2014 Minnesota State Fair, Day 2

I expressed concern last week after Day 1 of the 2014 Minnesota State Fair that my days there each year seem to go pretty much in pairs, so when I had a somewhat below-average day there last week, I feared I’d have another this week.  I wasn’t completely right as yesterday was a couple of ticks better than last week in terms of the sightings patterns and scoring a few more extra-base hit sightings than last week.  Don’t get me wrong….it wasn’t a “great” day compared to some of the legendary days of years past but as moments of sightings euphoria were few and far between, but the pacing was generally better and I scored a few more sightings with fun storylines than last week.   Still, the real action this year was at the Iowa State Fair, a substantial reversal from the previous two years.  Numbers-wise, I underperformed yesterday, scoring 182 sightings.  That’s up only four from last week’s 178-sighting haul, and typically I score sightings in the 200 range on Labor Day weekend (I got 196 last year) when there’s almost always more fairgoers.

A shortage of fairgoers was definitely not the problem this Saturday.  Even though the weather was uncertain to a degree as it almost always is anymore, the forecast predicted it would be the best day of the weekend, and I knew that would mean a suffocating crowd.  I wasn’t wrong, and attendance figures revealed this afternoon showed a crowd of 252,000 yesterday, shattering the previous record of 236,000 from just last year.  Generally speaking, the larger the crowd the better for sightings, but there’s a tipping point where you’re packed in like sardines and aren’t able to see as much territory when you’re walking, and certainly we were at that point by those mid-afternoon hours.  We got there shortly before 9 a.m. again and the sun was already peaking through, which helps for morale, but it was still more clouds than sun until around 4:00.  There have been a few years in the not so distant past where I’ve had a decent sightings haul in the morning hours but it’s been a struggle the last couple of years.  I was there at least an hour before I finally scored…

Sighting #1 took place at the large smoking area by the beer gardens block and the bathroom.  I heard this attractive mid-20s brunette say “designated smoking area” to her boyfriend with a bit of peculiarity in her voice as she looked that direction after coming out of the bathroom.  The boyfriend responded “yeah you can’t smoke anywhere anymore”, and this exchange led me to suspect a very good chance tobacco was about to be smoked.  My instinct proved right as within the next 30 seconds a pack of Camel Lights came out of her purse (I should mention I think the brand I’ve been calling Camel Lights for years now are really Camel Menthol Lights).  Anyway, the girl was slender and attractive, with a ball cap on her head covering her long dark brown hair, and she was wearing a black tanktop and a pair of nice-fitting jeans.  She and the boyfriend were in the company of a middle-aged couple that was probably either his parents or hers, but they were all chatting as the younger couple lit up their cigarettes.  The sighting was a “long single” but after such a long dry spell I was savoring it, snapping a couple of pics and enjoying her every drag and exhale until she finished.

It was at least 20 minutes until my next sighting, but it was also above average, at least managing to give me some high points amidst this otherwise smokeless Saturday morning.  Sighting #2 took place at the smoking area to the northwest of the food building.  A young couple was sitting on a bench next to a middle-aged couple, and it was pretty clear they had just met moments earlier as all four were smoking cigarettes.  The girl was a long-haired blond who looked about 22-23 and was an unusual combination of gawky and sexy sitting there in her flattering pink blouse and black shorts with her legs crossed.  Her features weren’t perfect but there was just something about her that oozed sex appeal.  That sex appeal soared when the cork filter cigarette between her fingers approached her mouth.  She closed her eyes as she drew smoke into her lungs, a look of genuine physical pleasure overcoming her body that coupled with her smiley demeanor really got me excited.  I sat at a convenient vantage point watching the whole sighting play out, her have this mini-orgasm with every drag and staying mostly quiet while the boyfriend was chatting away with the older couple.  I’m pretty sure I heard him mention my hometown, although I didn’t recognize him or the girl if they were from there.  At the end of the cigarette, she leaned down and crushed the cigarette out.  I wanted a butt ID but it didn’t appear likely to happen as they weren’t going anywhere so I had planned to walk away, but as I walked past them I got lucky and saw the green pack of Marlboro Menthols poking out of her purse.  About a half hour later, I saw this couple again by the beer gardens and getting another couple to take a selfie of them, the girl boasting that same sexy figure and the same sunny demeanor….with the same pack of Marlboro Menthols poking out of her purse.

I had a few sightings yesterday that had the weirdest short circuits.  One of them was Sighting #5, which took place along a series of benches leaning against the grandstand.  Sitting on one of them was a young couple, both of whom were smoking.  The bearded guy had some kind of hipster vibe going and it wasn’t a surprise to see him with a cigarette, but the mid-20s brunette girl was a knockout beauty without any alternative leanings at all. her long black hair flowing over her shoulders onto a black tanktop with dark jeans below.  She didn’t look at all like a smoker but there she was puffing on her all-white, and with a baby stroller in front of her no less, indicating she probably smoked while pregnant.  The short circuit came as I prepared to sit down on a bench next to her and watch the show and was caught off-guard by a middle-aged black lady shouting “Don’t sit down there!” in a lighthearted voice.  Turns out the bench was wet and muddy from the previous night’s rain and she had already sat there and gotten a wet butt out of the deal.  I didn’t really care about that for myself, but now found myself distracted while the black lady’s friend came to wipe down the bench.  I had to awkwardly stand there to get a decent look at the gorgeous smoker hottie who was also making small talk with the lady wiping down the bench.  Far sooner than I had hoped, the MILF leaned down to crush out her cigarette and then proceeded to walk up to the nearest garbage can and throw the butt away.   This one definitely could have gone smoother.

The morning hours continued to drag on, and with things so slow I took an interest in a few girls that teased me with tremendous potential and gave off a vibe of tobacco usage being a possibility.  My strongest instinct came as I walked down the street with the huddles of smokers on the east end of the Coliseum.  I got all the way to the southeast corner and in the exact same place where my two sexpot late teens were smoking in last week’s third best sighting of the day, a very suspicious duo of mid-teen cuties were sitting there again, wearing similarly short shorts and seated with their legs in a similar upside-down V pattern bent at the knees while leaning against the building.  One girl had a beautiful face with an artificial reddish-tinted shoulder-length hair coupled with a pale pink tanktop and tight-fitting jean shorts covering a shapely lower body.  She looked about 16.  Her friend was probably the same age but looked younger.  She wasn’t as hot as the other girl but had a girl-next-door cuteness to her, her brown hair up in a ponytail and wearing a black sweatshirt with matching black shorts.  The girls couldn’t possibly have looked more suspicious sitting there and I was certain tobacco usage had either already taken place or was about to.  I went back to the same spot a couple more times in the next few minutes but never did see them smoking, and managed to forget about them after they vacated that spot.

I was well behind schedule and it was approaching 1 p.m. before I got my next sighting of relevance.  In the smoking area on the west side of the grandstand, I saw a late teen cutie seated by herself smoking.  As I approached, I could tell the facial piercings would render Sighting #15 to be “not my type”, but I must say her overall presentation won me over, decked out in a black tanktop and jean shorts and sporting a pair of glasses that gave her a “cute nerd” vibe.  She looked a lot like the sister of my ex-girlfriend Courtney.  The metal in her face was an unfortunate distraction but she was young enough (I’d peg her for 18 or 19) to where she could overcome the hideousness to an extent.  She was distracted by her phone as she puffed away on her cigarette, taking nice drags and producing worthy exhales.  I was able to snap a pic and watch the show, but she got up and tossed the cigarette in the community ashtray as she walked away, denying me the butt ID.

The east side smoking area delivered several times yesterday, despite being a mudhole from the three inches of rain that hit the fairgrounds on Friday afternoon.  Sighting #20 was a slender 19-20ish brunette cutie sitting in the dead center of a bench in the smoking area, surrounded by older smokers who were decidedly less adorable.  She wore a baseball cap with her long brown hair coming out the back in a ponytail, her skinny body covered in a white T-shirt and jean shorts with sexy, slender legs below.  She wasn’t the most surprising smoker I saw yesterday but I definitely wouldn’t have pegged her as a smoker from the crowd. I got a photo in of her in mid-drag, looking so awkward being this cute young girl smoking amidst a bench full of unattractive older people.  Her style was decent as well, lacking any bells and whistles but still looking sexy exhaling cigarette smoke.  She stood up and deposited her butt into the standing water of the ashtray where I had zero chance of getting a butt ID.  Interestingly, less than an hour later I saw her pushing around a mentally challenged young man in a wheelchair.  Apparently she’s either a volunteer or that’s her job.  Either way, it seems like it would be a situation stressful enough with the size of this crowd that it likely triggered the need for further smoke breaks as the day pressed on, even though I didn’t see them if she did.

I headed east on Dan Patch Avenue next where the first electric moment of the day awaited me.  I made it a block east of the grandstand when I saw an early-to-mid-20s blond with a beer opening up her purse and taking out a pack of Marlboro Lights from her purse and wasting no time inserting a cigarette into her mouth.  As crowded as the foot traffic was, I still was able to successfully pivot and keep up with her, and was in for one epically obnoxious show.  Sighting #21 was adorable, with shoulder-length blond hair falling mostly on bare flesh and there wasn’t much fabric holding up her low-cut brownish tanktop.  But I’ve always been more of a South America kind of guy and she dazzled down under with a pair of pale pink shorts.  Now the girl had a little bit of meat on her bones….not chubby enough to be a factor for the overwhelming majority of guys but with her body type she’ll probably struggle to keep the weight off as she gets older.  At age 22-23 or whatever she was, however, I was licking my chops at her presentation especially as I watched her take her first drag from her cigarette amidst this dense crowd.  There were a couple of guys walking behind her who were with her, at least at the time not smoking.  The density of the crowd had the potential to be a huge problem on the photo-taking front, but in this case I snapped the best photo I’ve ever gotten with the cigarette dangling from her lips.  I had no need to attempt any additional photos after that masterpiece, which was good because I was about to be treated to the dangle of the year….

