2015 Local County Fair


Tuesday Night

There are few bigger rushes in life than the beginning of fair sightings season.  I headed into my hometown around 6 p.m. on Tuesday evening ready to begin my favorite five weeks of the year, and was extra perky since nice weather was accompanying the start of fair season.  I parked my car in my 89-year-old grandma’s convenient vacant garage across the street as I’ve been doing for a decade now and walked the 50 yards to the north side gate, ready for adventure.  The downside to this buildup is that virtually nothing happens before dark sightings-wise at my county fair in recent years.  Occasionally I’ll get lucky and score something significant before I head to the grandstand for the concert but it’s getting increasingly rare.  Tonight was unfortunately the rule and not the exception….

I navigated the grounds for an hour and a half working myself up into my usual mini-panic as I kept seeing no smoking at all.  If I wasn’t familiar with the pattern of recent years I would have gotten more upset, but I had prepared myself for this.  It still didn’t make it any easier and I lamented how as recently as five years ago conditions were not this dismal.  Finally, I saw one mediocre sighting of a Latina mother in the midway waiting for her kid to get off of a ride in the final moments before I went into the grandstand before the concert.  I told myself things had to get better and figured they would, but there are no guarantees.  I bought my $1 7UP and entered the grandstand to my preferred seating hovering over the de facto designated smoking area and the beer gardens.  Immediately, sightings numbers began to perk up….

Unfortunately the sightings I started scoring were mostly on the other side of the fence inside the beer gardens, and those sightings are usually too far away to fully appreciate, especially given how many people are packed inside and especially after dark.  Still, it was a pleasure to see a duo of mid-20s blonds in summer dresses wielding cigarettes inside the beer gardens almost immediately after I sat down.  One in particular struck my eye, but bad vantage points were my primary theme of the night and it began early as the two ladies gravitated–cigarettes in hand–to the farthest reaches of the beer garden’s north side where I could barely see them.

A modestly attractive blond mommy came out of the grandstand next with her husband and they both fired up.  Mom had a good presentation with long blond hair, a pink T-shirt, and pale blue jeans but the sighting was, once again, cut short as she and the husband and child began wandering into the fairgrounds less than a minute after lighting up in the smoking area.

Playing out next was another sighting in the crowded center of the beer gardens that just happened to be my 1,000th all-time local county fair sighting.  The location was unfortunate but the girl impressed, a short-haired brunette in a white top and jean shorts.  She was amidst a group of attractive 20-somethings and was the only smoker of the group, but suffice it to say she smoked for the four of them.  Before and during the concert by country singer Josh Turner, she smoked four cigarettes and forced her nonsmoking friends to ingest her secondhand smoke the entire time.  Unfortunately, that’s about all I can say about her.  She was too far away to get a really good look at and report on how pretty she was or how strong her performance was.  Everything looked good from where I sat, but I sat about 25 yards away.  I kept hoping to bump into her later in the night outside the beer gardens but never did.  It was pretty much that kind of night.  Even deeper in the grandstand was a brunette who looked even hotter.  She smoked two cigarettes last night but I could barely see her either time.

The concert was about to begin at 8:30 and the announcer who goes through the grandstand rules in the moments before the concerts start each night had already declared no smoking in the grandstand.  Yet just as the show was starting in came a duo of females who didn’t get the memo, parading past the gates of the grandstand with cigarettes in hand.  One was a long-haired dark blond in a black blouse and jeans who looked impressive from afar and the other was an unattractive, overweight brunette who I didn’t even count as a sighting.  I kept waiting for all hell to rain down on these women, and when they got about 15 footsteps into the grandstand, I got my answer as a police officer came barreling towards them as if they just shot somebody.  He seemed cordial at least as I watched him explain to the women that they had to go outside the gate to smoke and they took it in stride, heading that direction.  I’d see them later smoking inside the beer gardens and saw them towards the end of the night outside the beer gardens.  The dark blond was only modestly attractive and in her mid-to-late 30s, outside my preference zone but still impressive enough to qualify as a sighting and, honestly, my only sighting of the night with a genuine storyline.

But the best actual sightings of the night from the beer gardens and the smoking area played out simultaneously towards the end of the Josh Turner concert.  A trio of mid-20s gals had been hovering in the general area for most of the show and turned up at the best possible spot in the beer gardens for my vantage point when the most memorable girl in the trio–a blond in white shorts–was removing a cigarette from her pack.  She lit up and put on a pretty decent show, although there was still some issue with distance, darkness, and crowd-blocking that prevented me from getting the caliber of show I’d have preferred.  As for the two female friends, the dark brunette also lit up but she was an average beauty and had tattoos covering much of her upper arm, an instant turnoff for me.  The lighter brunette friend never smoked.  While the blond’s first cigarette didn’t produce any particularly memorable moments, she lit up again about 15 minutes later towards the end of Josh Turner’s concert, bouncing along and moving her hips to the music while trying to take pics of Turner on her camera phone.  I got to see more smoking and a much better overall display on this second cigarette as she either bounced up and down like a schoolgirl or swiveled her hips like a female Elvis in those white shorts.

On the other side of the fence in the smoking area closer to me was a long-haired light brunette mommy in tow with her young son (he looked about five), with a wonderful presentation in a long blue summer dress.  She was talking to a guy on the other side of the fence inside the beer gardens and I had a feeling she was about to light up.  It took her awhile and she unfortunately migrated behind the canopy of a food vendor blocking me from getting a direct view, but in time I saw a fresh cigarette protruding from her fingers.  I only saw a few drags and didn’t get to see her face upclose until later in the evening, but again her presentation impressed and oozed femininity.  She looked a little older than I originally anticipated when I finally got to see (I figure early 30s) but she was still pretty solid.

Another early 30s gal with an impressive presentation delivered, however briefly, towards the end of the Josh Turner concert when she and her (presumably) husband exited the concert a bit early and she produced a cigarette for her and him from her purse and lit up.  I could tell she was a little older but still attractive, but decked out like a 19-year-old girl in her pink blouse and pale denim miniskirt.  The contrast of this outfit with the gal’s extended dangling after she lit up was outstanding, but alas, it wasn’t made to last like so many other sightings last night as she and the husband spent about a minute in the smoking area and then drifted away out of sight, never to be seen again.  Grrrr!

I left the concert in the middle of Turner’s final song, hoping to get ahead of the exiting crowds.  The sea of humanity makes it hard to sniff out smokers, but by and large there just weren’t any to be found and my paranoia was starting to deepen.  I was walking south of the grandstand area and a voice inside my head was advising me to turn into a relative dark area near a couple of port-a-potties.  Within about three seconds of doing so, I stumbled upon my best sighting of the night.  This very wholesome 19-20ish light brunette decked out in a red and black flannel blouse covering a white tanktop (as often seems to be the case for my county fair, it was another cold night in the low 60s) with a pair of jean shorts underneath.  She proceeded to an open area behind one of the food stands where an unimpressive overweight boyfriend awaited.  It took me awhile to notice that he had a two-thirds-smoked cigarette himself but I couldn’t care less.  I hovered in my reasonable strong vantage point near the port-a-potties as if I was waiting for someone and watched the show, or at least what I could see in the darkened location.  The light brunette attended to her cigarette at an impressive pace, taking timely drags of decent length followed by solid four-second hold times and thin exhales as if most of the smoke was clinging to her blackened insides.  For whatever reason, her boyfriend walked away when he finished his cigarette and proceeded to sit at the food stand he had just been smoking behind.  This was perfect as it left the girl standing by herself, continuing with an impressive smoking show and distracted by her phone enough that I was able to watch closely.  She dropped the cigarette to the grass after a few minutes and then proceeded towards the boyfriend at the food stand and the pair wandered into the fairgrounds…..

My first order of business was to locate and ID her cigarette butt which I quickly did.  It was a Camel Menthol.  From there I had to try to find the couple as I wanted a better look at the smoker girl’s face.  I got lucky and found them inside the BINGO stand.  The boyfriend was seated playing BINGO and the girl was standing behind him and giving him an off and on massage (he’s got her whipped!!).  She didn’t disappoint looks-wise either, with very soft features that matched her generally wholesome presentation.  She didn’t look at all like what one would expect an early 20s smoker girl to look in 2015, and she clearly could do better than the butterball boyfriend she was so loyally attending to.

I carried this momentum to the north side of the grounds to what SHOULD have been my best sighting of the night.  I saw a couple of girls that appeared to be late teens sitting on a bench and my radar went up right away that they could be smokers.  Sure enough, the long-haired dark brunette cutie in a pink top and jean shorts had a cigarette in hand.  While she was solid enough looking, she had a couple of tattoos that kept her from living up to expectations for me.  If only the adorable and wholesome younger-looking blond sitting next to her smoked too, I thought to myself.  I barely had time to process that thought before the cigarette was handed to blondie who proceeded to take a solid drag.  Now we’re talking!  I had a problem though that in this remote part of the grounds I couldn’t just hover there in front of the bench and watch her performance without telling on myself.  Still, I knew I wasn’t gonna find a hotter girl than this smoking last night.  I got creative and starting looking at the farm equipment behind them, enabling me to look between the equipment and see the girls from the rear, including the blond who proceeded to smoke the rest of the cigarette herself.  I just had to get a better look before she was done and proceeded back towards their front just in time to see her take her final drag, toss the butt to the grass, and get up with the friend to walk into a more populated part of the fairgrounds.  When I sat at the bench, the beautiful colors of a white and green Marlboro Light Menthol butt lie there in the grass with the still-smoldering cherry glowing bright red.  It was just beautiful to behold that a hot teen blond was responsible for that.

