But instead of cigarettes, three of the four broke out electronic cigarettes.  They hovered aimlessly in the area for a good five minutes, endlessly “vaping”.  The whole time I sat there seething that I just got robbed of my best sighting of the day.  And it got worse as I would come across this group two more times in the evening, always sucking on their electronic cigarettes.  One of the girls, a brunette in skimpy pink shorts, was sucking on hers constantly…..taking a drag every 15-20 seconds every time I saw her.  Just two years ago this girl would have been a three-pack-a-day smoker with this kind of nicotine dependency.  Instead she’s probably just one of a whole generation of hip teenage girls who will view “vaping” as the “cool” alternative to actual smoking.  Who knows how bad things might be by this point next year the way they’ve caught on in the last few months. Where in God’s name did these things come from and why are they ruining my fetish?!?!?!

Back to actual smokers, as late afternoon approached, the beer gardens block in particular started to see more renegade smokers puffing away outside the designated smoking area.  Two of them took place at almost exactly the same spot about 45 minutes apart.  The first was Sighting #82, a dark mid-20s brunette in a red tanktop and white shorts lit up amidst a cluster of dudes and an unattractive female.  She just had one of those faces you remember, standing out in the crowd and warranting a writeup as an attractive smoker who probably had Italian lineage and who appeared to have a little moxie based on her conversation with the crowd as she puffed on her cork filter.  I was not in a position to wait out her butt to ID, but thankfully I was able to see the logo walking past her, and it was one of the new variations of Marlboro where the Marlboro logo is written in cursive.  About 45 minutes later, in the same spot, came Sighting #96, another cute mid-20s smoker amidst a cluster of mediocre gals, this time a wholesome light brunette in a white tanktop and tight tan shorts with print on them nicely framing her ass and lady parts.  Unfortunately I only got in on her final drag before she knelt down and crushed the cigarette out on the pavement.  I was fully prepared to be denied a butt identification, but then something adorable happened.  The butt she was clearly planning to throw into the nearest trash can fell out of her hand and back onto the pavement.  She looked at her friend and lightheartedly said “I’m not picking it up” before making good on her word and walking away in those tight tan shorts, leaving the cigarette lying on the pavement.  The butt, by the way, was a Camel Blue.

In between those two sightings came Sighting #89, which started just outside the International Bazaar before becoming much more brazen and bold.  I looked over my shoulder to see three decently attractive 20-something gals in fairly glammed-up dresses approaching the Bazaar’s entrance.  One of them, a dark brunette in a turquoise dress, was smoking a freshly lit cigarette.  She wasn’t gorgeous, but attractive enough to stick around and see where this was going.  And suffice it to say this girl wasn’t gonna let any pesky smoking restrictions interfere with her state fair routine.  Every once in a while, I used to see girls walk through the threshold of the International Bazaar with a lit cigarette, and while it’s technically outdoors, the layout is tightly cramped like a Middle Eastern marketplace and it’s exactly the kind of place where antismokers would throw the biggest hissy fit about seeing people smoking.  Yet my Sighting #89 girl walked right on in with her friends without any hesitation.  I followed her in to see if there was any crowd reaction, and there was!  This one middle-aged gal saw my girl with her cigarette and pointed out to her husband “Smoking is supposed to be only in designated areas but look!” she said in kind of a mild exasperation while pointing at the nicely dressed smoker girl.  They were still in the mostly open-air part of the Bazaar but the trio was fast approaching the marketplace area and the smoker girl warned her friend she was gonna hold back and finish her cigarette.  But it was the friend who gave her completely erroneous information in her response and told her “No you can go in there!”   Even with that false proclamation, the smoker decided to finish the cigarette in the slightly less illegal part of the International Bazaar and catch up with the friends later.  I left as soon as the smoker decided to hang back.  If this smoker girl was on par with some of the better finds of the day IT factor-wise this had the potential to be one of my best sightings of the day.  But it was still fun, and exactly the kind of sighting I had hoped the new smoking restrictions would bring about including clueless smoker girls roaming free and exasperated antismokers vocally expressing their annoyance.

The 6:00 hour is usually the time when sightings numbers explode, but that didn’t happen yesterday.  In fact I only scored 10 sightings during the hour, compared to the 25+ I usually get.  Whatever the problem was, I was lucky I was running ahead of my baseline before that.  The one memorable sighting of the hour was Sighting #103, an early 20s dark blond who arrived at the sighting in a pink top and a pair of blue and white shorts similar to my #67 girl a couple of hours earlier.  She had a freshly lit cigarette going and started conversing with a bunch of guys from various age ranges, some smoking and others not, and their conversation seemed to center around the evening’s grandstand act which was Sammy Hagar.  And then it became clear why.  The flashy pink tanktop she was wearing was about to disappear for good as she was slipping on a black “Minnesota State Fair staff” T-shirt over it….and I noticed the rest of her group was wearing the same shirt.  Clearly, they were all gonna be working the grandstand show that night and were enjoying one final smoke before they did.  The upside about her slipping into the fair uniform was that a lot of dangles came from it, particularly when she was putting her hair in a ponytail coming out the back of a “Fair Staff” ball cap.  She was a pretty adept dangler and the rest of her smoking routine was above average as well.  I tried to snap a few pics but didn’t come up with anything too inspiring as something always got in my way, usually someone else within her cluster of coworkers.  It was kind of a cool context for the sighting, but I would have still preferred seeing the whole sighting play out in her more flesh-baring original outfit.

