My second day at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair was a record attendance day, meaning the crowds were absolutely suffocating, especially by mid-afternoon, which was the time of day I headed east on Dan Patch Avenue where the first electric moment of the day awaited me. I made it a block east of the grandstand when I saw an early-to-mid-20s blond with a beer opening up her purse and taking out a pack of Marlboro Lights, wasting no time inserting a cigarette into her mouth. As crowded as the foot traffic was, I still was able to successfully pivot and keep up with her, and was in for one epically obnoxious show…..
She was adorable, with shoulder-length blond hair falling mostly on bare flesh as there wasn’t much fabric holding up her low-cut brownish tanktop. But I’ve always been more of a South America kind of guy and she dazzled down under with a pair of pale pink shorts. Now the girl had a little bit of meat on her bones….not chubby enough to be a factor for the overwhelming majority of guys but with her body type she’ll probably struggle to keep the weight off as she gets older. At age 22-23 or whatever she was, however, I was licking my chops at her presentation especially as I watched her take her first drag from her cigarette amidst this dense crowd. There were a couple of guys walking behind her who were with her, at least at the time not smoking. The density of the crowd had the potential to be a huge problem on the photo-taking front, but in this case I snapped the best photo I’ve ever gotten with the cigarette dangling from her lips. I had no need to attempt any additional photos after that masterpiece, which was good because I was about to be treated to the dangle of the year….
I kept pace with her after the photo and couldn’t help but notice that cigarette stayed perched in her mouth for a very extended period, at first seemingly out of convenience but eventually she began foraging through her purse for something and that dangle just continued and continued and continued. At least 30 seconds in, I was walking directly parallel to her and watched her pucker up her lips for a dangling drag. One would think the smoke would be rising into her nose and becoming uncomfortable but this girl clearly can handle however much smoke the tobacco companies can throw her way. Finally, after at least 45 seconds of dangling, the cigarette was removed from her mouth. How I would have loved to have kissed her to taste her ashtray mouth seconds after a dangle like that! Her group proceeded to the line for ears of sweet corn and asked some guy if where they were standing was really the end of the line. He responded that it was, and they decided against standing in line that long and proceeded back the direction they came from down Dan Patch Avenue. With the stifling crowds of humanity pressed together like pigs in a livestock barn, I knew it was only a matter of time before her thoughtless and unlawful smoking behavior would produce a casualty, and I was about to get one of my best reactions ever from someone on the receiving end of a cute girl’s exhale….
I watched from a rear side angle as blondie took a deep drag and as she prepared to exhale, this middle-aged guy literally cowered in anticipation of the exhale to the face he knew he was about to get. For whatever reason, seeing his face for that split second before he got whacked made me think of “Cringer”, the wimpy tiger from the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoons in the mid-80s. Something tells me this “Cringer” will never transform into the Mighty Battle Cat like He-Man’s did, however. I marveled at the power of cigarettes that made this middle-aged guy cower in fear of what was spewing from the mouth of a short blond girl in pink shorts. As I pressed forward, girlie was in the final throes of the all-white she was making such quick work of, and by now one of the guys in her company had lit up in forbidden territory as well. In another minute or so, she dropped the cigarette to the pavement without crushing it out. I already knew it was a Marlboro Light having seen her remove it from the pack but I confirmed it again as I walked past the smoldering remains. This was easily the best sighting from early in the day and the best of the year in terms of a girl ignoring the designated smoking area rules. For the first time that day, I was genuinely feeling some adrenaline.