2014 Iowa State Fair, Day 1


After a couple of very mellow years in a row, I walked into my all-day Saturday fetish safari at the Iowa State Fair with downwardly revised expectations. The daytime hours in particular were near sightingless wastelands in 2012 and 2013 and I went into August 9, 2014, expecting that would more likely than not be the case as well, with those halcyon days of 2010 and 2011 of robust day and night ISF sightings now looking more like a fluke than anything likely to repeated with any frequency.   And so it went for most of the early hours of yesterday’s tour, with a sparse selection of sightings in those early hours making for sagging morale. But by mid-to-late afternoon, I started to string together some impressive blockbusters and my numbers started to surge by early evening. With each hour before dusk, I began to acknowledge that I was having a pretty decent day….until evening came around and things went off the hook. Much like my legendary 2008 Minnesota State Fair, yesterday was a day that started slow but ended up as one of my more unexpectedly awesome days at the fair in a long time.

It would have been unthinkable at 4 p.m. that I would end the evening with 141 sightings, two short of my all-time Iowa State Fair record set in 2011, but that’s exactly what happened. And frankly, I could have easily gotten a dozen or more beyond that if it wasn’t for one particularly lengthy detour that was nonetheless more than worth the investment of time. The grandstand last night was the Goo Goo Dolls with Daughtry, and they undoubtedly drew a favorable demographic, so that probably helped my cause a little, but it was still quite a jarring throwback to a better era when smoking was more culturally acceptable. It certainly didn’t seem like 2014, especially in those hours after dark when the sightings numbers were so blistering.

The day got off to a milquetoast start with gloomy skies that kind of served as a wet blanket on my morale. It wasn’t supposed to rain and didn’t, but bright and sunny conditions give my spirit a lift when I get off the shuttle bus and enter the Iowa State Fairgrounds for 13 hours of sightings bliss. It was shortly after 11 a.m. when I entered the gates, feeling a little less energy than usual but still knowing I was poised to see a few hot sightings that day even if the day was a total disaster. The first few hours put that theory to the test though as I wandered around finding very little to hang my hat on. It was well over a half hour after my arrival when I finally got Sighting #1, which I later determined was a younger-looking mother of a teenage daughter. The early ambiguity came when the older gal—a brunette with a nice, slender figure in a black tanktop and jean shorts—started digging into the purse of her adorable teenage daughter (who looked about 14) and plucked out a cigarette and a lighter. I didn’t even make the association that the gal lighting up was probably a mid-30s mother because she looked younger and definitely didn’t have the body of the mom of a teenager but as they migrated to the bench I figured that had to have been the arrangement. I was hoping that since the daughter was carrying cigarettes, it meant she would get in on the action to, but when the girl didn’t get so much as a drag during the duration of the cigarette, I figured she was probably just carrying mom’s cigarettes in her own purse (mom wasn’t carrying a purse). I guess it was a decent little show, but certainly hoped that my day wouldn’t simply consist of wandering for 45 minutes at a time to come across sightings no better than this.

Unfortunately, it pretty much did until mid-afternoon, and my Sighting #4 would be the first sighting of the day that made me stand up and take notice. I was walking down the Grand Concourse approaching the main block of the beer gardens when I noticed a family with a long-haired light brunette daughter who looked about 22. She was wearing a black tanktop and jean shorts over a very shapely young figure and immediately jumping out at me was a pack of Marlboro Menthols stuffed in her left back pocket. And she was pretty too, her face matching the body with a pair of badass sunglasses adding to the effect as she walked next to a young guy who I assumed was her boyfriend and not her brother. They stopped in front of the beer gardens for adult beverages and I hung around hoping that would be a catalyst for tobacco consumption. It wasn’t immediately but I still counted this as a sighting since I was confident the pack of cigarettes in her back pocket was hers. I did a brief walk up the concourse since no tobacco was being smoked but made a point of returning a few minutes later in case that situation changed. And it did. When I got back a freshly lit cigarette was smoldering between the brunette’s fingers. I positioned myself to snap a few photos, scoring a half dozen, none of which were exceptional but still captured the girl and her cigarette together. I was elated that the boyfriend wasn’t smoking at all and the pack of Marlboro Menthols in her back jean shorts packet was entirely hers. And then the 50-something older woman, the matriarch of the group of six or so, lit up a cigarette as well. Not sure if this was the mother of the smoker girl or her boyfriend but either way it was hot to see this group begin to proceed away from the beer gardens, with the two females of the group being the only smokers. I got to watch from a “side rear” angle the brunette’s nice drags and cloudy exhales into the packed fairgrounds foot traffic, never seeming to care who was choking on her smoke. It was a good long show before she dropped the cork filter Marlboro Menthol butt to the pavement without bothering to crush it out. I walked up and IDed it just to make sure it was indeed a Marlboro Menthol, and of course it was. After at least two hours at the fair, I really needed a sighting like this to keep up morale.

And that morale boost came in handy with the bleak early afternoon hours plodding on, but I at least got another brief sampling of greatness with Sighting #6, which took place in the seating area near the fountain on the south side of the grounds, a location with a storied history of producing quality ISF sightings. This time, a very pretty 21ish dark blond in a blue blouse and jean shorts was sitting there taking a couple of final drags from a cigarette which she then handed to the boyfriend who finished it off and crushed it out. They weren’t going anywhere so I didn’t bother to wait to ID the butt. Wished I could have seen more from this girl yesterday because she was a beauty who was definitely capable of a blockbuster sighting given the right storyline.

Unfortunately, my next sighting of note was a dubious first in my years of fetishing–getting robbed of seeing a sighting play out because I was in line for food, or in this case lemonade. I’m always paranoid when I get in line for food that a great sighting is gonna walk right by and I’ll miss it and that’s exactly what happened when Sighting #9 wandered right on my by me as I stood with gritted teeth in line with some father changing his order in front of me. This dark blond in a black top and acid-washed jean shorts and badass sunglasses fired up a cigarette, along with her boyfriend, as they were walking down the concourse only a few yards from the line I was standing in. I hoped I could get my lemonade in a hurry and catch up with them before she finished her cigarette. About two minutes passed before I made it out of the line with my lemonade in hand, hastily proceeding eastward down the concourse looking for the hot brunette wielding her cigarette. The good news is that I did run into them again near the east side beer gardens, only by now she had finished her cigarette. It was nice to see how attractive she was and knowing that she smoked, but I still kicked myself for missing 99% of this one. I never her again yesterday either.

I had better luck heading back to that south side seating area where I scored Sightings #10-11 standing in the grassy area for a smoke break. It was an early 20s duo with a nonsmoking guy, and while one girl was a chubby brunette who barely qualified as a sighting, the other girl fascinated me. She was a blond with glasses who kind of had a “cute nerd” look about her. She definitely didn’t look like a smoker, wearing a pink T-shirt and those ugly baggy athletic shorts below the waist. Her pink T-shirt had something about 2012 written on it and I wondered if that’s when she graduated high school. I was able to watch her smoke most of the cigarette and managed to snap one pic while she was dragging, even though it’s from a little too far away to fully appreciate. The drags were all nice and fun to watch and it felt good to have a sighting of a worthy girl that wasn’t sabotaged by bad logistics. I heard her mention “Cherokee” while she was talking to the friends, which probably meant she’s from the small town of Cherokee in northwestern Iowa, a good three hours away from the Iowa State Fairgrounds. She finished the cigarette and crushed it out, walking away with the friends soon after. I approached the cork filter butt but it was smoked so close to the filter that I couldn’t ID the brand.

