2014 Minnesota State Fair, Day 1

The preferred scenario during my fair safaris has more often than not played out, with an escalation in numbers and quality in each of my three main venues starting with the local county fair, progressing to the Iowa State Fair, and wrapping up with my two consecutive weekends of the Minnesota State Fair, the latter of which is by far my most cherished and storied smoking fetish venue of all-time.  But it doesn’t always work out that way and yesterday was a good example.  My first day at the Minnesota State Fair was a below-average day.  Now it wasn’t as bad as a couple of those hot messes at the Iowa State Fair in 2012 and 2013.  I scored one smash homerun worthy of some of my best finds at this year’s Iowa State Fair and a few other strong moments, but there weren’t many extra base hits and I’d rank this as my weakest Minnesota State Fair day since 2009.  Now you’re gonna have a bad day once in a while and I get that, but I’ve noticed these things often come in pairs which concerns me about next week’s final Minnesota State Fair run of the year.  I can’t complain about the numbers though as I wrapped up the day with 178 sightings, two fewer than the first day last year.  As I said though, there was an oversized contingent of mediocrity among this sample.

As usual, I went with the folks on the drive up to St. Paul, which came with its usual balance of upsides and limitations.  Lately, they’ve been heading up there early and we tend to arrive right around 8 a.m. so I was surprised when they decided to go a bit later this year and we got there at 9 a.m.  Given how unproductive the morning hours tend to be for sightings, I was more than fine with that.  As has been the case for the last few years, the weather was a question mark.  For years and years and years, the one thing I could count on was a perfect day for the Minnesota State Fair.  That’s no longer the case, but I definitely avoided calamity.  The unyielding gloom was a bummer on my energy level when I walked through the gate, but there wasn’t a drop of rain all day and the gloomy conditions kept it from being a jungle given the high humidity level even without the sun.  I always follow the same path at the beginning of the day, weaving down a series of streets that lead me to the grandstand a few minutes after arrival.  On the east side of the grandstand, a bunch of fair workers were having a smoke, but only one of them was attractive enough to become Sighting #1, a late 20s dark brunette in a long black blouse and shorts who appeared to be a vendor under the grandstand.  She was decent but wasn’t destined for Mark’s Smoke Blog history by any stretch, but served her purpose in landing that first sighting of the day fairly shortly after my arrival.  I’d see her on two more smoke breaks during the daytime hours.

The morning is a good time to explore the north side of the grounds, the fairgrounds’ most remote area that has yielded a number of great sightings over the years but generally delivers less frequently than the core streets on the grounds’ southern half and requires a 20-minute round trip walk to explore.  It was up there that I scored Sighting #2, a mid-to-late-20s blond walking with her nonsmoking parents and later gathering with a group of kids, all of whom seemed too old to be hers.  There were a couple of early teen girls in the group who I hoped would smoke but didn’t.  The blond herself wasn’t a bombshell by any stretch but was nicely adorned in a tanktop and shorts and was a solid smoker, particularly striking amidst a group of eight where nobody else was smoking.  Since nothing else was going on, I kept pace with them and watched her smoke the whole cigarette, and the hardest part was keeping pace, and definitely not because they were moving so fast.  It sometimes blows my mind how people are capable of walking so slowly in a given setting and this was one of them.  Anyway, she finished the cigarette and I identified her butt as a Marlboro Light.  While Marlboro Reds were all the rage last week at the Iowa State Fair, Marlboro Lights and a few other brands were definitely the top brands yesterday in Minnesota.

I trudged around the fairgrounds for a particularly unproductive morning, lapping block after block, designated smoking area after designated smoking area (yes, they were back this year in Minnesota) and stitching together only a couple of mediocre sightings per hour.  I finally found a decently cute girl just before noon in Sighting #8, a very girl-next-door mid-20s brunette decked out in a conservative light green top and jeans and puffing away on a cigarette at the smoking area outside the beer gardens and the grounds’ most popular bathroom structures.  Again, nothing about this girl is gonna be making any top-25 lists at the end of the year by any stretch, but she did look good sitting there all by herself smoking a cigarette and was a sighting I really needed at that bleak time of the day.  I’d see her smoking again in the same general spot a few hours later.  My goal is to get 20 sightings before noon and I only had 9 yesterday by noon, so I had some catching up to do.

One other thing I need to mention in that beer gardens area is the girl with the hottest ass of the day.  All morning whenever I passed the area, a hot brunette in an orange sweatshirt and insanely tight and short jean shorts with cowboy boots was sitting on a bench next to her family.  Every time I walked past I admired that body, never getting a good look at her face because of sunglasses, with the combination of the sunglasses and her body type making her look about 16 even though I’d later find out she was older than that.  For a good hour, she was laying down on the bench next to a friend, her ass and those smooth legs on full display in the most vulnerable imaginable pose.  Not sure who goes to the State Fair and takes an hourlong nap but I’m sure glad she did.  Anyway, I’m sure you know I’m bringing this girl up for a reason, so to be continued….

Sightings picked up some in the early afternoon hours but the quality continued to fail to impress as I was going on four hours of fetishing hitting nothing but singles, several of them bloop singles!  That wouldn’t change as I headed north again to one of the smoking areas about a minute’s walk up the north side where I otherwise didn’t venture again after the early morning.  Anyway, standing there was a young couple in their mid-to-late 20s with a decently attractive blond in a tanktop and jean shorts who became Sighting #11.  She may not have even warranted a passing writeup at last week’s Iowa State Fair given how many great sightings with fun storylines I scored there, but she nonetheless passed as sightings bliss by this point in the day for me yesterday.  I’d see her in the boyfriend smoking again only about an hour later at another one of the designated smoking areas.

It was after 1 p.m. when I finally scored my first extra base hit yesterday on a triple-bang sighting that will go down among my top-five sightings of the day.  I always encircle the beer gardens block multiple times a day as it usually accounts for a good quarter or more of overall Minnesota State Fair sightings on any given day, but only in the last few years have I bothered with the alleyway that separates the square block of restaurants and bars on the beer gardens block and the sheep building.  While the alleyway has delivered a couple of modest sightings in years past, it exploded yesterday with three great sightings that played out simultaneously.  As I ventured onto that block, I noticed Sighting #20 right away, a dark blond early 20s girl in the company of a guy, both in costume probably for some dance show they put on inside one of the bars.  The girl’s costume had a fully exposed midriff and a solid 10 inches of her bare belly was on full display.  Unfortunately, she was not positioned in a place where I was able to watch from closeby but I was able to see a few nice drags from afar.   But the real action in the alleyway was still yet to come….

I noticed an unattractive 20-something brunette smoking along a cement ledge on the alley where dozens of people were sitting to rest across the entire block.  But standing next to her was a wholesome-looking blond with a ponytail and a headband….and she was smoking too!  My first impression judging from her face, body type, and presentation was that my Sighting #21 girl was about 16, but a closer look and the fact that she had a stroller with a one-year-old inside confirmed to me she was probably at least 20.  Still, what a profile with the girl’s pretty and wholesome face combined with her Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-shirt (seriously!) and her dark blue capris sucking on a freshly lit cigarette.  And she was a big-time smoker as well, taking very nice and long drags followed by absolutely tremendous 6-7-second hold times.  The exhales suffered for this as with most smokers who hold the smoke in for a long time, the smoke clung to her lung tissue rather than coming out of her face in force, leaving fairly shallow trickles of smoke to empty out of her mouth and nose in the distant aftermath of her drags.  And she was also a chronic spitter, dropping no fewer than five lugies during the course of her cigarette and always shortly after drags.  I tried to discipline myself to snap fewer photos yesterday given how risky they are but couldn’t resist snapping one of her at a reasonably close distance and in mid-drag.  There were two other young boys in close proximity that seemed like they knew the blond smoker even though they didn’t leave with her.  Whatever the case, what an incredible role model she was for them and the baby in the stroller who gets to see mom smoking so unapologetically and constantly spitting while doing so.  These are some young lads well on their way to having a smoking fetish….