I kept pace with her after the photo and couldn’t help but notice that cigarette stayed perched in her mouth for a very extended period, at first seemingly out of convenience but eventually she began foraging through her purse for something and that dangle just continued and continued and continued.  At least 30 seconds in, I was walking directly parallel to her and watched her pucker up her lips for a dangling drag.  One would think the smoke would be rising into her nose and becoming uncomfortable but this girl clearly can handle however much smoke the tobacco companies can throw her way.  Finally, after at least 45 seconds of dangling, the cigarette was removed from her mouth.  How I would have loved to have kissed her to taste her ashtray mouth seconds after a dangle like that!  Her group proceeded to the line for ears of sweet corn and asked some guy if where they were standing was really the end of the line.  He responded that it was, and they decided against standing in line that long and proceeded back the direction they came from down Dan Patch Avenue.  With the stifling crowds of humanity pressed together like pigs in a livestock barn, I knew it was only a matter of time before her thoughtless and unlawful smoking behavior would produce a casualty, and I was about to get one of my best reactions ever from someone on the receiving end of a cute girl’s exhale….

I watched from a rear side angle as blondie took a deep drag and as she prepared to exhale, this middle-aged guy literally cowered in anticipation of the exhale to the face he knew he was about to get.  For whatever reason, seeing his face for that split second before he got whacked made me think of “Cringer”, the wimpy tiger from the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoons in the mid-80s.  Something tells me this “Cringer” will never transform into the Mighty Battle Cat like He-Man’s did, however.  I marveled at the power of cigarettes that made this middle-aged guy cower in fear of what was spewing from the mouth of a short blond girl in pink shorts.  As I pressed forward, girlie was in the final throes of the all-white she was making such quick work of, and by now one of the guys in her company had lit up in forbidden territory as well.  In another minute or so, she dropped the cigarette to the pavement without crushing it out.  I already knew it was a Marlboro Light having seen her remove it from the pack but I confirmed it again as I walked past the smoldering remains.  This was easily the best sighting from early in the day and the best of the year in terms of a girl ignoring the designated smoking area rules.  For the first time of the day, I was genuinely feeling some adrenaline.

By this point in the afternoon, the crowds were so dense that I thought it was a good opportunity to revisit the north side of the fairgrounds where the crowds are typically at least a little bit lighter and you have some breathing room.  The downside is that you can frequently make the 20-minute round trip up and down the north side blocks and get zero sightings.  That’s not always the case though, and it wasn’t yesterday as I scored a delicious two-for-one sighting heading south from the grounds’ northernmost point.  I crossed paths with a similarly dressed duo of early-to-mid 20s babes and got weak in the knees from the stylish presentation that Sightings #24 and #25 brought to the table as both girls were dressed in bright orange T-shirts and tight blue jeans with belts and both illegally wielding freshly lit cigarettes as they progressed northward.  They were either both genuine country girls or doing a good job of faking it.  One girl was a short-haired brunette that from a distance had a sort of 1994-ish Martina McBride look about her, but her IT factor was pretty modest and so was her smoking style.  The girl who stole the show was the long-haired blond, easily the most shocking face I saw yesterday with a cigarette sticking out of it.  Blondie was distracted on her phone, very obviously in discussion to meet up with somebody on the grounds, but I still found it challenging to take a photo without drawing attention to myself.  The two I got are fair but from further away than I’d prefer.  But with the pics out of the way, it was just time to hang back and enjoy the show from one of my top-five sightings of the day….

I walked behind them for a bit hoping to catch the headwind of their exhales.  The brunette was slow and mediocre as a smoker and quickly began to lose me entirely in the company of this blond.  My friend Dan (the one close friend who knows about my smoking fetish) has a very specific type of girl…..the long-haired blond with soft girl-next-door features.  Ordinarily when I show him photos of smoker girls I plan to date, he always says “looks like your type” with the subtext that they wouldn’t be his type because they’re “too hard”.  If not for the cigarette in her hand, I could imagine him melting in the company of this beautiful and wholesome blond.  I know I was, especially whenever she took a drag from her cigarette and released a cloudy exhale that I had the good fortune of walking through on a few occasions.  And those tight jeans combined with the bright orange tanktop were working for me too, especially when combining her slender waist with the perfect curvatures of her hips and ass in those jeans. Mmmmm!  But the show would come to a literal road block as we found ourselves in the pathway of the daily Minnesota State Fair parade, the location where the girls happened to meet with two guys who were either their boyfriends or just dudes they were hanging with, and one of the guys was smoking too.  This gave me a chance to hover back and watch some of the parade, but mostly watch blondie finish that cigarette.  She dropped it the pavement when she finished and was a little too aggressive in stomping it out.  I stood there lusting a butt identification but knew I wouldn’t get one until the parade ended and they left.  It would be about five minutes until it did, giving me more time to admire the beauty of this most unlikely blond smoker.  Finally when the parade did end and everybody parted, I was able to get the butt ID.  It was the variation of cork filter Marlboros that have Marlboro written in red cursive on the filter.  I’ve seen it a couple of times before but am not certain which Marlboro variation that is.  The north side of the fairgrounds came through for me yesterday!

I went back to the grandstand area next and while the sightings count was progressing slowly up to that point in the day, I was about to hit a productive patch that temporarily surged my numbers.  As I encircled the seating area east of the grandstand I came across a cluster of 20-somethings chatting amongst each other and spotted one of the girls, a decently attractive light brunette, smoking, and thus becoming Sighting #27.  But it was another girl in the cluster with a cigarette who stole the show.  Sighting #28 was a tall, slender, long-haired blond in a bare-midriff white tanktop with a pair of tight leggings below the waist that perfectly advertised every curvature of her spectacular lower body.  I watched her take two impressive drags from her all-white before handing it to the guy standing next to her at which point I lost interest.  About an hour later, I’d see just the shapely blond and that guy standing in the same general area and smoking again.

Less than a minute later, I approached the smoking area on the east side of the grandstand and from a distance thought I struck gold as I saw a petite blond with a cigarette in the company of a middle-aged couple I presumed were her parents.  Did I finally find the sighting I’d been hoping for since the advent of the “designated smoking area”?  The smoking parents with the smoking teen daughter all publicly exhaling carcinogens?  Apparently not as I got closer and noticed the Sighting #29 petite blond who I figured was 16 as I was approaching was holding a beer in her hand.  I never remember having this problem of not being able to tell the 16-year-old girls from the 21-year-old women in the past and am not sure if I’m the problem or if young women are just looking more like young girls than they did in the past.  I think it’s probably a combination of both.  Either way, whatever age this girl was she was a cute smoker, decked out in a tanktop and jean shorts and putting on a rock solid smoking performance.  I wouldn’t doubt if I wasn’t the only one who figured this girl was much younger as they walked by and noticed her with a cigarette.  I watched several drags and then drifted back to the nearby seating area to see if I was missing anything there….

I wasn’t missing anything per se, but as I ascended the three steps to investigate two early 20s blonds sitting there eating, I quickly noticed that both girls had packs of Marlboro Reds sitting in front of them.  Did this mean that they had smoked one before they started eating their junk food or that they were simply preparing themselves to enjoy one after eating?  I was definitely gonna stick around to see, and doing so allowed me to look the short distance to my right to the official smoking area and watch the petite #29 girl finish her cigarette with the middle-aged couple I assumed were her parents.  My eyes darted about while waiting and I saw another 20-something brunette light up in the seating area and become Sighting #30.  Still, I really wanted to confirm my suspicions about these two blonds.  It should be mentioned these blonds fit the “hard” look that buddy Dan wouldn’t go for and while scoring points on presentation with their bleach blond hair, tanktops, and shorts, were not the prettiest girls at the fair.  They were pretty enough to invest some time in though given the situation and when they finally finished eating, they picked up their packs of Marlboro Reds and walked eastward clearly on a mission.  I followed and sure enough, the packs of Reds were being opened.  The taller and chubbier girl with curly hair, a green and black tanktop, and jean shorts was the first to become Sighting #31 while the prettier friend in the neon green tanktop and white shorts lit up second to become Sighting #32.  I got a fair snapshot as the second girl was lighting up.  It was amusing that the girls had just drifted away from the smoking area they were close to where smoking was allowed and were now progressing eastward with cigarettes in hand down crowded Dan Patch Avenue where it most definitely was not.  I followed for a short distance to see if their styles were worth a full pursuit but they didn’t prove too inspiring so I turned around.  The last girl smoking publicly on Dan Patch Ave. put on a more memorable show but I still found it amazing that so many hot girls either don’t know about or choose to ignore the designated smoking areas and rudely force their smoking upon such a tightly packed crowd in the busiest parts of the fairgrounds.