I got an appetizer of Sighting #14 encircling The Depot bar and grill on the west side of the grounds, with its open air eating and drinking area a long-standing home for scofflaws who smoke “inside” despite its illegality. The current scofflaw in question was this pretty late 20s long-haired light brunette sitting by herself at a table text messaging on her smartphone with a pack of Camels in front of her. I counted her as a sighting even though she wasn’t smoking at the time. When I passed the same area a half hour or so later though, she was definitely smoking! As distracted as she continued to be with her phone, I was able to lean over the railing just over her head and watch from only a few feet away as she took intense no-handlebars dangling drags and then released massive clouds of exhaust that rose up to offend my olfactory senses in the seconds after she exhaled. I hovered there for a good five drags, all monstrous dangling drags of the 5-6 second variety that really contrasted with her otherwise feminine image. There was a middle-aged woman sitting adjacent to her on the bench, and I assumed since they never acknowledged each other that they didn’t know each other. Kind of hot that this gal was being smoked out in such close proximity to this hot young smoker who was certainly one of the most skilled smokers I saw yesterday.

Somewhere in between seeing the last girl with the pack of Camels in front of her and actually seeing her smoke one a half hour or so later, I crossed paths with Sighting #16. There are a series of metal railings that serve as gates leading into the grandstand when they let people inside for the evening shows. There was no line yet so the railing sat empty, or at least they would have if this mid-20s couple wasn’t sitting there smoking cigarettes. While I’m puzzled as to why all these hot smoker girls are wearing drab black tanktops in the dead of summer as so many are, the mid-20s dark brunette beauty sucking on her freshly lit cork filter cigarette looked great in it, but even better in her skimpy jean shorts which were seated so uncomfortably but so adorably on that circular metal railing. She was a very pretty girl and much prettier when she placed that long cork filter in the right corner of her mouth and took a drag. Her smoking technique was memorable only because she always took drags from the right corner of her mouth, but her beauty and sunny demeanor were the star of the show anyway. Location was a big problem for me in terms of getting a frontal view so eventually I had to retreat to a bench behind them, although that wasn’t entirely bad as I was able to see her jean-shorted ass so nicely perched on that railing from behind, with a couple inches of exposed bare back and her panties creeping just a little over the belt line. I was able to see her smoke nearly the whole cigarette from this angle and when they walked away from the railings they took a couple of selfies with their cell phone camera, the girl looking so beautiful and beaming. I took the opportunity to ID the cigarette butt, which was another Camel, and then ventured off elsewhere.

Next came the first of three blockbusters I scored during the daytime hours, my second favorite of the three. I was walking down the main stretch of the concourse behind the grandstand when I spotted this sexpot 19ish duo approaching a garbage can. My radar was definitely not buzzing with anticipation as these two looked like the sort of upscale coeds who would never be smoking in the year 2014. The ponytailed light brunette in a skimpy bare midriff flower print top with jean shorts drew my attention first as I approached, and I was shocked when I saw she was holding a freshly lit cigarette in her hand. I quickly changed positions to get a better look and then I noticed she had a second cigarette which was all bent and busted up that she was tossing into the garbage. But then I noticed the equally gorgeous light brunette friend in a conservative gray top and tight white pants was also holding a cigarette, still unlit. As crazy as it would have seemed when I approached these two, they had indeed just become Sightings #18-19. I got a honey of a photo of the girl in white pants lighting up her cigarette before the two wandered off down the concourse. My first pursuit was to take a peek inside that garbage and see if I could get a brand name off of the discarded half cigarette, and I did. Sitting right atop the trash pile was a cork filter cigarette with the unmistakable markings of a Marlboro Red. Who woulda thought?!?!?

From there I quickly caught back up with the girls, walking mostly behind them and taking in their stinky exhales while admiring the spectacular body of the bare-midriffed babe in jean shorts, taking a few photos of her awesome body and capturing the cigarette between her fingers in most of them. I also wanted a risky frontal shot and managed to walk around them and score a pretty decent one. It was now time to settle in for the rest of the smoking show as the girls sat on a curb to finish their cigarettes and I crossed the street to watch the second half of their show. I had spent most of my time admiring the bare-midriffed sexpot with her hair up in a ponytail because of that amazing presentation, but watching the girl in white pants, whose long hair flowed over her shoulders, I had to acknowledge that she was just as pretty as the friend….and she was the better smoker of the two to boot, taking more frequent drags and producing cloudier exhales. Her smoking style was a little more masculine than I’d prefer but she still pulled it off, averaging two drags for every one the friend took as they sat there chatting, oblivious to the fact that they were being watched by at least one guy. Some random middle-aged woman stopped in front of them to either ask something or make a statement. I couldn’t hear it, but was kind of hopeful they were being lectured about their smoking….

After a good 5-7 minute show that consisted of walking and sitting, the girl in white pants crushed out her cigarette on the pavement and let it sit there while the bare-midriffed friend finished hers off about a minute later, unfortunately crushing it out and taking it to the nearest garbage can. I crossed the street when they left to check out the butt crushed out onto the pavement by the girl in white pants, and while I already knew it was a Marlboro Red based upon what was thrown in the garbage moments earlier, I couldn’t really tell from what was left on the cigarette so I’m lucky I got the butt ID from the trash can or it would remain a mystery. I took one final look at these two and briefly wondered if they were sisters as much alike as they looked despite the dramatically different presentations. I still suspect they were just friends, but it’s hard to ask for a better sighting than this in the year 2014, the public consumption of tobacco by exactly the kind of girls who most of us fetishers get most excited about seeing light up. The fact that I got see the entire cigarettes get smoked by both of them made it that much more special. Even if I didn’t get a single other decent sighting yesterday, the day was already worthwhile for having seen these two.

It was around 4:00 by now and while the pace of sightings was starting to pick up a little, I had a lot of catching up to do to wrap up the day with a respectable sightings haul. I wouldn’t match that last duo anytime soon, but I would come upon another duo with a girly girl presentation that helped make this sighting memorable. Sitting on a bench outside a bar and grill at the edge of the midway entrance—the exact same bench where I saw ISF #5 “Brittny” light up in front of her family back in 2008—sat this trio that included two female smokers and a nonsmoking guy, all of whom looked about 20 or 21. But what intrigued most about Sightings #29-30 was there hairdos. The more attractive of the two was the light brunette sitting on the outer position on the bench. She had it in braided pigtails that rolled over her shoulder. She was decently attractive in her blue top, jean shorts, and sunglasses, but I’m not sure she would have gotten a writeup if it wasn’t for those braided pigtails which really added color to the sighting. The other girl, a dark blond, had a single giant braid in the back of her hair and was wearing a black top and short jean shorts accentuating the nicer pair of legs of the two. She wasn’t as good-looking as the light brunette but looked a little younger and a little more innocent for whatever reason. I was well positioned to watch them both smoke their entire cigarettes. There were no stylistic bells and whistles but it was a fun show, especially with the guy in the group being a nonsmoker being forced to choke on the fumes produced by two girly girls with braids. They didn’t leave after finishing their cigarettes so I wouldn’t get a butt ID, but I would see these two again near the bathroom a few hours later, both smoking again.

Moments later, in front of the beer gardens, a trio of two guys and a late 20s girl were standing there breaking out the beer and cigarettes. The girl was opening up a pack of Newports, getting ready to fire up and become Sighting #32. She had platinum blond hair and was only modestly attractive, but I liked her presentation in a pink top with black leopard print spots and a pair of jean shorts below covering a sexy, slender figure. And given that she was right in front of me, I snapped a quick pic of her in mid-drag and watched her take a couple of drags. I didn’t really need to stick around for more than that but felt like I was slowly building some momentum at this point.

The Depot has been an increasing source of sightings in recent years, and another Depot tradition is that I always seem to catch at least one of their young cute workers smoking every year. That tradition continued in 2014 with Sighting #38, a cute 17ish brunette in a green Depot T-shirt and jean shorts taking a smoke break with two guys on the table directly behind their workroom. She had some ugly ring in her nose that took away from her appeal some, but she was still definitely a cutie and I was able to catch a couple of sloppy, belching exhales as I awkwardly stood there getting noticed by just about everybody. I had to press on wishing I could have seen a little more from this one, but with that said it’s unlikely she could have measured up to my all-time best Depot girl sighting (ISF #18) from 2010.