And while blondie was smoking and spitting her way through her all-white, I looked to my right to find Sighting #22, another gal taking a smoke break.  And not just any gal, a very hot early 20s brunette who just might have been the biggest babe of the day.  I suspect she was another worker at one of the bar and grills as she was wearing a ball cap that most likely identified the name of her employer on the fairgrounds.  The rest of her outfit was a black tanktop and black leggings that framed a perfect young female body.  Her smoking style was more traditional and less ferocious than the blond spitter, still with very nice drags but with much cloudier exhales.  For a good two minutes, I was standing in the middle of them (I figure they were about 20 yards apart) and literally turning my head back and forth, to the left to watch blondie take a drag and hock up a lugie, and then to the right to see the beautiful brunette standing all by herself and taking a drag while monkeying around on her phone.  After more than four hours of drudgery thus far in the day, it was the first time I felt alive on August 23, 2014.  Unfortunately, the brunette cut her cigarette short, crushing it out and leaving the final third for later, denying me the butt ID, before walking off.  But the blond was still smoking and ended up dropping her cigarette to the pavement and preparing the stroller to head back into the fairgrounds.  Oddly, the young boys who were talking to the blond didn’t go with, but the unattractive brunette with her did tag along, the two women and the baby wheeling into the busy crowd with no indication expect perhaps a residual tobacco stench signifying that such a wholesome young gal had just defiled herself with a cigarette.  I had no problem IDing her all-white discarded butt as a Camel Crush.

I carried this momentum to the designated smoking area by the beer gardens where I ran into Sighting #24, a memorable redneck early 20s blond in a camouflage ball cap and a ponytail wearing a black tanktop, jean shorts, and an odd pair of colorful sneakers that didn’t fit the rest of her profile sitting next to a nonsmoking boyfriend while girly puffed away on her cork filter cigarette.  I was able to sit close enough to tell the markings on her cigarette were that of a Marlboro Red, but of course my observations were helped by the empty pack of Marlboro Reds on the ground near her feet.  The girl wasn’t “beautiful” per se, but she reminded me of a character on a crappy reality TV show I’ve been watching this year.  “Party Down South” is on CMT and is like a redneck version of “Jersey Shore”.  It’s a terrible show but three of the four girls on the show smoke regularly so I watch for that.  My blond looked like the blond version of Maddie from that show, even though Maddie smokes Marlboro Lights!  Anyway, she was a very good smoker, taking long, deep drags and releasing tight, cloudy exhales.  It was already adorable that the boyfriend didn’t smoke, but about halfway through her cigarette it got even more adorable when she laid her stinky head on his shoulder, apparently looking at photos on his camera phone as he rummaged through them while still smoking on her cigarette.  I couldn’t tell from my angle whether she was exhaling straight into his face, but certainly if she was taking drags that close her smoke had to be floating right into his face in some capacity.  She made that cigarette last a long time before crushing it out against the berm she was sitting on and dropping it to the pavement below her feet, right next to the empty pack of Reds and next to another expired Marlboro Red, indicating to me that she had smoked two in a row while sitting there.

The smoking areas on the west and east sides of the grandstand were less productive than usual yesterday, but I nonetheless scored a sighting that completely blew my mind in the east side smoking area.  It seemed like every time I walked up to this area there was nobody under 40 to be seen with a cigarette, but on this approach I could tell from afar that there were three young girls leaning up against a tree.  When I finally got there, I couldn’t believe it when the three girls in question were girls I had seen on a bench near the beer gardens all morning.  One was a mediocre blond and another was a decently cute Asian girl, but the main attraction was a brunette in an orange sweatshirt with the best ass of the day in tight jean shorts…the same girl who had been lying on a bench taking a nap and showing that ass off to the world.  But there were two issues.  When I first got there, the blond was the only one smoking, and she was just barely good enough to qualify as Sighting #29.  But the brunette had a big purse that she was fishing around in, leading me to hope she’d light up too.  When nothing happened, I checked out another area very close by but returned in less than a minute….and as I approached my hot-assed brunette was in the middle of a drag and became Sighting #30.  Sweet!  I settled myself in on a nearby bench to take pictures and enjoy the show, but by the time I was fully settled, she had handed the cigarette back to the blond.  Grrrr!

The second problem is that this brunette had her sunglasses off and I could tell she was considerably older than the 16 I had pegged her for when I first saw her.  She was probably 22 or 23 and looked a lot like a heavy smoker girl I dated last year named Emilie.  Now that’s not a bad thing as Emilie was attractive and so was this girl, but it was amazing how she lost her innocence simply by taking off her sunglasses and burying that perfect ass in the dirt with friends on both sides of her so I couldn’t see it.  Still, it was hot seeing those bare legs of hers on full display.  The blond regrettably smoked the majority of the cigarette, but on two more occasions she handed it to the brunette who took back-to-back drags both times, neither being particularly memorable but it was still hot as hell seeing this girl with a cigarette.  The last time she took her final two drags, I couldn’t see how there was anything left of the cigarette as she must have smoked it right down to the filter.  My brunette went out with a further bang when she took those badass sunglasses out of her purse and put them on before all three girls stood up.  I got a close-up rear view advertising that sensational ass of hers in those short jean shorts as the three of them walked into the grandstand, and adorably, the semi-muddy spot where she parked that ass left some residual imperfections on her other perfect backside, which actually managed to enhance the sex appeal for me.  I then checked out the area where they sat and found no fewer than four cork filter cigarette butts with identical markings and all smoked down to the filter with just a flick of ash hanging on.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that the girls sat there and smoked four consecutive cigarettes (or perhaps they each smoked one before sharing another).  Had I been there to witness that it would have been a much more spectacular sighting, but I ended up mildly disappointed that I got to see so little actual smoking from a girl who was well-positioned to be a Minnesota State Fair legend.  I wouldn’t see her again yesterday after that.

The early afternoon hours continued to plod along from there but when I went back to the same beer gardens area designated smoking area where I had scored quality material before, I came across a girl that brought a smile to my face in Sighting #33, a very wholesome-looking mid-20s brunette with a classic girl-next-door presentation in a turquoise tanktop and jean shorts with flip-flops below her smooth legs.  To her left was the giant overflowing ashtray in the designated smoking area and to her right was a boyfriend who was about to go into the bathroom but leaned down to kiss her on the lips and taste her ashtray mouth first.  Now the boyfriend wasn’t smoking at any point when I saw him, but since the girlfriend was on the final three drags of her own cigarette it’s entirely possible that he finished his before I got there.  Either way, it was hot, and I also liked being able to stand there and watch her final two drags, capturing one on my camera phone.  Unfortunately, the aforementioned overflowing ashtray in the designated smoking area worked to my disadvantage as she crushed out the cigarette into that along with hundreds of others, concealing the evidence of her brand.  I nonetheless stuck around and waited for the boyfriend to come out of the bathroom in case there might be an encore.  When he returned, he wisely treated this cutie to another mild display of public affection, but they quickly left without smoking again.