I followed the girls a bit and got a better look at the blond’s face, and was she ever a knockout.  She definitely looked younger than the brunette and had I not seen her in the company of the brunette, I’d have figured she wasn’t even 18.  My suspicion of the age difference was confirmed just a few minutes later when I peered towards the north side fence on the beer gardens and saw a familiar brunette in a pink top and jean shorts inside the beer garden fence….while a familiar looking blond in a white blouse and dark blue jeans was waiting outside, not yet 21 and unable to get inside.  Amazingly, the blond was already smoking another cigarette while the brunette inside was not.  Even being blessed with a second chance here, I couldn’t make good on it as the vantage point for this sighting was considerably worse even than the last as the girls were blackened silhouettes in a dark corner, illuminatied only by blondie’s cigarette, with no vantage point to realistically observe.  These two were killing me!

I saw the girls on the midway about 15 minutes later without cigarettes and took the opportunity to head to their now-vacant spot outside of the beer gardens fence to see if I could find another Marlboro Light Menthol butt.  I didn’t, so I progressed back to the midway to see if I could find them again, and I did….sitting on a bench eating fair food.  The blond was so beautiful.  I found a nearby bench to hover, hoping blondie would light up again.  Instead, 11:00 arrived and the midway went dark.  More on that in a bit but the girls got up to leave along with everybody else and I followed them hoping to catch one more cigarette.  They left slowly and bought a lemonade and a bag of cotton candy.  Now last year I had a sighting of a hottie smoking while eating cotton candy, but in this case I had a bad feeling the cotton candy purchased killed my chances for another cigarette being smoked.  And sure enough, they exited the north side grandstand gate eating their cotton candy.  I even followed them to the parking lot in hopes they’d finish the dessert and light up a cigarette when they got to their car but no luck.  That blond was easily worthy of my year-end top-25 but I’ll have to see more from her than what I did for her to qualify.  There are four more nights of the fair so I’m crossing my fingers.

I expected my evening was probably done with an abysmal 16 sightings after the midway went lights out at 11.  This is the second year of the midway shutting down early, which is a sightings killer as it rapidly depopulates the entire grounds.  Worse yet, with the midway empty I am reduced to encircling the same loop and walking past the same fairgoers (and cops!) repeatedly on an already small fairgrounds.  There were dozens of kids in line to go on rides as there is every night still at 11 but the midway just shut down and sent them walking.  One would think this would be bad for business but the fair apparently wants it because they invited this midway outfit back for a second year.  Thankfully I got some lucky breaks and boosted my sightings numbers in the final half hour.  A blond and brunette duo of 17-18ish girls caught my eye while I was pursuing the blond beauty out of the fairgrounds.  These two were decently attractive and I wished I had time to see more from them.  At the very least it was nice to see there were still some teen girls in Minnesota who were smoking.  The blond even retrieved a cigarette from a pack in her purse, making it less likely to dismiss her as a mere social smoker.

But it was another cluster of 17-18ish girls a few minutes later on the north edge of the midway that really saved my bacon numbers-wise.  Two girls in a group of six were standing their BSing and I could see two of them had cigarettes.  One was a little chubby but cute enough to count but the other was a hot blond in very tight white shorts who was much prettier.  And while I had a good bench to sit and watch, the blond always seemed to either have her back to me or surrounded by other girls.  Luckily, the show was just getting started as two more cork filter cigarettes were produced by two more girls in the group.  One was overweight and unattractive, but the other was a gorgeous 18ish brunette in a black top and tight-fitting jean shorts caressing her amazing ass and crotch.  She was the beauty of the group, and here she stood with an unlit cigarette dangling from her lips for a good 60 seconds before somebody produced a lighter and she lit herself up.  I got to see a couple of nice drags and the blond was finally in full view too.  It looked like I finally got the break I needed when all hell broke loose once again.  The brunette pointed to something and nudged the blond to follow.  The girls disappeared with cigarettes in hand behind a food stand and I gave them no more than five seconds to come back into view before attempting to follow.  But where the hell were they?  Seriously….I lost them!  I lurked every direction for the next several minutes flabbergasted how I managed to lose the two sexiest teen girls left on the nearly empty fairgrounds.  And I never did see them again during my remaining 20 minutes on the grounds either.  This is just how Tuesday night went for me!

I had one final interesting encounter as I spotted a 17ish Asian girl proceeding right down the main drag of the fairgrounds with a cigarette in hand, decked out in a white top and gray leggings that covered a very nice teen female figure.  I wasn’t able to see her face as I followed but she attended to that cigarette regularly and was constantly exhaling plumes of smoke that I had the luxury of walking through.  She cut between food stands at an unusual spot and I followed.  In seconds, it became clear she was on a break from the Tom Thumb Mini-Donuts stand.  She opened the door for the stand, crushed her cigarette out on her shoe and then proceeded to step inside the stand and put on her apron, undoubtedly stinking of fresh smoke and causing one or more of her fellow workers to recoil in disgust.  I got a good look at her face before pressing on.  She wasn’t an incredible beauty by any means (I’d guess she was southeast Asian) but had that very innocent Asian girl look about her that made her smoking performance I had just witnessed all the more sexy.

While the night wasn’t a complete disaster, it was my weakest opening night at the fair both in terms of numbers and quality in several years.  I ended up with 24 sightings which isn’t horrible but definitely below average.  My local county fair is probably poised to decline as a venue.  That midway closing an hour early is absolutely killing my sightings numbers.  It’s probably safe to assume that my 2010 sightings haul of 144 will hold up forever barring an unforeseen fluke and I might be lucky to even score 100 this year.  I definitely hope the coming four nights hold something better than tonight did.

 

 

Wednesday Night

Last year, Wednesday was my best night by far.  This year wasn’t bad but certainly didn’t produce any instant classics.  Several of the evening’s 20 sightings were repeaters from prior years.  That’s one of the upsides of the local county fair.  I can pretty much follow smoker girls as they mature given that I’m likely to see some of them every year.  This is not always an upside, however, as I was reminded of tonight.  More on that later.   The other downside with so many repeaters is that there isn’t nearly as much new blood as there used to be.  The replacement smokers do not seem to be there, and I’m fearful that particularly at this fair I could be seeing seriously diminishing returns in the years ahead with teen smoking rates so abysmal.

Anyway, I arrived at the grounds about 45 minutes later than the previous night since the daylight hours at this fair tend to be so dead.  As luck would have it though, I would see my first girl smoking within a couple minutes of arrival on Wednesday.  I had said I wanted to see that gorgeous blond from the night before again on future nights.  I didn’t see her unfortunately, but the girl whose sighting won Tuesday night was back for an encore…..the wholesome 19ish light brunette who smoked behind a dark food stand the night before in the company of her chubby boyfriend and then proceeded to play BINGO.  Well on Wednesday night she was in a cluster with the same boyfriend and three other girls.  She was the only smoking at the time, looking as adorable as ever in a utilitarian purple tanktop and jean shorts.   I hovered in an awkward spot briefly before she proceeded the direction I was going along with the boyfriend and one other female friend.   I followed close behind and tested out my new camera phone which has features I like and features I don’t like.  I didn’t get a decent frontal shot but got a couple of nice side and rear shots showing her strutting through the fairgrounds with cigarette in hand, taking the same nicely timed drags from the night before.  Her cigarette was half smoked when I first spotted her so the show ended too quickly with a piggish butt disposal, dropping it to the pavement and halfheartedly crushing it out with her foot before pressing forward.  The night before she was smoking Camel Menthols but her discarded butt tonight was a Camel Crush Bold.  Good sign that she goes through cigarettes pretty quickly.  She and the friend and boyfriend were migrated towards a parking lot behind the buildings so I figured they were leaving for the day….but I was wrong.

Less than a half hour later, scoring no other sightings of significance, the same girl came through again not far from where she smoked the night before, wielding yet another smelly cigarette, this one just recently lit.  Without any place for me to sit, it was still a somewhat awkward vantage point but I again pretended to be looking at stuff a vendor was selling and watched her from the corner of my eye, scoring a distant photo that might turn out better when I enlarge it.  Whatever the case, it was another solid show of nicely timed drags and decent exhales.  She won’t win any Nobel prizes for stylishness but she’s a solid smoker who’s enjoyable to see smoke particularly because of her wholesome presentation.  The boyfriend once again made it easy for me as he was off somewhere else leaving her to smoke alone.  When she finished this cigarette, she leaned against a shed and started texting, perhaps inquiring where he disappeared to.  I’d be more than happy to take her off the boyfriend’s hands if he has other priorities!

With only two other mediocre sightings, I headed into the grandstand around 8:00 to secure my favorite seat about a half hour before the concert by new country guy Frankie Ballard.  I could tell right away the crowd in the grandstand and in the adjacent beer gardens was considerably smaller than the night before.  I stayed at the concert until about 9:20 and got all of two sightings from inside the beer gardens before I decided I had to get out of there if I was to get any decent sightings at all last night.  And while I did get out of there, my next sighting actually came….in the exact area I just vacated as when I was walking past a few minutes later a late 20s dark brunette with dark complexion  was standing alone in the smoking area firing up a cigarette.  She looked familiar and I’m sure she had been counted as one of my sightings in the past at this fair.  She was the most adept dangler I’d seen in quite a while, standing there working her phone with her cigarette hanging out of her mouth for long stretches.  It was a very sexy display and I got to watch a couple minutes of it before an older woman who clearly knew her from somewhere approached her to chat and obstructed my view.