On a couple of brief occasions, the sun peaked out between the clouds yesterday, and combined with the humidity, it felt like a sauna whenever it did. While I wanted that sun to boost my morale in the morning, I was more than happy to see it cloud over again in the afternoon to avoid oppressive heat.

My next great sighting, another of my Big Three during the daytime hours, came on the south side of the grounds near the livestock buildings. As I was proceeding south, I crossed paths with Sighting #40, an absolutely gorgeous early 20s ponytailed dark brunette walking with a female friend and holding a freshly lit real cigarette in one hand and an e-cigarette in the other. Huh?  I immediately turned around and followed, admiring from behind her utilitarian, girl-next-door ensemble consisting of a white T-shirt and a pair of navy blue cotton shorts (not jean shorts), but the most adorable part of her ensemble was a pink baseball cap on her head from which her ponytail came out the back. She was an absolute knockout, and while it was sexy to see her in this everygirl outfit, I thought to myself how insanely hot this girl would look in her nightclub clothes. Anyway, it was time to get to the bottom of this cig in one hand, e-cig in the other situation. She resolved it quickly by taking her first drag from the real cigarette, and it was a solid one with a nice long draw time and a cloudy, skyward-directed exhale that looked so incredible coming from such a pretty face.   The e-cigarette situation was quickly resolved too as she handed it to the friend walking next to her who began “vaping” on it shortly after. Now the friend was a looker herself, a light brunette in a matching lavender top and spotted shorts, but it was definitely the right girl of the two to be smoking the real cigarette as the dark brunette was a much more classic beauty. And sadly, e-cigs were a problem yesterday, robbing me of a good 10 sightings among attractive young females.

But back to the good stuff, the girls continued to walk northward, and I only realized after a couple of minutes that they were walking with three guys in their group, none of whom were smoking. I was snapping pics left and right, some from behind and some from the side, all the while admiring the walking smoking show which always impressed, accompanied by healthy drags and cloudy, skyward exhales. The only blemish on the dark brunette’s beauty was an ugly tattoo on her left arm. Now I try not to let tattoos get in the way of my appreciation of a smoker girl sighting, but certainly if I’m trying to judge top-tier sightings and rate which one I like better, a lack of tattoo is a good tiebreaker and in this case might hold this girl down a position or two in my year-end rankings. I heard one of the girls mention “stopping for a gyro” as they walked, and the sighting took its final stand near the gyro stand where the two girls stopped with the three guys and chatted as the brunette finished her cigarette….

I enjoyed a couple more drags while waiting, admiring her body in those shorts and especially that legendary face. And the sighting kept its best moments for last as she was about to take a swig of water from her bottle, but had to free her hands first which required her to hand the cigarette to one of the two nonsmoking guys. Here stood this guy, holding this moist, three-quarters smoked cigarette straight up and you could tell by the look on his face he was pretty grossed out by it. In a few seconds, the dark brunette reclaimed the cigarette and took her best drag yet, this intense six-second behemoth in which her face lit up with squinty-eyed pleasure as she inhaled a giant snootful of smoke into that wonderful young body. I was so caught up in the moment watching this that I almost missed my chance to snap a frontal pic of her dragging. Thankfully, the drag lasted so long that I got the snapshot in while her lips were still wrapped around the cork filter. The lighting on the pic isn’t as perfect as I’d prefer but it was still one of my best photos of the day. A couple more modest drags wrapped up the cigarette before she stomped it out on the pavement and everybody got in the nearby line for the gyro. It was a cinch for me to ID the discarded butt seconds later…..a Marlboro No. 27. I no longer had any cause to complain about this day’s sightings haul compared to the last two years at this time of the day, and little did I know I was just getting warmed up.

My next sighting of note would be the third of the Big Three, a sighting where a little longer of a show could have been truly legendary but even the limited show I got ensures it year-end acclaim and was my second-best sighting of the day. I was walking westward down the concourse when I saw a family of five that I presumed included a mother, father, two teenage daughters, and a teenage son walking my direction. Right away I noticed what looked to be the older daughter, a long-haired bleach blond in a little blue dress, smoking a cigarette and becoming Sighting #50. She was very pretty and looked about 18 or 19, and I caught her in mid-drag, the only drag I would end up seeing from this girl as she extended her hand to her right in the direction of what I presumed was her mother, a 40-something bleach blond gal who was undoubtedly attractive in her day but had a bunch of tattoos in particularly ugly places on her person. Only it wasn’t mom who was gonna claim possession….

The girl who would become Sighting #51 was the younger sister, another bleach blond who reached in front of mom and grabbed the cigarette from the older sister. And she was a knockout dressed in a way that only made her more impossibly sexy. My guess is she was about 17, her shoulder-length hair resting on her pink, bare-midriffed top with slits on the back revealing her bra and well-toned teen female flesh. And below the bare midriff was a very tight and sexy pair of white shorts, my favorite thing a young girl can wear besides leather. She was no rookie either, taking very nice drags and releasing cloudy, obnoxious exhales that drifted right back into my face. I was doing everything I could to take a perfect photo, which is not easy while in motion. I caught her in mid-drag and thought I absolutely nailed it until I looked at my camera and realized the photo cut her head off. Four incredible drags transpired from this adorable teenage face before the cigarette would find yet another owner….and this time it was mom who I suspect was the original smoker in the first place but was courteously passing the cigarette around to her addicted daughters while the males in the family kept their lungs pink. Painful as it was to see the youngest daughter give up the cigarette, it was pretty damn hot to be witnessing a mother-double daughter sighting, which I think may be a first for me. I was able to get in front of them and snap my best pic yet of the family, with a particularly precious frontal photo of the youngest teen daughter in her pink top and white shorts. Mom finished off the cigarette and crushed it out on the pavement. When I identified the cork filter I was taken aback to see another Marlboro Red.   Haven’t seen this many Marlboro Red smokers since the 80s! I hoped like mad I’d see this family again later in the day but I never did. Still, it was right around 6:00 at this time and no longer had any reason left to complain about the way my day was going.

As the early evening pressed forward, another time-honored tradition of the Iowa State Fair played out with Sighting #55—a cigar sighting, of which I seem to get every year at the ISF and virtually nowhere else. In this case, it was 30ish blond mother with a group of people that included her husband and a daughter who looked about seven years old. She was reasonably pretty with long blond hair, a gray top, and short black shorts covering up a nice pair of smooth long legs. Her group was on the block of the east side beer gardens (a sightings treasure trove in the evening hours) and mom was on the final few drags of a plastic-tipped Black ‘N’ Mild cigar. The sighting really had only one shining moment but it was a big one as mom took a big, stinky drag from her cigar and then exhaled, with the smelly cigar smoke flowing right into the face of the fairgoer walking behind her, a 30-something guy who seemed to take it in stride. Unfortunately, she knelt down and crushed out the cigar on the pavement and let the smelly butt sit there while assembling with her group to chat and finish their beers. I was able to snap a respectable pic of her walking, but unfortunately it was after she finished off the cigar. Now this sighting isn’t gonna be in any year-end top-25 like the cigar sightings from the previous two Iowa State Fairs both were, but I still loved keeping the tradition alive and adored how she exhaled filthy cigar smoke into that guy’s face.

As I said, this east side beer gardens area delivered big-time yesterday and I stacked up a few more sightings before walking a short distance up the block to an obscure street that connects to the midway. Sitting on the edge of the grass was a young couple that looked about 18, both smoking. The location was unfortunate because in order to really get a good look I’d have to wander into the grass in front of them and would be fully exposed in an area where I’d have no logical reason to be hovering. I still managed to linger to the side to see my Sighting #59 girl, a dark brunette in short jean shorts exposing a pair of killer stems as smooth as a baby’s bottom. They were slow smokers so I only got to see one drag from the side. I would have liked to have seen more from this girl.