One of my weirder sightings of the day came about 15 minutes later as I was leaving the smoking area west of the grandstand.  A short girl with blue and purple hair was smoking a cigarette next to her boyfriend as they walked.  Now ordinarily weird hair colors like this are a turnoff for me, but my Sighting #39 girl was pretty cute and looked younger than I first imagined when I saw her face.  She might have been 18 but possibly even younger, wearing a white blouse with fringes barely covering her midriff, and a pair of black shorts below.  I was able to see a couple of drags and she wasn’t bad, but the sighting lost me when she handed the cigarette to the boyfriend who proceeded to finish it off.

Moments later I was venturing westward and saw a young girl with a cigarette approaching me.  Sighting #41 was a pretty modest and otherwise unmemorable plain jane light brunette, but looked only about 18 or 19 with a nice figure draped in a tanktop and jean shorts, and given how few girls under 21 I was seeing smoking yesterday, she was a sight for sore eyes, particularly since she was smoking publicly and walking through forbidden territory to do so with a cigarette in hand.  The big bummer of this sighting was that her friend didn’t smoke.  Now the friend wasn’t drop-dead gorgeous or anything, but she was a dark blond with a long braid and a very wholesome face and would have been absolutely adorable to see with a cigarette.  I kept hoping the smoker would hand the friend the cigarette before it was finished but she kept it to herself taking nicely timed drags with impressive exhales.  She dropped the all-white to the ground and I had no problem IDing it as a Camel Light.

There’s a very remote smoking area on the east side of the grounds that is surrounded by bushes and generally had very few people hovering about over the course of the day.  But when I passed by mid-afternoon and spotted a duo of nicely dressed younger girls sitting on a back bench in the area, I migrated back there to see what was up.  Doing so, I stumbled upon Sighting #46, one of the unlikeliest smokers of the day.  She was a moderately attractive, long-haired light brunette wearing a flower-print dress sitting next to a nonsmoking friend.  Perhaps it was mostly the dress but this did not look like the face of an addicted smoker in 2014, yet there she sat holding her cigarette about six inches above her dress in a rather amateurish pose.  Unfortunately when I say she “sat there holding her cigarette”, that’s about all she did with it as she was an incredibly slow smoker which made life challenging for me as theirs was the only bench back there so I was standing in the general area hovering like a nut and standing out like a sore thumb while waiting for her to finally approach that cigarette to her mouth.  She finally did and it was a modest delivery for such a long wait.  Both of the girls had beers so it’s entirely possible she was just a social smoker, but listening from afar I heard her talking about “classes” confirming my suspicion that she was a college-aged girl, my guess about 21 or 22.  I would have loved to have seen more from this one but given my positioning I had to retreat after seeing only her second drag….and even that took about five minutes of my day!

I had so many edge-of-glory moments yesterday where I was on the cusp of potential greatness but came up short because of bad timing.  Sighting #48 was a classic example as I approached the east side of the grandstand and saw a 20-something couple where the guy wasn’t smoking but his perky blond girlfriend was.  She was a tiger too with a memorably pretty face and an even more memorable outfit of a maroon top and hot pink capris.  Unfortunately, the sighting lasted all of one drag before she knelt down and crushed the cigarette out on the ground despite there being at least three drags left, and then tossing the butt in the garbage and denying me the butt ID.  The girl was hyperactive and appeared full of life, giddily moving along with the boyfriend back towards the grandstand after losing the cigarette.  Sadly, about 30 seconds was all I was gonna get of this one from beginning to end.

But I made up for that last one with a very savvy and timely observation that helped me avoid missing one of my top-five sightings of the day as I came close to doing.  As I was heading to the northwest corner of the grounds to the new Heritage Center area just renovated this past year, I was crossing paths with two couples that included an early 20s blond in a black tanktop and white shorts with what looked like a lighter cupped in her right hand.  I took a second look upon passing and felt certain that it was indeed a lighter, leading me to do a 18o-degree pivot and follow them.  Now I’m a sucker for white shorts and I’m sure that’s what drew my eyes to that blond as I approached her, but as I turned around I noticed that the other girl in the foursome already had a cork filter cigarette going.  Sighting #49 was an attractive 22ish light brunette in a blue blouse and jean shorts with smooth legs coming out from underneath.  I didn’t have to wait long until she took a drag and I was in heaven to be following a scofflaw smoker girl in a smoking-forbidden part of the grounds.  But just as I was getting settled in for her show, the blond cupping the lighter sprung my eyes back her way as she inserted an all-white cigarette between her lips and let it dangle for a few seconds while approaching her lighter to it.  I got an uncharacteristically perfect snapshot of Sighting #50 up close with the cigarette dangling from her lips, along with a guy approaching her giving her the evil eye for smoking a cigarette where she wasn’t supposed to.  I just get the feeling that neither blondie nor her friend much cared about his opinion or anybody else’s though….

Now both girls were about even in attractiveness, with neither being bombshells but both being above-average for attractiveness among modern smoking coeds.  But based on presentation and smoking style, the blond won the round as far as I’m concerned, looking spectacular working those tight white shorts.  She also took longer drags and produced much cloudier exhales than the friend, and no doubt a number of people who hate cigarette smoke were forced to wade through her smelly steam blasts in this very busy part of the grounds.  I followed from the side, admiring both girls and capturing them both in mid-drag on a couple of occasions, adorably walking next to their nonsmoking boyfriends who are clearly both ready, willing, and able to endure these ashtray-mouthed young females up close and personally.  A weird pivot took place as they got about halfway towards the grandstand, and the foursome turned around and headed the other direction.  I continued to follow when, unsurprisingly, the harder-smoking blond in the white shorts finished her cigarette first, dropping the all-white to the pavement which I easily identified as a Marlboro Light.  I then found myself walking behind the light brunette who was still smoking, and at one point she turned around and made eye contact with me.  I feared I had been busted but she didn’t say anything and pressed forward finishing off her cigarette while weaving through the large crowd.  About a minute after the blond finished off hers, the light brunette littered hers on the pavement as well.  I could tell by the markings while she was smoking that it was a Camel Menthol and confirmed that after she dropped it.  It was such a relief to score my first sighting of the day that will definitively make my year-end favorite’s list.

Heading west around the beer gardens block and down Judson Avenue, I was picking up sightings more regularly, but unfortunately with way too many unmemorable third-tier gals making up the majority of them.  But the girl who would be Sighting #57 was anything but unmemorable or third-tier as I spotted her sitting on a curb across the street from the International Bazaar next to her boyfriend and wielding a cigarette.  I sat a couple of yards to their left and positioned myself for what I figured had the potential to be one of my best sightings of the day, admiring this very pretty 20-21ish blond whose hair was up in a ponytail over her headband and who was wearing a white tanktop and pale blue jean shorts that were so short that some of her bare upper leg was touching the cement on the curb, one of my favorite profiles for a hot girl.  I snapped a photo and settled in for the show, dismayed at how short it would be as I only got to see two drags before the remainder of the two-thirds smoked cigarette was then handed to her boyfriend.  Gahhh….why were so many potentially great sightings being sabotaged for me yesterday!??!  A few seconds later, another couple approached them from the Bazaar where they both bought beer, leading me to believe my smoker couple was not old enough to buy beer yet.  Whatever the case, they got up shortly after and the boyfriend disposed of the cigarette someplace I didn’t even see, and it broke my heart watching this petite cutie with such a nice ass walking away only having taken two drags in front of me.  Definitely another sighting that didn’t live up to its tremendous potential.