The concert soon ended and the grandstand began to empty out.  I was searching for sightings in the general area around the south side of the grandstand and spotted a cluster of what appeared to wholesome teenage girls hovering behind a set of food stands that had been familiar to me in the last couple of days.  It took a couple of seconds to process that it was her AGAIN!  Her being my wholesome light brunette who I had seen smoking twice before the concert.  She was with her boyfriend and three female friends puffing on another cigarette in a very inconvenient spot for me to observe.  I walked slowly in front of the vendor stands so I could look in between and this time a dark brunette was lighting up a cigarette of her own.  She wasn’t in the league of the heavy-smoking light brunette ringleader but she was cute.  There was an ever cuter blond in the cluster but unfortunately she never lit up.  Being as familiar as I was to this light brunette after watching her smoke most of three cigarettes in the last 24 hours, I couldn’t push my luck so I split, hard as that was.  With four cigarettes under her belt in two days, the chances are rising this girl makes my top-25 list at year’s end.

And she wouldn’t be the last familiar female face I’d happen upon exhaling carcinogenic smoke.  As I looped around the livestock-heavy north side of the grounds, I spotted a cluster of 18-19-year-olds that included four girls and a guy.  The only smoker in the group was a chubby long-haired brunette in a pink top and turquoise pants.  Despite being the chubbiest girl in the group, I got a vibe from her and sat down on a nearby bench to observe.  As so often happens, her back was to me so I could only watch her take drags without a revelation of her face.  After about a minute or so, she finally looked my general direction and I got to see the face.  It was a girl I saw smoking twice last summer who I figured was 18 at the time.  I pushed my luck both times trying to get a closer look at her last year and was spotted, so I didn’t want to be a hovering presence again and got up to leave without watching much of her smoking.  I’d see her one more time on the grounds about 15 minutes later.  It’s too bad she has such husky hips because she has a very pretty face.

And during the minute or so I was sitting on that bench, another ghost of smoker girls past zipped on past me.  The sighting I’ve currently rated as my FCF #37 began back in 2012 with a 17-ish dark brunette with poofed up and a face with very memorable and dramatic features who was sitting on a bench smoking a cigarette in the midway where her nonsmoking boyfriend stopped to chat and then kissed her ashtray mouth before walking away.  The following year, I spotted her again very briefly in a shared cigarette sighting.  Then I saw her again last year…..about eight months pregnant.  Fast forward to 2014 and that same memorable face and very dark brown hair was pushing a stroller past me in the company of (presumably) the baby daddy wearing a very utilitarian and autumnal black sweatshirt and dark jeans…..and the stroller had a pack of Marlboro Light Menthols in it.  I have followed this girl’s smoking habit from her teen years to young adulthood and was pleased to get the chance to continue doing so.  She wasn’t smoking as she wheeled on by but I count it as an official sighting if the presence of a pack of cigarettes gives me significant reason to believe the girl smokes….and it didn’t hurt that I already knew this girl smoked from years past!  I’d see the couple in another part of the grounds a few minutes later, and this time the baby daddy was vaping from his electronic cigarette.  Mommy still wasn’t smoking, but I liked this dynamic where he seemed to be the vaper while she was the actual smoker.  Another 15 minutes and the sighting was confirmed.   Hiding on a bench surrounded by farm equipment, dad sat with the stroller in front of him while mommy sat on the other side smoking her cigarette.  I got to see a few drags and her exhales impressed just as they did three years ago when she released them into the night sky.  I was able to see about five drags before she dropped the butt to the grass and prepared to leave.  As expected, the butt was a Marlboro Light Menthol (although she was smoking Marlboro Blacks three years ago).  This reunion with a veteran FCF smoker girl went better than my next one.

And that next reunion came only about 10 minutes later.  A cluster of 21-ish guys and girls were loitering on the main drag when I spotted a brunette girl smoking a cigarette.  It took a while to get a good look at her face but the second I did there wasn’t a shadow of a doubt that was it the legendary dark brunette who is the spitting image of actress Marla Sokoloff.  Her brash and epic chainsmoking shows from 2013 catapulted her as high as FCF #7 on my greatest hits list.  Unfortunately, these past two years have not been kind.  That smoking hot body in tight jean shorts two years ago had put on a good 20 pounds, and it was abundantly evident in her previously world-class posterior.  She was wearing a wildly unsexy black sweatshirt and unflattering jean shorts that could not have contrasted more with her sexpot presentation from two years earlier.  I did my best to focus on her face, which still had that brash beauty to it and from what I was able to see she was still a skilled and stylish smoker.  Unfortunately, I was once again struggling to find a workable vantage point and wasn’t able to find one.  I caught up with her again a few minutes later (sans the cigarette) and her swollen backside began to make a little more sense as I saw her lifting a child out of a stroller.  Now it’s possible this was just a friend’s baby who she was attending to briefly while the friend was in line at a nearby food vendor, but judging from the dramatic change to her body, my suspicion is a little one passed through those once-glorious hips.  If the baby is hers, it’s a pretty safe bet he or she became addicted to nicotine in the womb.

Towards the end of the night, I would see “Marla” again, standing in another challenging location with two of her guy friends and smoking another cigarette.  In a way it didn’t bother me that I wasn’t well-positioned to watch this sighting play out because I wouldn’t want this legend’s present bodily condition to undermine her first-rate body of work from two years ago.  I won’t allow what she’s become to diminish those memories and the easiest way to do that is to not dwell on her decline.  Moments after I saw her smoking that second cigarette, she was on a bench in my direct line of vision for the first time, although not smoking.  I guess it was meant to be this way, and all I can hope for is she takes off that baby weight and makes a pleasantly surprising return to the 2016 local county fair with the same servitude to nicotine but her old body back.  Seems like a long shot though.

At around 11:00, the midway was about to close and I didn’t even have 10 sightings yet!  I’d get that 10th sighting on the north side of the midway from a petite, curly-haired brunette in glasses in a pink top and jean shorts who looked about 19 and at least partially Hispanic.  She was in a group of mostly guys and I saw her smoking two cigarettes in the next half hour.  There was nothing overly memorable about her or her performance but it was satisfying to see an attractive young girl from the key demographic helping to keep smoking alive.

Another attractive brunette keeping smoking alive was lurking in another huddle of young people.  This one was a slender dark brunette with some unfortunate facial piercings obstructing an otherwise pretty face.  She was the only smoker in the mixed-gender group telling a story that included the quote “right after I turned 21” which surprised me a little because I wouldn’t have guessed she was 21.  Girls look younger than used to.  No 21-year-old looked like her when I was a boy.  Included in this cluster was a girl I hoped to see smoking as she was lurking in the presence of smokers twice tonight, and that was this girl named Erin who’s the former mayor’s daughter and has a fluffy weekly column in the town newspaper.  She raised my eyebrows recently with a column where she said she had just bought a motorcycle so there’s some oddball bad girl stuff arising.  At least in my presence, this bad girl phase has not yet included tobacco use unfortunately.

A decent “sort of” sighting transpired in a mostly vacant seating area on the south side of the grounds where I noticed a trio of mostly unattractive alternative-looking girls, but the best looking of the three–a long-haired dark brunette with black lipstick–had a pack of Newports right in front of her.  I sat down just in case she’d light up when she finished eating.  She jokingly complained to her friends that she “spent her last five dollars on this” (presumably in reference to the fair food she was eating).  When she never lit up I left, but still counted her since it seemed like a sure thing that those Newports were hers.

I was able to breathe a little easier in my final 15 minutes as I avoided calamity numbers-wise, stitching together new sightings more rapidly than I had at any other point in the night despite the declining population of fairgoers.  Amazingly enough, the Tom Thumb Mini-Donut stand delivered, this time with TWO young girls.  The previous night I got to follow that Asian girl as she returned to the stand with a cigarette.  Last night, the Asian girl was again en route back to the Tom Thumb stand…and so was a white friend, a dark blond cutie who looked about 18 with a fairly freshly lit cigarette in hand.  The duo pressed forward down the main stretch of the grounds wielding their cigarettes and wearing matching white tops and gray leggings that tightly packaged their sculpted asses.  Blondie even managed to cut loose two lugies in a very short distance.  I just love cute smoker girls who are also chronic spitters.  As the duo arrived at the donut stand, the Asian girl crushed out her cigarette on her shoe as she did the night before and stepped inside, but not the blond.  She hovered outside to finish hers, and with a few open benches literally right in front of her, I’d get to watch her smoke.  A guy inside the stand gave me an added bonus by dropping her name…twice.  He called her Megan, the perfect name for this wholesome girl-next-door cutie who proceeded to take very nice drags from her cork filter and produce the cloudiest exhales I’d seen all night.  It was a treat to watch this from just a few feet away and I got to see a good seven drags before she dropped it to the grass and then walk inside the donut stand to force her coworkers to choke on her foul odor.  But right when I thought the show was over, “Megan” had one more surprise for me.  She stood at the doorway of the Tom Thumb stand and hocked up one more juicy lugie that landed several feet outside with impressive velocity.  After she closed the door behind her I IDed her discarded but….a Marlboro No. 27.

The same series of benches at the edge of the midway near where Marla 2.0 was provided my penultimate sighting of the night.  A duo of early 20s blonds sat at a bench and one of them–the prettiest of the two–was smoking a freshly lit cigarette.  She had curly blond hair and wore a gray sweatshirt and black leggings, sitting there with a plate of food in front of her face that I’m assuming she was finished with.  The marquee moment of the sighting came as I approached and I watched her release a thunderous exhale where smoke engulfed the table full of food in front of her.  That was hot stuff.  I was prepared for good stuff all around as the friend across the table from her used her own sweatshirt to cover her face.  It wasn’t that cold outside so unless she was really cold-blooded, my suspicion was she was covering her face to avoid her friend’s ciggy stench.  It was impressive to behold, at least for the 10 seconds or so I had a good vantage point.  A trio of male friends thoughtlessly swooped in and sat in my direct line of vision denying me anything more than peripheral observation of the blond smoking.  It was so infuriating, and thus far the theme of this year’s county fair.  The grounds were too sparse for me to get adventuresome and move to her other side as the risk of getting caught was too high.  I looked over my shoulder as I walked away and sort of caught another drag.  This is another sighting that had the potential to be quite a bit more but was derailed by inconvenient logistics.