Heading west from there, I just barely left the east side beer gardens block when I ran into another group with a hot young smoker who would become Sighting #61, a tall mid-20s long-haired blond in a pink blouse and jean shorts who had just lit up an all-white. In the group was a middle-aged gal who appeared to be somebody’s mother and two younger guys, one of whom was smoking. But as I settled in to enjoy the show, up walked another mid-20s blond, this one in a flattering blue blouse and black shorts and who was even hotter than the other girl, and sure enough she was about to become Sighting #62 as she extracted a pack of Camel Menthol Lights from her purse and pulled out a fresh cigarette. I snapped a few pics, none of which were particularly comprehensive but I did capture the faces of both girls in some capacity. I stuck around for a good half dozen drags from each of them, and while both girls were hot, it was a split decision as the blue-bloused girl was a little hotter but the tall girl in pink was a slightly better smoker. In previous Iowa State Fair runs, part of the problem holding down my sightings numbers was that all the smoker girls I seemed to run into were smoking solo, with very few sightings where more than one girl in the same group/family was smoking. That was definitely not proving to be a problem on August 9, 2014.

I continued my nice sightings pace walking west from there down the concourse and finding myself behind a sexy mid-to-late 20s brunette in a black tanktop and jean shorts walking with a guy and another girl and smoking a freshly lit all-white. My Sighting #64 girl was a slow smoker, going as long as two minutes between drags, and may well have been just a social smoker who was smoking while swilling a beer. As I followed her, I spotted Sighting #65, a cute dark blond with a freshly lit cigarette of her own, but decided to follow through with #64 even though it was a close call. She continued walking until getting to the edge of the midway to the west of the main beer gardens area, where she kept (slowly!) smoking her cigarette while I watched from a convenient vantage point.   She finally finished the cigarette, crushed it out beneath her foot, and walked into the midway with the guy and other girl. I easily approached her butt and identified it as a Camel Crush.

I had every intention of going through the midway about 15 minutes later but had repeated problems finding my way past the entrance last evening…and that was a good thing! I had just walked inside around 7:30 when I came across a group of 18-19ish guys and girls that included Sighting #70, a wholesome long-haired brunette dressed in a white shawl covering a pink top with a pair of tight dark jeans below. She had a nice slender figure and a pretty face with soft features that definitely didn’t look as though it belonged to a smoker. Her group consisted of three guys and one other girl had two other smokers amongst them, both guys, and they were leaving the midway heading across the street to a main block of food vendors. The group huddled in front of one vendor and the three smokers were puffing away in a very crowded location. My presence lurking was nominally awkward but I managed a decent frontal photo and was able to watch her smoke the whole cigarette. There was nothing particularly distinguished about her technique but she was still fun to watch. She dropped the cigarette and crushed it out, then waited for the guys to finish smoking before they left this very odd location for a smoke break and allowed me to ID her butt. Not sure what’s going on here in Iowa, but it was another Marlboro Red. It used to be that girls smoked Marlboro Lights with this frequency but those are getting more and more scarce among young girls in recent years.

I made another shot at entering the midway and saw a pair of attractive young smokers right away when I got inside, but it was when I looked to the bathroom area at the edge of the midway on the southwest side that I was once again detoured in the best possible way. Yet another group of three guys and two girls were hovering there and I saw from afar that the epic beauty of the group was taking a pack of Newport 100s out of her purse. Iowa State Fair midway, you are gonna have to wait again because Sighting #73 awaits. I hustled into a perfect stalking post only a feet few in front of the group against the wall and watched this gorgeous brunette extract a cigarette from her pack.   She was the most beautiful girl of the day, probably about 23 with very dark features to the point that I wondered if she had some Middle Eastern heritage. She was the shortest in her group at about 5’4” and the only smoker, decked out in a neon pink top and dark blue jeans. She had the look of a long-time heavy smoker and her technique matched the look as she placed the long Newport in her mouth and lit up. If there was any lingering doubt that there was something special about this girl, it vanished when she fired up and did an astounding triple pump dangle off of the light-up, gulping down three shots of tar and nicotine into her lungs before removing the cigarette and cutting loose with a skyward exhale that was cloudy as all hell….

There wouldn’t be any other drags quite that incredible, but her second drag also consisted of a dangling drag and as the shortest person in the group, her skyward exhale managed to whack one of the nonsmoking dudes squarely in the face. I couldn’t have been more content with my location here and settled in for a long show. It was approaching dusk so the two photos I took are a little blurry, and she was on the inside of her group and both photos were a little too crowded, but I did capture her in mid-drag in one of them. Her drags were all substantial, were all nicely paced, and her exhales all above-average in cloudiness, but there was one thing that didn’t fit…..the cigarette just kept on keeping on. I have no idea how she made it last as long as she did as her drags were hard and frequent, but she kept hitting that cigarette for yet another nicotine jolt every 30 seconds or so for an astoundingly long time, so much so that I caught a half-Asian girl and her boyfriend with a pack of Marlboro Lights heading around the corner and took the occasional to check her (Sighting #74) out. She was good too, but her timing wasn’t great in the presence of greatness with my dark-complected Newport hottie. She eventually dropped the cigarette and crushed it out in front of her, right in the middle of this mixed-gender friends group where she was the only smoker. It’s a good thing I saw she was smoking a Newport 100 before she lit up because the group wasn’t going anywhere for quite some time. I finally gave up and made that long-delayed midway run, and finally about three-quarters way through I saw this group inside the midway, especially that unmistakable dark brunette beauty in the memorable neon pink top. There would be some nights where this would have been the best sighting of the day, but it’s probably only gonna be fifth or sixth best for this day given the lack of memorable storyline. She still has a very good shot at being singled out on my blog at the end of year though.

The area in and around The Depot Bar and Grill continued delivering after dark as I encircled the place and looked up a small flight of stairs that leads from the outdoor patio of The Depot to one of the fair buildings and could see the silhouette of a young couple that included a hot girl smoking a cigarette. As I approached, I was briefly sidetracked by two decently attractive 20-something brunettes smoking just outside The Depot but my attention was soon directed back at this Sighting #87 cutie who appeared to once again be the only smoker of the two standing with her boyfriend and puffing away. She was a dark blond with very wholesome features, decked out in a sexy bare-midriff gray top and jean shorts. It find it amusing how some smokers linger at the top of this flight of stairs because if they’re trying to be out of the way of disapproving nonsmokers, they have chosen a pretty bad spot. Not a bad spot for me though as I watched her take the last couple of drags before walking down the stairs and dropping the all-white butt onto one of the cement stairs and not bothering to crush it out. It was kind of a dark spot but it was hard to miss that glowing cherry from her polluted tobacco refuse which looked like a Marlboro Ultra Light based on the markings. I’d see this girl a few minutes later in a better lit spot and she and the boyfriend really did make for a wholesome couple, one in which it was hard to believe the girl had just piggishly smoked a cigarette in a busy public spot moments earlier.

The next memorable sighting happened at the bathroom area on the southwest edge of the midway, mere feet from where I saw my dark-complected Newport brunette about 45 minutes earlier. A 20-something dark blond appeared to be all by herself (unless she waiting for somebody in the bathroom) and crouched down in a very vulnerable pose before lighting a cigarette and becoming Sighting #91. She was pretty and I wanted to see her upclose so I walked up and stood right next to her. She gave me a warm smile as she watched me approach and settle in next to her. While I enjoyed the perky smile, that warm welcome came with a price as she seemed acutely aware of my presence from that point forward, and since I had to look downward over my shoulder to watch her smoke I wasn’t in much of a position to sneak my peeks….and she oddly never changed position either despite what looked like a very uncomfortable way to sit. I stuck around for two drags, with very nice straight-ahead exhales from her mouth following the drags, before I decided I better split so as not to make her feel awkward, leaving long before I wanted to.