Fortunately, I’d make up for it moments later with a much better timed sighting that would go on to be my second-best sighting of the day.  Remember how I talked about that fairly desolate and heavily shrubbed  smoking area on the east side of the grounds where I scored a decent earlier sighting?  Well it delivered again the next time I walked past there and saw this beautiful dark brunette seated on a bench next to a building all by herself smoking a cigarette.  My Sighting #61 girl was a knockout, a classic beauty with shoulder-length dark brown hair who didn’t look at all like a smoker.  Venturing a guess, I’d say she was 21 give or take a year.  I only had one problem with watching this sighting play out but it was a fairly serious one.  The bench she was seated on resembled a patio attached to a building and there was a landscaping fence surrounding her.  If I went inside the “patio” I’d really be encroaching upon her space, especially since she was the only one in there.  But by standing outside looking in I was also awkwardly positioned and unable to get close enough to take a decent photo or watch her entire body at work while she smoked.  I stayed outside and leered in, not without being noticed of course, but it was entirely worth it for the show I was about to get….

As beautiful as this girl was, she was even more beautiful with a cigarette in her mouth, and for the next five minutes she cooperated beautifully with fierce and well-timed drags followed by monstrously cloudy exhales that filled the sky around her with a stinky haze.  Everything about her presentation was the epitome of feminine until she shook it up–twice–with something I didn’t see coming.  She leaned to her right and let a big juicy lugie drip from her mouth once in the middle of her cigarette and once toward the end.  Between the lighting and the awkward positioning, I only managed a distant, mediocre photo that failed to capture her uber-feminine essence, meaning I went out of my way to savor the live version, watching drag after delicious drag followed by those steamy exhales.  I was hoping for a butt ID but had a bad feeling, and the bad feeling was vindicated as she leaned down and crushed out the cigarette on the pavement, and then proceeded to insert the butt into an empty black pack.  I always thought it was a little odd that this girl was all by herself and figured she must work inside the building that she was sitting just outside, and as she headed towards the side entrance I figured my instinct must be right, but she was just dropping the empty pack of cigarettes into the trash can right by the entrance.  Nonetheless, my other observation of how odd it was for this beauty to be at the fair by herself was about to be vindicated….

In the biggest surprise turn of any sighting in quite awhile, the smoker then proceeded three benches down and met up with two nonsmoking gals sitting there that I figured must be her mother and younger sister, who are apparently too embarrassed to be seen publicly with their flesh and blood, no matter how beautiful she is, when she’s doing her stinky smoking and spitting routine.  I was so turned on that a girl this gorgeous was being ostracized by her family for her vulgar smoking behavior, and only now that she was done with it were they willing to be seen with her.  I just couldn’t get a decent photo to save my life and finally had to quit trying because she was wise to me having seen me lingering the whole time she smoked.  I still enjoyed seeing her interact with the family though and to see her standing up, finally allowing me to see what she was wearing, an oddball combination of a grandmotherly white shawl covering some sort of tanktop and a pair of cutoffs below.  Seeing her from behind was especially odd because the shawl covered almost her entire ass except for the frayed fabric of the cutoffs exposed below.  As the family pressed forward I took a peek inside that trash can and confirmed my suspicion from the black pack that the empty pack she threw away was Camel Crush Bold.  After confirming that, I briefly followed them to the International Bazaar, hoping that just maybe I could score a frontal photo, but ultimately balked having recognized how close to the sun I had already been flying with her.  This sighting would have been one of my best of the day even without the revelation at the end that she was persona non gratta with her family while she was smoking, but the hotness level went off the charts when the sighting played out that way and I felt like I finally had some real momentum going.

There was never a single point in the day where I felt a blistering tide of momentum but things did go well for awhile in the mid-to-late afternoon.  The next sighting to impress was Sighting #66 on the east side of the grounds which consisted of a group of three girls and a guy, all in their early 20s.  There was only one smoker and it was the Asian girl.  I always report on seeing a disproportionate number of attractive young Asian girls smoking at my fairs and yesterday was no exception with five Asian girls among my sightings.  This girl was the best of the bunch though, and was the prettiest girl in her group decked out in a tanktop and jean shorts.  She didn’t have a strongly ethnic look the way most of the Asian smoker gals I saw yesterday did and perhaps that “accessibility” factor for a Midwestern white guy was what made her stand out the most if that doesn’t sound too racist.  Whatever the case, it was delightful to follow this group for a couple of minutes and enjoy the dynamic where the only smoker in the group felt so at ease puffing away on her all-white with her friends group, and vice versa.

Moments later, the area near that new Heritage Center delivered again.  As I was walking away from that block, I spotted another somewhat exotic-looking dark brunette beauty wielding a cigarette.  Sighting #68 looked to be in her mid-20s and was sporting long dark brown hair cresting over a denim vest with a black and white striped tanktop underneath and a pair of cutoffs covering perfect legs below the waist.  It was another stellar presentation and her beauty was an easy draw for the eyes walking past even without spotting the cigarette.  It wasn’t for a few moments before I realized she was in the company of others that I assumed were family members, including the older couple I figured were probably her parents.  Needless to say, she was the only smoker and I got absolutely giddy as she and her group approached the Heritage area as I figured she was gonna blast right past the designated smoking area out in front of the center and continue illegally smoking her cigarette inside the densely packed area.  Unfortunately, she dropped the half-smoked cigarette to the ground and stepped on it before proceeding inside.  This allowed me to ID the butt as a Camel Crush Bold  but I would have preferred to see her smoke inside the large crowd.  I nonetheless just had to get a pic and she conveniently stepped up to a stand to purchase a food item and as she turned around to rejoin the family, I got my snapshot of the smiling brunette beauty, and I was giddy that her breath still probably reeked of fresh tobacco.

The square block of beer gardens almost always delivers at least a quarter of my Minnesota State Fair sightings every year and this year was no exception.  The best beer gardens smoker at least during the daytime hours was Sighting #75, a gorgeous early-to-mid 20s blond in a gray tanktop and dark jeans standing next to a nonsmoking female friend and talking to a couple of dudes standing across from them, my blond being the only smoker of the four.  Hers was the face you hope to see smoking a cigarette in the beer gardens area, beautiful and confident and glowing with good times, completely secure with the cigarette between her fingers.  This confidence made her a pleasure to watch smoke as well, her cheeks partially collapsing from her fierce drags and generously cloudy exhales pointed skyward after those well-timed drags.  I got a nice snapshot of her in mid-drag that really conveys the extent to which she was pulling that smoke into her body with all the might her facial muscles could muster.  But a little over halfway into the cigarette, she surprised me when she and the friend cordially said “Bye guys” to the dudes they were chatting with. I had been under the impression that they were boyfriends or at least part of the same social group but now was wondering if they were simply random studs flirting with the hot blond smoker until she had her fill with them.  Whatever the case, blondie crossed the street with the friend with cigarette in hand through the dense crowd and further into smoking-prohibited terrain, dragging copiously and exhaling skyward as she went.  She stopped a few yards in front of a stand and finished off the cigarette, dropping it to the pavement and allowing me an easy ID of her discarded pollution and not being at all surprised to see it was a Marlboro Light since I could see it was an all-white as she smoked it.  As a bonus, I’d see this girl and her friend again only about a half hour later outside the grandstand, and blondie was lighting up another Marlboro Light in another smoking-prohibited area next to a tree.  I could only watch this one briefly but was once again very impressed with her show.