As always, I met my parents at 7:00 after that disappointing 6:00 hour.  My baseline for the 7:00 hour is 110-125 sightings and I ended up at the lower end of that threshold last night at an even 110.  Last year, I was scoring my best sighting of the entire MNSF in the minutes before I was supposed to meet my parents, but this year I had the opposite problem.  It was as I was walking away from my parents that I spotted a cute blond illegally smoking only a short distance from where I separated from my parents.  It was gonna be quite risky to follow and watch Sighting #111 play out, but I just had to take the chance on this 20-something ponytailed blond….yet another blond wearing a pink tanktop and jean shorts.  Only this one was in the company of a nonsmoking boyfriend who was indulging her illegal consumption of tobacco standing on this street corner.  The girl’s face was not quite as awesome as her presentation, but the way she carried herself made up for her marginal hotness, and suffice it to say I was wildly jealous of the boyfriend as he swooped in for a mid-cigarette, ashtray-mouthed kiss that drug on a good 15 seconds.  I think we’re dealing with another fetisher here.  She continued to smoke on the cigarette and did not appear to get any scolding looks from passersby for smoking in this very public and very illegal place.  However, another couple approached them and were clearly friends who they were gonna continue exploring the fair with.  Proving one more time that she was a girl after my heart, blondie took a final drag from her all-white and flung the cigarette to the side.  It was a bit risky for me to get close enough to ID the butt having hung by so close while she smoked, but I quickly ascertained that it was a Marlboro Light Menthol, a brand that seems to have fallen on somewhat hard times in recent years in the Upper Midwest.  But I really like its coloring so I’m glad whenever I get a sighting.  It was nice to have gotten this sighting in completely under my parents’ noses even though they continued sitting at the same point only about 20 yards away.

Unfortunately, things were pretty slow for the rest of the 7:00 hour, and alarmingly so given how productive the hour usually is, but I’d finally strike gold as I approached 8:00 and walked near the International Bazaar area again.   If one is lucky, there are a few moments every day at the fair where they witness from afar that perfect combination of feminine beauty and cigarettes, and last night I got to see it in duplicate.  Standing in a grassy area a few feet in front of the Bazaar’s entrance was a group of five that included two bombshell 19-20ish girls wielding cigarettes who instantly became Sightings #119 and #120.  There was a wide open bench directly in front of them and I rapidly approached for a front-row seat, but made eyes with another dude in my age range who was about to take the bench for himself….but I beat him to the punch and was in no mood for chivalry.  Sorry buddy….you snooze, you lose!  And in this case he did lose out big-time because these girls were positively gorgeous, and I couldn’t get over how the two girls were the only smokers in the group of five, with all these studly dudes to their left forced to stand there and endure the stench, and in a forbidden area at that.  It was right at the threshold of dusk and I was very lucky to be sitting so close because I was able to take a solid pic with my camera phone without needing the flash.  It was definitely gonna be my last photo of the night, and I was so grateful to be able to score it.  With the photo accounted for, it was time to sit back and watch the show….

Unfortunately, I missed the majority of the show, but still had three drags each to observe.  Like so many girls on the day, these girls were above-average smokers.  There were no stylistic flourishes but it was obvious just by the intensity of their drags and the cloudiness of their exhales that they were regular smokers with substantial habits.  The first girl was a dark blond with shoulder length hair and a sweet girl-next-door face.  She was wearing a black top and a pair of white shorts with a tan flower print that very nicely framed her frontal feminine assets (and undoubtedly her rear assets as well, but it was her crotch that was in my line of vision).  If she had been the only girl in the sighting, it still would have been among my top-five of the day, but standing across from her was a brunette who managed to upstage her.  This girl was a knockout, with long dark brown hair flowing over her shoulders onto a navy blue tanktop with a pair of tight white shorts below.  For the two minutes or so that the show lasted, I was in heaven, and can’t really say which girl was the better smoker as they were both about even.  The blond was the first to take a final drag before dropping her cigarette to the pavement and crushing it out.  Within seconds, the brunette gave the marching orders to the pussy-whipped boys with pink lungs, rhetorically asking “ready to go inside?” as she progressed towards the entrance of the International Bazaar still wielding her cigarette and the rest of the group obediently followed.  I hoped to see a replay of Sighting #89 where the girl went inside the Bazaar still wielding her cigarette, but just before the threshold of the entrance, she dropped the cigarette to the pavement and half-heartedly crushed it out.  As they went inside, I swooped in to identify both butts.  They were both Marlboro Reds, giving the already impressive duo of hot chicks that much more badass sex appeal.  This duo reminded me aesthetically of last year’s MNSF #59 duo, even though they might have been a little hotter than those two.  Unfortunately because of the limited length of the encounter here they might not end up ranking as high in my greatest hits list.  Too soon to tell as sometimes sightings rise in stature as time progresses if I can’t get the girls out of my head for months to come…and these just might be those kind of girls.