By this point of the night, the teen huddle started to form at the center of the fairgrounds across the street from the midway entrance. It’s mostly mid-teens that hang out in this area and I don’t often get sightings but given the pedigree of girls that hang out there it would be epic if I did, so I’m always vigilant about wading through them to see. Usually it’s on the periphery of this huddle that you find something good, and last night it happened to be a young couple walking next to the huddle that were too old to be part of the huddle themselves. They looked about 22 and the girl was a wholesome-looking dark blond in a white tanktop and jean shorts….another one who didn’t look like a smoker but who nonetheless had a cigarette between her fingers. I followed my Sighting #92 girl for a couple of minutes and got to see a couple of drags, but one of the most compelling aspects of this sighting was that she was smoking and the boyfriend wasn’t, so when she handed the boyfriend the cigarette after a couple of drags I quickly lost interest and moved onto the next shiny object.

And shiny object perfectly describes what came next as I migrated back to that east side beer garden gold mine. I got one decent sighting on the first pass but when I saw an open bench across the street I thought it was a good opportunity to put those gel-filled inserts into my shoes that lessen the impact on my feet late in the day. As happens almost every year at every fair, this choice brought about a great sighting. At the bench next to mine was a mother with a stroller, and from out of nowhere this early 20s brunette hottie in short shorts comes running over and lowers her face into the stroller to make baby talk with the “little buddy”. It took a couple of seconds but I noticed a partially smoked cigarette in the hand of the girl and I almost needed a diaper change of my own based on my bodily response to seeing Sighting #95. She talked to the mediocre-looking mother for a minute and never did take a drag from her cigarette while in the presence of the baby, but before leaving once again leaned over to make baby talk with the infant, and surprisingly the baby didn’t scream a fit after being exposed to her ashtray mouth from such close range…..

Up to that point it was too dark for me to fully appreciate this girl’s features until she cooperatively walked back across the street closer to the beer gardens and relit the cigarette that apparently went out. She also met up with two nonsmoking female friends, also in the 21-22 range and both attractive, but my smoker girl was the hottest and very obviously the alpha female of the group, doing the vast majority of the talking as she attended to her cigarette. Her presentation was killer, in a country girl blouse and daisy dukes that gorgeously framed her chiseled ass and crotch, with a pair of smooth legs and cowgirl boots that were just the perfect touch to complement her image. Her smoking style complemented her demeanor as well….high-strung and a little flaky. She would say something to the friends and then start looking around with a confused look on her face. Perhaps she was halfway intoxicated or perhaps she’s just this way no matter what, but whatever the case her ADD-style drags were followed up by disorganized and sloppy exhales that drifted wherever they may, once into the face of one of the nonsmoking friends. I got to see about five of these drags before she dropped the cigarette and crushed it out. When it came to ID it I figured I stumbled into yet another Marlboro Red, but there was some lines on the filter that aren’t consistent with Reds, even though the light black Marlboro print above the filter sure suggested it was. Must be one of the dozens of Marlboro Red variations floating out there these days. Whatever the case, the east side beer gardens delivered again, and not for the last time of the evening!

Going back to the block on the course that separates the teen huddle at the center of the fairgrounds and east side entrance to the midway, I spotted a group of teens (two guys and two girls) with an adorable petite blond as the only attractive one of the bunch, decked out in a white top and short jean shorts. She would be my Sighting #99 as I took a seat on a berm just outside the midway and watched her take the last couple of drags from her cork filter, featuring fairly modest draws, hold times, and exhales. As she dropped her cigarette to the ground and crushed it out, the thought even crossed my mind that she might just be a social smoker out smoking with her friends. Even so, that face was just precious, and she even had braces on her teeth that, when coupled with her diminutive size and soft facial features, made her look like she was about 15 even though the friends group helped convince me she was probably 17. As they drifted just a short distance away, I swooped in and IDed her discarded cigarette as yet another Marlboro Red. This was without question a memorable sighting and I was annoyed that I didn’t get to see more, but little did I know this sighting would shortly escalate into my best sighting of the day and one of my best Iowa State Fair sightings of all-time. To be continued…and continued….and continued….

On that note, I crossed the sightings century mark right around 10:00, more than an hour earlier than I had on either of the previous years and I was feeling pretty good as I again encircled The Depot and hit another extra-base hit with two benches full of acquaintances of various ages sitting there drinking and smoking. There were three attractive 20-somethings sitting next to each other puffing away on freshly lit cigarettes, but one girl completely stole the show. My Sighting #103 was a gorgeous long-haired platinum blond in her mid-20s seated atop the bench, her firecracker of a body decked out in a white tanktop and red-striped shorts that framed a perfect ass. A long freshly lit cigarette looked gorgeous in her right hand and even though my positioning was awful, I just had to stick around to see a couple of drags. They didn’t disappoint either, with the cigarette inserted into the right side of her mouth for nice lengthy ingestions, followed by slightly above-average exhales. Wish I could have stuck around for more but I couldn’t without sticking out like a sore thumb and risking getting called out so I took off. About a half hour later, I returned to this spot and blondie was still there. She wasn’t smoking this time but I got to take another look at that ass in the red shorts and even caught the brand from the pack right in front of her. Unfortunately it was Old Gold, not one of my favorites and one I didn’t even think existed anymore.

In the near future, I was drifting to that seating area on the south side of the grounds. After dark, it tends to empty out almost entirely but it wouldn’t be the first time I came across underage teens sneaking a smoke in the area, and sure enough, there was a familiar-looking foursome hovering last night that included my petite blond Marlboro Reds smoker with braces who I had last seen about a half hour earlier. And what an eclectic foursome it was upon more isolated inspection. In addition to the adorable blond, there was a hip-looking black guy, a shirtless and muscular white guy, and this unattractive brunette female. Not sure what brought a group like this together in life but as I watched three of the four (the two guys and blondie) insert cigarettes in their mouths, it was bizarre how prophetic that common denominator would prove to be. An unlit cigarette dangled in blondie’s mouth and it took about 30 seconds after I arrived and took a wide open bench before her lighter illuminated the dark corner of the grounds. The light-up itself was odd, with blondie producing a flame halfway between her and the shirtless white guy who both proceeded to lean forward into the flame until their cigarettes were lit. From there, the group started leaving the dark area, headed towards the main south side street. As I began to follow I noticed that the cigarette hadn’t left my little blond’s mouth since it was lit, and she was approaching the black guy with the lighter to fire up his cigarette. Her dangle, complete with at least two dangling drags, lasted at least 30 seconds before she finally removed it from her mouth. When I first saw this girl smoking up near the midway entrance, there was no indication there was anything special about her. That long distance dangle was the first evidence that proved my first impression was wrong, but it certainly wasn’t gonna be the last….

As they started walking down the south side, I thought it was the best-case scenario as it would allow me to watch from an inconspicuous side angle as they progressed, but I could never have imagined what weirdness was about to transpire. Blondie waved to the guy inside one of the food stands as if she knew him, and after walking about 15 yards down the block, decided she was gonna go back and talk to him. I didn’t know if she was gonna order food or not, but she didn’t. She just stood there talking to him and smoking her cigarette. It was just so cute seeing this 5’2” little blond with that cigarette in her hand, and as she took her first drag while standing there, the thought crossed my mind that her exhale might go inside the food stand, but if I was preparing myself for a homerun, what I got was a grand slam. Her exhale went straight into the food stand to the point that I could see the waves of smoke rolling inside even from across the street. Blondie realized a second after she exhaled what she had done and began waving her hand in front of her face in attempt to brush the smoke away, but the damage was done and her little boyfriend inside the food stand was being asphyxiated. I wish at that point I was closer so I could hear if she was apologizing to him or not. Whatever the case, her subsequent exhales were all directed to the side as she kept conversing with him for a couple more minutes before heading back to her friends group without making a purchase…

