2014 Iowa State Fair, Day 3

I adjusted some things in my summer schedule, most notably moving my mid-August road trip up to the 4th of July weekend since the 4th fell on a Friday this year, and by doing so was able to free up the third weekend in August to make another full-day Saturday visit to the Iowa State Fair.  Don’t expect this to happen again, at least in the near future, but next year I’m gonna incorporate my August road trip with a first-time trip to the Missouri State Fair so there will be an extra day next year as well.  So how did this extra day at the Iowa State Fair go?  I can’t complain.  It wasn’t nearly as good as last Saturday and only had one truly electric moment, but I hit a solid number of extra base hits, to torture that baseball metaphor a little further.  And right from the get-go, I’ll warn that there will be no further sightings of the chain-smoking blond teen who I saw both last Saturday and on Wednesday night.

I actually went a little later than during the previous week as there was rain in the forecast for the afternoon and I wanted to make sure that threat had passed before heading out there, so I didn’t get to the fairgrounds until 12:30.  Now normally the morning hours aren’t ripe with sightings, but going an hour and a half later than usual would not have been something I would have tolerated had this been my only full-day at the fair, but since I had already gone a full day the previous week, everything yesterday was just a bonus in the first place.  With that in mind, I followed a few leads yesterday that generally led nowhere, in hopes some longshot girls would light up.  Doing so probably cut my sightings total down as I ended with a mediocre 111 sightings for the day, but again, since it was a bonus day in the first place I had no reason to be upset.

The day began with an Iowa State Fair first for me….scoring two sightings while standing in line to buy tickets before going inside the gate.  Sighting #1 was a decently attractive brunette in a black T-shirt and white shorts sharing a cigarette with her boyfriend.  She would have been a nice little appetizer by herself but Sighting #2 surpassed her a few people back in the line.  This very wholesome mid-20s mother whose long blond hair flowed over her shoulder in a braid was standing next to her two young children smoking a cigarette.  Her wholesomeness was underscored by her very feminine blouse and long blue-and-black striped skirt.  Of all the young mommies at the fair who could have been smokers, she was definitely would have been one of my last guesses.  I got to watch her take about six drags, always turning to her left to exhale away from the crowd.  She lost the cigarette when behind people in line, not that my identifying the butt was an option anyway, and in moments proceeded to ruffle her hands through her young son’s hair, exposing him to mommy’s freshly stinky fingers.  The son looked about three and the daughter about four or five.  Definitely a good way to start the day and clearly the earliest after arriving at the Iowa State Fair that I ever scored a sighting.

About five minutes later I was inside the gate and scoring again.  I saw this middle-aged dude smoking a cigarette sitting on some cart and a teenage girl and boy had their backs to me but were talking to him as he opened his pack of Marlboro Reds.  I was only halfway attentive as I walked past until I noticed the guy handing the girl a cigarette, which she thanked him for, clearly just bumming one.  Now my Sighting #3 girl was more than a little alternative looking, with her dark blond hair in unflattering dred locks, but she was cute and probably underage.  The boy with her definitely was, looking about 13 or 14 and too young to be her boyfriend.  He was probably her younger brother.  Whatever the case, girl’s outfit was flattering, with an open-front blue blouse with a tanktop underneath and pale blue cutoffs below.  If she had a normal hairstyle I’d have liked her more, but she was still an undeniable cutie.  And weirdly enough, after bumming a cigarette from that guy, she then proceeded to walk to a nearby middle-aged lady and asked to bum a light.  For a girl who looked like she was under 18, she had some serious chutzpah.  The older lady cooperated and pressed the cherry of her own cigarette to the young girl’s.  The girl then proceeded to walk through the seating area behind the grandstand and I snapped a couple of nice photos.  Her smoking style was average but it’s always fun watching an underage girl publicly smoking, and it’s even more adorable when she’s doing so in front of a nonsmoking younger brother.  She and the brother eventually settled onto a bench sitting next to yet another middle-aged guy smoking and I found a bench across from them for a good front-row seat to the second half of her cigarette.  When she was done she crushed the cigarette out on the back of the bench, which would have denied me the butt ID had I not already seen it was a Marlboro Red, and soon got up with the younger brother to leave.  The day was off to a fantastic start, with three solid sightings under my belt in just a few minutes compared to the 45 minutes or so I waited for my first sighting last week.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to last as the more typical early afternoon sightings pace would play out in the next few hours, but that seating area outside the grandstand would prove to be my saving grace producing more great sightings soon thereafter.  The first of which were Sightings #5 and #6, a family of smokers where mom, the guy I presume to be dad and two daughters were all standing outside the grandstand gate smoking.  Now while this may sound like a homerun, the family was pretty trashy looking and one of the daughters was just barely good enough to qualify as a sighting.  The other daughter, however, was a much better find, a light brunette wearing a gray tanktop and jean shorts, with smooth, perfect legs below as her best feature.  I’d guess she was in the 20 or 21 range age-wise and the sister looked older.  I was able to snap a decent pic, including of the legs, and see five or six drags, all of which were substantial.  She was the last of the four to finish her cigarette and the family drifted away, giving me my chance to ID her butt.  It appeared to be yet another variation of Marlboro Red, with darker brown printing on the word “Marlboro” than does a traditional Marlboro Red.  Who can even keep track of how Reds varieties there are today?  Probably not even Philip Morris.

I would only venture a few yards from this sighting to the middle of the grandstand seating area where I would find Sighting #7, a very exotic-looking girl with an unusual family makeup.   Here sat this dark-complected cutie who looked about 22 sitting next to what I presumed was her dad.  She was smoking a cigarette and he was not.  But what didn’t make sense is that “dad” was your typical middle-aged Iowa white guy while the daughter was either Asian or Native American, and I’m actually leaning towards the latter.  Her presentation was adorable with her wearing a very utilitarian plaid shirt up top with an ultrafeminine pair of pale jean shorts with lace on them on the bottom.  There was an open bench across from them where I sat and snapped some pics, but they’re a little too distant to fully appreciate, but this sighting was about to get weirder.  Suddenly a very chubby 20-something gal with similar exotic features to my smoker entered the scene, annoyingly standing in front of my smoker and blocking much of my view.  I had a hunch this was the sister, who could use a smoking habit of her own to suppress the appetite and lose some weight, who also looked Native American.  But also entering the scene was “mom”, a middle-aged white gal who was smoking a cigarette.  So now this poor father had the smoke of his daughter (let’s presume they adopted two Native American girls) and his wife hovering in front of him as the four of them talked amongst each other.  Infuriatingly, the fat sister kept me from seeing about a third of this sighting, but the family stood up moments later and began to venture their way towards the concourse, and producing the sighting’s top moment as my little Indian girl let that all-white cigarette dangle from her mouth for a good 20 seconds when she stood up.  Damn was that hot. I followed for a bit, hoping to get a better photo but not succeeding.  I really wanted a butt ID but was justifiably nervous when she leaned down and crushed the cigarette out before dropping it into a nearby garbage can.  When passing the garbage can, I took a quick peek inside just in case it was still in plain sight, but it was not.  Some pretty colorful sightings thus far in the day, with this one being my favorite thus far.

