2015 Minnesota State Fair, Day 1

Still the king!  A decade ago I added the Iowa State Fair to my annual August fetish tour and just last week I tried out Missouri’s state fair.  But the great Minnesota Get-Together which I’ve been fetishing at unofficially since 1993 and officially since 1998 proved once again yesterday why it is king.  It was no record-setting day quantity or quality-wise but I scored 183 sightings during my 13-hour stay and I venture to say there’s no other public venue around capable of producing that many sightings in the better part of a single day.  This number bests the hauls of both days last year where I scored 178 and 182 sightings on my respective days attending.  The day was by far the strongest in the late afternoon and early evening with a very steady drumbeat of extra base hits and a trio of legendary moments.  I guess I had my share of extra base hits in the evening too but most years I score at least one epic or near epic in the evening and didn’t have that last night.  It was an above-average day at the fair though and I continue to be flabbergasted that as many people are buying $8 a pack Minnesota cigarettes as are.

I always ride in with my parents which continues to be both convenient and detrimental at the same time.  The line to get into the parking lot was much longer than usual this year, presumably because they won’t let you use prepaid tickets to get into the fair lot anymore and have to pay with cash.  We got in the gates a little after 9 which is earlier than I’d typically prefer but not too out of line.  The “mostly sunny” forecast was slow getting there so I was nervous walking around in 55-degree midmorning gloom that it would be sweatshirts and jeans rather than tanktops and shorts but the girls largely cooperated.  I took my usual “first route” upon walking into the grounds, traipsing from one “designated smoking area” (yes they’re still there in Minnesota) to another.  As is usually the case, one of the grandstand workers was my Sighting #1, a late 20s ponytailed brunette in a gray sweatshirt and black shorts smoking an all-white.  Nothing overly memorable but put me on the board right away which is always a relief as some days it can take up to an hour to get that first sighting.

Morning sightings came at a faster clip than average and very close to where my first sighting of the day occurred came Sightings #4 and #5, this duo of wholesome early 20s gals who approached the berm on the east side of the grandstand while I sat nearby and were fidgeting around in their purses.  Kind of surprising to me that they’d be 9 a.m. smokers but a pack of cigarettes is exactly what came out.  The blond in the duo in a white blouse and black leggings was both more attractive and the heavier smoker while the redhead in the gray sweatshirt and black shorts didn’t seem all that into it, going so far as to retire the cigarette into her purse after about three drags.  The blond smoked the whole thing though, producing impressive clouds with her exhales for a nice five-minute show that I got a few distant pics of. There’s something very sexy about girls in leggings generally but when girls smoke in them it really gets my juices flowing.  Unfortunately, the blond crushed her cigarette against the berm and approached the nearest garbage can with it, denying me the butt ID.

The morning sightings continued to roll in at a more regular pace than usual with some younger girls than expected.  One location that has regular become a popular “smoke break” destination in recent years is the isolated alleyway between the sheep building and the beer gardens.  A wholesome young couple in their 20s was smoking there yesterday morning with the guy sitting on a ledge while Sighting #10, his ponytailed dark brunette girlfriend in a white T-shirt and dark blue jeans stood in front of him smoking away at hers.  I snapped a couple of solid pics, including a nice shot of her in the middle of an exhale, but once again they crushed the cigarettes out and tossed them into the dumpster to deny me a butt ID, an unfortunate recurring theme especially in the daytime hours.

Next to impress came at one of the smoking areas on the north side of the grounds where I spotted Sighting #16, a mother-daughter duo.  Mom was in her late 40s and unattractive and even the mid-20s daughter was by no means a 10, but it was still nice to behold the steady drumbeat of drags and exhales coming from this familial duo, with the daughter in a pink sweatshirt and jean shorts puffing away regularly and producing some impressively cloudy exhales.  The cigarette went into the ashtray pretty quickly and the daughter walked across the street where the presumed husband was waiting with a wagon with two kids inside, presumably hers.

At all of my fairs, the midway has slumped a bit in recent years in terms of the number of sightings it produces and while it wasn’t overly productive yesterday either, my first pass through the midway right around noon did produce a memorable image in the designated smoking area near the bathrooms with Sightings #21 and #22, two mid-20s plain janes wearing summer dresses.  Both women were light brunette and only modestly attractive, but they also didn’t really seem like smokers, particularly with those dresses.  I was only able to get one crooked photo before the women retired their cigarettes and walked into the midway gathering up with an extended group that included some older people that were probably family.

Also occurring right after noon was Sighting #25, probably my best sighting of the early hours of the day, a mother-daughter sighting near the horticulture building.  Mom looked late 40s or early 50s and definitely had the weathered features of a long-time heavy smoker while the daughter was a beautiful late 20s dark blond with a sexy body draped in a black tanktop and (my favorite) white shorts, that helped showcase some very nice young female flesh.  Both females were smoking in the presence of the blond’s boyfriend who was not smoking.  The boyfriend and girlfriend were conversing and the girlfriend was explaining in a nice husky smoker’s voice that “mom wanted to come even earlier….at like 8:00” in a moment I could relate to coming to the fair with parents who like to get there early.  I snapped several pics and watched from two vantage points as she consumed the entire cigarette with the stylings of a long-time smoker including deep drags with solid hold times and modestly generous exhales that indicated a fair amount of the smoke was clinging to her lungs.  She finished the cigarette before mom and dropped it to the grass, finally giving me my first opportunity for a butt ID as soon as they left.  They did just that about 30 seconds later when mom finished her cigarette.  Daughter’s discarded all-white was a Camel Light Menthol.

I’d score again a few minutes later in the designated smoking area east of the grandstand, far and away the MVP of August 29, 2015.  A young couple sat on a bench with beer and cigarette in hand and the 20-something brunette girl couldn’t have been cuter.  Sighting #27 had long dark brown hair flowing onto a maroon sweatshirt with short black shorts below the waist advertising a pair of long, smooth legs crossed on this bench full of mostly unattractive middle-aged smokers.  The girl looked quite a bit like my early 20s cousin Leah except she had this adorable pouty and hangdog look on her face that only seemed to get poutier when she took her impressive drags from the cigarette, pulling in impressive amounts of smoke and then exhaling them in massive clouds.  I got a few pics but they’re from further away than I’d prefer so you can’t really appreciate that unintentional Eeyore look on her cute face.  I saw a half dozen drags standing there before she took her huge final drag and then hocked up a huge lugie which she spit to the grass in plain view of the boyfriend.  She stood up and sadly tossed the butt into the overflowing community ashtray denying me the butt ID, but the upside was that I finally got to admire the midsection of her impressive body in those black shorts.

An extended stretch of blandness ensued in the next hour or so and while I was ticking off sightings at a decent clip, it wasn’t until I returned to the exact same spot at the east side grandstand smoking area a little after 2:00 before I scored my next extra base hit with Sightings #41 and #42.  I got in on this one from the very beginning when I spotted a trio of 20-somethings standing in the center of the smoking area and fidgeting around in their purses.  Was I gonna get three for the price of one here?!?!?  No, but as Meatloaf once said, two out of three ain’t bad.  A dark blond in a black T-shirt and jean shorts and badass-looking sunglasses was the first to extract a pack of Marlboro Smooths from her purse, and the best-looking girl of the three, the platinum blond next to her wearing a black tanktop and medium-blue denim cutoffs began taking a pack of Marlboro Light Menthols out of her purse mere seconds later.  The third blond in the mix who was also attractive didn’t smoke, but there was still plenty to admire in this scene and I was snapping my camera furiously picking up shots of unlit dangles and lightups as the girls drug their feet getting their cigarettes lit.  The two smokers were both pretty equal in skill but the original girl was slower as she was distracted by her phone.  This made it even easier for me to focus my attention on that platinum blond who stood out in this crowd in the first place with that pretty face and those smooth, perfect legs flowing underneath the frayed denim on her shorts.  Her pacing was quicker and she was easier to watch from both of the vantage points I stood at, with some great exhales.  The sighting’s ending was a mixed bag as my platinum blond finished her cigarette and dropped the butt to the grass, ignoring the nearby ashtray and garbage can.  I knew she was smoking a Marlboro Light Menthol having seen the pack but was still gleeful for the polluted butt….until the other smoker girl actually knelt down and picked up her friend’s discarded butt and threw it in the trash.  Grrr!  And needless to say the other smoker tossed her own Marlboro Smooth butt in the trash when she finished a minute or so later.  Despite the bummer of an ending, it was a solid extra-base hit that would set the stage for a great second half of the afternoon.