Finally I figured this sighting was gonna have some stability and predictability, but that wasn’t gonna happen. She began running back in the other direction again, and the shirtless guy playfully tried to stop her, racing her way and grabbing her by the waist as she held her cigarette out in front of her so she wouldn’t burn him.   He let her go after a few seconds and she drifted, all by herself, back to the dark and empty seating area where this sighting had originated, sitting on a berm and texting furiously. The unpredictability worked to my advantage in this unusual situation though as I found a wide-open bench parallel to her to watch her smoke the rest of the cigarette in solitude. As I observed, I was struck that her style was generally pretty average, with medium-length drags and medium-sized all-mouth exhales, and certainly nothing like that long-distance dangle that began this second cigarette of hers for the evening, but she more than made up for the lack of stylistic flourishes with what the rest of the evening held for me. Her female friend finally showed up just as she was wrapping up the cigarette, which she flung in front of her in the dark without bothering to crush it out while wrapping up whatever oddball texting business she had to do all by herself in the dark. End of sighting right? Hardly. Not 10 seconds after this microscopic little blond princess stood up, she was foraging in her little purse again. She wouldn’t….would she? Unbelievably the answer was yes, as another cigarette came out and was placed in her lips. She fired up and confirmed my feelings that there was indeed something very, very special about this girl, the likes of which I had still just scratched the surface of even after a good 15 minutes invested in her at this point….

She was now out of the darkness and sat in a nearby bench with her group, smoking at least her third cigarette of the last half hour. I sat across the street on a bench of my own watching her smoke yet again, admiring that adorable face and racking my brain trying to think of who she reminded me of. It wasn’t until the bus ride home that it occurred to me that it was the mid-teen country singer Lila McCann who had a few hits in the late 90s before fading into oblivion. This girl’s features were just as wholesome as a 1998-era Lila McCann, right down to the braces, except this girl also had an adorable petiteness to her that lifted her above her country-crooning counterpart. Her group was hovering in front of her so I wasn’t seeing much….and I wanted to do some exploring elsewhere anyway so I finally proceeded down that south side block as far I could go, scoring a couple of mediocre sightings and then heading back the direction I came from, fully mindful of what I left behind but thinking for sure by this point the show had played out….

Sure enough, the foursome was still on that bench that they were on 10 minutes or so earlier when I abandoned the scene. And almost immediately when I got there, blondie was rummaging through her little white purse again. No way, I thought to myself! She can’t possibly be about to do it again. But out came an empty pack of Marlboro Reds that she tossed into the nearby trash can…..followed by a brand new pack of Marlboros that she starting packing against her wrist for the next 30 seconds ago. I nearly collapsed as I watched in awe as she opened the pack and started distributing cigarettes to her friends, offering one to the unattractive brunette girl as well who was the only one who took a pass. And then of course, blondie got a cigarette for herself, at least her fourth of the last 45 minutes, and lit up. Once again, I reclaimed my bench and watched her smoke at least half of the cigarette before the usual high risk of familiarity compelled me to leave. Besides, I wanted to make one more run down the midway tonight anyway with the 11:00 hour approaching….

I walked past the teen huddle and the beer gardens block and then into the midway, stitching together a few sightings but nothing particularly memorable over the course of the 15 minutes or so since I had migrated out of the south side. But when I exited the midway, I came out at the same area where I originally saw the teen foursome commandeered by the little blond about an hour ago….and they were back again….with my favorite blond on the final couple of drags of her FIFTH cigarette of the night, and that was just the ones I witnessed. I took a seat on the very berm in which I saw her take her first drag, and she dropped this Marlboro Red to the ground and crushed it out. By this point I grew to expect the unexpected from this girl and while I didn’t want to jinx it by openly allowing myself to hope for yet another cigarette, I would barely have time to ponder the thought before her little white purse was opened again. My little cigarette Santa Claus opened that pack of Marlboro Reds and was again trying to corrupt her friends by handing them out. The shirtless white guy (whose shirt was now on again) took it, but placed it behind his ear. He may be a smoker, but there was no way he was even gonna attempt to keep up with this tiny blond girl lest he be taken to the emergency room for nicotine poisoning. My little blond ashtray mouth was now lighting up her sixth cigarette in barely an hour…and that was just the ones I had witnessed. She did share a couple of drags off of this one with the brunette friend, who I hadn’t seen smoke at all up to this point, but blondie claimed most of the cigarette and got a couple of pics taken with the girl that made me wonder if those two were more than just “friends”. My blond certainly didn’t look like a stereotypical lesbian, but the brunette sure did. Either way, as soon as the photos were finished, the group zipped right on through the teen huddle, with the blond and at least one of the guys brandishing cigarettes as they did, and migrated to yet another isolated area in the dark where they sat by themselves and smoked. The isolation they sought validated my suspicion that some if not all of them are underage….

This was another sighting where everything just seemed meant to be, because as isolated as their location was, there was a series of mostly empty benches next to a food stand with a perfect vantage point to overlook them. The foursome kept chatting and horsing around as blondie finished off her sixth cigarette, the cherry glowing a bright red every time she took a drag in this dark location. She pitched the cigarette a good five feet to the side when she finished it this time, and sat waiting with baited breath if it was humanly possible for yet another encore. In less than a minute, I’d get my answer. As she prepared her seventh cigarette of the last hour and a half to light up, I was numb with a combination of elation and disbelief. How could I have ever imagined at 10:00 when I saw this girl smoking the last few drags off of that Marlboro Red near the midway that it would have snowballed into this. A real-life teenage girl chain smoker in the year 2014, a creature I had no idea even existed anymore, and an absolute adorable pint-sized one at that. As I watched her take her early drags off of this seventh cigarette, seated on that berm with her jean shorts so short that plenty of bare upper leg was touching that cement, I also found myself thinking that her standing on my all-time ISF greatest hits list was rising with each new cigarette list, and she was now positioning herself for the very upper reaches of my all-time list.

I was nonetheless getting anxious sitting here, wanting to see what this girl was capable of but also wanting to tick off more sightings. Given how close I was to the fairgrounds’ main sightings arteries, I decided to do small loops around to pick up some additional sightings but to be sure to come back to this spot every few minutes to see how high her cigarette number for the evening would go. And so I did just that, and ended up scoring an infuriating would-be sighting of a hot 21ish blond in jean shorts sitting in the same general vicinity as my chainsmoker, next to her boyfriend who was eating. Sighting #114 never officially did become a sighting, but I saw her sitting there with an unlit cigarette in her hand on my first pass and was optimistic it would eventually be lit. But I walked past her four times over the course of 15 minutes and it never was, always just perched there between her fingers. I know there’s an oddball quit-smoking technique where smokers hold an unlit cigarette in their fingers at all times, but I was pretty confident this was not one of those situations and that cigarette would at some point be smoked. With as hot as the girl and with as sexy as her presentation, I hoped to be there when it did, but it wasn’t meant to be.

And the craziest thing happened with blondie the chain smoker too. After that seventh cigarette, she actually took a break. I hovered for about five minutes and she didn’t light up again yet remained sitting there BSing with her friends. This was my cue for another detour that would hopefully get my numbers up some, and I had already exceeded last year’s haul of 114. Had I not spent a good half hour at this point focused like a laser on this stinky little sexpot, who knows how high my number would have gone?!??!

And as further proof that when you’re hot, you’re hot, my latest voyage down the beer gardens block yielded another short sighting that nonetheless had enough color to be an extra-base hit. Right in front of the beer gardens stood Sighting #117, a very wholesome-looking mid-20s dark blond with a fresh face that didn’t look at all like a smoker. There she stood talking to her nonsmoking boyfriend/husband, puffing on a cigarette and looking very much like a pro while doing so and not just a social smoker. Most memorable about her was her outfit, a skin-tight pair of grayish yoga pants with a blue streak in the front that accentuated every awesome curve on her lower body, with a top that matched. The outfit looked very athletic and not becoming of a girl hitting the all-white cigarette the way she was. Unfortunately, she was near the end of the cigarette and she and the boyfriend/husband were approaching the beer garden’s entrance again. She stood right at the precipice of the open-air entryway while taking her final drag from the cigarette. Again defying her wholesome image, she exhaled straight into the beer gardens and flicked her still-smoldering cigarette to the side right at the edge of the entryway. I had no problem walking up and IDing the butt as a Camel Crush, and once again, a girl who didn’t fit the smoker stereotype at all put forth a brief but inspirationally obnoxious show.