It was about 11:20 and I was on my final lap of the night, heading down the main commercial block nearest the grandstand when I saw a cluster of guys smoking with a couple of females hidden amidst them.  There was an air of familiarity about them from afar and it hit me instantly that I bet these were the guys smoking with “Sarah” last year, the 18-ish blond who I saw smoking her Marlboro Lights on three different nights and who was my #23 sighting of the 2014 fair season.  As I got closer, I saw there was a blond female with a cigarette in hand and my suspicions grew.  Suddenly, this female calls out to another guy her age who was walking nearby.  Before I even got close enough to see her face, my theory was vindicated as the guy she was talking to responded with “Hey Sarah, how are you doing?”  Just as I was passing, I saw Sarah and she was still a cute blond with a nice body, although her black T-shirt and dark jean shorts combination didn’t dazzle me quite as much as last year’s blue tanktop and white shorts did.  Still, the familiar presence of her Marlboro Light in hand was a sight for sore eyes and I was treated to a pleasant surprise when she began to talk to this guy.  This husky-well-beyond-her-years voice emerged from Sarah, indicating that her Marlboro Lights addiction is heavier than I may have suspected before and is probably already doing a number on vocal chords.  My problem with “Sarah” last summer is that I could never position myself to watch her smoke or even see more than a single stray drag.  Unfortunately, the same was true last night, and the crowd was too sparse for me to try to get too cute.  I barely got a look at her face at all on my second pass let alone watch her smoking as the guys in her group seem to almost do a ring-around-the-rosie encircling her repeatedly to keep anyone from seeing her smoke.  It’s infuriating.   I guess I have three more nights in which I can hope to see more from her because she’s a great smoker but I seem to be cursed with this girl, and perhaps every girl this fair season!

So that was my night.  At times it seemed like a family reunion of local county fair girls past, with some pleasant and unpleasant surprises regarding who held up and who didn’t.  If nothing else, it was nice to see that the smokers of the past are still smoking, and it blows me away that smoking is holding up even as well as it is in Minnesota with the average pack going for like $8.50 plus tax.  I’m not sure where I was last year after more impressive Tuesday and Wednesday night hauls but with last night’s 20 sightings I am only up to 44 over my first two days, which isn’t overly impressive but at the same time the bottom has not appeared to have fallen out.  This year’s FCF still has a lot of work to do to live up to the best of what it’s delivered in the past (the four-year stretch from 2010 to 2013 was absolutely incredible) but I still have three more nights to capture lightning in a bottle.

 

 

Thursday Night

Even though I had only gotten about two hours of sleep the night before, I headed to Night 3 of my county fair with a burst of energy that I had been unable to muster up during the day.  Rain was in the forecast for the late evening but there was a chance it would stay north of my town, and at the very least they expected to get the grandstand concert by country singer Tyler Farr in.  I crossed the street from my grandma’s place to enter the gates not really expecting much, not recognizing that the day was about to begin in a dramatic way with a sighting that mirrored–albeit less dramatically in both instances–the course of my two most epic sightings from 2013, both in my all-time FCF top-10.  And it all started with me observing a country girl sexpot in a group of four entering the gates, a long-haired light brunette who stood out among the foursome for both her beauty and her tight body draped in skin-tight blue jeans and a pair of cowboy boots, with a red flannel shirt on top.  The presentation drew me in, but I never gave a second thought to possible tobacco use until I walked in through the gate myself moments later.  Suddenly, the hottest girl of the group was standing there waiting for her other three friends to join her….with a half-smoked cork filter cigarette protruding from her fingers.  I’m sure other fairgoers pass by the ticket takers at the gate with cigarettes in hand over the course of the five-day fair, but I bet few are as beautiful and sexy as her!  Just like Marla Sokoloff 2.0 in 2013, the games had begun at the starting gate tonight, and I was rarin’ to go!

My light brunette was a curious and adorable mix of wholesome country girl and subdued badass, the kind of girl with IT factor who you know is likely to be in your top-25 year-end countdown the moment you spot her smoking.  As for her friends, there was an attractive blond with a similar country girl outfit who was the next best-looking.  The other two were dark brunettes, neither of which did much for me although one was prettier than the other and the other one held a pack of Camel Menthol Lights in her hand.  Back to the main event girl, I got to see a couple of her drags and they were satisfying, but I made a bold effort to ready my new camera phone for some shots and probably missed a couple more drags in the process of preparing for snapshots.  I got a couple solid pics of her world-class backside before walking parallel to her attempting a bold maneuver of getting an upclose shot of her at my side….and it would have worked….except I don’t yet have the subtleties of my less-user-friendly-than-the-last-one camera phone down and my left hand was covering the upper portion of the lens, leaving only her legs in the shots.  Grrr!  And I could tell by the way she was holding her cigarette that she had snuffed out the cherry and finished it, holding onto it until she got to the next garbage can.  Sure enough, at the next garbage can she tossed the butt inside.  As I passed, I looked inside and immediately spotted the cork filter butt lying inside an empty tub of food and IDed it as a Marlboro Red.  Now that’s the way to start a day at the county fair!

Unfortunately I’d run into more obstacles right away as I lost the group in the crowd while stopping to ID the butt.  I spent about a half hour traversing the grounds looking for this girl as right away I sensed something special about her and needed more than what I saw from her thus far to qualify a top-tier blog-worthy sighting.  As I tried to retrace my steps to figure out where she could have vanished to, it hit me that she and the friends may have gone into the beer gardens.  The reason I didn’t think of this before is because the girls didn’t seem 21.  My light brunette country girl in particular seemed more like 19.  But after about a half hour, I got sweet relief when I spotted the four friends outside the beer gardens briefly and I was able to snap a couple pretty good frontal pics (albeit nonsmoking) before they headed back into the beer gardens.  While the beer gardens wasn’t an ideal place for them to spend much of the evening, I could at least keep tabs on them from my seat in the grandstand during the show, albeit it at a long distance.

But before I get to the grandstand portion of the night, I stumbled another impressive girl who was very consequential during the evening during that half hour when I was searching for the light brunette country girl.  A duo of 21ish gals, one blond and one brunette, were walking down a heavily populated stretch on the south side of the grounds.  Both were pretty without having overflowing IT factor, but the long-haired brunette in a green blouse and jeans with a baseball cap on her head surprised me being in possession of a mostly smoked cigarette in this heavily populated area.  I did a 180 and began following them as they weaved through a seating area en route to a trapeze show the fair is putting on this year.  The brunette took a couple of final drags before tossing the butt to the grass and proceeding towards the seating for the trapeze show.  I had no problem identifying the discarded butt as a Newport Red, not one I see every day.  I then tried to follow the girls to the seating area and hopefully snap a stealth photo but they were too quick and ended up seating in the middle of a large set of bleachers surrounded by people, several of whom undoubtedly were annoyed by the fresh cigarette stench on that brunette.  I got another close look upon passing and she was indeed a fresh-faced young cutie.  The blond was probably a touch prettier but the brunette was hot as well and definitely didn’t fit the profile of a smoker gal in 2015.

Back to the grandstand concert, I took my seat earlier than usual tonight in attempt to keep tabs on the country girl brunette and her friends who I saw go inside.  Unfortunately, they found a distant back table inside the beer gardens where even in the remaining daylight hours I was unable to see them, and the best I could do was watch their hands which were unobstructed by the overhead canopy in hopes that those hands would be in possession of a cigarette.  At one point I even did the unthinkable and abandoned my cherished grandstand seat to a place closer to the stage where I could look inside the beer gardens from a different angle.  This worked to an extent, but when none of the girls (or the smart young fellows who found them) lit up I decided to go back to my old seat, and was rewarded with the most active night the smoking area has seen in a few years.

Just as the show was starting an early 20s blond and brunette duo snuck out for a cigarette.  Now this was the kind of show I remember getting in the smoking area regularly five years ago as the blond produced a pack of Marlboro Light Menthols (suddenly those seem to popular in my area again) and removed two cigarettes, one for each of them.  They lit up and proceeded to give me a very nice show with solid nicely timed drags and their own distinctive exhales.  The blond, who by the way had long hair and was wearing a gray top and pale blue jean shorts, always produced a long-distance straight ahead stream with her exhales which fired out of her mouth like a cannon for a couple of feet before dissipating in the dusk air.  The brunette, who was just as pretty as the blond and was wearing a pink top and dark blue jeans, was a bit sloppier with her exhales with gushes of smoke flowing from her face followed by the residual wisp coming out of her nose.  The contrast was delightful as my eyes darted back and forth from each girl as she exhaled while they listened intently to Tyler Farr’s opening song, and you could set your watch by the predictability of each girl’s differing exhale style.  The blond finished her cigarette first and tossed it to the grass in an easy-to-mark place and the brunette did the same after a couple of final drags.  They went back into the show and I already missed them, but positively IDed their butts on the way out 45 minutes later as Marlboro Light Menthols.