I had a renewed spring in my step after that sighting, with dusk fast approaching and falling a little behind schedule of my sightings pace.  But I was more than content to be a little behind schedule if I continued to score impressive sightings of above-average smoker girls as I did once again with Sighting #127, my first post-sunset sighting of consequence.  It was a mixed-gender cluster of young adults in their early to mid 20s, with a few smokers, but only one smoking female.  But damn did she know how to push the fetish buttons.  She was a light brunette with shoulder-length hair, very much the girl next door who was cute but not conventionally sexy, decked out in a tanktop and tan shorts and sporting a very fetching figure.  But it was her incredible smoking style that made her stand out in the crowd as I got in on the sighting at its light-up origin and watched the long-distance dangle, complete with dangling drag off the light-up, that followed.  There wasn’t gonna be any photos at this hour so I was free to roam from spot to spot, watching her smoke from different angles amidst a cluster that was obstructing my view from time to time.  Almost all of her drags were no-handlebars dangling drags where she took her fingers off the cigarette and just sucked the smoke inside her lungs through her lips, often times taking a repeat drag at the same time as she exhaled the smoke from the first drag.  She also threw in a couple no-purpose dangles just for giggles.  This girl may have blended in amidst a crowd of State Fair cuties had she not been smoking, but since she was smoking she was the only girl I had any interest in seeing at that time.  Given the logistics I couldn’t stick around for the sighting’s completion without risking being caught but I saw six or seven drags, every one of them impressing me as a connoiseur of flamboyant female smoking styles.  As I said before, the satisfying pacing of quality sightings throughout the day and night kept things from ever getting boring, and this stinky sexpot helped assure me that the 8:00-8:15 hour would be the same story.

As I progressed to the beer gardens, my timing was off and I only caught one drag from Sighting #133, a very pretty and wholesome mid-20s dark blond in a black minidress standing with friends.  All I got to see was her final drag, complete with a squinty-eyed look of extreme pleasure as she filled her lungs up with delicious smoke, followed by the residue of fumes exiting her pretty face as she leaned down to the crush out the cigarette.  I was kicking myself as I saw her beautiful face and realized what I missed out on, but was grateful to at least get that one moment of smoky beauty from her.  About a half hour later, I was walking by the same area and the same mixed-gender foursome of friends was still there.  The mediocre brunette friend was now smoking, and became Sighting #146 in the process, but unfortunately the hot blond was not smoking this time.

Yesterday was a day that didn’t have any full-blown epic sightings where the quality of the girl matched a first-rate storyline.  My top-25 all-time sightings list probably won’t be shaken up by new entries from Saturday, but there were five or six sightings that I would qualify as “great” and competed very closely for my top sighting of the day honor.  But having evaluated all of these sightings 24 hours later, I’ve come to the conclusion that my Sighting #143 was the day’s best.  The Sammy Hagar concert had long ago started as I was searching outside the west side of the grandstand and its smoking area.  There was nobody worthwhile there but on a berm about 10 yards away sat an attractive young couple wielding cigarettes.  I approached to take a seat next to them and the closer I got, the more obvious it was that the girl was an epic beauty, a perfect 10 dark brunette who looked about 22 with soft and symmetrical facial features wearing a black tanktop and short shorts (it was too dark as I approached to see what color her shorts were), her bare legs crossed as she attended to her phone.  And as I sat next to them, I avoided being suspicious by attending to some actual business, that being removing my shoes and putting those gel-filled inserts that I often do in the final two hours of the evening in order to give some extra cushion for my sore feet.  Putting these inserts in has been a good luck charm on a couple of occasions in the past, leading to imminent sightings greatness, and this would be another such case.  But I became frustrated after about minute seated there because the cigarette had still not yet approached her lips.  I was resigned to her likely being a loosely committed smoker, but could not have been proven more wrong with the extreme smoking show that awaited me….

The cigarette finally approached her mouth for an extended stay as she wrapped her lips around the cork filter and starting pulling on it with the ferocity of some carnival act using his teeth to pull a railroad car.   Her ingestion period lasted a good seven seconds before the cigarette came out of her mouth.  At this point, a massive cloud of uninhaled smoke hovered in front of her gorgeous face, but within a split second, her gluttonous respiratory system sucked it up like a vacuum, with every trace of that smoke disappearing into her mouth and nose.  And then it just stayed there for another five seconds or so, before exiting her face entirely through her nose.  Now understand my precarious arrangement here, seated next to this couple on the berm with the boyfriend closest to me while I dangerously observed this madness from a few feet away, my jaw undoubtedly hanging wide open at the awesomeness of what I just witnessed.  Even smoking at a relatively slow pace, the cigarette wouldn’t be long for this world with the repeated acts of graphic violence she was perpetrating against it.  I eagerly awaited her next drag and she somehow managed to outdo the first, inserting the cigarette into her mouth and going through a literal three stages of dragging over the course of about eight seconds.  It was as if she was about to let loose and end her drag on two different occasions, but just loved the taste and the feel of the smoke so much that the devil on her shoulder just demanded she extend the drag a little bit longer.  I could literally see the bright red cherry on her cigarette grow in size as the paper and tobacco withered away over the course of her merciless drag.  When it finally ended, I once again got to witness the vacuum effect as a haze of uninhaled smoke in front of her face was sucked back inside of her, followed by a long hold and a 100% nasal exhale.  Apparently her mouth was too exhausted from those long drags to go through the extra work of exhaling all that smoke.  That job was allocated exclusively to her cute little button nose.