It was nonetheless a fairly slow march to sustained greatness and the next memorable moment didn’t come until Sighting #52, and even that was mainly just a strong single as I was walking in the general area near the east side of the grandstand and spotted a wholesome-looking light brunette with a long braid hanging over her left shoulder holding a half-eaten corn dog in one hand and a cigarette in the other.  It was a nice image and I was hoping for a smoking while eating sighting.  Apparently she was done eating on the corn dog though and the cigarette was her dessert.  She was in the company of a nonsmoking boyfriend and looked early 30s, wearing a black tanktop and dark jeans.  She certainly didn’t look like a smoker but judging from the three very deep drags I saw her take she was a serious player in the tobacco consumption world.  She finished the cigarette pretty quickly after my arrival and, once again, crushed out the butt on the pavement and tossed it into the garbage denying me a butt ID before she and the boyfriend wandered away.

The momentum continued as I headed to the northwest side, which as of last year became the site where the shuttle buses unload, meaning far more foot traffic than there used to be.  Heading southward as I crossed paths with them was a young couple that included Sighting #54, a dark blond with sunglasses wearing a green tanktop under a see-through black mesh top and jean shorts.  Once again, she was smoking a cigarette and he was not while walking through a sea of humanity en route to the midway on this very crowded section of the grounds.  I followed closely snapping a few pictures from behind and the side as she broke the law puffing away on this forbidden part of the grounds.  Nothing memorable about her style but her face was intriguing.  Everything about the way she carried herself suggested she was in mid-20s but her face looked about 10 years older.  It might be a case where years of heavy smoking has aged her because I don’t think she was over 30.  Anyway, she got a few yards into the midway before dropping the cigarette and crushing it out, providing me an actual opportunity for a butt ID which was rare for me yesterday.  It was a Marlboro Menthol.

I headed back to the cement-heavy alleyway between the beer gardens block and the sheep barn to find a delightful mystery that needed be solved.  Sitting on the bottom of an obscure flight of stairs leading to the back entry of one of the beer gardens bars was Sighting #56, a hot mid-20s blond wearing sunglasses, a white and green tanktop and short medium blue jean shorts that even from her seated position I could tell concealed an awesome ass.  She was sitting there all by herself drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette.  At first I thought she was an employee on a break, but if she was an employee she’d be wearing a uniform of some sort for the bar and she wouldn’t be out drinking a beer.  Maybe she was waiting for somebody, but why would she wait at this obscure location?  Whatever the source of her isolated cigarette break, I sure was enjoying watching it even though it was further away than I’d prefer especially for photo quality.  I could still see plenty though and it was nice seeing this sexy blond puffing away.  I was able to watch the majority of her cigarette and she stubbed it out on the cement and let it stay there when she finished it, yet continued to sit there as if waiting.  While I waited, I took notice of a young couple sitting to my right for a cigarette break of their own.  Sighting #57 was an attractive 30-ish blond in a white tanktop and dark jeans and gave me something to watch while hoping for the mystery of the lonely blond to be solved.  A couple of minutes passed before two people approached…..a blond daughter who looked about three as well as a late 20s/early 30s boyfriend/husband who seemed considerably beneath her.  She had decided to wait for them on this obscure back alley step…for some reason.  I’m assuming the little girl was her daughter but it was rather shocking that a child passed through this blond’s very perfect body, a body I was able to admire even more thoroughly as she got up with the husband and daughter and walked away.  After watching her ass wiggle out of my line of vision, I wandered over to the step where she sat and IDed her discarded cigarette butt as a Marlboro Ultra Light.

I walked around to the front side of the beer gardens block and the hits kept coming, specifically with Sighting #58, one of my better finds of the day and easily one of the prettiest and most wholesome girls.  She was a petite 21ish dark brunette whose long hair came out of the back of her “Army” hat in a ponytail.  Her face was extremely pretty and wholesome and her outfit of a white tanktop and pair of extremely short jean shorts fit with the rest of the look.  She sat there looking at her phone next to her boyfriend with her cigarette protruding from her fingers.  The boyfriend wasn’t smoking at the time but I’d later discover he did in fact smoke.  Whatever the case, a nonsmoking blond female friend took a photo of them per the couple’s request and little did she know I was taking a photo of her myself with my own camera phone and captured some very good ones of her studying her phone with her cigarette held next to the phone, and one of them while she’s in mid-drag.  Her smoking style wasn’t distinctive but still incredibly cute seeing this adorable face consume these carcinogens so willingly and then release them in tight straight-ahead exhales that came mostly from her mouth.  I could tell from the markings on the cigarette’s blond filter that it was a Camel Turkish Royal and it’s a good thing I did because once again, she stubbed out the cigarette on the cement and then tossed it in the trash can before she got up to leave with the boyfriend and the blond nonsmoking friend.  I got a solid double from her and was pretty excited, and you never know….we just might be seeing her again later in the writeup.

Next came a productive trip to the fairgrounds’ east side.  I was walking past the Leinie Lodge free stage where some band was performing and looked to the back of the crowd to see if there were any smokers gathering to sneak a cigarette.  As soon as I looked that direction I saw a late 20s platinum blond in a white tanktop and black shorts dangling an unlit cigarette from her lips.  I rapidly crossed the street for a better look and noticed she was part of a group of six with three guys and three girls.  A pack of Marlboro Lights was passed around the group and being rapidly depleted, with another ponytailed blond in a red T-shirt and tight black leggings also firing up a cigarette.  I already had Sightings #60 and #61 but greedy old Mark was really getting excited when the pack of Marlboro Lights was then handed to the prettiest and most wholesome girl in the group, another ponytailed blond in a green tanktop and jeans.  I was about to get a three-for-one…or so it seemed.  Unfortunately, she was just reading the pack.  Huh?!?!  She looked the pack over and handed it back to one of the other male or female smokers in the group.  And then she got her hands on it again!!  She looked it over and handed it back without extracting a cigarette.  Such a weird scenario and I have no idea what she would be reading on the pack unless it was the Surgeon General’s report.  The six of them formed a tight huddle that ultimately made it hard to watch them, but I caught a handful of drags by the two female smokers.  My camera once again lulled me into a false sense of security as I figured I snapped at least a half dozen shots of the group but only ended up with one photo showing the two smoker girls’ asses.  There’s nothing wrong with that but I was disappointed I didn’t get more.

There’s a lush designated smoking area full of benches and shrubbery on the east side of the fairgrounds across the street from the Leinie Lodge.  I caught a duo of modestly attractive late teen girls smoking there before heading to the nearby bathroom.  I decided it would be a good idea after the bathroom to check that smoking area out one more time before I left just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, and it was a good call as two smoking couples were there puffing away.  The early 20s brunette girls were both wholesome as hell, dressed for the image to boot.  Sighting #64 had very long dark brown hair flowing onto a reddish flower-print dress.  She looked a lot like this heavy-smoking Emilie girl I dated last year, only without Emilie’s gross tattoos.  Sighting #65 was even more memorable though, with lighter brown hair, a black flower-print blouse,  jean shorts, and a very wholesome face full of character.  I could tell from the filters that both girls were smoking Camel Crush Bolds and once again it was a good thing I saw this because they dropped their butts in the overflowing community ashtray and denied me a formal butt ID.  That sighting only lasted 3-4 drags but I would luck out and see the same group of four on the north side of the grounds only an hour later, all of them smoking again at one of the north side’s designated smoking areas.  I watched from closer range and watched the second half of both girls’ cigarettes.  Their styles were mostly average but they really stood out sitting on the curb in their wholesome outfits smoking.  Once again, they deposited their butts into the community ashtray but the cigarettes had the unmistakable markings of Camel Crush Bolds.