Now in the last few years, you feel lucky to get one sighting of hotties like that smoking in the smoking area outside the grandstand on a given night.  But about 15 minutes later, another trio of college-aged girls gathered there for a cigarette in the company of a guy.  One of the girls wore a Winona State University sweatshirt and made me wonder if she–or possibly all of them–were students there.  Anyway, none of the girls in this trio were as attractive or as memorable of smokers as the previous duo, but with three above-average college girls smoking right in front of where I sat, I sure wasn’t gonna be complaining!   The group consisted of two brunettes and one dark blond.  The brunettes were the more attractive of the two and despite the lack of stylistic flourishes I was on cloud nine watching all three girls take drags from their cigarettes and producing an almost constant cacophony of exhaled cigarette smoke in their immediate area.  My favorite brunette of the bunch finished her cigarette first, followed by the second brunette, and lastly the blond.  They all cooperatively tossed their butts to the grass before going back into the show with the guy.  For reasons I will discuss in the next paragraph, I left the concert about 10 minutes later and when I did I tried to ID their butts but the trio of cork filter butts did not have an identifiable logo oddly enough.

But it was a familiar face leaving the grandstand around 9:15 that triggered my departure.  Two familiar 21ish females exited the grandstand, an attractive blond and the long-haired brunette with the baseball cap from earlier, and she was holding her pack of Newport Reds in her hand.  I have no idea why so many smokers refuse to stand and smoke in the designated smoking area where I could observe them without leaving my chair but she and her friend kept right on walking.  I was preparing to leave the concert anyway but this development expedited my departure.  I foraged for the discarded butts of the aforementioned groups of smokers before pressing forward and quickly discovered the brunette in the baseball cap sitting on a bench behind the grandstand having just lit up a cigarette.  I was hoping the blond friend would light up this time as well but she never did.  The bench she sat on was part of a cluster of benches and I found an open spot on the bench behind her to observe.  She was a skilled smoker with some serious exhales.  One in particular whipped around like a funnel cloud forming and swirled in a massive tornado of smoke that swirled above her head.  Not every exhale was that dramatic but they were all cloudy and impressive.  She made quick work of the cigarette and some guy was approaching the girls who apparently was part of their group even though I didn’t see him with them before.  The brunette finished off her cigarette and dropped the butt to the grass before the three of them went back into the concert.

But suddenly my attention was diverted elsewhere as the girl who captured my imagination at the very beginning of the night  was exiting the beer gardens with her female friends and a couple of guys they either just met inside or were already friends with.  It was obvious my light brunette cowgirl had a few beers in her at this point as she was acting a little silly.  She didn’t light up right away but I had a strong expectation that she would and I had a great location at this bench to watch.  It took about three minutes before her friend with a purse broke out a pack of Marlboro Reds and handed her a cigarette and a lighter.  The moment I had been waiting for since I set foot on the grounds had arrived and she was lighting up, releasing a doozy of a skyward exhale after the light-up.  Seeing this tight package of a young female in such tight jeans with that long freshly lit cigarette protruding from her fingers got my adrenaline rushing every bit as much as I hoped it would.  And it’s a good thing I was getting off just watching her hold the cigarette because she was much more attentive to her conversation with the friends than she was with the cigarette, dragging much less frequently than I’d have preferred but always impressing when she did.  After a couple of minutes and about three drags, the group drifted into the main block of food vendors which temporarily terrified me as I was about to lose my vantage point.  But the change of location ended up working out and added even more color to the sighting as she was now drunkenly wielding her cigarette in the most crowded block of the fairgrounds.  A sighting that started out mirroring my trajectory with the original 2013 Marla Sokoloff 2.0 epic was now mirroring the storyline of my even more epic Pall Mall princess from the same year.  I even drifted to the same series of benches as I did with that sighting to watch my cowgirl tonight.  And the best was yet to come….

While she still took agonizingly long between drags, she was just fun to watch, and never was she more fun as she was near the back of this line for a food vendor where a teenage girl in shorts was at her side.  My smoker girl’s cigarette was terrifyingly close to the teen girl’s ass and getting closer by the second as the two started aimlessly drifting towards each other, and I swear her fiery chariot of tobacco got as close as inch from the innocent teen’s ass in one brief instant.  But just in time, my light brunette pulled the cigarette to her mouth for the nicest drag I’d see from her, a five-second behemoth which I got to behold in all its glory as the cherry glowed in the night.  Her group of friends was huddled about two feet in front of her after the drag, and instead of making an effort to direct her exhales away from them, she marched right on up to the huddle.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when she released from her mouth and nose a torpedo of filth directly in front of her in this tight huddle.  I’m sure it was unintentional, but everybody in that group was breathing in her carcinogens at that point.  It was quite possibly the most obnoxious direct hit of smoke I’ve ever seen from a smoker girl and she had now officially become the first girl of this fair season to become a Hall of Famer.

And it’s a good thing she delivered when she did as well because her group drifted away less than a minute later and I had the damndest time finding them as the concert was letting out and there were crowds of people exiting the grandstand.  Thankfully I did catch up a couple of minutes later and saw her taking one final drag before crushing out her cigarette.  Unfortunately, my inability to see her smoking the whole cigarette may have prevented her from realizing her full potential on my all-time hits list, but she certainly did enough to qualify with what I saw.  I kept tabs on her for the remaining half hour or so and at one point got giddy when her friend opened up her purse again, but this time instead of cigarettes the friend took out a pair of sunglasses.  It was 10 p.m. and this hottie was gonna wear sunglasses as she and her group drifted into the midway, adding even more character to her colorful profile.  They got in line to go down the big slide at the edge of the midway and I watched from afar, jealous of both the surface of the slide and the potato sack she was sitting on that they got to have such a close encounter with that tremendous ass in one of the tightest pairs of blue jeans I’ve ever seen as she slid down.  From there, they went to the bathroom and back into the beer gardens, donning her sunglasses apparently for the rest of the night but unfortunately never to smoke again, at least in my line of vision.  Nice to have at least one genuinely blockbuster find from this year’s FCF though.

And wouldn’t you know it….the night where I finally truly broke through and was scoring a decent selection of sightings was the night where rain was about to ruin everything.  They got through the concert rain-free but there was lightning to the northwest and it became abundantly clear as 10:00 approached that storms would arrive before the end of the evening at the fair did.  Before the rain started falling though I found two couples hovering near a grandstand entrance all smoking cigarettes.  A mid-20s blond in a black top and jeans dominated my attention of the group though.  She was a genuine beauty and right up there with my light brunette cowgirl in terms of IT factor.  What she didn’t have was a location where I could watch her smoke.  I hovered near her for a minute or so and caught one very nice drag, but my field of vision was obstructed even there.  I then started walking away but positioned myself where I could watch her while walking by and caught one more drag that I got to see in detail and she knocked it out of the park with a solid five-second drag and a cloudy exhale.   I tried to loop around and see her again but she was gone by the time I got there.  She may have been gone, but the rain…that was just starting.

Now the rain typically has one upside in that the crowds head under canopies and anyplace with cover, and amongst those crowds you will find some smokers.  This happened during that first bout of rain as I found myself under a canopy with a cluster that included two modestly attractive early 20s brunettes smoking cigarettes.  Surprisingly, after about five minutes, the rain stopped (or so it seemed at least) but the damage was done.  The lively and young crowd had already started to thin out and I more than likely lost on a few would-be sightings.  At this point though, I was just grateful that it was dry again and I could continue fetishing.  Doing so, I found myself behind a couple of decent mid-20s party girls wielding cigarettes, the better of which was a blond in a white tanktop and jean shorts.  She wasn’t an epic find or anything but it was a nice bonus sighting in the minutes after the first downpour ended.  One of her exhales nailed someone in the face which was pretty hot.  The gals were heading into the beer gardens but blondie stood outside to finish the last couple of drags of her cigarette before stepping inside, tossing the all-white butt to the grass.  Once she went inside I stepped up and identified it as yet another Marlboro Light Menthol!  I’ve gotten more MML sightings at this FCF than I have in the last year or so!  Not sure why, but I like the colors of MML with the green rings so if they’re making a comeback you won’t hear any complaints out of me.

Now the dry conditions lasted about 20 minutes and while I considered the possibility that the rain wasn’t done, I was taken a bit by surprise when the sky opened up again around 10:30 and this downpour was more significant and lasted considerably longer than the first.  I was under a canopy in the midway with a cluster of benches and there was one modestly attractive 17ish girl in there smoking.  But my fantasy was for the sexpot 14-year-old cuties sitting on the bench next to me to light up.  I knew it was a million to one odds but a guy can dream, and looking their direction to see the brunette in leggings and the even hotter blond in tiny white shorts, I thought to myself I could be looking at new all-time best FCF sighting if they did light up sitting right next to me waiting out torrential rain.  But alas, they never did and when the rain finally let up just a little bit after about 15 minutes of downpours, I decided to take off.  I had 21 sightings on the night but made one smart move and walked past the entryway to the beer gardens on my way out of the fairgrounds.  No fewer than three attractive 20-somethings dressed in their cowgirl duds (plaid blouse and jean shorts/cutoffs) were standing in a huddle of people smoking cigarettes under that canopy.  I didn’t have long to admire, especially since the rain was still coming down pretty hard, but was happy to pad my sightings numbers with a three-for-one at the last minute and end the night with 24.

This really is not my year for the FCF.  I finally get a night where there are a decent number of smoker girls out and it rains on my parade during peak sightings hours.  It speaks volumes that I still managed 24 sightings even though I was leaving the grounds before 11:00.  In theory, I still have time to salvage the fair with Friday and Saturday coming, but in recent years, the younger crowd has gotten tired with the fair by the weekend and seeks out other venues, leaving a disproportionately older crowd with few smokers good enough to count.  I’m currently at 68 sightings for the three nights, which probably puts me on track to get to 100 but that’s no sure thing.  Here’s hoping that FCF magic from years past still delivers in 2015.