The smoking area by the Coliseum near the south side gate didn’t seem to be delivering much quality material yesterday but at some point during the 5 p.m. hour the area delivered two extra base hits back to back.  I had ventured to the far south side of the building to see if any smokers were hiding there and while there weren’t on the first pass, I turned around to head back north and found a couple approaching where both guy and girl were in possession of cigarettes.  And the girl who would be Sighting #79 had easily the most memorable presentation of the day, looking like a caricature of a human Barbie doll.  Her blond hair flowed over her shoulder and her face was a unique kind of beautiful.  She wore a pink bare-midriff top and on the bottom had a short black and white plaid skirt that looked like a “naughty schoolgirl” outfit you’d expect to see a girl wearing on Halloween.  And the naughty schoolgirl vibe was certainly helped by the half-smoked cigarette in her hand.  I followed the couple as it became clear they were heading for the exit gate.  I saw a couple of drags from her as she progressed and they were both pretty nice, and I felt  confident that she’d lose the cigarette before she got to the gate and allow me to ID her butt.  Neither she nor the boyfriend did but that ended up being even hotter and they were both getting stamped on the arm, planning to re-enter the fairgrounds later and of course forcing the middle-aged gal stamping them to be exposed to their secondhand smoke while they did.  The couple walked out the gate and disappeared into the crowd, and I was a little disappointed that I missed a great show.  Interestingly though, this one would have an encore.

But back to the south side of the Coliseum, I had already tried and failed at my first attempt to leave the area and explore elsewhere and I was about to try and fail again.  This time, as I headed northward I spotted two pretty young 18-19-year-old girls holding unlit cigarettes approach the back wall of the Coliseum to smoke their cigarettes in as isolated of a location as possible and become my third-best sighting of the day.  The girls wasted no time resting against the Coliseum wall when the brunette in the tie-dye T-shirt and short jean shorts got out her lighter and flicked her cigarette to life, becoming Sighting #80.  The dark blond in the black tanktop and white shorts next to her, who already had her greedy hand sticking out, wasted no time taking the lighter and flicking her own cigarette to life to become Sighting #81.  While neither girl would be “the hottest girl on campus” per se, they were both sexpots in their own way, pretty girl-next-door types who you’d never expect to smoke this day and age in the brutally inhospitable smoking climate of Minnesota.  The relatively small numbers of young smoker girls I saw yesterday made these all the more scrumptious and I wasted no time snapping pics.  After taking two pics that included both girls in the process of lighting up, however, I got a message that my photo album had reached its capacity and I’d have to delete existing photos to take additional ones.  This was my cue to simply cross the street and take a bench overlooking them to enjoy the show, and what a show it was….

The girls were fast-paced and accomplished smokers, both hitting their nicotine targets copiously and feeding their fresh young bodies with cancerous tobacco and tar.  The brunette was a slightly better smoker, producing cloudier exhales that burst out of her mouth and exploded like fireworks in front of her face.  But the blond had more IT factor, smoking almost as nicely but winning me over with her more perfectly slender figure and her skimpy white shorts, which for me will always be a tiebreaker in favor of the white shorts wearer.  Less than a minute into the sighting, a young mother added some color to the sighting by wheeling her baby by in a stroller.  I was now across the street and couldn’t see how little the baby was, but the smoker girls went into full internal clock-ticking mode, oohing and aahing over the baby, with the mother making brief small talk with the foul-smelling teen girls as she walked past them, exposing her baby to the immediate presence of the girls’ carcinogenic exhales.  After that sideshow passed, the girls kept smoking at a refreshingly fast pace, a haze of smoke hovering in front of both of their faces, especially the brunette’s whose exhales were heavier in general.  I would have loved to have been sitting in front of them with my face right in the middle of that haze, but doing so would have prevented me from experiencing the upside of my long-distance view, which also produced something very special….

The proliferation of really short shorts has been one of the best developments of humankind in the last decade or so, and rarely was that more obvious than with these girls, who were both leaning up against the wall with their legs bent at the knee to form an upside-down V.  From my vantage point, this positioning combined with the microscopic nature of their shorts gave me a perfect view of their calves right up to their ass dimples, and their well-toned teenage flesh couldn’t have looked more perfect.  With both the brunette’s jean shorts and the blond’s white shorts, it felt like I was mere centimeters from a peep show of their girly parts, which was extremely exhilarating.  The girls wrapped up their cigarettes in less than five minutes, scaring me as they stubbed them out against the cement and proceeded towards the garbage can to dispose of them.  I watched their perfect asses drift away but crossed the street to check out that trash can in hopes of butt identification (other type of butts!).  I had thought I saw blond filters on the girls’ cigarettes as they approached, and sure enough right on top of the trash were two Camel Turkish Royal cigarette butts, albeit with slightly different coloring on the butts indicating there are different variations on the Turkish Royals and each girl smoked a different type.  I sped up my walking pace in hopes of catching up with them but they were a little too fast and I lost them, breaking my heart.  It was a little worrying how few girls their age were smoking yesterday, and it made me nervous that Minnesota’s high cigarette prices were having an effect in slashing smoker rates among this demographic, particularly wholesome-appearing girls like these.  I got cocky at last year’s Minnesota State Fair when I saw a lot of under-21 girls smoking, convincing myself the price increase wasn’t dramatically impacting youth smoking rates, but this year’s anecdotal evidence suggested there was some impact.  Still, it’s refreshing to see girls like these two keeping the tobacco tradition relevant.

I was finally able to leave the Coliseum area and began encircling the fairgrounds’ sighting hotspots during the primetime hours between 6 p.m. and sunset when sightings numbers tend to spike.  That happened once again, albeit producing mostly single-base hits and nothing of the caliber of what I just saw from the teens in the short shorts.  It would be about 6:45 before my next great find across the street from the beer gardens at a designated smoking area that moved from where it was last year.  I only discovered it there for the first time when I spotted Sighting #97, an early-to-mid 20s light brunette with a killer body in a navy blouse and pale blue jean shorts that exquisitely framed her lower body assets.  She looked like a smoker too, and thus didn’t look at all out of place standing right in front of an overflowing ashtray spewing filth of her own, with nicely timed drags and cloudy exhales.  I stood there enjoying the show and in a couple of minutes, two friends showed up and joined the party, and while this was playing out, I watched a mediocre Sighting #98 walk by who was unconnected to the existing smoker girl and her friend.  Another big distraction played out to my right as a mother pushing a stroller got into a screaming match with an older lady on a motorized scooter.  Myself and the smoker girls were looking that direction taken aback by how heated things got, but when it cooled down, the main event continued and the smoker girl put down her beer on the ridge of the ashtray and extracted the pack of cigarettes from her purse to pass to the friend, and I still managed to not see the brand even though I was standing right there.  Before I knew it, the cuter of the two friends with her, a wholesome slender brunette in a black top and skimpy camouflage-print shorts lit up her own cigarette to become Sighting #99.  No sooner did she get hers lit before the third friend, another attractive brunette in a white summer dress, took the cigarette for the single drag she’d get and became Sighting #100 before handing it back to #99.  Now the best smoker of the trio continued to be the original girl, who sadly was almost finished with her cigarette, and I was kicking myself for missing that pack she took out of her purse as she crushed out her cigarette into the overflowing ashtray she was standing in front of and denied me the butt ID.  The friend was a slower smoker with a less accomplished style but was still looking damn fine with that cigarette smoldering next to her tight lower body draped in those camouflage shorts.  I got a photo of the girls in front of the ashtray but with the 7:00 meeting time with the folks looming, couldn’t stick around to see her finish her cigarette.  I’d get minor restitution about 45 minutes later though when I saw the two main smoker girls hovering near the grandstand, this time minus their cigarettes but still decked out in their skimpy outfits, and snapped a more direct frontal photo of them.