After completing this latest loop and stitching together a few more modest sightings, it was back to my favorite cluster of benches yet again overlooking the isolated spot where Lila McCann’s chain-smoking baby sister was sitting. She was still sitting there, and before you even ask, the answer is YES! She was indeed in the middle of her eighth cigarette of the last hour and a half….and that was just the ones I saw. Remember a half hour passed between when I saw her smoke her first and her second, and she could have easily smoked three more cigarettes during that time. But alas, it was the eighth I had witnessed and I got there right before the two guys in her group were parting ways with the two girls, and I continued to get the lesbian lover vibe whether true or not just based on their body language around each other. Blondie’s cigarette continued to glow bright red in the darkness with her subsequent drags until she polished off that cigarette to her satisfaction and proceeded to spike it like a football on the cement. That in itself was cool enough but things got weirder when the brunette, who had taken no matter than three or four drags from any cigarette that evening, proceeded to jump off from the berm, picking up the still-smoldering cigarette off the ground and take another drag off of it. This was the oddest group of smokers I think I’ve ever come across, but I wouldn’t change a thing. A couple of minutes later, they both finally got up to leave, heading to the south side once again, and as 11:30 approached, I was prepared to abandon blondie for the night and make one loop through the main arteries of the grounds before leaving for my midnight shuttle bus.

My first order of business was taking one last voyage past the east side’s beer gardens area, a block that had already delivered in spades today but had one more magical moment in store for me before quitting time. The moment began with the evening’s final genuine “discovery”.  Sighting #123 was this knockout 18ish dark brunette standing sans an adult beverage (good indication that she was as young as she appeared) near the beer gardens entryway smoking a cigarette in the presence of two nonsmoking guys.  She was one of the half dozen or so smoker girl faces of the day that just leaped out at me yesterday because she was so beautiful and didn’t look like a smoker.  Raising the stakes of this profile was her black tanktop and ultrafeminine pair of skimpy white shorts with a mesh, lace pattern on the front.  It was quite a contrast to the freshly lit and stinky cigarette between her fingers.  Did her substance match her style on the smoking front, you ask?  Yeah buddy!  Her drags were intense and her exhales some of the cloudiest of the day, the drags featuring a trait I’ve only seen a few times before from hot young smoker girls….the gulp!  After every drag, her cheeks inflated like a blowfish with inhaled smoke that she then gulped down before exhaling.  This beauty was no amateur, and most adorably, there were two occasions where the taller nonsmoking guys she was with were on the receiving end of vicious secondhand smoke attacks as she looked up and talked to them while spewing her cancerous exhaust…..

Even after more than 12 hours of watching girls smoke, I was still capable of getting genuinely excited watching a performance like this, and had a nice vantage point to watch her consume nearly the entire cigarette, with long succulent drags she gulped down followed by giant cloudbursts of exhaled smoke that expelled the contents of her black lungs.  The sighting ended with a flourish as well as the bar was playing some sort of dance music and my girl started to shake her booty with the music in a well-choreographed groove that made her feminine assets wiggle in the sexiest imagineable way, those feminine shorts of hers being particularly impossible for me to take my eyes off.  She approached a food stand when she took her final drag and obnoxiously dropped her butt to the curb and I had no problem approaching it and identifying it as a Marlboro Black.  Naturally, I figured she was gonna order food at the stand as most people do, but for the second time that night she was apparently just socializing with whoever was working there for a couple of moments.  Why can’t I get smoker girls of her pedigree to start socializing with me?!?!?   This girl and the two guys she was with started walking the same direction as I was headed and I followed for a couple of minutes admiring that ass, and got particularly intrigued when I saw her fidgeting around in her purse, expecting that perhaps another cigarette would be smoked.  It never happened though and we parted ways soon after.

Now I chose to tell the narrative of the last girl in full because she was the highlight of my final walk to the east side beer gardens block, but there was oh so much more going on during that five-minute stretch.  Right in the middle of watching #123, I spotted Sighting #124 across the street approaching the entrance of the beer gardens in the company of a guy.  She looked like she was in her mid-20s, dark blond, wearing a pink top and jean shorts.  She was attractive but I had a choice to make to cross the street and pursue her or continue to watch my teen brunette and I chose the teen brunette.  Still, I was able to witness from afar the nasty tricks this little hottie had up her sleeve.  She was right on the precipice of the beer gardens with cigarette in hand, but she and the nonsmoking boyfriend stopped for a moment before going inside, and I presumed it was to let her finish her cigarette.  So when they walked inside about a minute later, I took one more close look to confirm my suspicion that the cigarette was gone….but it wasn’t.  Here was this adorable blond scofflaw walking deep inside the beer gardens building still criminally brandishing a cigarette.  If only a sighting like this had transpired when I wasn’t distracted by an even hotter girl.

And while those two were the main attractions on my tour of the east side beer gardens block, the hits kept coming.  First, from out of the same food stand that the #123 girl wandered towards at the end of her cigarette, emerged Sighting #125, a brunette worker from inside the stand (there were at least two others inside holding down the fort) who stepped out for a cigarette break.  She was a decently cute brunette, nothing in the league of the main event girl on the block, but still added to the sensory overload aspect of the proceedings.  As I began to head in the direction of my #123 brunette in the white lace shorts upon leaving, I stumbled across Sighting #126, another attractive blond in a flattering pink top and sexy/skimpy white shorts wielding a cigarette in the company of two more nonsmoking guys (crazy how many nonsmoking guys I saw yesterday in the company of stinky young women and girls….far more than the other way around).  Unfortunately, she was heading the other direction from the girl I was still most in love with and following, so my sighting with her was cut short, but what I wouldn’t have given about eight hours earlier to have stumbled into a girl of this caliber who I now sadly had to walk away from after seeing only one drag.

Only seconds later, I was heading west towards the concourse and a group of four drunken young gals was heading my way, two of them (Sightings #127-128) wielding cigarettes and loudly singing the chorus of the Goo Goo Dolls “Iris (I Just Want You To Know Who I Am)” as they proceeded towards the east side beer gardens.  The Goo Goo Dolls were performing at the grandstand last night so it was an obvious choice of drunken karaoke song selection.  And after I pressed forward from those two, another 20-something dark blond with a cigarette (Sighting #129) was walking my way, seemingly by herself, and startled me when she boisterously/drunkenly shouted in my face “Don’t do it!”   Whatever you say, stinky girl….I’m at your mercy!   I had a fair amount of territory left to cover in the 20 minutes until closing time, but that was one extremely productive hike to the east side beer gardens!

The plan now was to wrap up my day with one more walk up and down the south side block, then a sweeping tour of the concourse and around The Depot en route to my shuttle bus.  The plan was going swimmingly as I proceeded down the south side but the evening would have one more detour from the day’s most familiar little blond.  It would be one thing if I was consciously following this chainsmoker around all night, but I wasn’t…..I just kept randomly running into her with that ever-present cigarette in hand, and this time would be no exception.  Standing right in front of the entrance to the horse barn next to her brunette friend, my adorable little blond was polishing off her NINTH Marlboro Red of the last two hours (again, her ninth that I had seen…there was plenty of opportunity for her to have smoked a few more that I missed).  I would catch her right in the middle of her final drag before she dropped the smoldering butt to the ground and walked inside the horse barn with her friends.  Once inside, she met back up with the two guys who must have gone in in front of her while she had to stand down to smoke her latest cigarette.  And once inside, the guys were taking more pics of the two girls which set off a light bulb in my own head.  I hadn’t even thought about trying to get a photo of my own up to that point given that it was dark and I didn’t want my flash to go off, but with my girl now inside a well-lit horse barn, this could be my chance.  Unfortunately, there was no way they missed my lurking presence in the last two hours and I’d really be pushing my luck trying to score a photo, even as stealth as I’m able to be snapping pics with this camera phone.   I opted to dance close to the sun and try to score a couple of photos from just outside.  Neither of them ended up being close enough to truly capture this girl, but one at least gave a general sense of her size and pedigree.