Sighting #8 was poised to be a heartbreaker if not for the redemption I would ultimately get an hour or so later.  I was walking around this alleyway that leads around one of the buildings and has a bathroom area and a big hill leading up to the east side of the grounds.  A lot of times in this area you’ll catch a couple of hotties sitting on the hill for a smoke break, and yesterday as I walked by I saw this impossibly wholesome couple where the girl had just gotten up off the grass and was approaching a garbage can.  She was the picture of Midwestern wholesomeness with a beautiful face, her dark blond hair in a ponytail, and wearing a nice white blouse and black shorts.  As she stepped up to that garbage can, I watched her toss two cigarette butts into it.  D’oh!  I had just missed a great sighting, but at the same time watching her toss those butts into the trash at least confirmed to me she was a smoker.  It was the first time ever that a girl throwing her butt into the trash worked to my advantage.  I walked away annoyed that I missed it, never imagining this was poised to become my second-best sighting of the day.

On Wednesday night, I scored a major sighting at the edge of the grandstand and the midway, with smoker girls sitting in the window sills.  I’d pull off another yesterday afternoon, albeit with less glamorous girls.  I approached the area and knew I had hit gold when I saw two teenage girls and a boy all wielding freshly lit cigarettes.  Sighting #10 was a short light brunette with a conservative gray top and tight jeans.  She looked good, not in a glamorous sense, but in a girl-next-door sense, and had somewhat beyond-her-years features that reminded me of an old coworker.  She hovered closest to the dorky guy, so much so that I presumed she was his girlfriend.  More attractive was Sighting #11, the other girl of the duo who was youngish looking with long auburn hair wearing a black tanktop and jean shorts.  The first girl looked 18 but this girl looked more like 16, until she managed to reduce her appeal for me when she turned her back briefly my way and revealed an ugly, large tattoo on her upper back over her tanktop, a tattoo that confirmed for me that she was almost certainly 18 as well.  They put on a decent smoking show as I sat there, scoring a couple of quick pics, one of the auburn-haired girl in mid-drag.  Both were decent smokers but the auburn-haired girl impressed me more.  She was so into sending messages on her smartphone that she was the last of the three to finish her cigarette.  When the three of them left I had no problem IDing their butts, both of which were cork filter Camels.

The heartbreaker of the day came next with Sighting #14 at the back of the midway.  I had weaved through the packed mid-afternoon midway and was relieved to get to the back of it where there was more open space, my eyes immediately zeroing in on two huddles that included a very pretty 16ish blond in a memorable pink blouse and leopard print yoga pants.  It looked as though she had just removed something from her mouth….and sure enough seconds later a plume of smoke flowed from her mouth and she dropped a cigarette butt to the pavement and crushed it out. Nooooo!  This girl’s pedigree and the storyline that followed would have made this sighting one of the best of the day, but one exhale was just not enough to whet my appetite.  I hovered back there and snapped a photo to preserve her memory, and found myself particularly annoyed that the three teen dudes in her cluster were all still smoking, clearly not as fast in ingesting carcinogens into their bodies as this girl.  She began opening her giant purse and I was hopeful the pack would come out, but instead came out soft drinks she smuggled into the fairgrounds and took a swig from, passing one on to one of the guys.  But remember I said there were two clusters.  Next to the cluster of young people she was in was a group of older people, all smoking, and some nonsmoking young kids….and it became clear they were all going to the fair together, a family of smokers in some capacity.  Once everybody finished their cigarettes, the group journeyed southward into the midway and IDed her discarded butt as another throwback-to-the-80s Marlboro Red.  No clue when Reds took over the Iowa cigarette market again but it’s definitely happened…

Now about a half hour later I ran into this family of smokers again elsewhere on the fairgrounds and the mother was smoking again.  They were going the same general direction I was so I followed for a good three blocks, hoping that cute young daughter would follow suit.  She never did, but I did get to see one of the boys in the group who was clearly her boyfriend wrap his arm around her waist and slowly slide it down to that leopard print-covered ass to which she eventually got around to playfully lifting his hand from.  Obviously not everybody here was related to the parents as there were some friends in the group, but they all shared the bond of nicotine dependency, at what must be a tremendous cost with the current price of cigarettes and all those smokers.  The blond would tease me on a couple of occasions by opening up her giant purse, but always coming out was a jug of soda somebody would swig from and never cigarettes.  I eventually parted as I got to the northwest side of the fairgrounds, never to see the family again yesterday.

Now while that detour may have seemed unproductive, there was a silver lining.  As I walked to the tables behind The Depot, I saw a familiar wholesome blond cutie with her boyfriend sitting at one of the tables with a beer in front of her, a freshly lit cigarette between her fingers, and a pack of Marlboro Menthols right in front of her.  This most unlikely smoker who teased me less than an hour earlier was finally gonna give me a show, and the nearly empty lineup of benches was perfect to position myself for a front-row seat, complete with action shots of her smoking.  There was an odd haze to the photo quality that left them less than perfect, but I was still satisfied, and even more so when I sat back to watch her smoke as it was just spectacular to see a cigarette approach that perfect wholesome face and draw in smoke.  And most curiously, the boyfriend wasn’t smoking.  Would this change?  I’d have to wait and see but for now I was mesmerized watching her solid, well-timed drags and cloudy sexualized exhales.  Looking down to under the table I could see those nice black shorts of hers and I’ll just bet I was unconsciously licking my lips at the entire presentation.  She made pretty quick work of the cigarette and crushed it out on the ground before sitting the butt on the seat next to her, clearly planning to toss it in the garbage later.  I knew she dropped her butts into the trash can so that didn’t surprise me, meaning I was lucky to have seen the pack in front of her and ID her brand…..