I had about five minutes to get from where I was to the information booth where the folks were waiting for me to meet up at 7 p.m., which is kind of a nice built-in period of rest in some ways but which at some point is gonna cut short an incredible sighting.  Thankfully, that didn’t happen yesterday as I zipped past nine mediocre sightings while walking towards them in that prime sightings period, none of whom I felt like kicking myself for walking past in a hurry.  This left me with 109 sightings at 7 p.m., just barely short of the 110-125 baseline I usually set for 7:00.  After about 15 minutes sitting there chatting with the folks with my eyes wandering every which way looking for smokers and stealthly deleting some older photos on my camera phone to increase my capacity since I reached my limit, I stepped away agreeing once again to meet at 10:30 to leave, which is a good hour before I’d prefer to leave and probably keeps me from scoring at least 25 additional sightings each year.  I keep saying that some day I’ll go up there on my own and fetish on my own schedule, but it doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen this year, next week included.

At around 7:20, I was bouncing around from one smoking area to another again and scored my only truly memorable sighting of the day at the usually prolific area to the west of the grandstand.  Seated up the small flight of cement steps against a railing was Sighting #112, a wholesome 21-22ish dark blond in a blue blouse and brown shorts seated there smoking a cork filter, her bare legs stretched out in front of her and looking pretty vulnerable.  There were only two drags left on the cigarette by the time I got there and I was bummed to see her crushing the cigarette out on the pavement so quickly after my arrival, but pleased that she left it sit there so I could get a butt ID when she left.  It was an open question how long that would be, however, as she got on her phone at that point to tell whoever was on the other end where she was, and I figured it could be several minutes until they arrived to meet her.  Instead, a presumably nonsmoking boyfriend who was seated only a few yards away but down the nearby steps stood up and approached her, apparently not willing to sit by her when she was stinking up her surroundings with cigarette smoke.  Now this girl was by no means gorgeous but really defined girl-next-door and in no way looked like a cigarette smoker, so it was cute to see her with this guy that apparently couldn’t tolerate her smoking habit in such close proximity.  The couple left the spot in moments and I swooped in to ID her butt as a cork filter Camel.  I had marked exactly where she left her discarded butt and noticed a similarly disposed of Camel butt right next to it, indicating that she smoked two in a row while sitting there and leaving her pollution behind for others to deal with.

I somehow forgot to make a mental note of Sighting #118 when it came about as whoever the girl was would be my 3,000th Minnesota State Fair sighting dating back to 1993.  So many of the “single-base hit” girls become a blur with so many sightings in one day that I can’t for the life of me remember which girl was #118, but it was right around this time that I stumbled into a promised encore from a girl I saw earlier in the day, albeit a brief encore.  There are four water fountains in front of the information area where I met the parents about 45 minutes earlier and I often take a good drink when walking past.  I looked up from the fountains and saw a hot blond illegally smoking a cigarette right near where my parents had recently been.  I hustled on up there to identify the living Barbie in the black-and-white plaid schoolgirl skirt seated there puffing on the final throes of her cork filter.  Dusk was approaching so my otherwise perfectly positioned photo ended up blurry, but it was a hoot seeing her finish off the final drag from her cork filter cigarette before the now-shirtless stud who was her boyfriend approached from behind and beckoned her.  She dropped the cigarette to the ground without crushing it out and followed him out of the area.  A group of three teenage boys sitting nearby watched her walk away and were chattering amongst themselves after seeing her in that outfit.  My priority was identifying her discarded cigarette butt, which was a Marlboro Red.

There are 18 or 19 designated smoking areas on the fairgrounds and after much hype last year when they were introduced, elicited virtually no follow-up discussion this year.  This led to a mix of more ignorance and more civil disobedience about the smoking areas, and in general they had fewer young ladies even compared to last year.  With that said, most of the primary designated smoking areas delivered in some way at least once during the day, but it took until dusk for the smoking area to the northwest of the food building to finally come through.  On my first pass, I noticed a cluster of early 20-somethings with a few hot girls and where one of the guys was smoking and made a mental note of them for when I passed them again while leaving the area.  I’d be delayed from that goal for a bit, however, as there was a hot mid-20s dark blond on a bench smoking with her boyfriend who I needed to see more from.  Like so many of yesterday’s girls, Sighting #122 had a conservative presentation in a white top and dark jeans but was the center of attention where it counted with her smoking style.  There was an opening on the bench but unfortunately it was to the right of the boyfriend, with blondie on his left obstructed by the dude.  I’ve been in this unfortunate position during a couple of other classic sightings over the years and still managed to see some good stuff and this would be no exception as I caught three of her intense and sometimes cheek-hollowing drags followed by cloudy exhales that followed.  I wasn’t in a position to watch for long but it was a pleasure when I did and I was jealous of the boyfriend who got to take this stinky nicotine hottie home.

I hadn’t forgotten about the group on the north end of this long and narrow smoking area as I headed back that direction and it didn’t take long to identify that one of the aforementioned cute girls was now smoking, ironically having lit up just before the group left the smoking area.  Sighting #123 was a curly-haired blond with a big bust covered in a black tanktop and with high-waisted medium blue jean shorts below.  Honestly I could do without these high-waisted shorts and pants that are back en vogue but most girls manage to look good in them, especially when they’re attractive mid-20s blonds with cigarettes in hand.  I can’t say I ever really expected “big things” from this girl for whatever reason, but was taken aback when I saw her first drag and especially the massive volume of smoke that poured out of her mouth when she exhaled.  I kept close eye as she proceeded westward down Dan Patch Avenue, the only person in the group who was smoking, and discovered that first drag wasn’t a fluke.  After every intense drag, she opened her mouth and just let creamy balls of smoke flow out in a way I only see once in a while.  It makes me wonder why so many girls develop so many different tics with their smoking styles, and how some of them develop thinner exhales as their habit develops while others develop thicker ones.  Really nice to see different girls’ habits progress differently and I got a kick out of watching blondie make quick work of her cigarette and toss it to the sidewalk in a few short minutes having very rapidly exhausted it of its contents.  The butt was a Marlboro Light, a brand far more popular in Minnesota than it was the past two weeks in Iowa.   It was too late to get a good photo but I still managed a blurry one before venturing elsewhere.

The musical entertainment in the grandstand was approaching and last night’s performer was Kid Rock, who seems to be a curse for me at the Minnesota State Fair.  I mentioned how this was probably my weakest day at the MNSF since 2009….and guess who the grandstand performer was on August 29, 2009???  Anyway, it seemed as though most concertgoers were settling in for the show poised to start in the near future, but there were some lingering smokers getting their last nicotine fix before the show east of the grandstand.  The cutest was Sighting #125, a petite mid-to-late-20s blond in (what else!) a conservative white blouse and jeans sitting next to her boyfriend/husband where both were smoking cigarettes.  I hovered by another group of more mediocre young women smokers and watched from afar at blondie, who had very soft features and looked way too wholesome to smoke.  Her drags and exhales were decent but nothing to write home about, and unfortunately her smoking pace declined as she approached the end of the cigarette, and the boyfriend finished his a couple of minutes before she finished hers.  She disappointed me a little when she handed the cigarette to the boyfriend, although what happened next was cute as they stood up to head towards the concert and he approached the cigarette in the general direction of her mouth and she crouched down a bit to wrap her lips around it and take a final drag before he took the drag that finished the cigarette off and dropped it to the pavement and crushed it out.  I identified the butt as a Marlboro No. 27 but must admit blondie let me down a little as adorable of a smoker as she was.  This sighting was kind of the inverse of my classic MNSF #10 sighting from 2010, where a blond babe was binging on nicotine with her less addicted boyfriend before heading into the Hinder concert, sucking down 2 1/2 cigarettes in about five minutes and swiping the final half cigarette from the boyfriend’s hand before going in.