From there it was onto the grandstand area and that very lucrative smoking area on the east side of the grandstand.  I had scored quite a few “doubles” already yesterday and was about to score another one with Sightings #68 and #69 sitting on the grass in the middle of the smoking area.  Both girls were mid-20s and attractive, one a blond and one a ponytailed redhead, but the blond in the duo totally dominated my attention as she had a Hollywood look about her exploding with IT factor.  It wasn’t that she was drop-dead gorgeous but there was just something about her bleach blond hair, sunglasses, low-cut black tanktop with a sorority name on it, and turquoise shorts while sitting Indian style that I couldn’t take my eyes off of.  Seeing her puff on her cigarette made the image that much more memorable.  I got to see her smoke at least half of the cigarette.  The friend, who was wearing a black tanktop and jean shorts, had a style that was about on par with the blond and I’d occasionally have the opportunity to check out her smoking as well but it was hard to top this blond.  When she finished her cigarette, I grimaced again as she stood up about to drop her own butt and her friend’s into the nearby community ashtray, and that gave me one more lasting image to walk away from the sighting with…..the grossed-out look on her face as she dropped those cigarette butts into the ashtray with hundreds of other cigarettes.  It was almost like an epiphany for this girl how gross her own habit was as that “ewwww!” look on her face after seeing this ashtray lasted at least 20 seconds.  I’m sure as gross as she found it to stare into all those cigarette butts, it didn’t stop her from lighting up again at another designated smoking area before she left the fair that day.  After all, she’s addicted!

I was heading to the smoking area on the west side of the grandstand from there and got one of two crushing heartbreakers of the day.  Out of the corner of my left eye I spotted this trio of early 20s girls that included a chubby but still sort of cute light brunette, a very sexy and shapely light brunette, and a hot petite blond in a little black dress.  The blond, who couldn’t have been taller than about 5’1″, was fidgeting around in her purse when I saw her extract a Black ‘N’ Mild tipped cigar that was out of its package.  Oh sweet Jesus, I thought!  My streak of top-tier cigar sightings every fair season was about to continue into 2015!  At least until three seconds later when she put the cigar back into her purse and kept walking.  Gahhhh!  She was saving it for later.  I walked over to her group just in case and doing so I saw the least attractive chubby girl of the group was smoking a cigarette, making her a nominal Sighting #70, but the two hotties were at least at the moment not smoking.  I strongly considered following them to their destination to see if the cigar would get smoked but it seemed like the kind of high-stakes gamble that could lead me seriously astray if hours went by before she lit it up.  I retreated, hoping I would stumble into her later with burning cigar in hand, but I wouldn’t.  Now I’m down to one more day at the fair where I have any chance at continuing my streak of top-25-worthy cigar sightings every year.

I was due to catch a break after that and was about to get one….sort of!  I finally made it to the smoking area on the west side of the grandstand and as I encircled the perimeter of the large cement structure I spotted this attractive 19-20ish brunette in a pink T-shirt and dark skinny jeans with an unlit cigarette in her hand.  Unfortunately, by the time I got there I was befuddled when she no longer had a cigarette in her hand.  Her boyfriend was next to her holding a lighter while the middle-aged gal seated in front of her who I presumed to be her mother was smoking.  Well this was odd!  She was standing there talking on the phone and I began studying her a bit.  While she was pretty, she didn’t necessarily stand out as anything special….but there was something about her that intrigued me, and that intrigue intensified when I spotted the pack of Marlboro No. 27s stuffed in the back pocket of her tight-fitting skinny jeans.  Apparently girly was the one carrying around the pack that everybody in the family was using, or at least for herself and mom (dad was there too but not smoking).  Now it was just a matter of waiting out this damned phone call and hoping that she lit up too.  Little did I know the phone call would produce the most electric context of any sighting of the day as suddenly the tone of her voice changed to that of a sweet young girl saying “Heyyy grandpa!  I’m doing good….I’m at the Fair!”   Hot damn!  This barely legal smoker girl was on the phone with her grandpa and speaking to him as you’d expect any other 19-year-old girl would speak to gramps.  I wasn’t able to hear anything else in the conversation in the next few seconds before she was nudged by the boyfriend to have a cigarette…and he led her up a flight of stairs on the grandstand structure for reasons I couldn’t understand.  She certainly looked as though she was over 18 so I don’t think he wanted her to hide because she was an underage smoker.  Whatever the case, she removed that pack of Marlboro 27s out of her jeans pocket, extracted only one, and let it dangle unlit from her mouth as she ascended the stairs following the boyfriend, officially becoming Sighting #72…..

I knew it would be reasonably obvious that I was following them up the stairs but I had to take the risk.  I got to the top of the flight and watched the girl lighting her cigarette and releasing one of the most substantial quantities of smoke from her mouth and nose that I’ve ever seen off of a light-up, and I caught the tail end of that exhale in a snapshot I snuck in at the top of the stairs….with smoke spilling out of her face and the cigarette still dangling from her lips.  And all this while she was still carrying on the phone conversation with her grandpa.  I wonder if grandpa has any idea that his sweet-talking granddaughter is a smoker, let alone smoking while chatting with him.  If her blackened respiratory system keeps spewing cigarette smoke in that volume he’ll probably be able to smell it through the phone!!  I knew I was in a conspicuous spot and was very conservative in shifting my eyes her direction from where I stood, pretending to overlook the grounds one story below.  I’d catch two more deep drags and otherworldly exhales blasting out of her mouth and nose before the boyfriend nudged her to go back down the stairs and she followed him.  What was going on here?  Did he have me figured out?  I never made eye contact with him but didn’t suspect he spotted me eyeballing his girlfriend.  Whatever the case, I was in risky terrain here but had to see more and gingerly descended the stairs to see her and the boyfriend leaning against the railing with their backs to me (mostly) and I sat down halfway down the steps hoping to salvage what I could of this show.  I’d catch two more drags and huge volumes of smoke exhaled from her mouth….before the boyfriend nudged her once again and they walked away yet again.  I wasn’t gonna push my luck any further here and just sat there on the stairs for a minute pretending to be texting.  And it hit me that this boyfriend who was carrying a lighter and leading his girlfriend to smoke a cigarette never got hold of that cigarette or any cigarette for himself.  Was he a fetisher who just liked to watch his girlfriend smoke?  And did he immediately realize the signs in me since he apparently had me figured out right off the bat?  So many mysteries but I felt gypped for missing the majority of this first-rate show from a girl I identified as something special at the outset.  Even with a short sighting though, the context of the phone call with grandpa, the rest of the family dynamic where mom has to request a cigarette from her daughter, and those hugely smoky exhales combined to make this my third best sighting of the day.

I figured after likely being caught twice stalking the same girl by a potentially possessive boyfriend, it might be in my best interest to get out of that spot and drifted back to the smoking area on the east side of the grandstand.  After getting robbed out of greatness for two sightings in a row, I deserved a break, damn it!  And I would get that break when I approached the east side grandstand smoking area and spotted a very young couple sitting on a bench.  Now this bench was kind of on the edge of the smoking area so I didn’t want to get my hopes up here.  They may have simply not realized this was a bench in the smoking area and were just sitting down to relax, I told myself attempting to hold expectations down looking at this wholesome couple where at least the girl was unequivocally underage.  Having braced myself for disappointment, imagine my elation when the boyfriend produced a pack of Marlboro 27s….and then his little blond girlfriend in the neon orange tanktop and ultra-short jean shorts dipped into her bag and extracted a cigarette from her own pack.  Sighting #73 was gonna be something very special and I had a perfect vantage point as she placed the unlit cigarette in her youthful mouth and lit up.  If the previous boyfriend was hyperaware of my presence, this couple hadn’t a clue as I was capturing photo after photo after photo of them from close range.  The girl struck me right away as a cutie but surprised me over the course of the sighting how much character she had in her face with some very adorable and expressive responses to the boyfriend’s conversation in between drags on her cigarette, and a couple of my photos captured those responses.  And when I wasn’t looking at her face I was checking out that lower body where her jean shorts were so short that the vast majority of her bare leg and even her lower ass was touching the plastic cover of that bench.  I hope that boyfriend of hers had the vaguest hint of a clue how lucky he is!