 

Friday Night

When Thursday ended early because of rain, I was glum about the likelihood that I may have missed my chance for a great sightings night.  Judging by the mediocrity that was Friday night, I fear I was right.  Now I will say that Friday night in 2015 was definitely better than the abysmal Friday night in 2014, but that’s a pretty low bar.  I scored 19 sightings with only a couple of truly memorable among them.

I arrived at the grounds at around 6:45 and definitely didn’t get a sighting as quickly after entering the gates as I did the previous night.  Rather than the two seconds it took me to get a sighting that night, I spent a good hour encircling the grounds in pursuit of my first sighting and finally found two gals hiding in the middle of the farm equipment having a cigarette.  I could tell from afar that one was obese and unattractive, but the other looked pretty nice. The closer I got, the more impressed I was upon noticing she was mid-to-late 20s with a pretty face and her dark blond hair (with some silly rainbow coloring in it) up in a ponytail.  I couldn’t linger for long as she was in such an inconvenient spot to stalk but was able to partake in a couple of drags during my slow walk past her.  Nothing overly memorable style-wise but it sure was nice to see an attractive young female smoking after an hour in the wilderness.  Thankfully, she delivered again–twice–later in the evening when I was in the grandstand for the concert by 90s country singer John Michael Montgomery.  She and the fat friend stood out in the smoking area towards the end of the concert and smoked two in a row.  It was nice to be able to get a full sighting from her and even better when she quickly fired up another cigarette after the first while standing in the smoking area.

Back to before the concert, I was walking towards the south side of the grounds which happens to be where the shuttle buses drop off fairgoers and I saw a group of four decently attractive 19-20-year-old gals approaching.  Two of them, one blond and one brunette, were smoking.  Nothing hugely consequential about them but it was exciting to watch them strut shamelessly into an increasingly densely populated part of the fairgrounds with cigarettes in hand.  Unfortunately, one of the other two girls in the group–a brunette in a tanktop and jean shorts–was the youngest-looking and most wholesome girl of the four and she wasn’t a smoker.  I would see her later in the night after the concert and she wasn’t smoking then either.

I went to the concert and got a few modest sightings in the smoking area.  An early 30s dark blond was putting on a solid show smoking while a teenage girl was singing the national anthem.  When the girl was done singing, the smoking lady applauded while still holding her cigarette between her fingers, a feat that’s always struck me as fairly impressive.  She and the guy I presumed was her husband went into the beer gardens and stood right on the other side of the fence for much of the show and both smoked two cigarettes each over the course of the concert.

Another decently attractive mid-to-late 20s blond was inside the grandstand and asked a cop where she could smoke a cigarette (I could tell because she was holding an unlit cigarette in hand), and the cop directed her to the smoking area where I joyfully observed.  Again, nothing Hall of Fame-worthy about her or her smoking style but it was nice to be in a position to just admire a young woman smoking.  She came out to smoke again later in the concert.

My favorite girl during the concert was a prim and proper mid-20s blond in a pink tanktop and jeans who left the show and came into the smoking area standing almost directly underneath me.  I got a nice show from her with nicely timed drags and cloudy exhales, but the sighting got a cool storyline a few drags in when a young guy I presumed to be her boyfriend or husband came out and stood right next to her holding a young son who was less than two years old.  The husband didn’t smoke but both he and the little guy had to stand and wait for mommy to finish filling her body with stinky carcinogens.  After every drag, she made sure to exhale to her right to avoid choking the men in her life.  I got to watch her smoke the entire cigarette before dropping the butt to the grass and re-entering the grandstand with the husband and son, undoubtedly reeking of fresh smoke to both the guys and whoever else had the misfortune of sitting next to her.

John Michael Montgomery’s concert was a mixed bag.  He had a lot of hits and sounded exactly like he did on the radio, but the majority of his songs were ballads so the concert was pretty low-energy and the average age of the crowd was far and away the highest of the four nights thus far.  So I knew when I left the concert that my odds weren’t great for getting a bevy of delicious mid-teen smoker sightings.  But I still got a couple of good finds, and none better than a familiar face from 2014.  I was walking into the midway when I spotted this beautiful 19ish dark brunette whose long mane of hair flowed all the way down her back.  She wore a flower-print top and a pair of dazzlingly tight white pants that framed her sensational ass perfectly.  I had seen this girl smoking twice in 2014, both times wearing jean shorts and I was always struck by how impressive her ass was.  And as luck would have it, she was just breaking out a cigarette and dangling it from her lips as I crossed paths with her and her two friends, neither of whom smoked.   The cigarette dangled there for a good 30 seconds before she got around to lighting it.  I followed directly behind her as her group vacated the midway and was able to get whacked in the face by three or four exhales.  She spotted me at one point so after that I hovered at a further distance, and in doing so I was able to see her face as she took additional drags followed by tight and cloudy exhales.  And in the moments she wasn’t in the act of smoking I couldn’t take my eyes off of that incredible ass in those tight white pants.  I figured it would be easy to lurk at a distance for the rest of the sighting but as so often happens, there was a detour when she passed the Godfather’s Pizza stand.  My sexpot brunette turned to the person inside the stand and asked “Is Conrad working tonight?”

Her group stayed put for a bit as she temporarily conversed with the person inside the stand and I had to maneuver to avoid being made enough.   After a minute or so, they pressed forward and I scrambled to catch up but thankfully was able to do so before she finished smoking.  She was down to her last few drags as she progressed into the heavily populated and narrow block of food vendors.  She took a final drag right in the center of it and then tossed the butt to the pavement and gingerly crushed it out.  I could tell from the green stripe on the cork filter that it was a Newport.   While this sighting didn’t have enough character or storyline to make any Hall of Fame lists, it was a great sighting from a beautiful girl with an awesome body and was better than either of the two awkwardly positioned sightings I was able to muster up last year.  I ran into her two more times on the grounds but unfortunately she wasn’t smoking for either of them.  Still holding out hope I see her on Saturday night and really hit one out of the park because this girl is certainly worthy of a year-end top-25 if I can score a memorable storyline.

The next hour wasn’t particularly productive although I went back into the midway and scored a few sightings of the late teen crowd, although in every case they were either tattooed or too chubby for my preference.  And the one instance where there was a brunette wielding a cigarette who seemed intriguing, she and her group migrated behind the rides in the pitch black en route to their car so I only got one passing glance at her and didn’t get to see any of her smoking.  The midway stayed open till nearly 11:30 tonight which was helpful in keeping the crowds at the fair longer than the previous nights, giving me two more nuggets of deliciousness to admire in the final 20 minutes of the night.

The first of the two came near the 4-H food stand where a bunch of teenagers gather late at night to line dance.  Usually none of these teens are smoking but sometimes people watching them are.  But tonight right on the edge of the dancers was a blond teen girl in a tanktop and jean shorts holding up two unlit cigarettes in the company of her male companions.  Hot damn I thought to myself as I positioned myself for a sighting.  And it didn’t take long to realize this teen blond was “Sarah” from Wednesday night and from several different encounters in 2014.  I had to tread lightly here as I knew Sarah was familiar with me based on all the other times I’d been eyeballing her, but strangely I  hadn’t been able to score a great sighting of her because of bad logistics.  I pretended to be watching the dancers on the bench where I sat and as Sarah and one of the guys sat on the bench across from me as she handed him one of her cigarettes, I thought I’d finally get my chance.  But nothing with Sarah goes as planned and after about a minute of sitting there and chatting to her friend in her preternaturally husky smoker’s voice, she and the guy got up to leave.  I didn’t dare follow with as many times as she’s already spotted me eyeballing her smoking, but I was at least able to see her light up as she progressed towards a heavily populated block of fairgoers.  A blast of smoke erupted from her mouth and nose as she walked away, cigarette in hand.  And then I lost her in the crowd and was unable to find her again for the rest of the night.  Sarah, Sarah, Sarah!  Why must you continue to be so elusive night after night, year after year?  Not sure there’s ever been a girl in FCF history who I’ve seen smoking so many times yet have never gotten a really good look at while she smokes.

Around 11:35 I’d score one final impressive girl for the evening as I migrated to the sparse south side of the grounds for one final pass.  A group of about six stood there with one tall, slender and attractive 18-19ish female in the mix decked out in a black tanktop and flattering white shorts with a lace pattern…and she was smoking.  She had long dark blond hair that was a little frizzy with a stud in her lip that I didn’t care for, but it didn’t take away much from her surprisingly beautiful face.  There was an easily accessible bench to watch the show and the girl delivered with a handful of solid drags and careless exhales that nailed a couple of her male friends in the face.  And after every drag came a lugie.  I think I paid enough attention to smoker girls 20 years ago to where I would have noticed if they were as chronic spitters as so many of today’s girls seem to be.  Pretty odd–and at least for me adorably so–that so many hot girls feel comfortable dropping lugies left and right while smoking.  This girl has been the most prolific spitter I’ve seen thus far in the 2015 fair season.  Her group was progressing into the main part of the fairgrounds and I followed hoping for a butt ID as she was near the end of her cigarette.  I didn’t get the ID but I got something arguably even better.  There was a line for the pizza stand and this girl and her group cut right through the middle of the line with my girl exhaling the final remnants of her cigarette directly into the line.  She dropped the cigarette right in the middle of the people standing in line, and at first I found that unbearably hot but it was tempered a bit when it became clear that the people in the line knew her and her group, and one guy made a point of exaggeratedly stepping on her discarded butt to crush it out.  I figured I’d make another pass and come back to see if I could ID that butt.  I couldn’t verify which was one hers but I believe it was another Newport butt.