I just had a feeling this sighting wasn’t done yet, and she confirmed my suspicion but taking out another cigarette and lighting up a couple of minutes later.  This was a face I would never have imagined to have had one cigarette touch its lips, but here this girl was on at least her third cigarette of the last hour.  The show was once again beautiful, with a solid smoking show that should be taught in schools to young girls on how a pretty young gal should properly smoke a cigarette and exude the highest level of femininity while doing so.  I watched her smoke the entire cigarette, pleased with every drag as I’m sure her black insides were, and continued to be intrigued by the fact that boyfriend didn’t light up at all.  Up until now, when I saw her drop two cigarettes into the garbage can when I saw her an hour earlier, I figured she and the boyfriend each smoked one.  While that’s still possible, anecdotal evidence was now pointing to wholesome blondie having smoked two in a row by herself then and now!  What a spectacular find!  She crushed this cigarette out like the first and, living up to her goody-two shoes presentation in every way expect for her insatiable nicotine dependency, went to the nearest dumpster to dispose of the butts in the most environmentally friendly fashion.  I snapped a couple rear photos of her in her black shorts as they walked off, feeling perky now and knowing she’d be one of my better sightings of the day.  Turned out she was my second best.

My morale stayed high as I walked east down the concourse and saw Sighting #17 approach.  She was another gorgeous smoker girl in the company of a nonsmoking boyfriend, a dark brunette wearing a light blue blouse and matching jean shorts, with smooth tan legs underneath.  That face was her top asset though, with a very distinguished look of beauty that was so distinguished that I know I’ve seen this girl before.  Maybe it’s from fetishing at area malls or maybe it’s from seeing her before at the fair, but this was a face I had seen before.  She progressed onto the concourse with her cigarette in one hand and her pack of Camel Blues and lighter in the other.  I had no luck at all getting a close-up photo and had to settle for a rear and long shot that regrettably failed to completely capture her stunning beauty.  I walked parallel to her as she smoked, watching her drags and being impressed by them, especially in the presence of this nonsmoking boyfriend.  She made the cigarette last a good distance but the show still ended way too soon as she dropped the butt to the pavement and crushed it out.  Only then did she proceed to insert the pack of Camel Blues and lighter into her back jean shorts pocket that I was already jealous of.  I’d have to wait until midnight before seeing her again, but I would.  To be continued on this one….

That area at the edge of the grandstand and the entryway to the midway continued to deliver and deliver and deliver, this time with Sightings #19 and #20, a trio of girls with two smokers that both looked underage.  The nonsmoker of the group was an overweight brunette and it was nice that the ugly one was the nonsmoker.  The other two were not likely to become homecoming queens either, but there was a working-class cuteness to them as they stood there publicly smoking their cigarettes despite appearing to be only 16 or 17.  The slender brunette was the girl I spotted first and she was decked out in a traditional fair time ensemble of a white shirt, tight jean shorts, and cowgirl boots.  Her presentation and figure was the better of the two smokers, but she was a slower smoker and just failed to capture my imagination the way her friend did.  The friend was a curly haired blond in a red and black plaid blouse and more utilitarian jean shorts, but I found my eyes fixating more on her as I rested against the wall and snapped a couple of photos, her turning her head to the right to take a drag and to exhale with better-timed drags than the friend which always brought a smile to my face.  I noticed at least one other guy lingering in the area, an older guy, who also took notice of the girls smoking.  He didn’t say anything and didn’t seem as mesmerized as I was, but these underage smoker girls were not going unnoticed.  The brunette finally finished her cigarette about two minutes after the blond did and the girls proceeded into the midway.  Their brand was Pall Mall Menthols, not one of my favorites, but I was in no position to complain and I was curious while watching them walk away which of the two smoker girls had the cigarettes in her purse.

And while that last sighting was playing out, two more were simultaneously unfolding.  One wasn’t particularly memorable but Sighting #22 was fantastic.  This early-to-mid 20s brunette had a beautiful face that was somewhat hid inside a camouflage cap (her ponytail came out the back of the cap) and a bland sweatshirt and jeans.  But her face was anything but bland and neither was her smoking style.  She stood alone, apparently finishing her cigarette before going into the bathroom, and while she held her cigarette in an unfortunate masculine way while approaching it to her mouth, her exhales were absolute thunderclouds.  A middle-aged guy she didn’t know was standing next to her, and while he didn’t say anything, had to have been annoyed by the smell and the low visibility that this brunette babe was forcing upon him with blasts of exhaled smoke unlike anything else I saw yesterday.  Unfortunately the show ended after about four drags and she crushed out the only half-smoked cigarette and went into the bathroom, apparently unable to hold it any longer.  I approached and discovered the discarded all-white butt was a Marlboro Ultra Light.  I’ve never been a big fan of Ultra Lights, but if the nicotine deprivation they force upon female smokers forces them to produce exhales like that, then I’m fine with more girls smoking them!  I’d see this girl one other time later in the afternoon with a group but she wasn’t smoking.

The next sighting of significance occurred on the east side, particularly in the seating area for the bandshell where some sort of very lightly attended amateur concert was going on.  I walked behind the main rows of seats and stumbled upon a large friends group where a hard-to-miss mid-20s blond in sunglasses, white blouse and jeans stood there holding a cigarette next to her face in a bent elbow pose.  I took a bench nearby and briefly watched the show, noticing the unusual pack of American Spirits on the table in front of her.  She was Sighting #25 and did okay for herself, but I will say that bent-elbow pose was the highlight of her performance.  And after a couple of drags, she handed it to her dark brunette friend who would become Sighting #26, taking a few drags of her own.  Both of these gals were worthy of a writeup but for whatever reason, I lost interest quickly and left before they finished, not sensing any bells and whistles were forthcoming.

I scored a couple modest sightings by the east side beer gardens and then headed westward down the concourse, spotting out of the corner of my eye a trio of 20-somethings where a mediocre brunette closest to me had a cigarette and would become Sighting #29.  Now I looked past her and noticed the other two gals in the trio were far more fetching than she was, and I took a longer look to see if either of them was smoking….and just my luck one of them was!  Sighting #30 had one of the more sexually charged presentations of the day, her long dark blond hair, flowing over a black and white striped top covering an impressive set of boobs with a pair of tight white shorts on the bottom that contrasted gorgeously with her very tan legs.  She had without question one of the best tans I’ve seen, and it worked nicely on her facial complexion as well, even though her nose was a little too big for her face to be the perfect 10 that her body was.  The tan complexion also contrasted nicely with the all-white cigarette she held between her fingers every time she wasn’t dragging from it.  I followed from the side trying to score a good photo but only managing mediocre ones.  Her smoking style was very nice, with lengthy well-timed drags and cloudy plumes for exhales that lingered in the air, undoubtedly annoying fairgoers who walked past her in this very crowded setting.  Eventually, the three girls sat on a bench in this seating area where I was able to sit closeby and watch her finish the cigarette, albeit from an inconvenient side angle.  She crushed out the cigarette beneath her shoe and I could tell just sitting there that it was a Camel Crush.  The girls soon got up to leave and I admired her tight ass and tan legs one last time as she walked away.