I saw two more drags but didn’t have the vantage point with the boyfriend in the way to tell if they were as inspired as the first two.  The boyfriend finished his cigarette first and the gorgeous girlfriend soon followed, crushing her cigarette out on the berm and dropping it to the pavement.  They walked away and conveniently gave me the opening to identify her cigarette as a Camel Crush Bold.  I had really wished I had scored this sighting during the daytime hours, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized the nightime visual of the huge and growing cherry that accompanied her rapist drags would have been lost if this happened during the day.  Still, it sucked not getting a photo, especially when she and the luckiest-guy-in-Minnesota boyfriend walked away and I got to see her full profile and the color of her shorts for the first time.  They were skimpy white cutoffs with fraying at the bottom and her pockets hanging just slightly below the fraying.  The white shorts were icing on the cake for this masterpiece and I so wanted to smack that perfect ass of hers as it progressed forward, working the shorts in a way I’d been waiting all day to see from a hot young smoker girl.  I had a good feeling about this girl when I sat down but she exceeded expectations in a genuinely explosive way.  And reliving this sighting through the course of this writeup really reinforced that she was my high point of the day.

While I wasn’t gonna be outdoing that any time soon, I migrated westward to the evening teen hangout area in front of the midway.  Every year, the cops park two squad cars right in the middle of this area, presumably to spot any teen drinking which occurs regularly there as I saw it several times myself in recent years.  One can imagine that 15 years ago, just about every cute teenage girl in the crowd would be smoking, but nowadays sightings in this cluster are pretty rare.  In fact I only got one last night, and my Sighting #144 girl was on the outskirts of the cluster and was not even a teenage girl.  That’s not to sell her short though as she was a 21ish long-haired blond in a shiny tanktop and skimpy black shorts oozing confidence while wielding a cigarette she intermittently dragged from and a beer she was openly sipping from which assured me she wasn’t one of the nearby teenyboppers.  I picked up on the confidence part because a couple of random guys were chatting her up and she hung with her female nonsmoking friends.  The guys had good taste in which girl of the three to flirt with and she handled them with grace and finesse while slowly smoking away at her cigarette.  Her style was average though, and seemed particularly uneventful after the previous girl’s performance par excellence.  Still, she was a hot smoker and helped carry the momentum into those mid-evening hours.

Maintaining that momentum was a cute storyline sighting that played out a few minutes later on the southeast side of the beer gardens area with Sightings #149 and #150.  A trio of early to mid 20s girls was aimlessly hovering in this open area when I noticed this brunette in the group was putting an unlit cigarette between her lips.  Near her was an attractive but slightly weathered looking curly-haired blond whose cigarette was already freshly lit, who I first spotted doing a sexy dangle perfectly positioned in the center of her mouth.  As for the third girl, she was the sexiest of the bunch and also appeared to be the youngest.  She was a dark brunette wearing a red top with several inches of exposed midriff over her black shorts and also had the cutest face….and she was digging around in her purse for what I ascertained immediately was the lighter needed to fire up the other brunette’s cigarete.  I was really hoping to see this cute bare-midriffed brunette get in on some smoking action of her own, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I assumed she was a smoker since she had a lighter in her purse, but I didn’t know for sure and thus couldn’t count her.  Anyway, the pursuit for this lighter ended up being the high point of the sighting as some other girl who knew my bare-midriffed brunette began chatting with her about something I presume was related to school.  They were bantering together for a good two minutes while the brunette half-heartedly and unsuccessfully foraged in the purse for her lighter.  Meanwhile, the smoker brunette just stood there the whole time dangling a lit cigarette with increasing signs of impatience on her face.  I could relate!  I wasn’t even smoking and the foot-dragging friend was annoying me!  Can’t imagine going through a nicotine fit while waiting as the brunette smoker was.  Finally, the random chatter girl walked away and the bare-midriffed friend’s only job was to fish out that lighter from her purse.  But after another 30 seconds, the brunette smoker just gave up and compelled the blond to hand her her cigarette.  The brunette took the blond’s cigarette and touched it to her own, slowly lighting herself up.  I stuck around a couple of moments in case this would become a shared cigarette sighting between the two brunettes.  It didn’t, but it was still one of the cooler storyline sightings of the evening.