And on my way out of the grounds I walked past the Greek food stand and who did I see standing in line but the same girl wielding yet another cigarette.  I saw her take one drag with her right hand while holding a bag of mini donuts in her left and was quite excited thinking I was about to get a smoking-while-eating sighting, but unfortunately she then handed the cigarette to a heavyset girl she was talking to and for the next couple of minutes the heavyset girl dominated the cigarette, making me believe she’s the one who lit up while my skinny blond just requested a single drag.  From there I was on my way out of the grounds and saw one more modestly attractive brunette finishing off a cigarette as she approached the gate, making her my the 19th and final sighting of Friday night.

My running total for the FCF thus far in 87 sightings, meaning I only need 13 sightings for Saturday to hit 100, which was my goal for the year as honestly I’m doing a little better than I suspected given the collapse in teen smoking that I suspected would drag down my numbers badly, but amongst this 87 there have been no shortage of “oh I guess she qualifies” kinds of girls who just barely make the cut.  The lack of compelling storylines is the biggest contributing factor in making this a less than memorable county fair thus far.  Hopefully Saturday night is great enough to restore this county fair as a classic but I’m not holding my breath.

 

Saturday Night

I needed 13 sightings on Saturday evening to meet my goal of getting 100 sightings at the 2015 local county fair….and I got exactly 13 (plus one more on a very brief trip to the grounds on Sunday afternoon).  Thirteen sightings in a five-hour night at the fair is pretty abysmal, but the good news is that most of those 13 sightings were memorable and/or impressive.  I got to the grounds around 6:30 and it hit me for the first time that I hadn’t heard one word this year about “smoke-free” nights.  Three years ago, I was petrified when I first heard of the county fair’s “smoke-free Saturday” gimmick.  And even though it didn’t end up being a major deal and there were multiple violations of the “rule”, it spawned a second “smoke-free night” in 2013.  Two years later, they appear to have lost interest in the concept, which is honestly quite odd to me.  Where in American history has a previously existent smoking ban been disregarded?   I’m concluding the best thing to do is not look a gift horse in the mouth and just continue to not give the incredible vanishing smoking ban any further thought and hope that the fairgrounds administrators don’t give it any further thought either.

Then again, part of the reason why there’s so little chatter about smoking at the county fair is obvious when exploring the grounds during those daytime hours and going an hour at a time without seeing anyone young and attractive smoking.  Finally around 7 tonight I saw a group of four 20-and-30-something gals smoking, most of them obese and unattractive.  There was one moderately cute one in the group who I counted as my first official sighting of the night.  After that came a young mommy on the midway.  Then came an extended detour when my luck finally ran out with relative and friend encounters.  For the past two days, I had been dodging bullets by avoiding relatives or merely having abbreviated conversations with them, but tonight friend Corey and his wife were in the grounds.  The plan was to meet him for the evening’s grandstand concert, but I hoped to hold off until as close to 8:30 start time as possible so I could have more time to explore the grounds.  Unfortunately, at around 7:40, Corey and his wife were eating and spotted me walking.  The next 45 minutes were squandered as I was conversing with them on a bench with a lousy vantage point for people watching.  As 8:30 approached I took control and seized my favorite spot in the grandstand overlooking the smoking area and beer gardens.  Usually Corey (and his wife) are cooperative in joining me at my favorite place to sit but there have been occasions where they’ve insisted on sitting closer.  Not tonight thankfully.

And while the smoking area was a bust (unfortunately along with the concert by country singer Joe Nichols who was much better when he was here before in 2011), the beer gardens produced three pretty strong sightings, albeit behind the fence with substandard lighting and too distant of a vantage point as is the usual problem inside the beer gardens.  I wasn’t gonna get any better positioning than I got for the first smoker gal inside the beer gardens though.  This hot blond was leaning against the shed by herself with a beer and a cigarette.  It was hard to tell how old she was by her face (I’m guessing early 30s) because her slightly weathered face didn’t at all match the 21-year-old’s body she was sporting below the neck.  That hot body was draped in a brown tanktop and outstanding white shorts, the latter being my favorite ensemble to see a hot girl wearing outside of leather.  I got to watch 6-7 drags as she stood there smoking, wishing I could get a closer look at her to get to the bottom of whether she was closer to the 21 her body suggested or the 33 that her still attractive but slightly weathered face looked.  I didn’t get that look though as after her cigarette she went to a bench and sat with several other nonsmoking female friends who looked like they were in the late 20s/early 30s age range that I assumed she was.  About a half hour later, I caught her smoking another cigarette, although she was sitting there at the bench with her back to me and I didn’t see much smoking.  Like so many FCF sightings this year, potential greatness didn’t fully materialize because of lackluster logistics.

Another potential classic was playing out only moments after my first sighting of blondie in the white shorts, and only about 10 feet away inside the beer gardens.  A threesome that I suspect included a middle-aged mother and two 20-something daughters included only one smoker….and that smoker just happened to be the long-haired brunette I presumed to be the youngest daughter.  It isn’t very often that the youngest and the only attractive female in a multigenerational group happens to be the only smoker, so my eyes lit up the instant I saw this dynamic.  But they lit up even brighter when I looked at just how wholesome and hot this tall early 20s brunette was, decked out in a flattering hot pink blouse and black shorts.  Had she not been in the beer gardens, I probably wouldn’t have even guessed she was 21 as she had a very youthful and vibrant face.  She would easily have been the least likely of this group of three that I would have expected to smoke, yet there she was holding a beer bottle in one hand and a cigarette in the other, smoking very nicely and indicating she probably did this more frequently than merely when she was drinking.  She also looked very familiar, so I’m guessing I had seen this girl at the fair in the past, although probably never smoking as I would have remembered if I had seen a girl like this smoking before!  All too quickly, she killed the mostly smoked cigarette by dropping it into her empty beer bottle, but my eyes never drifted far from this girl or the other two gals in her party for the rest of the show, and her hot pink blouse made that easy even after dark.  About halfway through the concert, my wish was fulfilled as the hot daughter once again became the only member of her familial party to light up a cigarette.  That’s the good news, but as is the case in nearly every sightings report I’ve written for the 2015 county fair, there’s some bad news.  In this case, mom was standing directly in front of her for the duration of the second cigarette.  All I ever got to see was the daughter’s cigarette hand approaching her mouth and just a little bit of exhaled smoke in the dark as mom’s ugly face was in the way for everything else.  Grrr!  Again I hoped against hope I would see her in the grounds after the show but I never did.  I saw enough of her to be very impressed, but certainly not at all enough to live up to her potential.

The third big sighting from inside the beer gardens also suffered from a lousy vantage point.  I spotted a young couple inside a cluster just across the beer gardens fence, with the doofus of a guy wearing a sideways baseball cap in the company of a petite blond hottie with a smokin’ hot body.  Both had smoldering cigarettes.  The spot where they stood was quite dark and it was hard to see much of the show or even how pretty she was or what specifically she was wearing.  But I was close enough to see her take several drags from her cigarette, the cherry glowing bright red as she took her drags while kissing the boyfriend and getting snuggled by his much larger body.  Now I didn’t see this girl smoking again, but thankfully I did see her in the grounds after the concert.  While she was pretty, she wasn’t a perfect 10 knockout as I thought she had the potential to be seeing her from afar, and instead of the pale blue jean shorts I thought she was wearing, she was actually wearing a tan miniskirt.  That’s how much the darkness in the part of the beer gardens they were standing messed with my head.

The disappointing and surprisingly lethargic Joe Nichols concert ended and I was crossing my fingers that Corey and his wife, who had been in the fairgrounds since 8 a.m., would want to go.  And they did….after I damn near nudged them to leave, and at 1o p.m. the remaining two hours of the evening were mine to hopefully wrap up the 2015 local county fair in style.  And it didn’t take long after parting ways with them before I spotted an intriguing group on the edge of the midway.  A late 30s couple that included a smoking wife who stood there with a long-haired blond who from the back looked stunning, along with a girl who looked about eight years old.  The only one smoking was the late 30s woman who was unattractive, but what was that blond digging for in her purse?  She had her back to me so I had to change positions to see if she was as good looking as I hoped and to see if she was indeed extracting a cigarette from her purse.  The answer to both was yes!  It was fascinating that this gorgeous blond, who looked late 20s but may have been older given that I presumed the young girl next to her was hers, was conversing this very white trash-looking older couple.  This is a small town so there are any number of possible connections they could have besides their love of ingesting tobacco smoke into their lungs, but the contrast couldn’t have been wider looking at this group.  I was able to stand there, however awkwardly, watching her smoke most of her cigarette.  There was nothing distinctive about her style but the drags and exhales were both acceptable and very satisfying coming from such a pretty face.  I was very curious watching this what kind of work this gal did as a face this pretty in a town like this could be responsible for any number of high-profile jobs, and I’d love to know under whose employ this attractive blond smoker was.  The only downside to her presentation was that she was wearing these ridiculous-looking and wildly unsexy pajama-style pants that had absolutely zero sex appeal.  She finished her cigarette and dropped the cork filter butt to the pavement.  Much as I wanted to walk over and ID it, she and the older couple NEVER moved.  I bet they were in the same general area chatting for over an hour, presumably while the unattractive couple’s kids were on midway rides.  I did get several more opportunities to admire her beautiful face in passing but never did see her smoke another cigarette.