Back to the south side seating area for Sighting #32, what I first believed was probably a mother-daughter sighting featuring an unflattering late 40s or early 50s mother sitting next to a cute college-age ponytailed dark blond dressed in a very utilitarian black T-shirt and sweats.  She was a solid smoker though and much cuter than you’d expect if the gal next to her really was mom.  Unfortunately, I would see this girl smoking alone in the same general area a few hours later and put in doubt my suspicion that it was really mother and daughter.  It’s probably more likely they were just vendors from different food stands who knew each other but were out on a smoke break together.  It’s still possible that it was mother and daughter though.

After a semiproductive trip to the far south side, I turned west down the horse barn block and came across another cluster of 20-somethings with two smokers amongst them.  Sighting #35 was just average but the second girl I spotted with a cigarette was something special, the hottest girl of the group of five in fact.  Sighting #36 was a long-haired dark blond wearing badass sunglasses along with a pastel-striped blouse and skin tight pale blue jeans with a number of holes in them.  She looked about 25 and had a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.  She really exuded confidence and sex appeal as she walked with her group, easily standing out in this crowd both for her beauty and that confident IT factor.  My only regret is that I only got to see a couple of drags before she walked over to a garbage can and tossed her still-smoldering all white in there, giving me a chance for a nice frontal snapshot.  I then took a peek into the trash can to find a smoldering Marlboro Light sitting in a paper fair food tub, and since I didn’t hear about any fires at the fair yesterday, the cigarette apparently didn’t set the trash can ablaze.

It was around 6 p.m. and I was back on the concourse where I came across one of my top-five sightings of the day and definitely one of the youngest smokers of the day, Sighting #43.  Walking by me in a hurry was this tall and slender long-haired light brunette holding a cigarette in the company of a teen boy about four inches shorter than her who was not smoking.  The girl’s outfit certainly didn’t stand out in the crowd, dressed from head to toe in a black tanktop and black jeans, but she wasn’t the least bit Gothic or alternative-looking despite that choice of outfit.  Based on her height and that general first impression, I figured she was probably 18 when I first looked at her, but as I finally got a close look at that face along with the youngish shorter guy she was with, I began to suspect she was a couple of years younger.  I just had one problem getting a more intimate account of this sighting…..the young couple was practically sprinting for the midway and I was having a major challenge trying to keep up, especially since I was trying to score action photos to boot.  I got some nice rear photos of her with a cigarette, but getting ahead of them for a frontal photo was nearly impossible as they flew past crowds of people with the teen smoker puffing away and exhaling with reckless abandon towards anybody who disapproved of her smoke.  She eventually gave the spent cork-filter a toss without bothering to crush it out, and no surprise, it was a Marlboro Red.  Eventually, they walked into this junk T-shirt store at the back of the midway, a familiar destination for other girls in previous days but I still couldn’t understand why they were practically running to get there.  Anyway, I pretended to shop around in the same general area, still scheming how I could get a frontal photo of her face, but they cooperated by leaving the store in a couple of minutes and the girl obliviously walked right into the direction of my camera, where I captured a perfect facial shot and, looking at it today, find it hard to believe she’s even 16!  I only wish I could have seen more direct smoking from her during the course of following, but even with what I saw she’d be among my top-five of the day.

My next sighting of significance was Sighting #57 where I spotted a duo of 20-something gals lingering near a curb while one of them smoked.  Thankfully, the smoker was the hotter of the girls, and one of the girls whose presentations was the best of the day, even though her face wasn’t quite as hot as said presentation.  She was a blond whose hair hung over her right shoulder in a giant braid onto her medium blue blouse with a pair of bright pink shorts and smooth, tanned legs underneath.  She was the picture of femininity from afar and when I saw that cigarette between her fingers as I approached I was giddy as a schoolgirl.  The sighting did disappoint a bit though as she was a slow smoker and when she did take a drag, there were certainly no bells and whistles.  I snapped a pic right away and thought I was discreet about it, but before long she started walking to the side out of my vantage point.  I saw from the markings on her cork filter cigarette that it was a Marlboro Smooth so I didn’t feel the need to stick around for a formal ID, and started to question whether I should continue with my photo-taking as I don’t seem to be nearly as sneaky about it as I think.  At the very least, I should reduce my photo-taking frequency, but it’s so helpful in remembering details about specifics of clothing and the like that it’s gonna be hard to control myself.

From there I wandered to the east side beer gardens area and while I didn’t score any sightings there, I hadn’t even crossed the street moving back westward when I stumbled onto a modestly attractive brunette who was Sighting #58 in the company of a guy and another girl who were not smoking.  This in no way would have qualified for a writeup had it not been for the couple they approached next, a mid-20s guy and girl who for some reason were sitting in the back of one of the state fair carts while lighting up cork filter cigarettes.  The Sighting #59 girl was a knockout, a gorgeous platinum blond in a red tanktop and jeans with a memorable pair of orange-framed sunglasses on her face, and she was a fantastic smoker too with nice long drags and hugely cloudy exhales that whoever sits in that state fair cart next will undoubtedly smell the residual odor from.  My self-imposed moratorium on photo-taking lasted all of five minutes as I had a perfect bench just a few feet in front of them to snap a completely undetected pic of her in mid-drag.  Now I said before that the other group migrated towards this smoking power couple in the state fair cart, and only one of them was smoking, but at this point the gorgeous blond in the orange sunglasses was talking to the ponytailed light brunette in the purple shirt and jean shorts from the original group who was not smoking.  But she was about to become Sighting #60 as she beckoned the cigarette from the blond for a drag.  She would do the same later, but the blond babe was the star of this sighting, with first-rate drags and exhales which sent that cigarette to its maker very quickly.  She adorably tossed the cork filter out of the cart and on to the pavement where it smoldered down to the filter and I was unfortunately unable to ID the butt.  It would have been great to see that blond again yesterday but I never would.

My third best sighting of the day came next.  It was about 7:30 and the main grandstand entertainment tonight was Lady Antebellum and Billy Currington, with the show starting around 8.  Lots of country girls in short shorts were hovering around the grandstand entrances and I was looking for some with cigarettes between their fingers and was lucky enough to find one.  Sighting #62 was standing just off of the curb on the concourse and jumped out at me from a distance with a freshly lit cigarette between her fingers while surrounded by nonsmoking elders.  I hustled on up for a closer look as she was foraging through her wallet/purse where a visible pack of Marlboro Lights was front and center.  And getting a closer look at her, she was at most 18, most likely a year or two younger with long, curly light brown hair, a black Lady Antebellum T-shirt (no mystery where she would be going in mere moments) and a nice pair of dark blue cutoffs cresting over smooth young legs and an unusual pair of boots.  Typical country girl look right?  Well, sort of.  The features of this girl and the nonsmoking younger girl next to her both stuck me as at least partially Hispanic.  Yet the cluster of nonsmoking adults the girls were standing with were as middle-aged white Iowan as they come, all joined together standing off the concourse curb so that the teenage girl in their company could smoke a cigarette.  Now it’s vaguely possible that these girls were not Hispanic but I got a couple of photos and have studied them carefully and it seems almost certain to me the smoker girl has some Latina in her.  Perhaps the daughters are adopted.  I have no idea but whatever the family dynamic, it was an adorable smoking show….