The pace of sightings was definitely picking up some by mid-afternoon but I still had a ton of ground to make up after such a slow morning.  I always made sure to hit the smoking area near the beer gardens and bathroom a disproportionate amount of times, so much so that on a couple of occasions I doubled back from the Coliseum and then took a shortcut to avoid some of impossibly crowded Judson Avenue.  It was doing this that allowed me to catch Sighting #40, one of the coolest storyline sightings of the day.  From a distance, I could see a sexy ponytailed light brunette in a pink T-shirt and white shorts leaning against the cement just outside the beer gardens with a freshly lit cigarette.  She seemed like a top tier babe and looked quite a bit younger than I suspect she probably was after I got a closer look.  Anyway, as I got there, a guy who looked at least 10 years older than she was who I figured was a boyfriend/husband was standing there with a photographer’s camera preparing to shoot a few snapshots of her (interestingly, I had the same goal in mind!).  But the damndest thing happened and I could tell by his hand gestures as I approached that he was requesting she hold her cigarette up to her face in a bent-elbow pose.  She smirked and cooperated, posing with the cigarette held inches to the left of her pretty face.  He took a photo of it and then requested she do it again.  I was dumbfounded.  Was this just some silly pose or did the boyfriend have a smoking fetish and was requesting her indulgence in his fairgrounds photo-taking?  I’ll never know but I wasn’t quite close enough and didn’t have my camera phone prepared when she was posing so I could piggyback on his photo.   Even when I did get my chance I had a helluva time getting the photo right and it took me three attempts before I got her entirely in the shot.  After the boyfriend/husband was done taking photos he lit up a cigarette of his own but was masterfully outsmoked by the girlfriend who was a maestro with that cigarette as one would suspect.  I had made a spectacle of myself with all that photo taking so couldn’t stick around for more than a couple of drags, but studying the photo today I’m struck by how beautiful she was.  She had some lines on her face, most likely from years of heavy smoking, but looking at the photo I’d be shocked if she was even 30.  If I had gotten a little more of a show with additional context regarding the boyfriend/husband’s photos, this had the potential to be one of my stronger sightings of the day.

Another weird one came about 45 minutes later on the other side of the beer gardens block.  Generally speaking I run up my numbers pretty nicely on this west side of the beer gardens block but don’t run into too many unforgettable girls who really stand out.  That sure wasn’t the case when I came across Sighting #56, another of yesterday’s more oddball standouts.  Standing there with a young daughter in a stroller who was probably two years old and with a four or five-year-old daughter standing next to her was this late 20s long-and-curly-haired light brunette young mommy with a freshly lit cork filter smoldering between her fingers.  Even if she had been wearing traditional State Fair garb, this wholesome-looking mommy wouldn’t have been on my radar to have a 100 mm cigarette between her fingers, but the outfit she was wearing really made this one unusual…..a white sleeveless top with a long flower print purple, white, and black skirt that hung only inches from the ground.  It was the most unusual outfit I saw wore by a smoker girl yesterday…or for the entire fair season that matter, and by itself made this cute mommy a standout.  But her lengthy, rapist drags on that long cigarette and the warm relationship she seemed to have with her daughters, especially the older one who kept talking to her, made my heart melt even further, and I licked my lips at the awesome role model she was being to the next generation of smokers that were her daughters.  I noticed a couple of others walk by giving a second look of surprise to this wholesome mommy-and-children presentation that was corrupted by a cigarette which mom was dragging from frequently and laboriously.  I scored a couple of fair snapshots, one from the front and one from the side.  Finally, “dad” came over and had a beer for himself and mommy and after a couple more drags from mommy’s cigarette, they began to wheel the stroller away.  I began to follow but mommy quickly dropped her less than half-smoked cigarette to the ground.  Considering how hard she was dragging on it and how many times she hit it over the course of the three or four minutes I was observing, I was surprised so much of the cigarette was left.  Either way, I got my butt ID and it was a Marlboro Red 100.  Again, way to go, mom!

I circled the beer gardens block and got a few more sightings on the way and then headed south for the Coliseum area.  As I progressed along the east side of the building and didn’t find anything, even towards the southeast side where I scored last week and had a curiosity earlier in the day yesterday, I decided it might be worth my effort to turn the corner and see if anyone was smoking on the remote south side of the building.  Not sure why it never occurred to me before to do this, but this isolated area was perfect for a stealth smoke break and sure enough a couple that appeared in their early 30s was sitting on a bench just around the corner with the still-very-attractive brunette wife in a nice blouse and white pants smoking a cigarette and becoming Sighting #60.  Unfortunately I got there in time for the final drag and for the wife to crush out her cigarette.  I was jealous of the guy whose wife was so shapely and attractive even though she was probably not far from my age and is a smoker.  Anyway, I had now added a new location to scope out sightings to my itinerary after my epiphany immediately yielded a success story.

I then doubled back to the smoking area by the beer gardens and bathroom, a very wise decision as a flurry of activity awaited.  Right in the middle of the smoking area I caught the tail end of a sighting from an extremely glamorous and attractive mid-20s dark brunette in a skin-tight black and white-striped dress finishing off the final drag of a cigarette.  I felt robbed having missed 99% of her show, but it was still one helluva contrast to be looking at Sighting #61, this glamorously dressed socialite standing immediately in front of a filthy overflowing ashtray.  And while this brunette would have been the main attraction had I seen more of her smoking show, there was a more casually dressed young couple a few people to my brunette’s right where the wholesome-looking brunette girlfriend was smoking while sitting next to her boyfriend.  Not much of a storyline for Sighting #62, but they were a cute couple made cuter by the fact that she was smoking and he wasn’t, and the fact that the designated smoking area brought together this young couple and the brunette sexpot who looked like she was dressed for an evening at the nightclub, both in service to their three-inch tobacco slavemasters.

I began to migrate away from the smoking area but gave a second look to the hordes of people lurking outside the women’s bathroom only a few yards away.  Standing in the back corner near the fence was a sexpot bleach blond in a tiny blouse with a fully exposed midriff and short medium-blue cutoffs on the bottom.  There was a stroller beside her but this blond, even from a distance, didn’t look like anybody’s mother.  Right away it looked as though she was taking an all-white cigarette from a pack that looked like Marlboro Lights, and sure enough, she lit up seconds later to become Sighting #63.  And moments after lighting up, she actually climbed the berm she was leaning against to take a look at the “Birds of Prey” show just outside the DNR building on the other side of the aforementioned mini-fence.  Since the line for the women’s bathroom was on one side of her and preventing me from approaching her on that side, I would have to walk by that fence on the other side.  Ordinarily that would have been an easy task, but the rainfall from the day before left the walkway to get her direction in front of that fence a big mudhole.  I nonetheless made the journey, however, and found myself standing in front of her as she looked ahead to the Birds of Prey show (ironically, I HATE large birds so this would ordinarily be the last place I’d be if it wasn’t for stalking a sexy cigarette smoker).  She was probably late 20s but had a worn face, the look of a long-time heavy smoker without question.  I was close enough to get one cloudy exhale blown pretty close to my face, and I was preparing my camera for a risky photo but the timing sucked as her kid in the stroller started acting up and she began to lean over the ledge to attend to the kid, holding her cigarette hand to the right.  I tried to capture the photo of her bent over with cigarette in hand but it’s not a great photo and misses the cigarette entirely.  Still there’s a lot of sexy bare female midriff and those skimpy cutoffs in the photo to remember her by.  My presence at this spot was not gonna be sufficient for an extended tour, so I had to abandon and walk through the mud again.  Still, this successful little visit to the beer gardens/bathroom smoking area still had one more special delivery for me as I prepared once again to depart…

As I was poised to walk away from the smoking area, I found myself behind a trio that included two girls and a guy with the guy pushing a stroller.  The brunette girl of the duo had a freshly lit cigarette between her fingers and became Sighting #64, and she had a presentation almost identical to the last girl aside from the differing hair colors.  Her top was a microscopic black piece of fabric that left her entire perfectly proportioned midriff exposed right up until the waistline of her jean shorts.  Hard to know what was sexier as I walked behind her between watching all that exposed well-toned female flesh or the cigarette in her right hand.  I watched her take a couple drags and snapped a photo as I walked behind, but as I was beginning to get comfortable with the optics of the sighting, the brunette smoker approached the blond friend and held the cigarette out.  I wasn’t expecting this but was very happy to get it as the Sighting #65 blond, who was wearing a casual but flattering black minidress, lacked the electric presentation of the bare-bellied brunette, but she was a knockout beauty and the prettier of the two.  Both girls were pretty, but the blond really impressed and I just loved seeing the cigarette approach her lips for two drags before she handed it back to the brunette who would keep it for the rest of the cigarette, adorably excluding the guy in their company (my hunch is that he was the blond’s boyfriend as the brunette certainly didn’t have any stretch marks on that belly of hers) from enjoying the girls’ smoky bliss even as he pushed the stroller with the baby in it.  Anyway, I watched from the rear as the brunette continued to smoke, putting on a pretty impressive performance as she illegally consumed her cigarette in the middle of the dense crowd and exhaled her cigarette smoke randomly without concerning herself about the comfort level of passersby.  I couldn’t help but notice that her cigarette, which looked like a Parliament from my vantage point, was burning kind of strangely, but I was amused by the more-than-inch-long granny ash at the end of her cigarette at one point.  Finally I looked below to see a giant ash had hit the pavement when she finally decided to ash.  The trio was about to enter the Coliseum but the brunette still had to finish her cigarette.  I figured I had a very good chance of IDing the butt but was aghast when I saw her drop it in a puddle of standing water near the curb.  I nonetheless walked over to that curb to investigate and quickly found out it was not the Parliament I suspected but a cigarette with the logo “Winner”.  Given the odd shape of the butt, the fact that it was a brand I had never heard of, and that it burned so unusually while she was smoking it, I figured it must have been a roll-your-own cigarette, which was definitely not what I expected from a 21ish brunette sexpot with about eight inches of exposed midriff, but certainly better than her not smoking at all or sucking on one of those awful e-cigarettes/vaporizers which were sadly still far more abundant than I’d have preferred yesterday.

