2016 Local County Fair

Tuesday Night

I used to go in to every fair season brimming with unbridled jubilation at the endless potential for sightings bliss.  In the last few years I’ve learned to temper that jubilation some as smoking rates among my preferred demographic are noticeably plummeting.  But no matter how bleak things have gotten, one thing I was able to depend upon until recently is that my local county fair would produce a great sighting every single night.  And I don’t mean just a “good” sighting, I mean a great sighting…..something worthy of my blog’s greatest hits section.  I first started my current routine of very heavy navigation of my local fairgrounds for five consecutive evenings back in 2009 and had a streak of 23 evenings through 2014 where I got at least one great sighting.  Most nights it was more than one.  Unfortunately I really hit a wall on the Friday evening of 2014 and haven’t really regained my footing yet.  I had a bad feeling that streak would continue in the opening night of 2016, and for the most part I was right, scoring a tepid 21 sightings for the evening with none among them being “blog-worthy” in the greatest hits realm.

It was right around 6 p.m. when I pulled into my 90-year-old grandma’s apartment complex across the street from the fairgrounds and claimed her garage for free parking.  It was a touch steamy but generally shaping up to be a good night at the fair.  The evening’s musical entertainment was the modern country duo LoCash, which I was less than thrilled about and fairgoers seemed to concur as the crowd was below average for opening night.  I followed my traditional routines when I entered the grounds and didn’t get any early sightings, quickly getting in line for a gyro for supper.  Even with no early smoker sightings, it sure is wonderful seeing so many scantily clad young girls in their sexy summer attire.  The further I get from an acceptable age to date them, the more irresistible their bodies look.  Curiously I have a potential date with a 19-year-old smoker babe Thursday night at the fair, but she’s been hesitant about meeting me thus far and I have a feeling she could chicken out this time too.  It would really spice up this year’s writeup if I was had a sexpot blond Newport teen on my arm but knowing her I’d give that scenario less than even odds right now.

Back to Tuesday, I encircled the relatively small grounds for at least an hour before I scored a very modest sighting of a young mom outside the bathroom.  Another weak sauce sighting followed but when I finally got something worthy of mention, I missed essentially all of it.  A young couple emerged from a remote area with fresh clouds of cigarette smoke in front of their faces.  The late 20s female was a sexy blond in a white tanktop and jean shorts with fairly short blond hair  not quite reaching her bare shoulders, one of which was unfortunately defiled with a tattoo….but at least it wasn’t on her arm or chest.  Anyway, I saw that final exhale coasting in front of her face but then saw her snuff out the cherry on the cigarette and approach the nearest dumpster to toss it in.  After a good hour I finally had a worthwhile sighting and missed 99% of it.  Thankfully, when I was seated for the concert, the couple came out again for another round of smokes and I got an extended sighting of her.  There was nothing overly memorable about her style but she took frequent drags and produced solid exhales for a good five minutes before proceeding back into the grandstand with the boyfriend.

I scored a handful of other sightings sitting overlooking the traditional smoking area outside the grandstand as well as the beer gardens on the other end of the fence.  It’s alarming that even the beer gardens seems to be producing diminishing returns of sightings lately.  Most memorable of the beer gardens sightings were two familiar faces who have now apparently turned 21.  The epic brunette Newport girl from 2012 and 2013 who I said looked a bit like Selena Gomez was standing in the beer gardens in the company of a guy and girl friend.  She still has a nice body draped in tight-fitting jean shorts, but has adopted a bit of an alternative look that isn’t working for me, the sides of her head shaved and even the back of her prior mane of luxurious light brown hair has now been cut to above her shoulders.  And worse yet, one of those long smooth legs of hers has an ugly circular tattoo on it.  She still looked great smoking when she lit up, still releasing those impressive smoke missiles into the sky with her exhales, but her IT factor disappeared when she had to go and grow up.  It happens.