The adults mostly talked to themselves but my Latina Marlboro teen was slowly enjoying that cigarette, taking nice enough drags but making that thing last a long time.  She usually turned her head to the right when exhaling, avoiding the cluster of nonsmokers that almost certainly included her parents.  And the sighting had one oddball little wrinkle as well that gave it additional character.  Her cigarette wasn’t burning properly, which I noticed right away but which she didn’t seem to notice for a few minutes, with a long stretch of black paper that had burned but was clinging for its life onto her smoldering cigarette and refusing to come off.  At first she showed the cigarette to the gal to her right who I assumed was her mother and how the burnt paper was clinging to it, and I’m sure mom was absolutely fascinated to see the deformity on her teenage daughter’s cigarette.  After multiple aggressive attempts to ash the paper off, girly finally had to kneel down and rub the burnt paper onto the pavement and then stood back up and resumed smoking.  It was a nice long show and I wasn’t going anywhere until she finished it.  Finally she did, and I waited another few minutes for them to head back into the grandstand when I stepped up and definitively IDed her butt as a traditional Marlboro Light rather than one of its offshoots.  As I turned and watched the family enter the grandstand, knowing somebody was gonna be forced to sit next to that smelly daughter during the show, I speculated that this may have been the second girl adopted across racial/ethnic lines who I had seen smoking today in the company of nonsmoking parents.   I wonder if there’s something to that….greater likelihood of girls from adopted parents taking up smoking.  I can imagine an increased permissiveness in such households for various reasons, but then again, it may just be a fluke.  Fluke or not, said scenarios made for two of my favorite sightings on August 16, 2014.

Sightings numbers were picking up as dusk approached and quickly thereafter arrived, but few of them were particularly memorable.  But I’ll stick with the rare multicultural theme as it applies to smoker sightings at a fair where about 95% of the attendees are lily white. My Sighting #75 was a pretty young late teen Asian girl in a group with a nonsmoking guy and another nonsmoking girl as they walked into the midway.  She was wearing a nice tanktop and shorts that made her look great from afar, but up close she was sporting some ridiculous-looking tattoos which for whatever reason looked goofier on her than even the average young girl.  She had a pretty wholesome face though, and certainly didn’t look like a smoker.  I’m not the best at discerning different Asian ethnic groups, but if I was to guess, I’d predict this girl was Korean.  I’ve said before that from my observations Asian women and girls are the most likely of any ethnic group, including whites, to smoke, and even though the statistics don’t bear this out by any stretch, every year my suspicions are further vindicated at least by my own observations.

Now I had been having a decent if unspectacular day of sightings up to this point, but certainly no future first-ballot Hall of Famers had arisen yet by this point yesterday.  That was about to change as I made my fateful journey into the midway around 9 p.m. and worked my way towards the back when I spotted a trio of teens (two guys and a girl) and spotted one of the guys lighting up.  My eyes veered towards the girl in the group as I passed them and sure enough, she already had a cigarette lit.  I didn’t get a very good look at her while walking past but was following from behind now and admiring a perky, petite young body in a girlish red tanktop and very short jean shorts with a long, freshly lit cigarette next to it.  It was quite a sight, but having gotten a closer look only at the guys in the group up this point and seeing they were in the 17-18 range it never crossed my mind she’d be younger than that….until they all sat down in a X-shaped arrangement of metal benches next to another dude who was apparently waiting for the trio, and this allowed me to take a seat parallel to them, no more than five feet away from the girl who sat on the inside of her all male counterparts on the bench.  Sweet Jesus!  My Sighting #80 was the purest young face I’d seen all day, arguably for the entire fair.  I looked at all the guys around her and some of them even had facial hair.  They were clearly in their late teens.  It just didn’t make sense that they’d be hanging out with this 13-14-year-old girl, I kept telling myself, but as I studied her face and looked over her body, there was just no way this girl was anything other than a middle school girl!!

I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect vantage point, leering over my left shoulder unbeknownst to everybody as she sat there on that metal bench, holding her cigarette to the right and as out of sight as possible except when she lifted it to her lips to take delightful drags.  And they were very impressive, easily putting to shame the majority of the adult women smokers I came across yesterday with nice long drags, four-second hold times, and turning her head to the right (that would be my direction) to exhale volcanic eruptions of smoke that rocketed out of both her mouth and nose.  Oh and she was just so precious to look at even when the smoke wasn’t flowing from her little face.  She had long dark brown hair flowing down her back and such a slender young body inside that tanktop.  But it was below the waist where that slender body sparkled best, with smooth legs that were just curvy enough that she didn’t look “too thin” flowing out of the tiniest pair of jean shorts I think I’ve ever seen.  I felt sorry for how cold those legs must have been because a good six inches of her upper legs were touching the metal seat on the bench with as short as her jean shorts were.  But that face was her key feature, brimming with youthful innocence while also evoking a big of a naughty side.  Unlike a couple of the other teen smokers I saw at the fair this year, it didn’t surprise me to see this girl with a cigarette.  She looked cute beyond belief with the petite frame and precious face to match, but she didn’t necessarily look wholesome.  And I was reminded of that every time the cigarette approached her lips and was followed by a meaty, cloudy expulsion of smoke from her mouth and nose that were all generally headed my direction….