There were two places that really delivered yesterday.  One was the corridor from the beer gardens/bathroom smoking area I’ve already talked about at length and the other was the smoking area on the east side of the grandstand which delivered a flurry of sightings in one big gulp for me in the early afternoon and was about to again as the 5:00 hour approached.  A cute, shaggy-haired light brunette who looked early 20s was standing in the middle of the smoking area with some friends puffing away and was Sighting #73, but she was just the appetizer for a younger girl with a more wholesome presentation on the edge of smoking area.  Two friends who looked 18 or 19 were standing on the cement and one of them had just lit up a cigarette.  Sighting #74 was a very cute long-haired brunette with a long white blouse covering a matching pair of zebra-striped top and shorts.  She had soft, gentle features and a mouthful of braces to match.  Now the friend, a redhead in a white tanktop and a long colorful skirt, was just as cute but she didn’t smoke.  Mildly disappointing, but the brunette was a spectacular find even by herself.  I snapped a couple of photos and watched her worthy smoking technique as she talked to her friend, bringing a smile to my face every time I witnessed those braces in her mouth that were undoubtedly getting stained by tobacco.  But a few drags in, this sighting would inherit a couple of new players, complete strangers of a middle-aged couple who approached the girls to chat while they smoked.  The woman in the couple greeted them warmly and said she thought she’d stop and chat with “fellow smokers”, adorably establishing kinship with a teenage girl less than half her age…..

I hovered in the general area as she smoked her entire cigarette and chatted with this older couple who were treating her as equals.  As she wrapped up the cigarette, she turned around on the edge of the cement where she was standing, clearly not wanting to step in the muddy grass where the ashtray was and instead just tossing the cigarette that direction, coming several inches short of the ashtray and falling to the grass where it would lie smoldering.  I licked my lips watching it smolder there and was waiting for the guy standing right in front it smoking to walk away.  Instead, he broke my heart by stepping backwards….right on top of the cigarette that I really wanted to identify.  D’oh!  I began focusing again on the girls and the couple, with the girls just about to walk away and the woman they just met five minutes ago extending her arms to give her a hug.  When the hug ended and the girl began to walk ago, the middle-aged woman wished her a “happy birthday”, and I was curious which birthday it would be for her.  18?  19?  I can’t imagine it would be any older than that, but really wished I had overheard the conversation in which she revealed it.  Anyway, I still hadn’t given up on getting an ID from her discarded butt even though it was under a guy’s bootheel in the mud presently….

Still, there was another girl in the smoking area who provided me an excellent distraction while I waited for an opening.  Sighting #75 was a pretty and sexy late 20s blond sitting on a bench by herself in a zebra-striped summer dress with her legs crossed, oozing sex appeal as she held that cigarette in her right hand.  It took me three attempts to get a centered photo but I got a nice one of her.  She was a slow smoker which ordinarily would have frustrated me but I was waiting around at the moment anyway so I just enjoyed the show, enjoying her nice relaxed smoking performance and admiring her elegant beauty, her sunny natural blond hair glistening with the now clear skies shining down up on it.  But when the guy by the ashtray finally walked away, I migrated to that ashtray and IDed the #74 brunette’s discarded butt, which was a Newport Red (don’t see too many of them).  The blond was still smoking slowly so I decided to split rather than hold out for a butt ID from her, still trying hard to boost my numbers which were still a little behind schedule.

The day was progressing decently but I find myself disappointed whenever I’m going several hours without seeing any sightings poised to qualify for a year-end favorites list and which really get the adrenaline spiking.  That was about to change as I was walking down the east side of the Coliseum, scanning the entire block along the building for smokers.  And as I looked ahead to the southeast side, who did I find but those same two mid-teen girls who were occupying the exact same spot with guilty looks on their faces in the morning.  Oh this was very interesting, I thought to myself as I kept approaching from a good 30 yards away.  My eyes were focused on them like a laser and in seconds, my moment of vindication arrived as I watched a half-smoked cigarette approach the lips of the artificial redhead who was the prettiest and had the hottest body, followed by the expulsion of smoke that traveled several inches in front of her adorable face.  Sighting #83 was far and away my trophy of the day given how I fell in love with her the second I laid eyes on her a few hours earlier that morning, my “smoke detector” sounding off loudly but failing to yield the answer I sought until hours later.  The spot where the girls were sitting would be perfect for me to sneak a photo and then watch from close range, but just as I was approaching, they stood up and began walking behind the Coliseum.  I’m 99.9% sure it wasn’t because of me since they would not have likely seen me yet or remembered me from earlier.  They must have just been getting paranoid about the smoker girl being so obviously underage yet smoking so publicly.  Unfortunately, this would only be the first obstacle that would prevent this sighting from reaching its full potential….

Nonetheless, I rounded the corner and watched the girls settle into an isolated cement pillar on the back side of the Coliseum, which almost serves as the building’s loading zone for all the commercial vendors.  The girls were definitely gonna get their privacy here, but it wasn’t gonna work to my advantage as the best I could do was take a bench that was about 10 yards away from them and outside the range at which I could take too detailed of a picture.  The upside was that both girls were standing and I was able to admire the exceptional curves of that teen smoker.  While her reddish hair gave her a mildly unfortunate alternative look (her natural color appeared to be dark blond), everything else about her was pitch-perfect teenage girl from her well above-average boobs in her pale pink tanktop to the tight and short medium-blue jean shorts that hugged her hips in a perfect sexually charged way that only a shapely mid-teen girl is capable of pulling off.  But it was that face that got me most, an understated beauty with a hint of naughty girl that helped convince me right away that this girl was a cigarette smoker.  I watched in pure ecstasy as she plugged away at the second half of that cigarette with a decent style….about what you’d expect from a girl who probably hasn’t been smoking that long.  The sighting took a surprise turn though when the taller girl, who I figured was 16, handed the cigarette to the friend, who may have been the same age but looked like she was at most 14!  Now the Sighting #84 girl was very cute but lacked the smoldering IT factor not to mention the sensational curves of the taller girl, as her upper body was trapped in a black sweatshirt that had to have been hot as hell on top of lacking sex appeal.  But while I always expected the first girl was a smoker, it had never occurred to me the other girl was too, especially when I didn’t see her with a cigarette upon that first approach a couple of minutes earlier.  Her smoking style was considerably more fledgling than the first girl’s and it was unbearably cute at the same time that it was unbearably frustrating that I couldn’t watch these future emphysema patients from a closer vantage point….

The frustration was far from over though as I touched earlier upon the oddball obstacles that got in the way of this sighting being the grand slam it had the potential to be.  Along the uneven sidewalk next to the bench I was seated on, a teenage girl was struggling mightily to wheel this top-heavy cart of pastries from Point A to Point B, nearly tipping the damn thing every time she hit a crack in the cement, of which there were many on this sidewalk.  She made eyes with me as she was passing me, as if beckoning me to help her.  I would have done so in a snap if it wasn’t for my being in the middle of what I figured was my best sighting of the day.  But as she proceeded a few more feet and continued to struggle, I felt obliged to help, hoping I could do two things at once, moving the cart and wheeling past the smoker girls from a slightly closer vantage point.  Even with two of us, moving this cart along this cracked up pavement was very hard, with the cart nearly tipping on a few occasions.  I kept one eye on the smokers as I slowly passed them, and saw my favorite girl was in possession again for the final couple of drags and was crushing the cork filter cigarette out and dropping the butt to the grass at almost the exact moment I wheeled past them.  From there, I watched the two girls come my direction and I was praying that they would offer to help as well, exposing me to their fresh cigarette stench from close range.  They didn’t, but they walked right past me and my favorite girl looked my direction with a flirty smirk.  Not sure if she was amused at my efforts to help this damsel in distress or if she was aware I had been stalking her earlier and was returning the favor.  Either way, I inhaled as strongly as I could as she and the friend walked past only a couple of feet in front of me, hoping to smell her stench, but unfortunately not capturing any of it.  I continued to help the girl with the cart for another minute or so, and would have volunteered to assist her further, but when she said she thought she was good to go as she approached the building entrance with the pastry cart, I didn’t hesitate to go on my merry way, looking to the west and seeing those hot teenage asses still wiggling towards the horizon and within range for me to still catch up….