I crossed the street to the south side beer gardens and foraged through the crowd to score another couple of modest sightings, but then migrated back to that horse barn to see if my favorite Iowa State Fair girl in years was still there.  She was, lingering with the friends towards the back of the horse barn.  Adorably, the little blond appeared to be talking to one of the horses inside the stall, and I felt sorry for the horse as his own manure had to have smelled better than being face-to-face with this chain-smoking little girl for an extended period.  Seriously though, seeing her talk to this horse really got me to thinking about how erotic it would be to make out with this girl after she had just smoked nine Marlboros in two hours.  Was this a special occasion “partying at the fair” thing or does this girl really smoke at a comparable clip day in and day out?  I’m inclined to believe it’s more likely the latter, and assuming she was going back to her senior year of high school in a couple of weeks, I can only imagine what a torturous adjustment it will be for her to struggle through a full day in class without the nicotine her body demands in such massive quantities.  I once again strongly considered going inside and snapping a pic but it was just too risky with her friends right there with her.  A close-up photo would have been the perfect icing on this multi-tiered cake, but even without one, how could I ever forget the face of the most prolific chainsmoker in my two-decade history of state fair fetishing?  A sighting that started so unassumingly only two hours ago had morphed into an all-time classic, and if I walk away from state fair season with one “classic” on any given year, I feel like I’ve achieved a major victory.  To have scored it on this day that I began with such limited expectations only made the victory that much sweeter.

I only had one problem walking away from this sighting…and that was the time.  It was now 11:47 and I was as far away from my shuttle bus as is possible on the fairgrounds.  The buses are known to haul ass out of the grounds at midnight sharp and I did not want to be stuck on the east side of Des Moines having missed my bus.  So I began to rapidly make the journey back to the concourse, still hopeful of picking off some great sightings on my way out.  And surprisingly I did as apparently the Goo Goo Dolls/Daughtry concert was just now letting out and there were a ton of people around.  I wish now I hadn’t been so worried about getting to the shuttle bus because I could have easily picked up two dozen smokers watching the crowds disperse.  As it was, I still managed nine sightings just in the process of walking down the concourse and around The Depot.  The first two were Sightings #132 and #133, a duo that consisted of a decently attractive blond and a very attractive 21ish mixed race girl whose features were the perfect hybrid of caucasian and African American with a killer body draped in a tanktop and jean shorts to match.  She was the perfect prototype of a girl whose demographic is not expected to smoke in modern times but who nonetheless was. Sadly, all I had time to do (or at least misguidedly felt as though I had time for) was a passing glance of admiration of the two cigarette-wielding babes.  In retrospect, I should have stuck around for more.

I made my way around The Depot in far too much of a hurry, picking off a half dozen more sightings before approaching the west side of the concourse and scoring my last great find of the night in Sighting #140.  There were two girls and a guy in this trio, and standing out was this beautiful 21ish curly-haired platinum blond with a freshly lit cigarette.  She didn’t look anything like my #123 girl from the east side beer gardens, but she had one similar feature in that she was also wearing a feminine and deceptively innocent-appearing white shorts with a mesh, lace pattern on the front.  The other girl in the group was not smoking but the guy was about to get a cigarette of his own from the clearly drunk-off-her-ass blond girl, but after she handed him the cigarette she drunkenly raved on about how “this is my cigarette” two or three times.  I’m not a big fan of being around dumb drunks, but when it’s extremely cute girls in white shorts with lace patterns being possessive about the cigarettes they’re addicted to, I’ll take a few minutes with a dumb drunk anytime!  I was hoping I could follow this girl straight to the shuttle bus and get a butt ID on her cigarette, but unfortunately there was another option for exiting the grounds at the northwest gate….and that’s the one she took.  It was painful watching her and her cigarette go the other direction, but she was still a fantastic way to end the night.

So now it was a block and a half left of walking on my surprisingly resilient feet and as I approached the shuttle bus loading zone, I was taken aback that there was a substantial line for the bus, something I had never seen before at 11:57 p.m. and it was obvious to me that there was no way the shuttle buses would be done loading at midnight.  This became all the more real for me as I arrived at the gate and heard one of the bus employees tell a couple with beers in their hands that they could just hang back for awhile and finish their beers because the buses would keep loading until there were no more passengers and figured it would be awhile that night given how significant the crowd still was.  I had half a mind to turn around and catch more sightings but didn’t care to play with fire, and I was genuinely exhausted by that point in the evening after 13 hours of nearly nonstop walking so I decided to just board the bus.  But during the five minutes or so of loading, I happened to look behind me in line and discover a young brunette about 15 feet behind me in the line was smoking a cigarette.  Of course there was a girl smoking in line for the bus on a night like this, I thought to myself while craning my neck to get a better look at Sighting #141.  She was a mid-to-late 20s dark brunette in a utilitarian plaid shirt and jeans, and while there was nothing particularly glamorous about her, the absolutely obnoxious way in which she was smoking and exhaling into the crowd in front of her was impossibly sexy and kept me looking back at the line right up until the moment I boarded the bus.  There was another young gal in her group who was obstructed by people but I thought I saw her with a cigarette as well, but was never able to verify it….

So I climbed aboard the bus and took a seat near the front, looking out the window in hopes of seeing more smoking but the brunette had lost the cigarette by the time I got on.  As luck would have it though, the brunette took a seat near the front with the younger-looking girl, and then shouted back “Mom!” to the middle-aged gal who was heading further back, grabbing her attention to let her know she was sitting up front with what I presumed was her younger sister.  As I watched mom sit down next to her, I was wondering if mom was intentionally trying to avoid sitting next to her stinky daughter for that 10-minute bus ride home.  The other girl of the duo was absolutely killing me wearing a pair of turquoise cutoffs showing off her sexy smooth legs that I got to admire the whole ride home, and I was hoping like mad she would light up when she got off the bus.  When the time came to get off the bus, the mother and two 20-something daughters got off first and the brunette smoker immediately lit up another cigarette.  They were going the opposite direction from where I parked my car but I still followed briefly in hopes that the cuter sister in the turquoise shorts would lit up as well, but she never did.

It was now 12:30 a.m. and time for my aching body to get to my car and head home.  While I was still a little annoyed that some crossed wires narrowly prevented me from having my biggest sightings day ever at the Iowa State Fair, the thought would have never crossed my mind 12 hours earlier that I would come within two sightings of my all-time record yesterday.  It would have been unthinkable.  And I credit the demographic set and the dismissal time of the Goo Goo Dolls-Daughtry concert for much of my success in securing such a comprehensively fantastic day with no fewer than six sightings that have the potential to make my greatest hits or my top-25 fairgrounds sightings of the year list.  Going into this fair yesterday morning, my concern was that I may not have enough great sightings to do a worthy top-25 list of genuine blockbusters this year, that seems like an unlikely concern at this point, particularly since I’m strongly leaning towards a second full day at the Iowa State Fair next Saturday, giving me 2 1/2 days of ISF sightings to draw from rather than the usual 1 1/2 days.  I’d be shocked if the second and third days at the fair prove as worthy as yesterday, but as yesterday proved, you never know what a day at the state fair is gonna bring.  You just never know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Responses to 2014 Iowa State Fair, Day 1

  1. fmlondon says:

    What were your best cigar sightings of all time?

  2. Smokin' Mark says:

    I don’t recall it if I have.

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