It still wasn’t adding up as I sat there watching though as everything about the way this carried herself from the way she sat to the way she touched her hair to the way she held her cigarette screamed “eighth grade girl”, but why on Earth would this group of older guys be with her unless the facial-haired guy sitting next to her I assumed was her boyfriend was dating someone four years younger?  That scenario was certainly possible, but I was cynical enough at this point to simply believe she had to have been older than she looked.  I’d get excellent additional context on this later in the night, but for now was just enjoying my best smoking show of the day and enjoying the exhales that me and the middle-aged lady sitting next to me kept choking on.  She dropped the cigarette to the ground next to her bench but the group didn’t leave.  I really wanted a butt ID here but agonized as I looked down to see the cigarette smolder down to the filter in the five minutes or so that the group kept sitting there BSing with one another, with the girl doing the least amount of talking.  On the other hand, it was kind of hot looking at that cigarette smoldering down there with smoke still rising from it at a pretty good clip minutes after it last touched human lips, knowing that it was the lips of this sweetheart of a young girl that were responsible for that continued rising smoke.  Finally the group got up to leave and I quickly claimed her spot, looking down at the discarded cigarette with nothing left but a cork filter and a smoldering few centimeters of ash, denying me the brand identification that I coveted.  I somehow managed to lose them in the midway after I got up but as I said, I would see the girl again and would get some clarity on the sighting’s biggest mystery.  But even if the sighting had ended right there, it still would have been my best sighting of the night, and I’ll be haunted in my dreams for months at that adorable early teen face turning my direction and exhaling combination mouth and nasal blasts for a heavenly 5-7 minutes.

That last sighting would start my best sightings tear of the day as I left the midway after not being able to find my little brunette and explored the huddle of teens gathered in the center of the fairgrounds.  As is often the case, the edges of that huddle is where the smoking action was, in this case an adorable sweetheart of a 19-20ish brunette sitting on a bench with a freshly lit cigarette in hand.  I said that my last girl, while fresh-faced and adorable, kind of looked like a smoker.  But my Sighting #81 cutie didn’t look at all like a smoker, a wholesome sweetheart if I’ve seen one whose outfit, a flower print tanktop and a pair of dark blue jeans, complemented that image perfectly.  What didn’t complement the image, however, was the pack of Camel Menthols sitting on her lap or the freshly lit cigarette itself which she held off to her right to spare the two nonsmoking guys sitting to her left.  Curiously, it didn’t really seem as though the guys knew this girl before they shared this bench together judging from their banter from afar.  I could have been reading that situation wrong, but it wouldn’t at all surprise me if the dudes were taking the opportunity to flirt with the hot smoker girl while seated next to her, with her gorgeous face beaming from all the male attention.  A nonsmoking female friend walked up to the girl and stood in front of her, chatting it up while she smoked and flirted with the boys.  The smoking show itself was nice, albeit without the pomp and circumstance of what I saw from the carnival teen.  Like that girl though, she held her cigarette below the bench to her right and directed all of her exhales that way too, but unfortunately I wasn’t seated parallel to this girl to ingest all those exhales as I was the other girl.  Still, she put on a good long show and it sent shivers down my spine comparing her girl-next-door contrast with the pack of Camel Menthols on her lap and when she was actually smoking the cigarette.  She crushed the cigarette out beneath her foot and remained there for quite a while.  I kept hoping I’d return to the area later in the night and see her smoking again, but that was the last I saw of her.

After the last girl finished her cigarette, I continued my roll when I walked through the series of benches in the middle of the fairgrounds only a few yards away and spotted Sighting #82, a sexy early 20s brunette in a blue tanktop and white shorts seated on one of the benches smoking a cigarette.  I found a seat on the circular grid of benches so I would be almost right next to her, and it was only when I sat down that I discovered a 17-18ish blond girl was only a few across from me on the next bench over smoking a cigarette of her own, becoming Sighting #83.  It was a blissful couple of minutes as I had two young females smoking on both sides of me, literally only a few feet from me on both sides, with sidestream smoke from both of their cigarettes and their exhales flowing straight towards me.  Unfortunately, the first girl in the white shorts’ sighting was about to end early as she handed her cigarette to the boyfriend sitting next to her, and only a few moments later, they both stood up and began to walk into the midway.  I briefly got a beautiful view of her ass in those white shorts as she stood there only a couple of feet in front of me, but it still hurt watching her walk off with the boyfriend who was now in possession of the cigarette that was so recently in her glorious hands.  This left only the teen blond across from me, decked out in a pink top and light blue capris, completely distracted by her phone and failing to even notice me watching her smoke.  She wasn’t really that attractive and had a certain gawkiness to her, but given her age, I was still intrigued, particularly with the oddball direction the sighting was about to go….

Up came some middle-aged Hispanic guy who started talking to her as if he was her father.  What’s going on here?  Why is it that nobody at the fair has parents of the same ethnicity as they are?!?!  Twice yesterday I had seen two nonwhite smoker girls from white families and now I was seeing the inverse….a lily-white blond girl with a father who looked straight out of The George Lopez Show.  Whatever the case, the Hispanic guy was back in a couple of minutes and sat right next to her before she finished off her cigarette.  Another bizarre dynamic of a seemingly nonsmoking parents tolerating a young and presumably underage daughter to smoke.  I love the Iowa State Fair.  When they left in a couple of minutes, I identified her cigarette butt as a Camel Menthol, the same as the girl two sightings ago.

I scored a few more decent sighting in the next few minutes as I headed down to the south side.  I wouldn’t get far before running into Sighting #87, a glamorous mid-20s blond in a mixed-gender group of six or seven friends and the only smoker among them.  She was a real beauty with platinum blond hair and decked out in a white top and dark jeans.  She was also a very polite smoker in the company of this nonsmoking group, tilting her head skyward after every drag on her all-white and launching a smoke volcano straight into the night sky.  Unfortunately her group was unpredictable as it drifted northward and did the annoying stop-and-go routine that made it very challenging to observe her routine.  Finally they settled in front of a cotton candy stand and the smoker continued laying waste to her all-white.  Finally, she crushed it out under her shoe on the pavement and then immediately moved to erase all evidence that she had just smoked a cigarette, popping in a piece of gum within 20 seconds after finishing the cigarette and then managing to find some sort of moisturizer in her purse that she rubbed all over her fingers to get rid of the smell.  This was kind of cute and all, but I tend to prefer girls completely unashamed of their smoking habits and forcing others to deal with it.  An hour or so later though, I saw blondie in front of the beer gardens making out with some guy, so I suppose you can’t argue with the results of her covering up her smoking habit as she was definitely poised to get lucky last night.

After going up the south side and back again I struck gold when I spotted a family moving northeast.  The family in question included my sighting of the night, the brunette who looked like an early teen but whose presence with a group of older teen guys made me question my impression of her age.  But watching her slender little body walk in tandem with two of those three guys now–behind a middle-aged couple–the puzzle piece finally fell into place.  She wasn’t the girlfriend of any of those older guys she was smoking with on the midway….she was the kid sister of at least one of them.  Now nobody was smoking on the long walk to the east side gate where they apparently parked their car, but it was fantastic to study them as I followed, finally realizing this young smoking prodigy WAS as young as I first believed, a revelation that made the sighting I saw earlier that much more delicious.  I hoped that somebody would light up on that long walk back to the car but it wasn’t meant to be and once they exited the gate I conceded defeat.  I was still extremely grateful for this revelation though as I now knew she almost certainly was 13 or 14 as I suspected all along, and a whole new set of questions arose.  Did the parents smoke?  Do the parents know their baby girl smokes?  The possibilities are endless and I only wish I was able to find out how the story ends.