The final hour and half of the evening came through like a champion, and the next success story was a three-for-the-price-of-one sighting at the same spot that was the biggest gold mine for me yesterday…the smoking area outside the west side of the grandstand.  In this case, Sightings #157, #158, and #159 took place on a series of plastic chairs near the grandstand seating area where I sat to observe the sighting from its inception.  A solidly attractive early 20s dark blond had just extracted a pack of Marlboro Reds from her purse and was distributing cigarettes to her fellow early 20s pals.  First to get a cigarette was another dark blond friend, who was the most beautiful of the three.  Talk about wholesome….it’s impossible to convey how sweet and nonsmoker-like this girl looked sitting there in her gray top and jean shorts.  It was easy to see that she was the tallest girl of the three even while sitting down.  The other friend was modestly attractive African-American girl who also got a cigarette.  She seemed to be the least practiced and least engaged in the smoking of the three.  The tallest, prettiest girl lit up first and the cigarette supplier only seconds later.  The tallest girl had a modest style.  No bells and whistles or dazzling performance from her but she just looked so gosh-darned cute with the cigarette, especially since it was pretty obvious that she was into it.  The supplier girl was the best smoker of the three, and easily looked the most like a smoker of the three.  Not that she was exactly a leather-draped biker mama either, but she did have just the slightest hint of weathered features indicative of being a smoker.  The black girl was last to get the lighter and was fighting the wind to get lit.  I wouldn’t doubt if she was just a social smoker the way she was carrying herself, and ended up needing the supplier girl to lean in with her lit cigarette dangling from her mouth in order to light up the second cigarette.  At that point, I had a pretty good front-row seat to the three of them puffing away, creating a permanent haze of smoke in the location.  Ninety percent of my attention was focused on the tall, wholesome dark blond sitting there all angelic tending to her cigarette.  But the other two continued to do enough oddball stuff to distract me now and then.  At one point, the black girl and the cigarette supplier actually traded cigarettes, with the blond beginning to blow on the cigarette she got from the black girl as if it had not properly lit and the black girl was incapable of smoking it as was.  It was a strange dynamic but they ultimately made it work and all three were successfully smoking again.  I was kicking back prepared for a complete show from this threesome right up to the point where their cigarettes were disposed of, but for the first time that day, one quality sighting got sidetracked by another….

Sitting there enjoying the stinky threesome, I just happened to look to my left at exactly the right time to see a duo of 18ish girls in tanktops and jean shorts strutting their way through the grounds wielding cigarettes, leaving a smoke trail in their path.  Suddenly I had an entirely new conquest to see what would become of Sightings #160 and #161.  As I maneuvered around and followed them with my eyes, I determined that these two weren’t the most beautiful girls on the fairgrounds that night, but they were nonetheless above average and the devil-may-care confidence they exuded breaking the smoking rules of the Minnesota State Fair immediately let me know I was in for a treat here, but I didn’t know just how much of a treat and wouldn’t have guessed they would end up being my second best sightings of the day as they did.  They turned towards the entrance of the grandstand, where a female fairgrounds cop stood there guarding the gate, mostly to make sure nobody without a ticket tried to sneak into the Sammy Hagar concert.  I had just assumed these girls were heading to the area’s significant designated smoking area to finish their cigarettes, but they just kept marching right on up to the cop as if they were gonna go into the grandstand.  They greeted the cop as they got there and attempted to walk past her, but were politely stopped in their tracks and I heard the cop say “No you can’t smoke in there”.  Did these barely legal girls seriously believe they were gonna not only slide past the cop into the grandstand with cigarettes in hand, but go in to see the show without tickets?  Um, girls, it hasn’t been legal to smoke inside the grandstand for at least 10 years….when the two of you were still in elementary school!  How could girls who grew up in the era of ever-tightening smoking bans be this clueless?  I have no idea, but the sex appeal was absolutely off the charts as they turned around defeated, walking past me the other direction and finally giving me the first look at their faces….

As I said, these girls didn’t stop traffic with their supermodel beauty, but nonetheless looked too wholesome and too pretty to fit the stereotype of smokers in the year 2013.  The taller, long-haired light brunette was the prettier and more wholesome of the two, and as she walked past me she was still rolling her eyes about being spurned by the cop for trying to walk into the concert with a cigarette. She was wearing a gray tanktop and short pale blue shorts that framed a nice ass and long, slender legs.  The other girl was a dark brunette with hair that was still long but not as long as the friend’s.  She had a little more meat on her bones but wasn’t chubby.  She was wearing a darker and higher-riding pair of jean shorts that from afar was the first thing about this duo that stood out for me.  She was without question cute, and from what I observed appeared to be a slightly better smoker, but the other girl fascinated me more.   They proceeded out of the smoking area and into the grounds, cigarettes still in hand, ironically walking away in disgust from the cop for trying to get into one part of the grounds that didn’t allow smoking while either cluelessly or intentionally advancing into another part of the grounds that didn’t allow smoking.  These two were something else, and as I followed, my heart filled with sexual desire at the contrast between their feminine teenage girl presentation and the brash and almost thuggish way they marched around smoking cigarettes on forbidden ground.  I had no idea where they were headed as they proceeded into the grass but it became clear they were headed into the ladies’ bathroom under the grandstand’s entryway.  The taller girl dropped her still smoldering cigarette to the pavement and half-heartedly crushed it out a few yards in front of the bathroom and immediately in front of this middle-aged guy standing there waiting. He didn’t respond to the girl’s butt drop but may have been saying a few things to himself about it.  Meanwhile, the darker brunette friend waited until she was right near the entrance of the bathroom to take the final drag from her cigarette and dropped it to the ground.  Unfortunately, this guy had taken note of me and wasn’t going anywhere, probably waiting for his wife or friend to leave the bathroom, and I wasn’t gonna be able to identify their butts with him standing there.  I hovered impatiently until my suspicion was confirmed, and a middle-aged woman left the bathroom and took off with the guy about a minute or so later.  It was now wide open for me to identify both butts…..and they were both Marlboro No. 27s, a brand I didn’t even know existed anymore.