After a couple of minutes standing next to them and watching, I decided I had just as good of a vantage point sitting on the nearby curb and looking at them head-on, giving me another spot to snap pics from a different angle.  As for her smoking style, she was a rookie of course.  There was no telling how long she’s been at it but her drags were modest and her exhales were fairly shallow, but that made her immersion in the smoking lifestyle at such a young age when it’s so frowned upon by society that much more adorable.  Studying her face in photos today I can’t imagine she’s older than 16 but perhaps she’s 17 I suppose.  And unlike the last sighting, I got a “farrow-to-finish” sighting here, watching her smoke the whole cigarette from light-up to crushing the cigarette out on the grass below her foot.  Unfortunately when the couple didn’t get up for a couple of minutes after finishing their cigarettes I got impatient and walked away briefly, checking out some other nearby areas and planning to return for an official butt ID.  I was gone for less than two minutes but the young couple had cleared out with the bench now occupied by another.  By the time I was actually able to sit at that bench more than an hour later it was impossible to identify which butt was the blond teen’s.  Butt ID or not, this was the single best daytime sighting I’ve scored in one of the designated smoking areas after three years of navigating.  The fact that a girl this young and cute is comfortable enough to smoke in such a public spot gives me a smidgen of hope for the future of teen smoking, and I suddenly had my second best sighting of the day only moments after my third best!

A bonanza like this in mid-to-late afternoon called for a trip to the north side of the fairgrounds which can sometimes be sparser in terms of crowds but has delivered some first-rate sightings of its own over the years, including one just last year.  My afternoon north side run yesterday wouldn’t yield any Hall of Famers yesterday but it did produce a couple of hooligan smoker girls walking in forbidden areas with contraband cigarettes.  First and most impressive was Sighting #77, a petite mid-20s blond in a white blouse and black skirt wielding a half-smoked cigarette while her boyfriend/husband pushed a stroller with their child inside.  I followed long enough to breathe in a couple of her exhales and snap a decent side photo.  I was disappointed though when the boyfriend got his hands on the cigarette and finished it off.  Almost immediately afterwards, a less attractive 20-something blond was traveling southward with cigarette in hand and I walked in Sighting #78’s direction for nearly a full block before she came to a stop in front of a food vendor stand where she apparently worked and finished her cigarette outside.  She wasn’t attractive enough to deserve a writeup really but her chutzpah in being a fair employee smoking in this forbidden north side area impressed me.

I went back to the beer gardens block after returning from my north side run and spotted Sighting #82, a late 20s or early 30s dark blond in a white T-shirt and jean shorts smoking a cigarette in a group of three nonsmoking guys as they sipped their beers.  They were all in a pretty tight huddle while talking and I was impressed with her chutzpah smoking in their presence so unashamedly.  I got a couple quick photos and moved on, but I’d see her smoking again on the grounds about an hour later.

It was around 5:30 at this point which frequently is the time of day when smoker sightings at the Minnesota State Fair start really booming, particularly in close proximity to the beer gardens area, and I was about to get a very memorable triple play in the smoking area on the southeast side of the beer gardens that best represented the day’s sensory overload moment where there was more female smoking going on than I was able to fully process.  It all started when I encircled the berm that represents the official smoking area and discovered a 20-something couple who were both smoking.  Sighting #86 could not have possibly looked less like a smoker, with her ponytailed blond hair flowing onto her shoulderless white blouse with a long red dress below the waist.  And that face!  What a cutie.  I stood in front of her and snapped a couple of stealth photos before taking advantage of the opportunity to sit right next to her, where I got to bathe in her exhales and snap some very upclose photos, most of which were so close that some of her features got cut off but I still got her in mid-drag a couple of times.  There was nothing overly distinctive about her style but what an unexpected sweetheart to see putting a cigarette to her lips.  I was fully prepared to sit out this sighting to the end but then I looked to the edge of the alley to my right and spotted Sighting #87, a curly-haired light brunette in a pink blouse and jean shorts who inserted a cigarette into her mouth and then cut loose a rip-roaring high volume exhale that exploded out of her mouth and nose like a firework on the 4th of July.  I just had to get a better look at this!

I sort of abandoned the wholesome girl for the light brunette even though from where I was standing I’d still be able to see the wholesome girl finish off what was left of her cigarette on that berm.  For the time being though, I was laser-focused on this mid-to-late 20s light brunette with her intense and nicely paced five-second drags and fierce exhales, capturing a few pics of her and enjoying the hell out of the visuals as she filled several square feet in front of her face with a steady stream of air pollution.  I got about three minutes in on this sighting when I spotted out of the corner of my right eye yet another distraction in the form of a hot blond smoker girl.  This was just getting nuts!  And Sighting #88 represented the wardrobe Holy Grail for me as she was wearing a very nice fitting pair of white shorts along with a pink tanktop.  I was gonna have to abandon one great sighting in pursuit of the newest shiny object once again!   The new mid-20s platinum blond hottie was an aesthetic perfect game, looking a lot like this smoker friend of mine named Sarah did when she was in her prime.  She had this glowingly beautiful face as she stood next to three guy friends who were also smoking, and I captured her frontal profile in a great pic showing off her beaming smile and those nice-fitting white shorts framing her crotch gorgeously with smooth, well-toned legs underneath.  Her smoking style was fairly average but what a hottie and as she bantered with these three guy friends I was musing on whether one of them–or possibly all three!–were fucking her.  I stayed for the whole cigarette and got a couple of action shots.  I could see her cigarette was a Camel Light Menthol which was helpful since she threw the butt in the nearby smoking area’s ashtray when she was finished.  If you’re lucky you get one of these sensory overload moments on a given day at the Minnesota State Fair where you’re surrounded by greatness or are stumbling into it one after another for a brief period.  In this case, one trip to the beer gardens smoking area yielded a first-rate triple play with a wholesome girl, a high-quality smoker, and a sexpot blond in white shorts over the course of about 10 minutes.  That’s one productive trip to the beer gardens smoking area, my friends!

There was so much activity at that beer gardens smoking area that I made a second pass near there moments later where I stumbled into another young couple with an adorable smoker girl in Sighting #92.  For some reason they let these very high plants grow inside the circular berm at that smoking area and the people who chose to sit on the berm’s north side had to fight the plants as they sat, and none moreso than the adorable short-haired brunette in this couple whose head seemed to be getting slapped down by a giant plant where she sat.  Her half-amused, half-annoyed expression as she lit her cigarette and struggled through it while sitting there was very entertaining, and even more amusing was how her fruitless quest to get comfortable sitting there had her crossing and uncrossing her legs in the tiny black-and-white striped dress she was wearing, showing off a ton of thigh and making me wonder if I was gonna spy the promised land at some point.  I never did but got a couple of photos as she smoked her cigarette so restlessly.  The boyfriend sitting next to her smoking didn’t seem to have any struggles with finding a comfortable position sitting there which I’m sure made it all the more frustrating to the girl.  Her smoking style was fairly average but she was such a cutie and the main event of this show was her getting beaten up by this plant.  She finished the cigarette and threw the butt in the overflowing community ashtray directly in front of her before getting up to go to the bathroom.

I was buzzing pretty good at this point and attempted to head south towards the Coliseum when I spotted two couples with one smoker who happened to be Sighting #96.  She was a dark blond in an unusual-looking matching red top and shorts.  She was decently attractive but what made her most memorable was her presentation and her chutzpah illegally strutting through the fairgrounds with cigarette in hand.  She ended up walking down a very busy street in the center of the grounds and it was difficult to even follow her without losing her in the crowd let alone snap pics but I got a couple partial shots of her at least.  She intermittently took drags as she walked through this sea of people and I caught the tailwinds of a couple of her exhales.  I could see her butt was a cork filter but as slowly as she was smoking I wasn’t gonna hang around for a butt ID that might not happen anyway.  Once I arrived at the block that would lead me straight down to Judson Avenue’s smoking area where I had intended to go next in the first place I split apart from her…..and my timing could not have been more perfect.