So I suppose it sounds like that long walk to the east side gate was generally a dead end that stole fetish time right?  Not true….because as the family in question walked out the east gate, a familiar face was one of three females coming back in.  Remember Sighting #30, the well-tanned dark blond with the white shorts who I saw smoking in the mid-afternoon?  Well she was back, wearing the same outfit and in the presence of two different female friends, one a chubby brunette and the other a hot dark blond that was even prettier than my Sighting #30 girl!  And I was gonna get a chance to walk right with them on the long trek back into the fairgrounds from this east side gate.  The overweight brunette wasn’t good-looking enough to count as a sighting, but she nonetheless got the ball rolling by making a request to the hot new dark blond that led to her opening up her purse in a few seconds.  Sure enough, a pack of Marlboro Menthols was produced seconds later and she extracted one for the fat friend and one for herself, lighting up and becoming Sighting #90.  And not to be denied, my original blond in the white shorts was opening up her purse to get a cigarette of her own from her pack.  Before I knew it, I was walking behind three oblivious early-to-mid-20s gals wielding freshly lit cigarettes and belching out clouds of exhaust that I walked through one after another after another.  When the time came I got side angle views and the new hottie was definitely the prettiest of the three, and her presentation was solid with a long-sleeved top that seemed to absorb her cigarette at times when I looked to see if she was still holding it, along with a pair of jean shorts.  And while the new girl was the prettiest, my tan girl in white shorts still dominated on the presentation front and was the best smoker to boot, producing the cloudiest exhales for me to walk through.  The new blond lost her cigarette somewhere and I missed it, but I did see the white shorts blondie drop her all-white to the pavement after taking a final drag, and I approached the smoldering refuse expecting it to be a Camel Crush, her same brand from earlier in the day.  Instead it was a Marlboro Light!  Apparently she has a day brand and a night brand.  Nice to get this encore from her, especially with the hot new friend she added to the proceedings.

I zipped around scoring some mediocre material until I made my final pass of the evening of the east side beer gardens area, where I scored some solid finds.  The first was Sighting #99, a beautiful mid-20s long-haired blond in a pastel-colored white and green-striped blouse with tight white pants below, and apparently, even though she’s a smoker, she’s as angelic as her clothing would indicate.  She was in a mixed-gender group of friends swilling beer and cutting it up, and her first drag was her best as she inadvertently exhaled directly into the face of the female friend she was talking with.  After that though, she got more wholesome as the camera phone came out and her friends were taking selfies of each other.  Her cigarette hand was always held behind her white pants when the camera was on her, and on one occasion one of the guys in the group posed for a photo with them with the cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and she scolded him to take the cigarette out so it wasn’t in the pic.  I thought back to last summer and my FCF #2 sighting where the smoker princess purposely posed with the cigarette visible behind her boyfriend’s back in the photo and was disappointed that this girl didn’t give me a replay of that.  Her smoking continued to move more in a “social smoker” direction from there as she took a drag and acted like she didn’t want it anymore before dropping it to the pavement and crushing it out despite having at least three drags left on it.  Blondie’s performance disappointed but she was good-looking and wholesome enough that I gave her as much of a pass as is possible.

Moments later, in the same general area, I got two separate female smokers puffing away in the presence of nonsmoking boyfriends only a few yards apart from each other.  Sighting #100 was the girl I spotted first, an attractive early 20s redhead in a black top and white pants covered with strategically placed holes.  She was a solid smoker but she ultimately got upstaged by Sighting #101, a cutie in a pink top and dark blue jeans with a buckle that seems to be the article of clothing of choice of girls who show livestock in 4-H.  And this girl had a face young enough that I originally suspected she just might be who she looked like, but the scuzzy-looking boyfriend standing next to her was clearly in his early 20s and she must have just looked young for her age.  Whatever the case, she was a great smoker with nice long drags and thick, dense exhales, some of which blew right into the boyfriend’s face.  It would be an abbreviated show from both girls though as I caught them more than halfway into their cigarettes.  I wouldn’t catch the butt ID of the redhead but the preternaturally young-looking blond in the dark country girl jeans was smoking a Marlboro Red.  I swear that’s at least the 20th Marlboro Red girl of the Iowa State Fair, and that was just of girls whose butts I was able to identify!

Another detour came next that was a major fail.  I saw these two hot teenage girls in sexy attire, taking particular interest in the gorgeous brunette wearing a pair of black and white referee-striped shorts.  She and the friend bought a corn dog and were heading up the long alleyway to the north side gate afterwards.  The other girl, a dark blond hottie in a bare midriff top and jean shorts was eating the corn dog and I put my faith in the brunette to get the ball rolling and light up while the friend ate….or at the very least see both girls light up when blondie was done eating.  But the corn dog ran out just before the fairgrounds did and no cigarettes were produced.  The girls walked out the gate and I watched for a bit just in case cigarettes came out of somebody’s purse.  They didn’t, and now it was a good five-minute walk to get back to a portion of the fairgrounds where there were actually people.   Like I said, I took some risks last night that I ordinarily wouldn’t have if I didn’t have my usual ISF two-day haul in the bag already.

The Lady Antebellum-Billy Currington concert was getting to ready to end and I wanted to be there when it did to see the hordes of nicotine-addicted country girls fleeing the grandstand for their fix when it did.  But the music was still playing when I spotted my last huge find of the night heading east on the concourse.  Sighting #104 was a truly gorgeous 21-22-year-old dark brunette country girl decked out in a yellow and brown plaid blouse, tight jean shorts, and cowgirl boots.  She held her boyfriend’s hand in her right hand and an all-white cigarette in her left.  There was just something magical about this girl that words can’t fully describe, a classically beautiful face with her dark brown hair just perfectly matching her face and outfit.  I got close enough to take a couple of rear photos that turned out better than I expected they would in the dark but still failed to capture this girl’s smoldering IT factor.  Just seeing that cigarette in her left hand as she walked with the nonsmoking boyfriend, looking as if it was a natural extension of her body, gave me goose bumps, but she upped her game several notches with her first drag, a beautiful ingestion of the cigarette’s cancerous chemicals into her perfect young body that was followed by something that took my breath away.  She turned to her right and looked at the nonsmoking boyfriend….and then exhaled straight into his face.  Unlike my FCF #2 girl last year, I think this was inadvertent, an absent-minded mistake, but either way she nailed that young lad right in the kisser with the toxic waste expelled by her blackened respiratory system.  And the boyfriend didn’t even flinch or respond in any way, perhaps being used to these “accidental” exhales to the face by his girlfriend and being perfectly fine with it because she’s such a perfect 10 superbabe….