And so I did, hustling to make up ground and succeeding, watching the girls going into a rear Coliseum entrance.  I got a decent photo of their asses before they got inside and I’m lucky I did because the lighting in the building was such that subsequent photos would be blurry.  These photos are gonna be what get me in trouble, which I’m fully aware of, but the impulse to capture a snapshot of my favorite smoker girl’s adorable face was impossible to resist, so I kept trying a daring frontal snapshot as we all maneuvered inside the densely packed crowds of the Coliseum.  I took a couple of pics as the girls walked up to some fruit-flavored slushie stand to sample their wares but both were blurry and I decided it wasn’t worth the risk to press forward since they were by now well aware of my presence from when they were smoking.  I reluctantly left the Coliseum, hoping against hope I’d see them again yesterday, which I would not.  And when I returned to where they smoked, there were too many other butts lying around from other smokers who’d been sneaking cigarettes behind the Coliseum for me to successfully identify which was theirs. While I didn’t get everything to go my way with this one, what a ride nonetheless, and I felt vindication for predicting my favorite girl was a rare breed of a mid-teen smoker in Minnesota circa 2014 yet being pleasantly surprised at the same time to learn was as well.  Emotionally this was my favorite sighting of the day, but since I didn’t get the timing completely right, I’m rating it as my second-best of the day as I’d score something else later where I did get the timing right.  For the first time yesterday, I was genuinely buzzing and feeling damn glad I made it to the fair on August 30, 2014.

After that, it was back to hitting singles for quite some time, but the next sighting to stand out took place on the east side of the grandstand where a trio of 20-somethings stood there.  The prettiest of the three was a light brunette in a gray T-shirt and cutoffs covering a slender body and she was the one smoking.  Sighting #92 was a real looker and had a nice smoking style with some cloudy exhales coming out of her face.  Unfortunately I only got to see two drags because she handed it to the chubby brunette across from her who was too overweight and too ugly to count as a sighting.  I had really been hoping the pretty light brunette would be the only smoker of this group but at least I knew she smoked.  And after a few drags by the fat girl, the blond got the cigarette last and she was pretty attractive as well, certainly good enough to count as Sighting #93, dressed in a white tanktop with sexy black leggings below the waist.  She had an annoying lip ring that took away from her some, but she was definitely closer to the beauty level of the first girl to smoke than to the second.  She only took two quick drags before handing it back to the fat girl, ending the show disappointingly as the three of them headed towards the gates of the grandstand, presumably to get inside for the show which was some oddball “Music on a Stick” variety show that didn’t seem likely to be too major of an attraction, certainly not compared to Macklemore who was there Saturday night on Labor Day weekend last summer.

It had been sunny much of the afternoon and by the time 6:30 arrived, the sun was in my eyes on the western horizon to the point where I was a little relieved when it went under some clouds….until I looked closer at those clouds and saw how dark they were.  It wouldn’t be a day at the Minnesota State Fair without a rain scare, no matter how small the threat seemed only moments earlier.  Thankfully it never did happen save for a few very minor sprinkles, but I was nervous at the 7:00 hour was arriving and I was supposed to meet my parents.  For a while I had been running ahead of my sightings pace from the previous week but that advantage was disappearing with a soft 6:00 hour.  I was on the beer gardens block trying to boost my numbers in the 10 minutes before meeting the folks, and that’s where I saw Sighting #106, a girl who certainly didn’t look old enough to be partaking in any of the beverages for sale on the beer gardens block.  Indeed she wasn’t holding a beer and when I got there she wasn’t even holding a cigarette.  There was a middle-aged guy that I presumed was her father on one side and 19-20ish dude on the other side smoking a cigarette.  But the girl was such a perfect little female specimen with long brown hair flowing down her back and decked out in a bare-midriff flower print tanktop and tiny cutoffs, her slender body and this outfit for some reason giving off a vibe from a girl in a country music video.  Having just seen her without the boyfriend, I would have presumed she was only about 16 given her height and girlish features, but I figure she was probably more like 18 given the entirety of the situation I was witnessing.  And while the boyfriend was still in possession of the cigarette after about 45 seconds of observation, I just had a feeling this would have a happy ending….and it would.  He passed the cork filter cigarette to girlie who proceeded to take three consecutive drags, killing every one of them with an impressive technique that made me very glad I held out for her, risky of a gamble as it was given that I was already short on time before having to meet the parents.  She gave the cigarette back to the boyfriend and only then was I able to snap a photo worth saving that at least captures her stellar presentation even after she gave up the cigarette.  Would have loved to have gotten more from this one but was still pleased as punch to see she was a smoker.

I only had a few minutes left before it was time to meet the parents and zipped past the grandstand areas on my way.  On the west side of the grandstand sat an early 20s nonsmoking guy and his cute light brunette girlfriend dressed in a matching black blouse and shorts who was smoking a cigarette.  Had I seen this sighting at 11 a.m. I’d have been studying it like a hawk and snapping photos left and right, but I was fast running out of time and could only make a mental note that Sighting #108 was worthy of a small writeup.  She got a brief encore act about an hour later when I saw the same couple again, with the girl again being the only one of the two smoking a cigarette.  She was very cute and smoking an all-white, but at that point it was too dark for a photo.  She didn’t get the attention she deserved but I’m trying to pay homage as best I can given the unfortunate time constraints that prohibited a longer show.  Those 7:00 meet-ups with the folks come with the risk of cutting short a great sighting, and that’s exactly what happened here.

And another sighting would get cut short only seconds later as I progressed eastward alongside the grandstand wall.  A duo of 21ish girls were leaning up against a tree, with the pretty girl of the two, a long-haired blond in sunglasses with a skin-tight and uber sexy pair of leggings advertising every curve of her lower body, being the girl smoking a cigarette.  The friend was chubby and unattractive so my Sighting #109 girl was the right one of the two to be the smoker.  I stood there watching her taking a couple of drags while leaning against the tree, but when she saw a bench open up nearby she and the friend walked over there and took it.  The blond struck me as a solidly pretty girl, but interestingly, she got much prettier when she sat down and took the sunglasses off.  Sunglasses often give a girl a badass vibe that heightens her sex appeal, but with this girl the sunglasses were preventing her undeniable beauty from radiating out, and suddenly I was really kicking myself for not being able to stick around and watch this sighting play out.  I stayed for a couple of nice drags and exhales and took a quick snapshot that ended up blurry, but then I had to split.  Interesting little encore on this coming ahead shortly though….

I met the parents only a minute or so late at the information booth and we ate some cookies my mom picked up and I drank some $1 Dr. Pepper from a nearby stand that sells “discount” soda pop.  I was at the exact number of sightings as the previous week at 109, a little disappointing since I was at one point two hours earlier poised to exceed that pace and was a far cry from the 125 sightings mark I was on the previous year at 7:00.  Plus there was a real possibility of rain in the very near future, which made my visit with the parents even briefer than usual before I got back on my feet to press forward with the final 3 1/4 hours of the 2014 fair season, hoping it wouldn’t be cut shorter than that because of weather.  It wouldn’t be and I was walking past the grandstand as I did just moments earlier and on a bench behind the grandstand I saw two 21ish girls sitting there with cigarettes who became Sightings #111 and #112.  One was a mediocre brunette but the other was a solid dark blond with very tight black leggings who adorably held the cigarette hand between her legs only a few inches in front of her shapely crotch advertised so nicely in those leggings.  The blond was on the phone trying to help friends on the grounds find them, and it became clear by the conversation that the friends were closeby.  Within about 20 seconds, the friends were on their way….and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the Sighting #109 blond from about 15 minutes earlier with her unattractive chubby friend, although the blond wasn’t smoking this time.  Over 250,000 people on the fairgrounds and two of my sightings intersected paths less than a half hour apart.  Small world!  The blond and brunette friends waiting for her were still smoking on their cigarettes though and I finally got a chance to see the #111 blond take a drag after spending so much time on the phone and not smoking.  She was a decent smoker, but smoking too slowly for me to stick around for the entire show.  Frankly, the #111 blond was a couple pegs down beauty wise from the #109 girl who unfortunately was no longer smoking but still had her sunglasses off and really looked hot.  They both sizzled in their respective pairs of tight leggings, which I’m shocked have become this accepted casual female attire considering they leave absolutely nothing to the imagination about a female’s curves.  Nice to get some additional storyline out of the #109 girl considering she left quite an impression on me during her original sighting which had unfortunately gotten cut short.

While I was piecing together some decent numbers in the lead-up to 8:00, very few of the sightings were proving memorable.  It wouldn’t be until early in the 8:00 hour when I was hovering near the smoking area by the beer gardens and bathroom that I’d score my next extra base hit.  There was a cluster of early 20s guys and gals on the edge of the smoking area and I didn’t see any evidence of tobacco use but as I looked into their huddle from a few yards away, standing out at me was this absolutely perfect female ass decorated in an equally perfect pair of tight red shorts that framed her form as nicely as any clothing item I had seen on a girl yet that day.  And while all I could see from my current vantage point was that glowing red ass and hips in those shorts, I had to change vantage points to get a closer view.  Imagine my surprise when I did and found that the girl who owned this ass was a long-haired early 20s blond in a black tanktop with a freshly lit all-white cigarette between her fingers, the only smoker in the mixed-gender group of about seven.  My Sighting #132 girl was pretty but not a stop-traffic knockout comparable to the way her lower body was decorated, and there was a deja vu factor to her look that I wasn’t able to put my finger on until later.  Anyway, I would have to change my position again to find the sweet spot, walking on the other side of the makeshift fence and looking down from above with camera at the ready.  It was after dusk now but as close as I was when I snapped the shot, the photo turned out pretty nicely.  It was now just a matter of watching the smoking show, but this girl was unfortunately afflicted with the worst case of Slow Smoker Syndrome of anybody I came across all day.  I must have stayed there five minutes and took in all of three drags, all of which were impressive on the intake but produced shallow exhales, indicating to me a lot of smoke was clinging to her insides.  I was close enough to see by the rings that the all-white was either a Marlboro Light or a Marlboro Ultra Light, and there was one cute moment while I waited endlessly between her drags.  A chubby female friend stood next to her and at one point, the blond smoker with the hot body pretended like she was gonna touch the burning end of her cigarette to the friend’s butt.  The friend flinched a little and my blond smoker said she was going for the “hot ass” metaphor with her pretend attempt to burn the nonsmoking friend.  The conversation soon changed, but it was amusing how the blond was imposing her smoking habit on her less attractive nonsmoking friend in about every way possible.  I couldn’t take the waiting anymore with so much other activity undoubtedly going on elsewhere on the grounds, so I began to walk away….