It was now after dark which meant I spent more time around the beer gardens block where sightings become increasingly prolific.  There are always random 20-something smoker gals hovering just outside the beer gardens puffing away, but frankly the majority of them are pretty forgettable in the context of the 150+ sightings I score on the average Minnesota State Fair day.  One that stood out a little more last night was Sighting #136, a mid-20s blond in a gray tanktop and jean shorts in a group of four where she was the only smoker, having taken an impressive drag and exhale from her first cigarette that I saw from the corner of my eye.  She had a memorable face and it became animated when she talked, meaning she was pretty fun to observe and definitely the life of the party amongst her friends group who was laughing along with her.  But the fun stopped for me after about two minutes waiting for her to get back to her cigarette as her mouth kept running but was not placing the smoldering all-white cigarette between her fingers into it.  When she finally got around to taking another drag, it was nice and I had no illusions she was just a social smoker, but after she made me wait another 60 seconds or more for her next drag after that, I decided I didn’t have the rest of the night to observe just her and moved on.

I wouldn’t get far, however, as I progressed south to a row of benches against the wall of the bathroom across the street from the beer gardens.  Sitting there were two early 20s babes that included Sighting #137, a hot long-haired brunette in a black tanktop and jean shorts who was smoking a cigarette.  Hers was one of the prettier faces I saw with a cigarette in it near the beer gardens area and she was a decent smoker too, dragging while sitting there and illegally filling up the crowded lineup of benches with the filthy smoke that had been inside her lungs.  After less than a minute, she and her blond friend got up and moved towards the bathroom entrance and re-enacted a fun incident from last year.  The two girls stood almost directly in front of the entrance to the men’s bathroom and the brunette continued smoking her cigarette.  I got even giddier when the blond friend in a white top and white shorts took possession of the cigarette and enjoyed a couple drags of her own to become Sighting #138 and make this a 2-for-1.  The blond was about on par with the brunette beauty-wise and both were solid 8s on the 1-10 beauty spectrum.  The brunette got the cigarette back for the final couple of drags and tossed it to the pavement before heading into the bathroom (and it was the women’s bathroom they went inside just for the record!), allowing me to ID their butt as a Marlboro Light.

From there, I had every intention of going a different direction but something was pulling me to head back north where I came from, and am I ever glad I did because doing so led me to my best sighting of the day by far.  On the curb just north of the beer gardens, I spotted a fast-moving trio exiting the area minus any adult beverages but two of them holding unlit cigarettes in their hands.  The eclectic trio included some hipster-looking mid-20s guy, an early 20s brunette girl, and the girl who locked in my attention and kept it for the next several minutes, a petite, fresh-faced mid-teen blond in a flower-print tanktop and dark jean shorts who was only about 5’2″.  When I saw the face of the girl who was about to become Sighting #141, my heart briefly stopped because it was just so innocent and the rest of her presentation matched that innocence.  But based on her company it took awhile before I allowed myself to accept that she was only about 15 years old.  As rare as it’s become to see mid-teen smokers, I always come up with reasons to talk myself out of believing they’re as young as they look just as I did with last week’s Iowa State Fair girl, and I kept telling myself she had to have just been a young-looking late teen.  My early skepticism about her youth notwithstanding, I was still preparing myself for a fantastic sighting as I watched the guy light up his cigarette and made sure I positioned myself parallel to girly so I could see her light-up when he handed her his lighter.  When she did, I finally began to accept that she was about the age that I instinctively suspected as she placed that unlit cork filter between her lips and fired up, briefly struggling to work the lighter before bringing that cigarette to life in a way that just screamed 9th grade girl.  Interestingly though, that light-up would be the only part of her smoking routine that resembled the work of a 15-year-old girl….

I had to work hard to keep up with this trio as they hustled their way down an oddball, out-of-the-way path to get from the beer gardens to their midway destination, and I hauled ass through the crowd attempting not to miss a thing or God forbid lose them.  And whatever midway rides they were about to go on couldn’t hold a candle to the ride I went on watching this little girl’s smoking performance.  She must have set a goal before she arrived to exhale cigarette smoke into the faces of very fairgoer on the grounds as it seemed impossible for it to be a mere coincidence if she hadn’t.  Her drags were impossibly accomplished for a girl so young, frequently done in the form of brief no-handlebars dangling drags, and her exhales were very impressive combination nose-and-mouth missiles that repeatedly nailed their targets, assuming the targets were innocent bystanders of all ages who kept getting nailed in the face by this adorable cutie’s air pollution.  The only downside was that with everybody else getting whacked by her exhales, I wasn’t getting the opportunity to get splashed in the face with as many of her stink bombs as I’d hoped.  It continued to be a challenge keeping up with this trio as they weaved through huge crowds of mostly teenagers at the edge of the midway, with my girl never amending her aggressive and criminal smoking behavior a bit even in the densest of crowds.  At one point she even walked right past a fairgrounds cop with cigarette in hand and didn’t bat an eyelash….

Now I appreciated the fast pace of this sighting for what it was but as the trio got into the midway, I was rewarded with a needed respite as they got into the ticket line and I had a conveniently located bench to enjoy a front-row seat for the second half of her cigarette.  It was such a treat to watch this sweet-looking young thing smoke her cigarette while standing in this line, especially in the company of the guy and the nonsmoking brunette.  Was she the younger sister of one or both of them?  It was impossible to know but there was zero doubt in my mind as I watched that this girl was younger than the other two by several years.  I had one snapshot left on my camera phone so I had to make it count, and since it was after dark my prospects for a quality photo weren’t great, but I got as close as I could and waited for her to take a drag before snapping that shutter just as her face was partially turned my way.  It’s too blurry to fully appreciate but I couldn’t have possibly done better given the circumstances…

She had about three drags left for me to just sit back and admire at that point, with generous missiles of smoke always flowing from her nose and mouth that repeatedly reassured me she was no rookie.  There’s a teen celebrity, past or present, that she reminds me of but I can’t put a finger on who.  But the past-tense rolodex girl that her gentle mid-teen features immediately brough to mind was the early teen “strawberry blond” (FCF #5) smoking with her family back in 2008, although obviously this girl was a straight blond without any strawberry.  Without a shadow of a doubt, she was my top find of the day and she was approaching the end of her cigarette just as her group was buying tickets, but walked off with it still smoldering after making the purchase, giving me confidence that I’d get a butt ID.  Unfortunately, this would have an unhappy ending as I watched her take her final drag and then squeeze the filter to crush out the cigarette.  As I was bemoaning the prospect of her tossing the butt into a trash can rather than merely littering it, she sped up her walking pace to toss the butt into a dumpster full of garbage bags that some fair worker was hauling in front of her.  Damn…wasn’t gonna identify that one, but for what it’s worth I think I saw Camel markings on it when she lit it up at the origins of the party for my eyes that this sighting was.  I watched her perfect little petite smoker girl body migrate west deeper into the midway as the adrenaline from having scored my best sighting of the day pulsated through my otherwise weary body.