Remaining more consistent with her prior body of work was another girl from local county fair past….”Sarah”.  I was first introduced to “Sarah” two summers ago when I saw this wholesome late teen blond in sexy white shorts smoking a couple of Marlboro Lights and heard some guy friends refer to her by name.  She returned last year for a couple of minor sightings moments, but I’ve never been able to pin Sarah down and get a solid vantage point of her feeding her addiction, and part of the deal there is that she’s on to me.  I’ll get into that more later but my stalemate with Sarah sightings was broken last night because she’s now 21 and inside the beer gardens, where I was able to watch her from a relatively decent distance without her being aware she was being spied on.  She was standing in a huddle in a poorly lit spot when I first caught her with a cigarette and I didn’t even realize it was her, but she came through much better about five minutes later….

Stepping outside of the building with a fresh beer and a blond guy friend at her side, the natural blond hair and the now illuminated facial features confirmed to me that the girl I had just seen smoking and who was about to do so again was indeed Sarah, decked out in a white top and jean shorts.  She’s not a knockout but is a solid 8.  Her youth and those white shorts, coupled with her great style, was what qualified her for my top-25 sightings of the year in 2014, but due to the logistical challenges I cited earlier she’ll struggle to make this year’s list.  With that said, this was as close as I’ve ever come and may ever get to a close-up Sarah sighting as she was fishing two cigarettes out of her purse from an indeterminant pack, one for the guy and one for herself.  She lit them both up with the same flame and passed the guy one of them while keeping the other for herself.  I’d be interested in learning Sarah’s smoking history as the events of last night confirmed she’s one heavily addicted smoker now at age 21.  Her style didn’t seem to have quite the dramatics that it did two years earlier but she still took nice, deep drags and produced impressive straight-ahead exhales with solid respiratory force as she danced and bopped to the music from the mediocre-at-best LoCash concert.  I’d still love to have an even closer-up sighting of Sarah but I’m unfortunately pretty certain that’s as good as it’ll get.

I left the concert about 10 minutes early and boy am I glad I did.  I made a partial voyage into the midway and came across the most impressive girl of the night.  I had made a mental note earlier in the evening of this ponytailed auburn-haired cutie with the most wholesome face and a body to match.  Looking at her face and body type I’d have figured she was no older than 16, but unfortunately she had a couple of small battle scars that told the tale that she was likely 18.  Those battle scars came in form of tattoos, albeit small ones, on her upper arm and thigh, exposed by her bare midriff top and her jean shorts.  The tattoos were an unfortunate eyesore but not enough to be disqualifying as I entered the midway and saw from afar this cutie with a smoldering cigarette in hand.  I rushed on over hoping to get a decent show and actually did pretty well for myself.  The smoker and a chubbier nonsmoking friend who also looked in the 17-18 range were exiting the midway and walking towards the food vendors.  I stayed parallel to the smoker and was able to take in three pretty decent drags with skillful, cloudy exhales.  If anyone took note of her public smoking display without the context of the tattoos, they’d have probably figured she was an underage smoker.  I can’t get over how sweet that face was for a high school-aged girl who still smokes in 2016!  She stopped in her tracks to finish the last couple of drags of her cigarette before entering the crowded block of food vendors, tossing the all-white butt to the pavement with the last entrails of smoke spilling from her adorable face.  When she and the friend set in motion again I walked over to ID the butt, impressed to see it was a Parliament, which are extremely expensive in Minnesota and increasingly rare to see.  I tried to take a couple of snapshots of her in passing but my camera phone doesn’t not handle the dark very well and they didn’t turn out.  Unfortunately, I got a couple of more buzzkills later in the evening from this girl as I saw her two more times and she was vaping from an e-cigarette.  While it’s obviously nice that she still smokes her Parliaments, my sense was that I got lucky catching her with a real cigarette and she probably vapes more than she actually smokes.  There are still four nights left of the fair though and I’d love to prove myself wrong on that one.