In the past two years I’ve gotten a few solid sightings at the designated smoking area on Judson Avenue on the south side of the grounds but I hadn’t scored anything at all worth mentioning throughout the daytime hours yesterday until that very abruptly changed right around 6:00 last night when I approached the center of the smoking area and found my best sighting of the day.  Standing there in a blue T-shirt with a matching blue work hat with her hair coming out the back in a ponytail along with black shorts on the bottom and a freshly lit cigarette between her fingers was this unbelievably wholesome petite blond who looked underage.  It’s a little harder to tell these days as young girls always look younger than they used to and her diminutive size may have been playing tricks on me.  It’s possible she was 18 but my money would be on 16.  And best yet, the reason she was standing there all by herself smoking behind the ashtray was because she was a worker on a smoke break in the dairy building behind her.  I know this because it said “Dairy Goodness Produced with Pride” on her T-shirt….and there was an even more helpful nametag on that T-shirt that read “Sophie”.  What an adorable name for this underage smoking blond, a name that perfectly matched the face I had been looking for all day.  And on top of this killer presentation, the little girl had style too.  After every drag, she did the famous “gulp” style of ingestion with her cheeks puffing up like a blowfish before delivering the carcinogenic cocktail into her black little lungs.  And from out of her mouth came a moderate-sized exhale followed by a residual haze that flowed from her mouth and nose that was just impossibly sexy coming from such a precious face.  I got a couple of really good pics from the standing position and knew right away this sighting was something special, but things were about to get even better…..

A middle-aged woman was sitting on the edge of the cement base of a statue that serves as a makeshift bench in the smoking area, but she got up to leave when she finished her cigarette, leaving me a perfect wide-open seat just a few feet away from Sophie and an even better vantage point for close-up pics and her general smoking performance.  I got a new perspective from this position.  Her legs were obstructed from my view at my original vantage point but now I was able to see she had a black brace around her right knee indicating she had injured it somehow, possible in sports even though she’s clearly an addicted cigarette smoker.  I suppose I would have preferred admiring her smooth unobstructed leg but the black brace around her knee gave me just a little bit more insight into Sophie’s character.  But she could have had lizard legs and I’d still have been turned on by this first-rate smoking performance which I was now witnessing very up close and personally, watching those adorable cheeks of hers swell up after every drag followed by cloudy exhales and a residual haze of smoke.  She continued to drag frequently on what I presume was a short break so that haze of smoke in front of her face never really went away as she puffed on that all-white cigarette relentlessly.  I was close enough to see the writing on the butt and could tell it was a Parliament, an increasingly rare brand in the Upper Midwest as they are quite a bit more expensive than the traditional brands, which made it even more cute knowing that young Sophie was probably shelling out close to $10 a pack for her precious Parliaments every day.  Another cute little quirk of hers standing so close to that community ashtray is that she held her rapidly depleting cigarette directly over the ashtray every time she ashed.  Everything about Miss Sophie was just adorable and as heavily as she was hitting her Parliament from as close by, I was certainly getting in on my share of the foul odor exiting her respiratory system….

The sighting lasted no more than two minutes with as quickly as she was smoking (not supersmoking but at a very rapid clip nonetheless) before she crushed out the Parliament in the community ashtray and headed back into the dairy building where she would presumably resume peddling wholesome dairy products to fairgoers unprepared for how stinky this teen cutie would be when they got up close to her.  I’m still kicking myself for not having the presence of mind to follow her inside the building to see exactly where she worked.  I was more worried about studying the pics I got on my phone, some of which were fantastic but others which were obstructed a bit by the sun rays behind her….or perhaps it was just the haze of smoke coming from her face that was blurring up my camera!  Either way, she was my favorite sighting of August 29, 2015, and I returned to that Judson Avenue smoking area as frequently as possible to see if I could catch her on her next smoke break.  I never did but the best part about Sophie is that I might get a do-over next weekend, knowing which building she works in and assuming she’ll be working there again next Saturday which is often the case.  But even if Sophie’s smoking story ended yesterday in the early evening, she was far and away the highlight of a day that was already going pretty well.

The hits continued as I headed up to the area outside the grandstand.  Carrie Underwood was the musical act and already seemed worthy of some credit for the favorable demographic that she drew.  There was a considerable line outside the east grandstand gates by 6:15 and I walked the perimeter of the line searching for smokers and hit the century mark in style when I laid eyes on Sighting #100, a knockout curly-haired blond in her early 20s wearing a white tanktop and jean shorts with a white lace pattern separating the denim from her smooth, bare legs.  Needless to say, she was also smoking a cigarette and really standing out doing so being such a strikingly wholesome country girl.  She was hovering a few feet outside the line to spare others from her cancerous exhaust, but I snapped a few nice photos watching her smoke.  No bells and whistles to her style but the imagery of this classic country beauty separating herself from her friends so she could indulge her smelly addiction really kept my ecstatic vibe that had been accruing since mid-afternoon.  I was content to watch the smoking show from its current solitary position but both she and I were caught off-guard when the line started moving into the grandstand.  She quickly boogied on over to where her friends group was in the line, still smoking her cigarette.  I got a motion shot of her walking in the line taking a drag from her cigarette but unfortunately it’s a little blurry.  Eventually the line stalled out again, at which point she finished the cigarette and knelt down to stub it out.  I was standing next to the garbage can and as excited as I’d normally be to watch this cutie approach me, I knew she was only approaching me to toss her cigarette butt in the garbage.  She did just that and returned to the line, but I was able to take a peek in the garbage can and ID the discarded butt as a Camel Menthol.

Now after so much good luck and good timing for the last couple of hours, I was overdue for the rubber band of fate to snap me in the back with a cruel near-miss moment and unfortunately I had that moment with Sighting #103, which could potentially have beaten Sophie for sighting of the day.  I was evaluating the smoker crowd at the grandstand’s east side smoking area and finding only modest rewards moments after vacating my last find but then I turned around to a seating area behind the smoking area to find two mid-teen light brunette girls in “Grandstand Staff” T-shirts, one of whom had a fairly fresh cigarette smoldering in her hand.  This girl was very petite so it was hard to discern her age but judging by her taller friend I’d say these girls were lucky if they were 16, both offering the softest and most wholesome features of any smoker girls I’d seen all day and looking quite similar to boot.  The short one took a drag from the cork filter cigarette and exhaled a pretty mighty blast of smoke from her mouth and nose.  I was so excited and settled in for what I figured would be a nice long sighting.  So imagine my surprise when she knelt down and stubbed out a cigarette that looked like it had only two or three drags taken from it.  Gahhh!  Apparently the girls were on a very quick break and each took one or two hits from a cigarette before they had to get back to work.  They hustled back towards the grandstand entrance with the short one adorably fixing the hair of the taller girl.  I struggled to get a single photo in to preserve their image as they hustled to the grandstand entryway out of sight and thought I pulled it off….until I looked later and saw the photo didn’t turn out.  While it was refreshing to see two girls this cute and this young publicly smoking, it was painful to only be able to view a single drag from the one girl and not even be able to verify the other girl was a smoker.  My hope is that the girls will be working again next week and I’ll have a second chance at a full sighting but that seems like a longshot.

My disappointment didn’t last long though as I got my redemption within the next few minutes as I headed to the beer gardens block.  A cluster of women of varied ages stood on the sidewalk outside one of the bars and three of the four had unlit cigarettes between their fingers and beers in their other hands.  I’m guessing it was two late 40s/early 50s mothers in the company with their 20-something daughters.  Of the two daughters, one was a chubby brunette who barely qualified as Sighting #109, but the other was this truly beautiful and wholesome-looking early 20s brunette with a sexy body draped in a gray tanktop and nice-fitting jean shorts with a white lace pattern on the bottom framing her killer stems below.  I was very excited standing there seeing the unlit cigarette knowing I was about to get a full sighting of Sighting #110’s entire cigarette.  Right from the get-go she didn’t disappoint, lighting up her cork filter cigarette and seeming to “melt” into her first drag in a way that’s tough to explain and which none of my otherwise excellent photos didn’t entirely capture either, and then rudely exhaled straight into the faces of the other three ladies in the circular cluster. I couldn’t wait to see her subsequent drags to see if the pattern repeated.  But the sighting took a turn as the chubby smoker suddenly shouted out “Sarah!” to a young couple in the immediate area, obviously recognizing somebody she knew, and the two young smoker girls migrated to talk to the blond nonsmoking Sarah and her boyfriend.  My vantage point stayed just as strong and I was ready, willing, and able to stick around for more of what I had already seen…..