But as I walked away, I was briefly sidetracked again before I broke free from this smoking area as an early 20s couple was just sitting down with a modestly attractive light brunette holding a cigarette in her hand.  She seemed an odd combination of regretful and exasperated sitting there, the boyfriend consoling her as much as possible although it seemed like she might have been being hamming up the “drama queen” angle.  She inserted the unlit cigarette into her mouth backwards and after a few seconds of being clueless about this, the nonsmoking boyfriend took it out of her mouth and turned it around.  It was a cute gesture, but the girl continued to yammer on and drag out the process of lighting it up for well over a minute before the flame from her lighter FINALLY hit the right end of the cigarette and she became Sighting #133.  It might have been worthwhile to stick around a bit and see if this bizarre couple would generate a deeper storyline, but these incredibly slow smoker girls were getting on my nerves and I had to press on in hopes of green pastures ahead.

It turned out my instincts were right.  If one is patient enough, rarely does an evening at the Minnesota State Fair pass without a blockbuster or epic sighting materializing, and such would be the case last night as I was heading south from the grandstand towards the beer gardens block and wandered into what would become my sighting of the day.  An aura of neon white temporarily blinded me as it was now after dusk and there were dark would-be storm clouds overhead, but when my eyes adjusted to the light, I was able to determine the source of that bright white was an 18-19ish long-haired blond sexpot in a pair of outrageously tight and shiny pair of white shorts that seemed like they might tear if she tried to sit down (and interestingly, she never did), caressing a spectacular ass with perfect legs coming out the bottom.  She was no less subtle up top with a very low-cut black and silver blouse advertising the upper half of an awesome set of tits, and with several inches of exposed midriff separating her scantily clad feminine assets.  Oh, and there was also a very freshly lit 100 mm cigarette protruding from her fingers.  Sighting #142 was upon me and I knew I had found something very special.  I was so consumed by this epic blond discovery in those first 30 seconds that only the passage of time allowed me to recover enough to recognize the others in her group.  Front and center were two other young girls, one a solidly attractive long-haired dark brunette in a white tanktop and black shorts who also looked in the 18-19 range and was also brandishing a freshly lit 100 mm cigarette to become Sighting #143, and the other a sweetheart of a light brunette with shorter, shoulder-length hair who was wearing a kiwi-green tanktop and very short medium-blue jean shorts advertising an even better pair of legs than the blond.  The third girl wasn’t smoking, which made sense as she looked younger (I was assuming 16 at most) and far more wholesome than the two smokers.  She would have been a coup if she had smoked too, but I couldn’t get too greedy and she really didn’t look the type anyway.  The other two members of the group were two young black guys in their late teens, one of whom was smoking a Black ‘N’ Mild cigar, but the guys seemed disconnected from the girls throughout the sighting and appeared to be tagging along more than actively experiencing the fair with them.  Anyway, back to the blond….

What a hot construction the progression of human development had presented in front of my face!  And she was a serious smoker too, taking deep lung-penetrating drags followed by herculean hold times and understandably modest exhales given how much smoke was undoubtedly clinging to her blackened insides.  Plus that face was just the perfect picture of a beautiful young girl who has been smoking heavily for a long time, and I had on the tip of my tongue from the get-go who she reminded me of but I wouldn’t figure it out until later, which I’ll get into then.  While my sighting in motion for the first two minutes of the sighting would have been satisfactory given the caliber of girl, I’d catch an even better break as the trio settled onto a bench across the street from the beer gardens.  As I said, blondie’s shorts were too tight to sit down in, so she stood in front of the bench, but her dark brunette smoker friend sat on the top of the bench with her feet hanging where people are meant to sit, as did the younger nonsmoking light brunette who I assumed was somebody’s baby sister, putting their feminine bodies on full display in an unusually well-lit area.  The black guys hovered behind them talking to other people.  I hovered effortlessly watching the show and was now able to enjoy some of the dark brunette’s show as well, who was no less than an 8.5 and would have easily gotten a writeup even if she was the only smoker of the three, but amongst this group she was the ugly duckling.  But 80% of my attention went to the blond in the white shorts and her stylish performance and sexy profile.  In fact, so much of my attention was directed her way that I missed the sighting’s most stunning development yet….

I looked up to the two girls sitting atop the benches and from out of nowhere, the younger girl now had a freshly lit 100 mm cigarette between her fingers.  How did I miss that?!?!  I was kicking myself that I missed what had to have been an adorable light-up from Sighting #144, but if I was expecting a beginner smoker performance, she was about to let me down in the best possible way.  Her drags were concise, long, and well-practiced, and her exhales were thunderclouds, the cloudiest exhaler of the bunch with triple-jet missiles firing out of the mouth and nostrils of this wholesome teenage face.  As amazing as that blond was, the main attraction of this sighting had very abruptly switched girls….

It was way past dark and a photo was not going to turn out, but the spot they were sitting in gave me a glimmer of hope I could capture something worthwhile on camera, and I took a nicely centered snapshot featuring all three girls with cigarettes visible between their fingers.  It’s too dark to fully appreciate, at least without the assistance of some FBI-quality image enhancing, but I couldn’t have possibly done better given the circumstances.  With the photo out of the way, I just stood back and enjoyed the show, changing positions occasionally to get a better vantage point of one of the girls as rarely did more than a few seconds pass when one of them wasn’t illegally polluting the fairgrounds with her cancerous exhaust.  The blond finished her cigarette first, dropping it to the pavement below her feet and crushing it out.  I would stay until 2 a.m. if I needed to identify that butt, and it would indeed take awhile as she remained at that spot for a while.  The dark brunette in the black shorts finished her cigarette about a minute later and tossed it to the grass in front of the bench, far enough away that I was able to seize a moment of distraction and approach the butt for an ID.  It was a Newport 100 smoked down to the filter.  I hung back again for the second half of the teen cutie’s cigarette.  I swear each of her drags was followed up by the same thunderclouds fired out of her adorable little face.  I had been worried about the storm clouds overhead, but the most dangerous clouds on these fairgrounds were coming out of the face of a teenage girl in microscopic jean shorts with flawless, folded legs hanging over the bench she sat atop…..

And this sighting would have one more incredible surprise in the moments before the light brunette finished her cigarette.  The two black guys had been disconnected from the three girls for a good 3-4 minutes at this point, but suddenly they were chatting again, and the black guy with the plastic-tipped cigar was suddenly engaging with the blond sexpot in the white shorts, and holding his cigar towards her.  Was this really about to happen?  Damn straight!  She took the cigar out of his hand and took a drag just as deeply as she was taking from her cigarette moments earlier.  And just like after one of the drags from her cigarette, the cigar smoke rented a condo inside her lungs before being released in the form of a stinky exhale.  She seemed to like the cigar, and the fact that the black guy was beckoning her to give it a try reaffirmed my suspicion that they probably weren’t that closely connected.  The guys most likely just have exceptionally good taste in hot girls and were trying to see if they could land some of the hottest asses at the fair.  Whatever the case, she handed it back to him and everyone returned to business as usual.  The light brunette soon finished her cigarette and tossed the butt to the grass in front of her much like the dark brunette did, allowing me to approach and ID that without too much difficulty as well.  It was also a Newport 100 smoked almost to the filter, indicating the girls were probably sharing from the same pack.  But I still needed an ID on the blond’s cigarette just to make sure, and the group didn’t appear to be going anywhere….

I wanted to do a final midway run of the day, but wasn’t gonna abandon these girls for that long without getting a butt ID, so I just walked across the street to explore the beer gardens block for a few minutes and then returned to their spot, hoping they’d have left….but they still hadn’t.  I was mildly frustrated, but my frustration was short-lived as blondie was in the middle of a full-body stretch, her arms raised above her head and her perfectly proportioned body on full display.  My eyes centered on the odd 45-degree angle at which her flat stomach was bending out of those tight shorts as she stretched, and I would have paid $1,000 to bed her down at that exact moment.  I did another short walk around the half block and this time, by the time I got back, the girls were gone and the bench was open where blondie had been standing.  Sure enough, her discarded butt was a Newport 100 as well, confirming my suspicion that all three girls were smoking from the same pack, even though I wasn’t sure which girl possessed the pack.  Whoever it was, they made my night at the Minnesota State Fair.  I’m glad it never did rain, but even if the skies had opened up at that moment, I would had walked out of the fairgrounds happy as a goldfish in a fresh bowl.