I got a little greedy after that, shuttling back to the smoking area hoping to see the threesome that began this great roll.  They were done smoking and walking away, but I was grateful to get the opportunity to see the angelic tall blond one more time in her short jean shorts with her long legs, this time standing rather than sitting with her full figure on display.  I boogied on over to where they sat hoping to see three freshly extinguished cork filter butts laying there….but there was nothing.  The girls must have used the ashtray even though it wasn’t all that close to them.  I suppose it didn’t matter since I saw the cigarettes all coming from the one blond’s pack of Marlboro Reds, but IDing the actual butt has a certain trophy factor to it.  When coming up empty there, I headed back to the bathroom hoping to catch the teen smokers exit but figuring they’d probably left by now.  They must have because they were nowhere to be seen and continued not to be after I waited another minute or so.  I was a little bummed as I really felt like I needed to see those two girls again to qualify their look matched with their performance, and was kicking myself for the next few minutes for walking away to pursue closure with the threesome.

I didn’t have long to dwell on my self-imposed annoyance for long, however, as things were about to get crazy.  If one is lucky, there is one point during an entire year of fetishing when they have a “sensory overload” moment where a bunch of great smoking is going on simultaneously, and as I drifted to the east side of the beer gardens block last night, I’d score my sensory overload moment of 2013.  It all started on a row of benches leaning up against the new bathroom structure that are decidedly not in the designated smoking area, but by this time of the night it was full of smokers of all ages.  Only two interested me, however, and they were Sightings #163 and #164, two girls who did not appear to yet be 18 and if they were, were just barely so.  On the left was a very pretty ponytailed dark blond in the requisite tanktop and jean shorts outfit who was simultaneously very wholesome and very sexy.  I wouldn’t have figured her to be a smoker but there she was.  The friend on the right was a curly-haired light brunette dressed similarly who had a pretty glamorous presentation with her perfectly applied makeup and sexy summery outfit, but ultimately just wasn’t as pretty as her friend.  They both dazzled as smokers though, producing some impressively cloudy exhales that their two nonsmoking friends, one seated and one standing in front of them, were forced to choke on.  Before the reconstruction of the bathrooms, there were multiple rows of benches in this area and I’d have been able to take a seat while observing them, but now I was forced to awkwardly stand and look their direction.  And that’s how the trouble started.  I got my phone out, not to take a photo, but send myself a text with the serial numbers of this sightings duo as a reminder for my writeup.  When I finished the text, I looked back to the girls and this random middle-aged woman sitting next to my favorite girl, who was smoking herself, started talking to her.  The next thing I know, the girl and her friends were all looking my way.  Yikes….I used to be good at this!  And no matter how sneaky I tried to be, the four girls all had nervous eyes on me.  I hadn’t been lurking there long enough to set often any serious “stalker” fears and nobody could have suspected me of snapping photos, so there were only two possibilities….that the woman noticed me looking at the girl and alerted her that she had an admirer, or the more likely possibility, the woman noticed me texting while looking at the girl and alerted her that she may have been getting reported for being an underage smoker.  It was a very strange “bust”, but a bust nonetheless.  I tried to sit at a faraway bench and still sneak a couple glances but was busted every time.  This just wasn’t going my way and I had to regrettably abandon one of the cutest teen smoker sightings of the day feeling unsatisfied.

But the departure was redeemed in all of 10 seconds as I turned the corner to the front of the bathroom area to find two more 19ish girls standing right there smoking.  My Sightings #165 and #166 were another blond and brunette duo.  Neither of them were as cute as the #163 blond but both were cuter than the #164 brunette friend, but what made this duo most memorable is that they were standing almost directly in front of the door to the MEN’s bathroom while smoking their cigarettes.  And while the brunette was a cutie in a tanktop and jean shorts, as well as the more slender girl of the two, it was the distinguished-looking blond who captivated me.  She had a nicely coiffed head of blond hair resting down to her shoulders with an equally distinguished-looking face.  Her figure was curvy, with just that perfect level of “slightly chubby” that is perfect for a girl her age, even though it likely means she’ll be overweight in another decade.  Her outfit also stood out, with a pale yellow tanktop and matching pale yellow shorts.  It was a highly feminine presentation that oozed sex appeal, particularly in the accompaniment of the half-smoked cigarette between her fingers.  Again, however, there was no place to lurk without sticking out like a sore thumb and I did exactly that, getting spotted by the blond as I tried to watch the show.  Gah!  I’d have to move away to lurk from afar, ideally out of sight.  Not long after I did, two guys came out of the guy’s bathroom and joined them.  Not sure whether they were boyfriends or just male friends hanging out with them, but it was an adorable role reversal to have the nicotine-addicted girls waiting outside the guys’ bathroom for the dudes to relieve themselves.  But this sighting took a backseat about two minutes in when I stumbled into something even more heart-stopping…..