And more was exactly what that cute brunette delivered as her “melting into her drags” pattern persisted, where she put the cigarette into her mouth, scrunched up her face to ingest its toxic pleasures and then just swooned for a couple of seconds in an almost sexualized way in response to how good the smoke apparently felt inside of her.  She did that after nearly every drag, and even if she was in the middle of a verbal exchange with the friends she paused to enjoy–I mean REALLY enjoy–her cylinder of smoky pleasure.  I was getting pretty turned on myself and eagerly awaited her next drag to see her do it again, knowing how pleasurable it was for her.  Most of her subsequent exhales were delivered skyward to avoid whacking the nonsmokers in the face, and as I said I got a few solid photos of the encounter.  The sighting lasted a good 5-7 minutes and she cooperated perfectly by dropping the cigarette to the pavement and immediately going her separate ways from Sarah and her boyfriend, leaving the discarded cork filter butt lying there for identification.  I can’t keep track of all of the variations of Marlboro out there but based on the print of the Marlboro logo I suspect it may have been a Marlboro Red Special Blend.  Needless to say, this is one of several sightings yesterday poised for blog-worthy immortalization come year’s end.

I was due to meet my parents for our annual 7:00 cookie gathering at the information booth area in about 20 minutes but still had some prime fetish time left to ride out the momentum.  I hadn’t gotten as many good sightings as usual from the east side of the Coliseum yesterday, an area with a designated smoking area that is quite popular given that it’s shady and cooler in the afternoon hours.  But the Coliseum delivered one extra-base hit for me as I progressed down the sidewalk and could see a very wholesome blond from afar exhaling a cloud of cigarette smoke.  I stepped up my pace hoping to verify that Sighting #116 was as impressive upclose as she was from a distance, and in this case she was!  Her long blond hair flowed well over her shoulders onto a plaid shirt with a tight but utilitarian pair of blue jeans below the waist.  She looked mid-20s and was standing next to a boyfriend who also seemed wholesome and it was one of those cases where the question really begged itself how on Earth these two, and especially the girl, became addicted cigarette smokers.  I got a solid frontal photo but as I was preparing for an action shot of her taking a drag, I noticed they seemed to make me, so I retreated and backed away, content with the one photo I had and simply watching the rest of the girl’s performance, which went on about three drags longer.  Nothing distinctive about her style but it was satisfying just seeing a genuine girl-next-door type like her smoking in antismoking Minnesota in the year 2015.  She crushed the cigarette out beneath her foot and she and the boyfriend took off.  I was able to ID her butt as a Marlboro Menthol and then as I watched them walk away I saw her cigarette pack was hovering uncomfortably close to the edge inside her purse.  I hustled on up and got a rear photo that included both her ass and that pack of Marlboro Menthols that I hope didn’t fall out as they walked through the crowd and really put the girl in a pickle for her next cigarette.

I was in the final moments before meeting with the folks and took another pass by the smoking area on the east side of the grandstand, where there were still considerable crowds before the Carrie Underwood concert started.  There was nothing epic going on, but two different groups included early-to-mid 20s long haired light brunettes wearing orange tanktops and tight black leggings smoking cigarettes.  I love me some girls in tight leggings and found it interesting that Sightings #121 and #122 were occurring at the same time on separate sides of the smoking area wearing an almost identical ensemble.  I’d see one of the girls smoking again in the presence of two nonsmoking guys elsewhere on the grounds only an hour or so later.

I met up with the parents shortly after 7:00 with 124 sightings, on the upper edge of my baseline.  I figured with the favorable demographic that was at the fair yesterday that I had an excellent chance at 200 sightings, and an outside chance of my all-time record of 212.  The slow going in the first hour after I separated from the folks quickly dashed those hopes, unfortunately, and while in retrospect I didn’t have a bad night my momentum from the late afternoon and early evening certainly slowed.  When I separated from my parents around 7:20, I had one last spurt of strong momentum to enjoy however, and it came from a returning favorite from the afternoon.  There’s a windy ramp that leads up to edge of the grandstand on the west side and I often see smokers sitting along the berm enjoying a smoke break.  Last night I saw one of the day’s most memorable and beautiful girls doing just that…my Sighting #58 ponytailed dark brunette in the Army cap with the short jean shorts.  Earlier in the day when I saw her outside of the beer gardens, her boyfriend wasn’t smoking but this time they were both smoking, and it was easy to see from their blond filters that both were smoking Camel Turkish Royals.  There was a bunch of open space right next to them on the berm and I sat to the girl’s right, pretending to be watching over the gate to sneak a peek at Carrie Underwood inside the grandstand as she was now starting to perform.  It was a pretty perfect situation as I was able to watch her out of the corner of my eye and sneak some side angle pics giving a new perspective on how short her shorts are and how nice her legs are, among other things.  It was also nice to see her drags from close range, followed by the tight, straight-ahead exhales that exited her gorgeous mouth with just the smallest of residual nasal spill.  I got to see four or five drags and thought I had achieved pure perfection when from out of nowhere this chatty late 40s grandstand worker gal approached us and sat right in between us!  Seriously!  She was asking me all about the Carrie Underwood show as she took a smoke break of her own and went on to complain about her undependable coworker in the grandstand vendor booth.  She was quite friendly as I will say that I was at least able to look past her while chatting and take in a couple more of the sexpot brunette’s drags and exhales.  She also wasn’t out there long as their breaks must be very short, taking off in about three minutes at almost exactly the same time as my smoking couple left.  I saw that the brunette crushed out her cigarette against the berm and didn’t bother with taking the Camel Turkish Royal butt to the garbage this time.  All things considered, the derail wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and the second sighting from this gorgeous brunette sealed the deal that she’ll be making the year-end greatest hits list, a list which will include a fair number of entries from yesterday.

And before I would get any new girls worth mentioning, I would have an encounter with another smoker girl from earlier in the day, one that was almost entirely upstaged an hour and a half earlier at the beer gardens area.  The Sighting #110 brunette who “melted into her cigarette” captured my attention to the point that I wasn’t able to spend much time watching Sighting #112 who was hovering in the same general area.  She was a mid-20s blond with a bit of a hardened party girl look but was still very sexy in a black blouse and super tight skinny jeans smoking in the presence of a nonsmoking boyfriend at the beer gardens around 6:30.  Fast forward to a little after 8:00 and I was walking through the outdoor seating area of the food building on the off chance that a hot girl would be illegally smoking there.  Lo and behold my long-haired blond was preparing to do just that as she removed a Marlboro Light from a pack sitting next to the same nonsmoking boyfriend.  I sat on the berm next to her for a nice show moments before she lit up.  It was almost dark by now so my photos didn’t turn out perfectly but I captured a few nice shots of her face and body from the side, on a couple of occasions when she was in mid-drag.  She was talking calmly with the boyfriend for the first few drags and then noticed a girl she knew from afar and shouted “Erin”.  The mystery girl named “Erin” didn’t hear her at first so she hollered it out in her very husky smoker’s voice two more times before Erin heard her and started approaching.  Erin had a cigarette in hand herself and was sort of cute but also quite chubby, good enough to be Sighting #137 but certainly not good enough to upstage the sexy blond friend I was sitting next to and choking on her secondhand smoke.  I stuck around for the rest of the cigarette but the blond finished hers a little earlier than I’d hoped so she could follow Erin to wherever she and the rest of their friends group was headed, and she tossed her butt in the trash when she did, an interesting moment of manners from a girl who just illegally smoked a cigarette in an area where other people were eating.

From there, I headed to the east side of the grounds to the bathroom area where I usually go and while the nearby designated smoking area didn’t have anything worth seeing, in the no-smoking-permitted green space right in front of bathrooms, two guys and an attractive brunette were smoking.  Sighting #140 was another wholesome girl-next-door whose long brown hair was concealed under a baseball cap but flowed onto her shoulders where she wore a very utilitarian black fleece top with dark jeans below.  It seemed fitting that she was smoking with two guys because she very much seemed like a low-maintenance “one of the boys” sort of girl, despite being in no uncertain terms a hot chick.  Her smoking style was good too, with nicely paced drags and smooth, flowing exhales.  Since darkness was just starting to take hold I got the added imagery of glowing cherries to accompany her every drag.  While I typically don’t get great photos after dark, I was able to stand pretty close to her left and snap a couple of good pics, including one in which her cigarette cherry is glowing bright red.  She finished the cigarette and knelt down to crush it out, annoying me as I wanted a butt ID on this one.  But after taking all the trouble of crushing it out like she was gonna throw it in the garbage, she just let it lay there.  She outsmoked the two guys in her group who didn’t finish theirs for another minute or so and then the trio took off, at which point I was able to ID her butt.  Surprisingly it was a SECOND Parliament butt in the last two hours.  I hadn’t seen a single Parliament smoker since last summer but yesterday I scored two in one evening.