The last trio delayed my visit down the midway by at least 15 minutes, but I was finally on my way now, at some point around 9 p.m.  And as it turned out, the girls set me up for a perfectly timed walk down that crowded midway.  About five minutes in, I could see a decently attractive blond on the horizon who would be Sighting #150.  She wouldn’t have been good enough to qualify for a writeup if not for the company she was keeping….and one person in that group in particular.  Standing there in her sexpot tight red shorts was my Sighting #132 blond from less than an hour earlier….and she was smoking another cigarette as well.  Jackpot!  I stopped to watch primarily her but her tragic affliction with Slow Smoker Syndrome kept me from sticking around as long as I would have if doing so hadn’t required my entire evening for one cigarette.  I saw two more drags, both of which were nice and featured the same thin exhales as before.  Adorably, the two guys in the group were still smoke-free as were two of the other girls.  Looking at blondie, the deja vu feeling from before persisted and it wasn’t until I looked at the photo the next day that I realized this girl is the spitting image of actress Katee Sackhoff, who was on TV’s “Battlestar Gallactica” update and the final full season of “24” from a few years back.  Now I know Katee Sackhoff’s character on Battlestar Gallactica” was a cigar smoker.  No sign of that from her real-life red shorts girl doppelganger, but at least she’s keeping the tobacco tradition alive in her own way.  She sure could have kept it alive at a more agreeable pace for my timetable though!  If this had been a mall or neighborhood walk setting, I would have saw this cigarette and her last one through till the end, but in the sightings-rich environment of the Minnesota State Fair, I had too many other targets to pursue and pressed forward.

And red shorts girl wouldn’t even end up as the marquee moment of the midway.  That came when I laid eyes upon Sighting #151, an adorable and very playful 21ish long-haired dark blond in a group with two guys and two girls, all of whom looked like potential smokers.  But the only one of the four who was a smoker was the girl who looked by far the least like one, and that was this cute little thing standing there in her aqua tanktop and white shorts with a freshly lit all-white between her fingers.  How hard-core could this girl possibly be, I asked myself before I saw her first drag.  It turns out pretty hard-core.  Her lips wrapped around the filter of that all-white and she took a drag so hard that the cigarette pointed upward at a 45-degree angle while she pulled the smoke in for five seconds.  The cigarette was released from her mouth and plenty of smoke was hovering in front of her adorable face before she turned her head skyward and exhaled as considerately as possible into the sky to spare her less attractive friends of her toxic air pollution.  Every drag was like this, with her prime stylistic flourish being that deep draw that lifted her cigarette to a 45-degree angle in mid-drag, and it was just infectious watching this perky young beauty with such a sexy body and outfit playing with her friends, and one male friend in particular who put himself in real danger of getting burned as mercilessly as he was tormenting her with cigarette in hand, while putting on such a first-rate smoking show.   The show lasted a good five minutes before a couple of other guys approached who had apparently just gotten off a midway ride.  None of them were smoking either, and greeted the holdout group including my smoker before they pressed on.  The smoker took one more drag before dropping her all-white to the pavement and crushing it out.  As I suspected from the coloration of the markings I saw from afar, it was a Camel Light (or a Camel Menthol Light….I’m confused which is which I guess!).  Definitely another high point from an evening that was suddenly going very well.

The midway would have one more delight for me as I pressed forward.  There’s a seating area and a bathroom in the north-central part of the midway and I didn’t even remember it until I walked past it, so I turned around to explore.  I waded past the seating inspecting the females for tobacco but it was when I was about to walk away without seeing away that an 18ish cutie with curly red hair was approaching a garbage can with an empty pack of Newports.  Did I miss it?!??!  I did not, as she was headed back to her bench to sit next to a friend and in seconds, lit up her cigarette.  Now my Sighting #152 redhead was cute and young enough to where I definitely took notice, but the friend next to her was cuter, a brunette who looked at least half Asian wearing a red Twins baseball cap.  I kept hoping for the redhead to hand her cigarette to the friend but it didn’t happen.  Even without the handover, she was fun to watch smoke, taking nicely timed drags and releasing cloudy, beyond-her-years exhales.  There was no place good to hover and the smoker girl made eyes with me a couple of times so I decided since I already knew her brand I’d bolt, having now given up on the cuter Asian friend smoking.   Still, that was by far my most productive journey down the Minnesota State Fair midway in a few years.

If you want to really run up your numbers the best place to do it after 9 p.m. in particular is the square block of beer gardens.  Doing so after I departed the midway, I kept one eye in front of the beer gardens storefronts and another across the street where smokers often go to have a cigarette in peace.  And of course this year, one of the designated smoking areas has been moved there.  It was at that designated smoking area where I spotted three women smokers and a guy.  The smoker who captured my imagination in the group was a mid-20s dark brunette hottie in a white tanktop and black shorts standing next to her boyfriend, who was also smoking, directly in front of the community ashtray.  My Sighting #155 girl had clearly had her share to drink already as her speech was a little slurred, but that made this sighting’s payoff all the more cute.  On the other side of the ashtray smoking was a middle-aged black woman who was conversing with the younger couple, and the guy was teasing about how “she should buy me a new truck” based on something said prior to that without the necessary context for me to get the punchline.  But the smoker girl didn’t really seem to be in on the joke or else was just playing along in her own way as she took a deep drag from her all-white cigarette and then looked at the chuckling middle-aged black lady and said in mild irritation through a wispy talking exhale that “I don’t see why I should have to get him a new fucking truck because….”.  I lost the final words as my eyes were laser-focused on the wisps of smoke adorably leaking out of her mouth and nose as she spoke, the content of her lungs very slowly escaping her blackened respiratory system.  I stuck around for two more nice drags and exhales, both of which were very nice but lacked the talking exhale dramatics, but I missed their additional banter as there were now people behind me talking loudly.  She was obviously gonna deposit her all-white butt, which looked like a Marlboro Light, into the community ashtray and deny me a formal butt ID anyway, so I pressed on in search of the next shiny object, with less than an hour of stalk time remaining.

With time slipping away, I would only have time for one more pass down Judson Avenue, past the Space Tower, and food building, along with other hotspots on the eastern half of the grounds which tend to be the first places to empty out in the evening.  With yesterday’s crowd though, there was still a lot of people to be found, including a smoker in a place I didn’t anticipate finding one…in the seating area in front of the food building.  Sadly, Sighting #161 was the heartbreaker of the day.  I approached this isolated bombshell of a mid-20s blond at the far back of the seating area, catching her bending down to crush out a cigarette on the pavement with the residual haze of her final exhale hovering in the air in front of her face.  As she stood up and I got a look at the face, I almost hit my knees in despair as she was a knockout beauty, a girl-next-door blond wearing a flower-print top and jean shorts who I never would have believed would smoke.  She walked towards the nearest garbage can to toss her butt into, and then started migrating back towards this nearby berm where a very ordinary-looking guy sat.  He couldn’t possibly be her boyfriend, could he?  Apparently so as she sat sound next to him while he finished eating his junk food, a maroon pack of cigarettes resting next to her purse that I couldn’t confirm but suspect was a generic brand like L & Ms.  It blew my mind that not only was this gorgeous blond going out with this average joe, but she felt the need to walk away when she smoked a cigarette to spare him from her stench.  Where do I sign up for a hot blond smoker with self-esteem issues to that degree?!??!  I took one more look at her face to confirm that she was really as good looking as I suspected when I first laid eyes on her, and she unequivocally was one of the top-five faces of the day.  As I took a look, she was putting the cigarettes away in her purse, confirming that the guy wasn’t just waiting until after he finished eating to have a cigarette of his own.  I would have killed to have gotten there just one minute earlier to see her smoking technique.

I migrated towards the east side of the grandstand.  Without any top-tier musical entertainment, the crowds were a little smaller around there by this hour, but it was still a hotbed of smoking activity as it always is.  The best sighting I got up there on that pass was Sighting #164, another wholesome dark blond who looked about 20 or 21, in a group of three young ladies but with her being the only smoker.  The friends were cute too and would have been great to see smoking, but they were the silent and odorless wallflowers of this sighting as the dark blond smoker was making all the noise and producing all the stench, talking on the phone and clearly giving directions to friends to meet them.  She was wearing another of those white cotton shawls that hung down past her jean shorts in the back to where I couldn’t even see the shorts until I changed positions and saw her from the front.  Clearly this is another female fashion trend that has gone over my head.  Whatever the case, she looked cute in it and definitely didn’t fit the pedigree of a smoker, even as she did just that, nervously dragging from the final third of her cigarette while talking on the phone as her friends stood silently to her side.  She got off the phone and took one final drag from her cigarette, dropping it to the pavement  sooner than I expected and walking away with the other two girls.  Her cigarette butt was a Marlboro Light.