And it’s a damn good thing I stumbled upon her because I was about to go through an extended dry spell with only about an hour and a half left for sightings on the night, hitting nothing but singles and getting the timing wrong on sightings that had the potential to be more.  The best example of the latter was Sighting #147, which included a foursome of two girls and two guys where the only smoker was the very pretty early 20s blond hottie in a white tanktop and black shorts.  Unfortunately, I discovered her just in time to see her take her final drag and drop the smoldering cigarette to the ground without crushing it out, pressing forward with her nonsmoking friends.  Interestingly, her discarded butt was another Camel Turkish Royal, a cigarette I tend to only see girls smoking one week a year…the week I go to the Minnesota State Fair.

The next genuine pleasing moment I’d find came at the smoking area near the beer gardens and bathroom area, which is definitely the place to be after 9 p.m. on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.  Standing in front of the ashtray was a duo of early 20s gals who were both smoking, but only one of whom was good enough to count as a sighting.  Sighting #163 was a pretty mid-20s dark brunette in a green top and black shorts putting on a respectable show for the few drags in which I got to admire only her, but this sighting was about to get more crowded as a young couple approached the smoking area that included a petite blond cutie I had seen in the area earlier that day but missed seeing smoke.  The guy lit himself first and then lit up Sighting #164, his girlfriend whose face was decently pretty but didn’t quite match her sterling presentation in a spaghetti strap pink tanktop and short jean shorts.  I had a feeling she’d be a great smoker and she was with nice long drags and thundercloud exhales.  But the sighting got an extra bit of color when a female duo approached the couple.  One of the gals, a cute mid-20s brunette in a flower-print black dress who seemed like she already had quite a bit to drink approached the boyfriend to ask for a lighter.  He handed the brunette the lighter and she flicked her cigarette to life to become Sighting #165, handing it back to him and saying “Thank you soooo much!” before raising her hand to high-five him while dangling the cigarette.  It was a cute close to her brief encounter before she and the nonsmoking friend walked back to the beer gardens.  I hung around the smoking area a bit longer to enjoy the two lingering smokers (#163 and #164) before drifting off in pursuit of smokier pastures and to boost my numbers with only about a half hour of fetish time remaining.

With time fleeting, I was spending a disproportionate amount of time around the beer gardens block as that’s where you can usually tick off the most sightings this time of the night.  The area lived up to its smoky reputation again last night as I watched an attractive mid-20s brunette in a pink top and jeans approach a food stand with a freshly lit cigarette.  It was only when she got in line that she lit the cigarette and became Sighting #171, and it was hot watching her smoke while standing in line for food.  I was obviously sneaking peeks at her drags and exhales as she smoked but as always needed to avert my attention at times to avoid staring, and when I looked directly behind me to a table just inside the open-air beer gardens, I spotted Sighting #172, a cute mid-20s dark blond sitting on a chair and smoking a cigarette with her feet up on the lap of her nonsmoking boyfriend who was sitting on the next chair, her bare legs on full display.  For a blissful couple of minutes, I turned back and forth watching the brunette in line for a corn dog smoking and then pivoted behind me to see the blond resting her sexy bare legs on her boyfriend’s lap, and couldn’t quite decide which was sexier.  The brunette ultimately broke the tie though when she arrived at the front of the food stand line and ordered a corn dog at the very moment that the blond smoker and her boyfriend got up and left.  I followed the brunette as she walked away with her corn dog and half-smoked cigarette, heading across the street to the bench where she originated and sitting next to her friends.  I was readying myself for a smoking-while-eating sighting but it didn’t go quite as planned as her first priority was finishing that cigarette.  For another two minutes or so, she attended exclusively to her cigarette, holding that corn dog in her right hand and letting it cool.  It was just gonna have to wait because her nicotine fix was more important.  She finally dropped and crushed out the cigarette next to the bench and began eating the corn dog, unfortunately denying me a butt ID since it was so close to her and I knew she wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

I crossed the street back to the beer gardens area and spotted Sighting #173, a very wholesome mid-20s dark blond who I’d bet money was a schoolteacher as she just had that young female elementary teacher look about her.  She was decked out in a green top and jeans with a beer in one hand and a freshly lit all-white in the other, sitting next to a brunette in jean shorts who I also hoped would light up but just kept plugging away at her phone.  Even without the brunette smoking, the dark blond put on a cute enough show as it was pretty obvious she was just a social smoker, hitting that cigarette at an unnaturally fast pace for rapid-fire drags and then emitting very shallow follow-up exhales.  While I certainly favor hard-core regular smokers to mere social smokers, I still think it’s cute when a girl of this pedigree finds it irresistible to have a cigarette with her beer.  I was pleased with her fast pace of smoking as I was running out of time, and she cooperated beautifully by finishing the cigarette in about three minutes and walking away with the friend.  Unsurprisingly, her discarded butt was a Marlboro Light.

I had time for one more pass by the grandstand where Kid Rock was at the tail end of his performance, and then headed through the huddle of teens at the edge of the midway, but before I got there I scored my last find of the night, an early 20s hottie brunette in a white top and beautifully fitting black cutoffs with frayed black denim touching her upper calves.  She was standing in front of a bench wielding a cork filter cigarette while talking to a family that included younger kids.  I had assumed my Sighting #177 girl was part of that family but the way she walked away made me wonder if she just stopped to make small talk with them for whatever reason and expose them to her smoky stench, but before I knew it she was walking away and in the company of a nonsmoking boyfriend.  The crowd of teenagers is always very densely packed and my smoker girl had to squeeze through them and managed to get separated from the boyfriend while doing so.  She was standing inside the midway just outside of the crowd and leering towards the crowd for the boyfriend, dragging from her cigarette as she surveyed the crowd with me lurking at her from the side.  When she spotted him, she dropped the cigarette to the ground earlier than I’d preferred and approached him, leaving a smoldering two-thirds smoked Camel Turkish Royal on the ground, my fourth CTR sighting of the day….and likewise my fourth CTR sighting of the entire year 2014.

It was 10:27 and if I wanted to match last year’s 180 sightings threshold I’d have to get them while making a final pass by the beer gardens en route to the Coliseum where I was heading to meet the folks.  I didn’t figure that would be much of a problem at this hour but I came up completely empty in the final three minutes of walking, meeting the parents and heading into the parking lot still hanging onto some hope of one or two more sightings.  Nothing.  Interestingly though, the traffic cop led my dad into the wrong lane coming out of the parking lot and it resulted in a 15-minute loop around packed blocks of State Fair traffic before we got onto the street we needed to get on.  Sitting in the backseat and surveying the exiting fairgoers, I did manage to see one more sighting, an early 20s blond with her nonsmoking boyfriend walking by in the dark and turning the cherry of her cigarette bright red as she took a drag and became Sighting #178.

It was hardly a day I should complain about as I scored some quality material and one undisputed homerun, but it lacked the overall sizzle of recent Minnesota State Fair trips and showcased some disturbing trends.  Most prominently, those trends include the plunging prevalence of tobacco use by Minnesota girls under 21 along with e-cigarettes not going away and robbing me of at least a dozen decent sightings.  It wasn’t as bad as last year when a couple of what would have been my best sightings of a given day were girls putting giant ugly pieces of plastic into their mouths to ingest their nicotine rather than actual cigarettes.  Still, I have one more day of the Minnesota State Fair yet to come and even if it’s no better than yesterday was, it will still be satisfying to walk away with hundreds of sightings of girls of varying levels of attractiveness publicly smoking in summer attire.  All things considered with the state of smoking in the year 2014, I’m a lucky man to continue to be scoring sightings of this magnitude.



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