The midway used to be a great location for sightings when teens smoked more openly but it hasn’t delivered very strongly in the past few years in any of my fairgrounds.  I nonetheless made one more evening run through the midway at around 8:30 and while it was largely a bust again, I did score Sighting #144, an attractive 21ish blond in a black tanktop and jean shorts openly smoking near the back of the midway with a cluster of nonsmoking friends.  It was a sight for sore eyes to see one attractive young female walking around the midway with a cigarette in her hand, but I didn’t get to watch long because even though the smoker herself didn’t make me, one of her friends did and was eyeballing me as I started to follow.  I hung around for one drag and then realized it was in my interest to break away….and to get out of the midway where I would hopefully find more than just one young girl smoking.

There was nothing to see as I weaved my way through the glut of teenagers in between the midway and the beer gardens block where teens always congregate and only mediocrity at the beer gardens, so I headed down Judson Avenue towards the southeast side of the grounds.  After passing Sophie’s area with no Sophie to be seen, I pressed onto the International Bazaar area which has a smaller beer gardens of its own and struck gold with a duo of young couples that included one memorable and attractive female smoker hovering just outside the entrance to the open-air Bazaar.  Sighting #150 was a long-haired mid-20s brunette with very nice features and a flattering blue tanktop and black shorts smoking a freshly lit all-white and doing so impressively.  One of the guys who I presumed to be her boyfriend was also smoking but the other guy and girl were not.  There was some mixed interaction at first and the brunette took deep no-handlebars drags from her cigarette followed immediately by conversation.  I hoped to see talking exhales transpire but instead she waited a few seconds until she got done talking before turning her head slightly and then expelling the contents of her black lungs.  I’ve never been able to understand how some smokers do this and am always impressed by their hold times when they do.  Eventually, the two girls broke away a bit from the guys and stood a few feet further from the entryway, providing me a slightly better vantage point for more of the same, particularly those lengthy hold times where she spoke first and then decided to empty out her black lungs.  It was too dark for photos but I wish I would tried for even a dark, blurry one as this girl was impressive.  She also seemed quite restless though and walked right past the two guys in her group and crossed the threshold inside the International Bazaar before taking back to back final drags and then tossing the smoldering two-thirds smoked cigarette outside where it rolled along the cement almost directly to my feet, making it incredibly easy for me to ID her butt as a Marlboro Light.  Finally the evening was coming alive and I’d see this girl with her group at the main beer gardens block an hour or so later and, you guessed it, she was smoking another cigarette.  I didn’t want to be too familiar so I only stuck around for one drag on the second sighting, but unsurprisingly it was another deep drag followed by a long hold time coupled with conversation and, finally, a messy exhale.

I tend to make as many passes as possible through the beer gardens block in the evening hours because that’s where the sightings numbers really take off and last night was no exception.  A flurry of activity was set off almost the instant I arrived at the northwest edge of the beer gardens and spotted a trio of hot early 20s girls where only one had a cigarette.  Sighting #155 was a sexy brunette with a black tanktop and jean short cutoffs frayed at the bottom wielding a half-smoked cork filter that I could tell from the markings was a Camel Crush Bold.  I had just weaved my way through the extremely dense crowd of teenagers north of the beer gardens but could tell these three gals were about to head that direction and weave their way through the kids.  I didn’t really want to try to bust through this claustrophobic crowd again but the idea of this brunette smoking in such a dense cluster of humanity fascinated me.  The girls at first held back, intimidated by the crowd, but my obnoxious smoker cutie persisted, saying “let’s just bust through them.  Fuck it!”.  She must have been convincing as they again proceeded northward.  It was gonna be a huge challenge to follow directly behind and not lose them but I pulled it off, following directly behind this hottie as she took drags from her cigarette, sometimes exhaling into the sky so as not to offend any of the teens, but other times not and just exhaling in a way that her smoke drifted into their faces….or as luck would have it, into mine as I followed.   She typically held the cigarette close to her chest figuring it was the best way not to burn anybody but at one point she held it straight in the air over her head.  She was only like 5’4″ so this method certainly wasn’t gonna spare anybody tall, cute as her intentions were.  She pulled the cigarette back down to her chest as she continued to drag from it.  It was on its final couple of drags and I was becoming confident I’d be able to follow her until its finish but the sighting had one more surprise as she reached the squad car that’s parked in the middle of this large grouping of teens to make sure there’s no underage drinking.  I didn’t get the context of the conversation but the girl stopped to talk to the cop briefly with some question, illegally brandishing a cigarette on a forbidden part of the grounds while doing so.  It was quite an image and the conversation lasted about 30 seconds before the three of them proceeded again.  The smoker girl got her final drag in right near the end of the cluster of teens and then dropped the cigarette and crushed it out.  I could already tell it was a Camel Crush Bold but was able to make that official when I bent down to take a closer look.

I had a problem now as I still wanted to walk past the beer gardens, meaning I’d have to hustle my way through this mass of teenage humanity again, ultimately working my way to the edge where a group of people were watching riders on the Sling Shot ride (I finally have a name for the “extreme ride” that I’ve referenced for years in sightings that smoker girls have watched while puffing away.  Last night, a seemingly hot blond who I couldn’t get a decent vantage point of to save my life was smoking while watching, becoming Sighting #157.  And as I returned towards the beer gardens, a light brunette hottie was dancing in the street with a cigarette to become Sighting #158.  Suddenly there was a fair amount going on here but I lost interest in everything else when Sighting #159 wandered in from a huge crowd with a two-thirds smoked cigarette in hand.  She was this wildly wholesome and petite early 20s brunette in a little black cocktail dress who looked like a woman on a mission as she came scurrying up to a trio of nonsmoking friends wielding her cigarette.  I couldn’t wait to see her smoking style, but you can’t even imagine how long she made me wait before taking another drag so I could see it.  I bet I stood there for three minutes, so long that two other new smoker sightings were playing out as I waited for her.  My head was telling me “Abort!  She’s not worth all this time when there are so many other smoker girls out there to be fetished!” but my gut kept telling me to stick around, and thankfully I listened to my gut even with as ticked off as I was watching her stand there with her cigarette now having a long granny ash and smoldering down to next to nothing as she chattered with her friends.  Finally, the cigarette approached her mouth but I was not prepared for the degree to which she made it worth my wait, placing the 90% smoked cigarette stub in her mouth and doing the most intense dangling drag I’ve ever witnessed.  It may have lasted a full 10 seconds, and I figure it might have been because the cigarette was going out having not been puffed on for so long.  Either way, that cherry was glowing a bright red and the smoke was just rolling into the air from it, polluting the airspace around her nonsmoking friends who were all taller than she was.  Eventually, the long ash fell to the pavement and floating embers scattered with it from the intensity of her drag.  I looked again and it was hard to imagine a face like hers was responsible for a drag like that.  She crushed out the cigarette after that one drag and made me damn glad I was patient enough to stick around for it, but frustrated that I wasn’t able to see more than the single drag as this girl was otherwise worthy of longer-term acclaim.