I was getting down to the last half hour and was frustrated by the fact that numbers did not seem poised to approach the 200 threshold that they usually do on Labor Day weekend at the Minnesota State Fair.  If anyplace was gonna boost numbers, it was the beer gardens block and I encircled it again looking for quality smoker gals.  As I proceeded down the block to the north of the beer gardens, I laid eyes on this blond in white shorts wielding a freshly lit cigarette who had literally launched a pheromone missile my direction, but this was no newcomer to my sightings list for the day.  This was an old favorite.  It was the gorgeous blond in the bare midriff top and the tight white shorts who was amongst my best group of the day and was smoking another Newport 100 only about an hour after her last (and who knows if she smoked more in between).  While it was gift enough to get an encore act from her, I figured her partners in crime would be closeby and I was right.  The younger light brunette sexpot with the gentle face and the tiny jean shorts was close behind her and right behind her was the dark brunette in the black shorts.  Both of them were brandishing cigarettes as well as they traversed the crowded street en route to the midway illegally exposing innocent fairgoers of all ages to their secondhand smoke and their irresistible sex appeal.  Only this time the roles were reversed.  It was the little girl whose cigarette was two-thirds smoked while the blond and the dark brunette had freshly lit ones in their hands.  Given that someone in this group likely possessed the community pack, did this younger girl get a craving before the other two and demand a cigarette first?  It seemed entirely possible.  The younger light brunette looked back and beckoned the friend who was lagging behind with a “C’mon Nicole!”.  I’d have preferred to have gotten a name for either of the other two, but was still happy to put a name one of these beautiful smoky girls…

I watched from as close as I dared to get while following the three of them into the midway, seeing all the familiar features of their previous sighting.  The light brunette was still producing thundercloud exhales in jet streams out of her mouth and nose, and leaving hovering smoke in path for passersby to choke on (including me!) while the blond kept up with her long drags and longer-yet hold times before her nice exhales.  The dark brunette was the least distinctive smoker of the three but that’s hardly a pejorative description with this trio.  The light brunette finished hers first, dropping it to the pavement and not bothering to crush it out, while the other two still had more than half of their cigarettes left as they got in line for carnival tickets.  Unfortunately, the blond made me and I was not in a position to lurk without standing out like a sore thumb.  Given that I had been lurking around them not that long earlier, I felt I had to depart sooner than I’d have preferred.  But getting one final look at the blond’s beautiful but weathered late teen smoker’s face, it hit me who she looked like….another late teen with a beautiful but weathered smoker’s face who I dated last November named Cami, who for all intents and purposes looked like a lot like the late suicidal country singer Mindy McCready and who, coincidentally, also smoked Newport 100s.  Having just turned 37 myself last week, I’m pretty sure Cami will be the last teen smoker I’ll ever get to date, but if I could score just one more, I’d kill for it to be her blond Minnesota State Fair lookalike.  And since the two black guys from earlier were nowhere in sight at this point, there’s a good chance she’s available!  Reluctant as I was to walk away here, I was elated to have gotten an encore from this trio which secured their standing as my best sighting of the day and indeed the best sighting of the 2014 Minnesota State Fair.

I had time for only one more half loop around the fairgrounds and was distraught at the prospect of fewer sightings this week than the previous, which would have been unprecedented had it happened.  It wouldn’t, and the evening still had a couple of last-minute revelations for me.  Along a bench outside the south wall of the grandstand sat three young smoker girls who I saw from a distance and thought I hit the jackpot.  But as I approached I began to recognize a couple of faces.  The first was the redhead with the empty pack of Newports I saw smoking in the midway only an hour or so earlier.  Looks like she had another pack of Newports in that purse of hers after all!  And sitting next to her was the same cute half-Asian friend in the red Twins ball cap…..but unlike last time, she had a cigarette in hand this time just like her friend!  Among my 182 sightings yesterday, I bet 10-12 were of Asian girls, but Sighting #174 was by far my cutest Asian smoker girl of the day, sitting there in her T-shirt and jean shorts smoking her cigarette and looking absolutely adorable.  But I said there was a third smoker on this bench as well.  Sighting #175 was a blond wearing a leather jacket sitting to the other girls’ right and also smoking.  That was one stinky bench!  Despite the sexy presentation in a leather jacket and black leggings, this girl was at best a 7 beauty wise and was not the sighting’s main attraction.  Still there was a mystery as to whether she just happened to be sitting at the same bench illegally smoking with the two friends or if she was another friend they met.  She never spoke to them over the course of the minute or so I was observing so I suspect it was just three cute girls united by nicotine dependency sharing a bench and 80 millimeters of tobacco.  Time was running very short so I could only watch this trio for about a minute, once again leading me to shake my fist in frustration about being stuck on my parents’ 10:30 timetable.

Hard as it was to walk away from a bench full of three teen smoker girls, I’m glad I did because it led me to Sighting #176 up near the new Heritage Center and fair entrance on the northwest side of the grounds.  I’ve gotten a year-end best worthy cigar sighting at my fairs in the previous two years, but waited until the literal last seven minutes of fetish time during the 2014 fair season to score one as this wholesome-beyond-imagination 22-ish blond sat there Indian-style next to her boyfriend in a tanktop and jean shorts smoking a Black ‘N’ Mild cigar.  And when I say wholesome-beyond-imagination, we’re talking a girl whose long blond hair flowed down her back in a braid!  And the face matched the presentation.  Just like last year’s 18ish braided cutie smoking a cigar at the Iowa State Fair, I was aghast to see a girl of this pedigree publicly smoking a cigar.  She had yet to take a drag as I was making these early observations, so I was curious how she’d deliver when she did….

The half-smoked plastic-tipped cigar entered her mouth and she ingested a healthy snootful, creating an early stream of airborne cigar smoke just with her drag.  But it was about five seconds later when she exhaled that the real cloud surfaced, mushrooming from her mouth into the night sky.  I was positioned so perfectly that I was able to walk right through her exhaled cloud and smell the cigar stench, but as I was doing so, I almost missed her take a second drag from it, only a few seconds removed from exhaling the first one.  Damn girl!  The whole presentation was spectacular, with a wholesome boyfriend not smoking anything to her right and a family with young children to her left who had to have smelled her cigar odor as ripe and dirty as it was.  I kept looking at the clock on my camera watching the minutes tick by, agonizing about having to walk away from this in a couple short minutes, and I savored the visual of this perky and innocent-looking blond with this smelly cigar in her hand talking to her boyfriend.   The plan was to stick around for a couple more drags, and she delivered with a repeat of her first, an intense ingestion of cigar smoke into her lungs through that plastic tip, a good five seconds of compression time inside of her, and then a mushrooming exhale that exploded out of her face.  I was ready to walk through it but learned my lesson from last time, waiting two seconds and watching her take a second drag immediately following, and then walking through her sublimely stinky exhale.   What happened next was a semi-buzzkill.  It seemed too good to be true that this wholesome blond was sitting there smoking a cigar by herself, and she confirmed my cynicism by handing the cigar to the boyfriend.  Nooooo!  The storyline was so much cooler when it was just her smoking the cigar in front of the boyfriend.  The upside was that I now had a guilt-free escape from a sighting that would have destroyed me if I walked away from it while the girl was still smoking.  And, of course, the more obvious upside was that I spent the final minutes of the 2014 Minnesota State Fair watching a gorgeous, wholesome blond girl with a giant braid going down her back smoking a cigar.

It was 10:27 and I still had time for a final loop around the beer gardens block, boosting my numbers in the clutch with a flurry of (and I say this with as little disrespect as is possible) beer gardens hood rat sightings.  I made one final pass by the smoking area near the beer gardens and bathroom area to find a modestly attractive blond in a blouse and jean shorts sucking on a cigarette.  As I walked past Sighting #182, my last of the day, she belched out a very impressive burst of smoke that really seemed to explode into the night sky like a firework from my vantage point.  I walked through her exhale and gave her one last admiring look before progressing the last 100 yards or so to the bench by the Coliseum where my parents predictably sat waiting for me.  In years past, I could always count on catching two or three final sightings while leaving the fairgrounds into the parking lot, and even when driving out of the fair and seeing the departing crowds walking back to their cars.  There would be none of that yesterday, but curiously just as we were pulling onto the main thoroughfare heading home, I saw two familiar faces walking the sidewalk home….the redheaded Newport girl who I saw smoking in the midway along with the sexy Asian friend in the Twins cap who was smoking with her only about 20 minutes prior to my watching them walk home.  Neither of the girls was smoking now, but I did at least confirm that the blond in the leather jacket I saw smoking with them earlier was not with them….just another random stinky young smoker girl who happened to be sharing a bench with them while she smoked.

Particularly after reliving yesterday through this writeup, I definitely feel like Day 2 of this year’s Minnesota State Fair was better than Day 1.  The long dead periods you go through on your feet as you experience the day sometimes lessens the impact of everything you did see over 14 hours, and I definitely feel better about August 30, 2014, the day after than I did the day of.  The fact that the 2014 Minnesota State Fair didn’t yield any grand-slam-in-the-7th-game-of-the-World-Series-quality sightings also lessened its impact, but I really need to lower expectations on those types of sightings because they’re really rare, and I definitely did get one this year at the Iowa State Fair.  It seemed clear that smoking was probably down some this year though, which was unfortunate after I lulled myself into a false sense of security about last year’s MNSF, where the output shined even in the immediate aftermath of a massive tax hike in Minnesota and the fair’s installation of the designated smoking areas.  And I haven’t yet breathed a sigh of relief regarding the e-cigarette either, as I still see far too many of those ugly ass things in girls’ mouths.  Sadly, the 2014 fair season is behind me and it’s gonna be a tough adjustment as always going back to a world with 98% fewer sightings than the month of August always delivers for me.  September has always been my least favorite month of the year, but that’s been reinforced ever since I’ve gotten so heavily into fairgrounds fetishing in the last 10 years.  Eleven months will go by quickly I guess, as mild of consolation as that is right now.








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