I had made the aforementioned transition to a new stalking post in the midst of the last sighting, right at the precipice of the smoking area just south of the bathroom, and in doing so, found myself looking at a duo of 15ish blonds….and one of them was smoking.  This was the moment I had been waiting for all day….to see a cute and clearly underage girl wielding a cigarette in the smoking area.  It would have been even cooler to have seen my Sighting #167 girl before dark, but this was damn cool too.  Now to be sure, the friend was hotter, and I was hoping this would be a shared cigarette sighting.  It wasn’t, but I had no business complaining as I looked at this very petite and wildly underage dark blond with her hair up in a ponytail sitting at the heart of the smoking area and smoking an all-white.  Again though, I had to stand and made myself very obvious doing so, thus having to be more discreet than I would have preferred while watching.  She was dressed like so many other smoker girls that evening in a gray tanktop (what’s with all these drab gray tanktops?!?!?) and very nice-fitting jean shorts.  Even 15 years ago, seeing a girl like this smoking would have been surprising, but to wrap my mind around the fact that she was somehow addicted to $8 a pack Minnesota cigarettes in the year 2013 was really a stretch.  As you might expect, her style was rudimentary as she was most likely a pretty recently started smoker, but just seeing a cigarette in hands this young belonging to a girl this cute was the pinnacle moment of this aforementioned sensory overload stretch.  As she began to notice me, I was fortunate enough to still have the previous duo of smokers still puffing away in front of the bathroom and was able to check them out and make myself less conspicuous, albeit at the expense of seeing everything this little cutie had to offer.  Now I suppose this front-row seat to an extended mid-teen smoker sighting should have been enough by itself to satisfy me, but the sighting was about to take a simultaneously delicious and heartbreaking turn…..

There was a huddle of fellow mid-teens, including guys, just to the left of this duo sitting in front of me that included the smoker.  They had obstructed my view of who was seated on the berm until they eventually parted, revealing the profile of another mid-teen smoker (Sighting #168), this one a brunette.  Now she wasn’t as petite as the previous girl so when I first spotted her I didn’t even know if she was a mid-teen, but then she took the final drag from her cigarette and turned briefly to reveal most of her face.  Whoa!  This was the face of a sweetheart cheerleader type middle-school-looking girl complete with braces….and she had just smoked!  And I missed almost all of it!  I had to look again to make sure that face was as innocent as first suspected….and it was.  Gahhh!  And then came an entire huddle of girls in the 15-16 range who wandered from elsewhere and joined the group of mid-teens, including the two smokers, as they all apparently came to the fair together.  While it was obvious most of these girls were not smokers, it was refreshing to see the entire group was assuredly a bunch of high school girls and I wasn’t merely being thrown off by a couple of 20-year-olds who looked preternaturally young.  But there was just one stone left unturned with this sighting….the petite blond had to finish her cigarette.  She stood up while preparing to leave with the group of friends, her all-white still in hand, before taking one final drag.  As close as she was to the center of this smoking area and the ashtray, I figured she’d dispose of her butt properly, but instead took the most obnoxious alternative possible.  The berm she was sitting in was full of dense plant life which she took a quick look at before piggishly, dismissively pitching the smoldering all-white butt straight into the berm.  The action and the face of the girl responsible for it could not have been more of a mismatch, and with the girls all leaving now, I had a clear opening to identify the butt.  I used my hand to clear a path of plant life inside the berm where I saw the cigarette get pitched.  A glowing cherry still smoldered and revealed the butt to be a Camel Crush.  This was another example of the general good fortune I had yesterday, being rewarded with a half dozen genuine blockbusters, in this case sweet relief that there are still a few cute high school girls left in Minnesota with smoking habits.

With that sighting having run its course, I was hoping to get some closure on the previous duo including the blond dressed in pale yellow.  They were no longer standing there but I hoped their recently crushed-out cigarette butts would still be smeared across the pavement in front of the men’s bathroom.  No butts to be found in the location where they had been standing though, so I walked away back around the beer gardens block.  The girls were no longer smoking, but I did see them standing on the block talking to their friends, giving me one more good look at both.  The brunette was certainly cute but that blond was really memorable and it warmed my heart seeing their sweet faces and knowing the people they were talking to could probably smell the fresh tobacco on their breath.

I was down to my final hour and was hoping to keep the momentum alive.  For the most part, I did not, and found my time reduced to the last 20 minutes or so before the next thing worth mentioning….but boy was it worth the wait.  I said earlier that I really wished I had seen a little more of that 18ish duo that tried to strut into the grandstand with cigarettes in hand, and at about 10:05 my wish was granted as the girls were sitting on the curb across the street from the beer gardens block smoking another round of cigarettes.  The cigarettes were about half smoked and it was only about an hour since their last, so all evidence pointed to these two being pretty dedicated smokers for their age.  Given that they were now stationary I was better positioned to study their smoking styles and their looks.  My original impression was reinforced that the light brunette was the cuter of the two, and her hot body in those skimpy short jean shorts was displayed perfectly.  I’ve just recently noticed that a girl in shorts looks hottest when seated on a curb, giving a full profile vantage point of her lower-body curves as she’s seated.  In some cases when the shorts are really short, as they were here, some of the girl’s bare ass is actually touching the curb.  The image was impossibly sexy, revealing just how little denim was actually covering that incredible ass of hers.  But as amazing as her ass was, the two-for-one smoking show dazzled even more.  The girls were solid smokers and unlike earlier when it seemed the dark brunette was even better, they seemed about even on this performance.  In fact, I probably gave the light brunette cutie in the short shorts the edge here because after her two final drags, she proceeded to launch two lugies off to her side, both cute girlish little lugies that nonetheless contrasted deliciously with her decidedly feminine image.  I didn’t really think much of it until I watched both girls crush out their cigarettes on the curb and get up to leave moments later.  I knew they both smoked Marlboro No. 27s, but still sat where they did to verify. I was caught off guard when I spotted two groupings of a half dozen or so lugies right near where the girls had sat.  I know not everyone is into smoker girls spitting but for me it’s incredibly hot to know that these two cuties are chronic spitters, repeatedly salivating so close to where their tender young bodies were seated.  These two were already poised to be among my favorite sightings of the day, but the second sighting assured their stature as the second best sighting of the day.