The night still had a few pleasant surprises and I walked the north side of the beer gardens moments after the previous sighting and spotted a duo of teen girls standing in line for corn dogs (or as we call them in Minnesota, pronto pups), one of whom had a mostly smoked cigarette in her hand.  Sighting #164 was different from the other teen smokers I saw yesterday in that she was a nerd….a cute one perhaps, but definitely a nerd…and the nonsmoking friend was too.  Both had nerdy glasses and a very geeky look about them in their red T-shirts and jean shorts.  I didn’t hold it against them and their look gave the sighting a bit more color as you don’t really think of nerdy teenage girls as smokers this day and age.  Whatever the case, the girls were in the front of the line waiting for their pronto pups and giggling when the smoker took a drag from her cigarette and exhaled straight ahead, her smoke going pretty much straight into the vendor stand.  Moments later, they walked away with their respective corn dogs and I got a better look at them.  I’d say the nonsmoker was slightly cuter but both had a nerdy 11th grade cuteness to them with similar curly light brown hair, and both had very nice asses draped in their jean shorts as I followed them.  What struck me is that everybody they walked past seemed to notice the girl with the cigarette in her hand.  I caught no fewer than four people’s eyes drift towards the smoker girl’s cigarette as she walked by and making a mental note of it without any obvious judgment on their faces.  The girls were more interested in their corn dogs and their giggly conversation at this point though and I wouldn’t see the smoker touch the cigarette again before they got swallowed up in a sea of people and I lost them.  I only got the one drag and it was impressive, as was the context of everybody spotting her with her cigarette, but this one was probably never poised to be a Hall of Famer even if I saw a lot more smoking from it.

Carrie Underwood’s concert was still ongoing and before 10:00 I made another pass near the grandstand area which typically produces its share of evening sightings as well.  Just as I was drifting back to the beer gardens block, two girls and a guy were walking my direction and one of the girls, a hot 20-something blond, was smoking a cigarette and I turned around to follow her.  Sighting #172 had a beer in her left hand and a half-smoked all-white in her right, and she was clearly three sheets to the wind.  I don’t know if the guy was the boyfriend to one of the girls or what but the blond and her hot brunette nonsmoking friend were playfully kissing each other in a drunken stupor, I suspect primarily as a consequence of their respective drunkenness rather than an actual lesbian courtship.  It made a hot sighting even hotter though as blondie regularly hit her cigarette and then pulled into the nonsmoking friend for a kiss.  Blondie’s best asset in this setting was the skin-tight pair of black leggings she was wearing on the lower half of her nicely shaped body, perfectly framing an incredible ass and showing off her butt dimples in a flattering way.  Her smoking technique was average at best and made me wonder if she was just a social smoker but it was still a hoot to follow her for a few minutes and watch her smoke in this inebriated state while dressed in such a sexually charged way.  The girls were becoming a little too unpredictable and I feared getting caught so I took off before she finished the cigarette or before I got a butt ID.

The evening of August 29, 2015, had one more electric moment for me on the northern edge of the designated smoking area near the beer gardens.  I peaked my head around the aforementioned giant plants to find an attractive young couple sitting there with a mid-20s blond holding an unlit cigarette between her fingers preparing to light up.  It was clear she was a little bit inebriated and her nonsmoking boyfriend was too which added to the fun of Sighting #175.  It took her a moment or two before she lit the cigarette which allowed me time to admire her very impressive presentation, her shoulder-length blond hair crashing onto a white bare-midriff tanktop with a glossy belt holding up a pair of uber-skimpy jean shorts and her long legs flowing into a very flattering pair of black cowgirl boots.  The only thing that could improve upon that image was a lit cigarette, and she made that happen seconds later by flicking it to life and doing an impressive no-handlebars drag off the light-up, removing the cigarette from her mouth and releasing an eruption of smoke from both her mouth and nose into the evening sky.  She was one of those smokers whose respiratory system just effortlessly produces a whirlwind of smoke following her drags and that makes for a visual carnival to a fetisher like me.  And all of her nicely timed drags were like that….intense no-handlebars dangling drags followed by volcanic eruptions of smoke pouring out of her facial orifices as if her insides were on fire and desperately seeking a release hatch through her mouth and nose.  I tried to get a bad photo but wasn’t even able to get a dark, blurry image of her in the shot.

But there was something else going on here besides her smoking show…..and that involved a frisky boyfriend who I sensed may have been a fetisher himself trying to cash in on his smoker girlfriend’s drunkenness for some sneaky PDA with a hot chick while she smoked.  There was a smoldering passion for a couple of minutes as he moved his face towards hers and she followed suit.  For a few moments, their faces were like two inches apart, and this was after a few of her drags, meaning he was getting a very direct assault of her stinky cigarette breath.  This happened a couple of times in between her impressive drags and exhales, and finally they just kissed, allowing him to finally taste the tobacco breath he had undoubtedly been craving at least since she first lit up.  The kissing lasted about 20 seconds and I was getting a Chris Matthews’-style “thrill up my leg” just being able to observe this.  It wasn’t quite up to what the legendary FCF #2 Pall Mall teen princess did with her nonsmoking boyfriend in 2013 but easily the best I’ve seen since then….

The kissyface show ended as another young couple approached and it was pretty clear they were attending the fair together.  Beyond that, a decently attractive 20-something blond from the beer gardens approached my sexy smoker to ask for a light, which she gave her.  The second act of the sighting would be less intimate but still featured a nice show as the smoker girl and her boyfriend stood up so they could chat with the friends who just arrived.  It was great to see her body in a vertical position in that outfit, showing off more of her midriff with that sexy belt-and-shorts combination, not to mention how those long, smooth legs slipped into her black boots.  And of course she continued to drag fiercely with mostly dangling drags and always showered the area just to her right with a furnace blast of thick white smoke.  She finished the cigarette in a few moments and knelt down to the crush the all-white out on the inner edge of the berm and then dropping the butt into the dirt.  Had the group left then and there I would have had no problem scoring a butt ID but they stuck around and I couldn’t invest any more time in them just for a butt ID.  I returned before I left that night to an empty berm, using the light from my camera phone to try to find her discarded butt in the plant matter for an ID but wasn’t able to find it in the dense plant life and just admitted defeat and took off.  Even so, the night needed a really strong closing act and this girl with her substantively and aesthetically satisfying five-minute show certainly came through.

Only moments later, the fireworks started which meant the grandstand show was over.  The evening only had about 15 minutes left but I was excited about the prospect of seeing hundreds upon hundreds of people fleeing the Carrie Underwood show, undoubtedly with some cute young female nicotine addicts in desperate need of a fix among them.  I was working my way towards the grandstand but paused to watch a few drags of Sighting #180, a dark-complected 21ish brunette sitting in between two guy friends, all smoking.  She deserved more than my passing observations but since her style was nothing distinctive I decided I’d be better served heading to the glut of departing concertgoers.  I was not served well by this decision as the mass of humanity was racing for the exits and I didn’t see a single girl with a cigarette as apparently the smokers were willing to wait a tick longer until they got out of the worst of the crowd.  Meanwhile it was almost 10:30 and I had to meet up with the folks, the downside of going up to the fair with them in that I’m forced to leave an hour earlier than I otherwise would.

As soon as I was able to get out of a swarm of people, I headed to the south side near the Coliseum where I meet my parents and the crowd thinned down.  I got one final sighting of a brunette in an orange tanktop and jeans smoking on my way out, my 183rd and final sighting of the day.  I was a few minutes late meeting the folks but they were talking to some random woman so they didn’t notice.  It occurred to me why there was a much smaller crowd than predicted on the south side when I got there.  The bus stops had moved to the northwest side last year meaning that only the people in the fairgrounds parking lot were using the south side entrance.  Suffice it to say that this smaller crowd of foot traffic didn’t translate to a smaller crowd of automobile traffic though as we got caught in a half-hour traffic jam getting out of the parking lot and onto Snelling Avenue.

It was all worth it though and while I was a little disappointed that the evening didn’t have any genuine rock star moments that moved me to pure elation like most evenings at the Minnesota State Fair do, I still can’t complain.  The sheer volume of extra base hits I scored over the course of the day, and particularly in those incredible late afternoon and early evening hours, puts August 29, 2015, up there with one of my better sightings days in the last few years, with several entries poised to make my year-end greatest hits list.  And while I had a handful of would-be great sightings derailed by e-cigarettes, they continued to not be as big of a thorn in my side as predicted.  I’m wondering though if I’ll ever hit 200 sightings in a day again as I seemed well-positioned to do so at 7 p.m. but fell considerably short again.  Even so, if I needed any proof that smoking is still alive among my preferred demographic, last weekend’s trip to the Minnesota State Fair confirmed it and gave me hope that the precipitous decline of smoking hasn’t hit epidemic levels yet, at least in the Midwest.  And the best part is….I get to do it all over again on Labor Day weekend when I return to the sacred smoking fetish ground that is the Minnesota State Fair for an encore.



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