My next solid sighting started on the main drag and drifted into the midway.  Amidst this cluster of mostly unattractive young people stood an adorable 18ish dark blond wearing a gray tanktop and medium-blue jeans.  She looked a little more alternative than I’d prefer but she had a beautiful face, and just happened to be lighting a cigarette.  I wasn’t able to see much as these group huddle settings are just awful to try to score a sighting inside, but then I began to notice that she and the blond guy who I suspected was her nonsmoking boyfriend were preparing to leave the group and enter the midway.  Suddenly I had a sighting in motion that I could follow and watch, and I did just that.  No major storylines associated with her smoking performance but considering I saw several instances of guys smoking in the company of girls who were not in the past week, it sure was nice seeing the girl being the smoker exposing her nonsmoking boyfriend, along with me walking behind her, to her respiratory exhaust.  The couple walked right into the huge crowds in the back of the midway, with the girl exhaling cigarette smoke shamelessly after every drag.  Finally she finished the cigarette and tossed it to the grass before getting in line for midway tickets.  I was able to walk right up and located the cork filter butt but couldn’t identify it beyond assuming by its markings that it was a Marlboro Red.  And towards the very end of the night, I saw the same couple, this time in the presence of another girl, where my tanktopped dark blond was lighting up another cigarette, and being the only one of the three to smoke once again.  I was in pursuit of someone else and couldn’t stick around but she was another girl on Saturday night who kept the night lively despite a relatively low sightings count.

But the event sighting of the night came less than a minute later as I walked away from the previous sighting.  Still in the midway, I saw a lively young group across the grass on the other side of the midway and immediately made out a freshly lit cigarette between the fingers of an attractive young brunette.  Right away, I sensed something special about that brunette and cut across the grass to get a closer look.  My instinct was right as I spotted a gorgeous long-haired dark brunette whose soft features radiated beauty.  Never would have I suspected a girl like this would smoke in 2015.  She gave off an aura vaguely similar to my 2013 Pall Mall princess and for a moment I thought maybe it was her, but as I got a closer look I could tell it wasn’t.  She had a nice body too, with a blue top and black shorts that beautifully framed her ass.  The rest of her group was just elevator music once I laid eyes on her and she was the kind of girl who just dominated the visuals of her group or any group, but there was a blond guy who appeared to be her boyfriend along with another girl and two guys.  One of the guys was smoking from the get-go and as my group began to move, I unfortunately noticed my brunette sharing her cigarette with the boyfriend, even though he seemed to get far less of it than her.  After a promising start, the sighting kind of sputtered to an anticlimactic close as the group drifted towards the midway rides and my brunette and her boyfriend were passing the cigarette back and forth.  And in the darkness in line for one of the rides, I noticed neither one was holding the cigarette as they must have disposed of it.  I left the scene disappointed, but just had a feeling I’d be seeing more from this girl and returned to the midway only a few minutes later.  And my instinct was right…

No more than 10 minutes later, the group had gotten off the Zipper in the midway and appeared to be heading out.  The one guy in the group already had a cigarette going and I had a strong feeling my brunette was gonna get one of her own soon.  The boyfriend for some reason seemed to be the one in possession of the cigarettes and was opening up the pack, which I could tell from the backlighting was some variation of Marlboro.  I was crossing my fingers she’d get one of her own and sure enough the boyfriend produced two cigarettes.  After a brief and rather adorable kiss, she placed the cigarette in her mouth and he lit her up just as the group was heading for the midway exit.  What a beautiful girl she was, proudly brandishing that long just-lit cigarette in her hand without a hint of inhibition, her beaming smile both contagious and infectious as she bantered joyfully with her friends.  I was so jealous of her boyfriend watching her ass wiggle forward in those black shorts and even more so when she took her glorious and timely drags from her cigarette.  They always lasted a good five seconds and she usually tilted her head skyward to release a cloudy exhale.  The skyward exhale was a wonderful visual but the downside was that they were always too high in the air for me to smell the fragrant aroma of the smoke that just came out of her black lungs.  I was content to follow this sighting till its conclusion but an annoying disruption came when they stumbled upon another mixed-gender group of early 20s couples and stopped to chat.  There was another female smoker in this group but she was wallpaper compared to my main event brunette, and I had to scramble to find a vantage point at the seating of a food stand and managed to find a decent one to observe two of her drags upclose, both of which were gorgeous five-second ingestions of smoke where the cherry of her cigarette glowed bright and the pleasure on her face was abundantly clear before tilting her head skyward to release those exhales.  What a beauty!  And after about two minutes of this, her group was in motion southbound again and I pursued, albeit from more of a distance this time in hopes of not looking too familiar.   After three final drags she dropped the cigarette to the pavement without bothering to crush it out.  I gleefully approached that smoldering all-white butt to ID it as a Marlboro Light, my first ML sighting of the 2015 fair season despite its impressive presence at Summerfest three weeks ago.  Considering how few and far between blockbuster sightings where the logistics worked out were at this year’s county fair, I was pretty excited to score one more in the final hour or so on the final night of this year’s fair.

And it was a good thing I hit the jackpot with my wholesome brunette beauty because a good half hour passed before I got anything else, and when I did I spotted a teen blond with a cigarette between her fingers at the edge of the midway and got all excited….until I realized once again it was Sarah!  Now there’s certainly nothing wrong with Sarah, but at this point I figured she was wise to me and I knew by now that any sighting that involved Sarah had no chance of a happy ending after five prior attempts to watch her smoke were foiled.  Nonetheless I gave it the old college try, walking clever little circles in her general area in hopes of seeing more from her, spotting her in her white tanktop and dark blue skinny jeans she was donning tonight but having just missed seeing an exhale pass her lips as the exhale was now going airborne and contaminating several square feet of airspace several feet above her head!   I made one more attempt to double back but by the time I did I saw Sarah running from the group where she was standing to another nearby group with a camera phone in her but no cigarette.  Apparently she had just finished it.  I just can’t win with this girl!  She is the roadrunner to my Wiley Coyote!  About 10 minutes later I saw her leaving the grounds with a guy friend and followed from a distance hoping to see her light up one more time.  That never happened but I finally got to admire her body from afar and was struck how muscular she looked in that white tanktop.  I know I said this about Sarah last year but it bears repeating in 2015….wait till next year Sarah and you’re mine, providing me an upclose and personal sighting worthy of you!

The evening had one final highlight, er infuriating trainwreck, that took place at almost the exact same location that Sarah had just vacated.  It was about 11:40 now, the midway had long ago gone lights out, and the population on the grounds was becoming very thin.  I saw a modestly attractive 18ish redhead in a huddle with a cigarette and was pleased to at least be getting another number to add to my total, but the sighting took an abrupt turn one second later when the cigarette was handed to a sexpot 18ish blond in a white tanktop and incredibly tight jean shorts.  There were two girls that night who caught my eye for having really short jean shorts and wearing them outrageously well…and this girl was one of them.  And she was a beauty too, not in the caliber of my brunette Marlboro Lights girl, but the face was definitely worthy of the body that filled out those shorts and that tanktop.  Jackpot! I thought to myself and I tried to position myself for a sighting and missed all but the tail end of her first drag….and what would be her only drag.  From there one of the guys in her group started horsing around with her, and she ended up leaping into his arms.  He held her around his waist as she wrapped her legs around him and he began playfully running with her hanging on tight.  At least she was hanging on to him tight because she sure wasn’t hanging onto the cigarette, which after about 30 seconds of this fell out of her hand and hit the pavement.  All I could do at this point was ID the smoldering butt as I walked past as a Newport, heartbroken that I couldn’t see any details of what would be the sexiest smoker girl of the night or perhaps the entire 2015 FCF.  I’d see her and a couple of her friends in the remaining 15 minutes or so before I left just before midnight, but never would she or any of them smoke again.

And so it went.  I scored a couple other modest sightings before leaving at around 11:50, reaching exactly 100 sightings for the county fair, at least until I made my annual 20-minute final walk around the grounds on Sunday afternoon and was lucky enough to find one mid-20s redhead in gray leggings sharing a cigarette with her boyfriend and catapulting me to 101 sightings, down from 110 last year, and well below the 144 I scored in the flukish year of 2010 or the 125 I got in 2011.  It’s hard to really score this year’s county fair.  In terms of numbers and the proportion of blockbuster or epic sightings, it was the weakest FCF since 2006, and that was back when the county fair had an entirely different concert schedule and I was on the grounds for only about half as much time as I have been in recent years.  But it’s not as obvious that smoking is in complete collapse in my home county.  While there’s no question it’s down from five years ago, I still had a number of impressive finds….I just had bad luck with logistics in being able to pull off a memorable sighting with them full of rich details that easily translate to a blog-worthy Hall of Fame sighting.  There was always a boyfriend standing in the way or bad lighting or no place to credibly observe a sighting play out.  Far too often, something just went wrong, and thinking back I rarely had such rotten luck in previous FCFs.  When there was a first-rate sighting playing out, I was able to make it work for me someway, somehow and picked up details that this year I just wasn’t able to.  Was it really bad luck this year or just really good luck in prior years?

And for what it’s worth, none of my five nights were complete disasters as both Friday and Saturday nights were last year, albeit following great Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights last year.  Every night this year produced at least a couple of memorable sightings and I don’t walk away in paranoia about the death of smoking heading into the Iowa State Fair in a few days.  And I definitely am not troubled by the very low numbers of e-cigarettes I witnessed, even amongst the demographic that is allegedly hopelessly enraptured by them.  I move forward to the next phase of the 2015 fair season–next weekend’s Iowa State Fair–not overflowing with confidence but mindful that I will have probably have more bad days than I used to of fairgrounds fetishing.  I mentioned before how the future of fetishing looks like it will require more and more work for fewer and fewer sightings.  I’m willing to do my part and hope that even with fewer sightings I can still snare that giant marlin once in a while.

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