I followed them to the main beer gardens right off the concourse and watched her take a handful more drags while proceeding, none of which she exhaled into her boyfriend’s face but all of which were treasures to be able to witness.  As she ascended the curb to make the final approach to the beer gardens with the boyfriend, she dropped the all-white butt to the ground without crushing it out.  As I zeroed in on it, I saw markings that I hadn’t seen in quite a while from a cigarette brand that has really become scarce in the last few years, largely because of how expensive they’ve become compared to Marlboro and Camel variations.  It was a Parliament, complete with the inverted filter….my first Parliament sighting of 2014 and probably the last two or three years for that matter.  That revelation raised the stakes on this sighting even higher as I settled in on a berm at the edge of the midway and watched this duo at the counter of the beer gardens preparing to purchase adult beverages.  A female friend came up from out of nowhere and greeted them, clearly friends of the couple who had planned to meet them there all along.  This girl was such a great find I had a half a mind to stay put and see how long it would take her to light up another, but I didn’t want to miss the potential tidal wave of smokers dismissing from the Lady Antebellum concert, so I grudgingly departed and unfortunately wouldn’t see this country sexpot again.  Even with just one sighting from her, she was impressive enough to qualify for my top-five sightings the day.

The concert was just ending as Lady Antebellum lead singer Hillary Scott was singing the final bars of “Need You Now” as I approached, and I saw the first of the two substantive post-concert sightings almost immediately on the concourse when I spotted a group of mid-20s couples, including one very attractive mid-20s blond in sexy form-fitting pink shorts on the tail end of a cork filter cigarette.  My Sighting #105 girl had a fantastic presentation as I’m sucker for pink shorts on a pretty smoker girl, and of the mere three drags I caught on her cigarette, she was a solid smoker too.  A brief storyline ensued as her boyfriend was nudging her for something and began opening her purse.  A pack of (what else?!?!) Marlboro Reds came out and she handed him a fresh cigarette.  Rather than use her lighter, she approached his fresh cigarette with the remaining 10% of her own smoldering cigarette and lit his.  After that, she had just one drag to go and finished off the cigarette, dropping it to the ground before she, the boyfriend, and their friends took off.  No surprise that her butt was indeed a Marlboro Red just as the pack in her purse indicated, but I was obviously annoyed the roles weren’t reversed here and I got to see the girl smoking her cigarette from light-up to finish.  Still, kind of adorable that the girlfriend smoked nearly her entire cigarette already before the boyfriend got around to mooching one from her.

And lastly, a sighting I’m pretty was unconnected to the concert occurred on the far western edge of the concourse where a mid-20s couple sat on a bench, the boyfriend eating a walking taco and the cute blond ponytailed girlfriend in the revealing blouse and jean shorts was smoking a cigarette.  But my Sighting #106 girl was greedy and requested a bite of the boyfriend’s taco.  In one of the most unfeminine displays I’ve ever seen, he held the taco out and she took a big, disgusting bite, chomping her jowels like a dog with lettuce falling out of her mouth.  Any demographic other than a sexy young girl with a cigarette in her hand doing this and it would have been pretty gross, but seeing her do it was just too precious for words.  After she chewed and swallowed this giant bite of food, it took less than 30 seconds for her to take another drag from her all-white cigarette.  As soon as the boyfriend finished the taco, the two of them got up and began walking towards the northwest gate, her with a cigarette and him without, a combination that was still incredibly frequent throughout all three nights of the Iowa State Fair.  But I was growing more and more concerned as they got closer to that exit gate that she’d take the cigarette outside with her and deny me the butt ID.  And she did, cute as it was to see this sweet-looking blond walk past the gate attendants with cigarette in hand.  I couldn’t complain too loudly though as I was really scoring with brand identification at the Iowa State Fair.

It was now right around 11:30 and I was confident I’d have about 25 finds from the departing Lady Antebellum crowd which was now heading towards the gates in droves.  Instead I just got two or three very mediocre sightings and I kept telling myself I must be missing the major hotties as they were departing, but in another 15 minutes the crowd had thinned considerably and I kept scratching my head as to why the sightings came to a standstill.  Just further evidence that trying to predict when and where you’re gonna score a huge sightings haul is a fool’s errand.  Life has a way of surprising you in both directions on that front.

As midnight neared, I decided I didn’t want to push my luck and made my way towards the shuttle buses.  On my final turn off of the concourse and towards the bus loading zone, I’d see one more familiar face on a bench….the easily identifiable beauty from mid-afternoon (Sighting #17) who was the dark blond that I recognized from somewhere who was smoking a Camel as she and her boyfriend entered the grounds.  Now she and the boyfriend were seated on a bench, and once again, only she was smoking, sitting there looking three sheets to the wind and then some, her eyes revealing that she was feeling REALLY good about life at that moment, and I had no doubt the two-thirds smoked cigarette smoldering between her fingers played a role in that.  I’d have given a thousand dollars to have been the boyfriend next to her who likely got the opportunity to make her feel even better about an hour later when they got home.

There was a 15-minute line just to board a shuttle bus, meaning I easily could have explored the grounds a little longer and still made the last departing bus, but it was a risk I’d rather not take.  Plus, I saw plumes of smoke rising from those ahead of me in line, and while I generally couldn’t identify the source of most of them, I saw one blond cutie in a cowgirl hat and jean shorts about 25 people ahead of me line standing off to the side and exhaling straight up into the night sky.  I didn’t get a great look at Sighting #111, my last sighting of the day, but I could tell she was very attractive and I would have loved to have cut in line to be standing closer to her rather than the lame, chubby girls standing behind me in line.

It was nearly 12:30 before I even got on my shuttle bus and for obvious reasons I felt good about my unprecedented third day at the 2014 Iowa State Fair, the entirety of which put forth a solid dozen or more sightings worthy of year-end acclaim, a far cry better than last year when only four ISF sightings made my top-25 fairgrounds sightings list.  Numbers-wise, the combined 32 hours on the fairgrounds yielded 320 sightings, which is closer to what I usually get for the Minnesota State Fair.  The extra day was cheating a little, but even if I hadn’t gone for the third day this would have been my best year at the Iowa State Fair since at least 2011, making up for a below-average local county fair earlier this month.  And from here, I have two Saturdays in a row at the granddaddy of them all the Minnesota State Fair, and you can expect my writeups shortly after Labor Day weekend.






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