I had a lot of territory to cover in the remaining 15 minutes and hoped to surpass the 185 sightings I scored on the first day of the 2012 MNSF.  That didn’t happen and I only scored one more sighting of consequence, a two-for-one (sort of) that would end up being my final two girls of the day.  It was about 10:26 and I was up near the grandstand, and I knew my impatient parents would be standing near the Coliseum which is a good quarter mile away waiting to depart at 10:30, so time was not just slipping away but effectively gone.  But as I was walking the folks’ direction, I spotted a cute and petite early 20s dark blond who was just lighting up a cork filter cigarette while standing in front of a food stand to become Sighting #179.  She was adorable and so tiny, decked out in a white T-shirt and a pair of skin-tight black leggings that really framed her lower body nicely.  She had just lit the cigarette when the guy in the food stand leaned out to inform her that her food was ready.  She approached the counter, cigarette in hand, to take the sandwich.  I didn’t have the time to stick around long but was hoping to see a smoking while eating performance from this little cutie.  But she joined with her chubby blond friend standing near her and approached the seats, taking a couple of drags from the cigarette before surrendering it to the friend and starting to eat her sandwich.  Now the friend was just barely good enough to qualify and become Sighting #180, and while technically this became a two-for-one sighting, the wrong girl ended up with the cigarette and I had to go anyway.  A sighting that had serious potential given the adorableness of the girl who lit the cigarette would take a disappointing and abbreviated turn.  And I was walking off to meet the parents.

A lot of times I get a flurry of sightings on my way out the door but I wouldn’t last night.  Even worse than no sightings, as I was approaching the Coliseum, walking directly in front of me was the large cluster of 15-16ish girls that included the petite blond smoker (Sighting #167) whose cute butt was wiggling only a few feet in front of my eyes.  Nobody was smoking at this time but I’ve seen several occasions where smoker girls light up first thing after they leave the fairgrounds, which for this group would be in less than a minute.  But I had a problem….I couldn’t follow them.  I had to meet up with my parents, and at this point, they were nowhere to be seen.  Given their absence, I followed the girls hopeful that my parents’ absence was for a reason, but about 10 yards later I heard my name called out.  I looked behind me to a series of benches to see my mom.  Perfect!  My dad showed up with a cup of coffee he just bought about 30 seconds later, and I tried to silently motivate them through my own fast pace to get up and out of the grounds as quickly as possible in hopes of catching at least one person in that mid-teen smoking group puffing on another cigarette, but I couldn’t control this situation.  Walking fast, far ahead of my parents, was not an option here and I had to hold back, through clenched teeth, as the gap grew wider between them an me.  This wasn’t gonna happen.

Even with that frustrating final moment, I felt sweet relief and redemption after this successful day of fairgrounds fetishing.  The day of reckoning I have been fearing for years and which seemed imminent last January when I read about the “designated smoking areas at the Minnesota State Fair” did not happen.  And I actually tip my hat to the fair administrators for trying to be civil about this.  Much as I loathe the concept of prohibitions of any kind on outdoor smoking, a widely publicized incident of a two-year-old girl getting burned in the eye with a cigarette last year tied the hands of the fair administrations and made some sort of smoking restrictions impossible to avoid.  But like I said, the smoking areas were located in the same places where 80% of the smoking I observed in recent years occurred, so not much has changed.  With that said, this remedy isn’t gonna satisfy the whiners.  I wouldn’t doubt if they’re at it already at the end of this year, complaining how the “smoking areas take up too much of the places to sit” and how “smoke drifting from the smoking areas ruined my fair experience”.  I don’t see this compromise as holding up for the rest of eternity.  But for now, wrapping up yesterday with only 2% fewer sightings than last year’s opening weekend at the MNSF, I feel like I really dodged a bullet, the only one of three I dodged in Minnesota this year with the combination of the largest cigarette tax increase ever passed in the history of America along with the rising tide of e-cigarettes, the latter of which is starting to frighten me to my core.

One more day ahead of fairgrounds sightings before the 2013 fair season comes to a close.  Unfortunately, it’s about 20 degrees hotter than normal in the Upper Midwest for this time of year and the forecast is for unbearable heat as far as the eye can see.  Normally I don’t mind the heat, but as I learned at the Iowa State Fair in 2007, my intense routine of constantly-on-the-go fairgrounds fetishing does not work in 95-degree heat.  I’m really hoping the heat doesn’t sabotage or cut short my Labor Day weekend at the Minnesota State Fair, which almost every year is my top sightings day of the year.  I’ll know for sure in a few short days.

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