Another extra-base hit arose about a half hour later in the smoking area outside the grandstand, timed strangely as the concert was now long ago over.  I saw a family dynamic where an unattractive middle-aged woman was smoking.  Sitting and standing behind her was a cluster of two guys and a girl.  From afar the very petite brunette looked about 14 so when I saw a cigarette in her hand I really got excited.  Up close it became clear she was probably more in the 21 range though and simply looked younger because of her small size.  She had a “cute nerd” thing going with retro-style glasses and a general throwback look, although decked out in a fairly conventional ensemble of white tanktop and black shorts.  After a minute or so sitting at this bench, the four of them got up to leave, and the little brunette was strutting through the fairgrounds with cigarette in one hand and, adorably, holding the hand of the nonsmoking boyfriend with the other.  I didn’t know if the brunette was the daughter of the matriarch or if her boyfriend was, but odds are that it was a mother-daughter sighting.  I was able to walk parallel to her and watch her nice drags and exhales as she proceeded hand in hand with the boyfriend through the midway.  About halfway through the walk, she dropped her cork filter butt to the ground and they kept walking.  The butt was from a Marlboro Red, meaning her tiny body was really getting filled up with some awful carcinogens.  There’s a back entrance to the parking lot through the midway and the foursome ventured that direction less than a minute after the daughter finished the cigarette.  I’m grateful I scored a few of these extra base hits that kept the night from being a calamity.  And who knows, if she or a couple of the other girls resurface later in the week with encore acts, she might make this year’s top-25.

A short while after that sighting, while still in the midway, I spotted another mid-20s brunette who also had a bit of a cute nerd thing going with her glasses, and she was packing a fresh pack of cigarettes against her wrist.  The girl didn’t have any kind of IT factor but it was a nice image to see her packing this black pack (I’m sure it was some variation of Marlboro Blacks) so casually while walking through the midway.  She was with a heavyset and unattractive friend and extracted a cigarette for each of them from the fresh pack.  They lit up and the cute one put on a modestly strong performance.

There was one trio of wholesome mid-teens with impossibly hot bodies in tight white shorts that kept beckoning my attention.  I knew the odds of them being smokers was a longshot but I made a point of keeping my eye on them all night just in case.  It never happened but this fair, because of the comparatively small size of its grounds, is the kind of setting where it’s easier to keep tabs on certain girls throughout the night than are any of my state fairs with much larger grounds.

But the downside of the smaller grounds is that the same familiarity I’m afforded with my intended sightings targets cuts both ways.  There are two girls at the FCF who are unambiguously on to me based on incidents of the last couple of years, and they both happened to be the most prolific girls of the night.  One was the aforementioned “Sarah”.  I pushed my luck too far with her a couple of years ago and she clearly remembers me every time I’m in the general area watching her smoking now.  I got lucky being able to watch her show in the beer gardens, but last year she was preparing a cigarette each for herself and a guy friend, spotted me sitting at a booth, and then started whispering in the guy’s ear and I’m positive it was about me.  The other girl is this very pretty and tanned long-haired light brunette about Sarah’s age (20-21) who I’ve seen smoking twice at the last two county fairs, and two years ago she also got up and stormed off once when she saw me lurking on her second cigarette of the evening.  This girl’s physical downside is an unfortunately plump backside.  I can handle a little junk in the trunk, but this girl’s ass is a tick more bulbous than I’d be likely to tolerate, which is too bad because she’s gorgeous.

Anyway, I would see Sarah smoking three more cigarettes over the course of the rest of the evening after the concert ended, putting her at an impressive five cigarettes on the night counting her two inside the beer gardens.  The large-bootied brunette was smoking three times as well, and two of these sightings were done when in the company of Sarah.  For their final respective cigarettes of the night, Sarah and the brunette did the classic pose where one girl with a lit cigarette pressed herself up to the other in a kissing pose to light the second girl’s cigarette.  Unfortunately everything I saw had to be done at a very comfortable distance because I don’t want an awkward encounter, particularly if I’m gonna be bringing a teen smoker girl of my own there two nights from now.  More unfortunate, there were several other hot girls that came in and out of this cluster, and I didn’t see any additional smoking.  The smoker girl base in my home county does not appear to expanding, and that poses a big problem if it continues.

I caught the tail end of one more outstanding moment right around 11:00 when I walked past the Tom Thumb mini-donut stand, a location that provided me two sightings of smoker girl workers last year and has already delivered this year.  This cutiepie 17-18ish dark blond with two braids flowing over her shoulders was standing behind the booth at nearly closing time and each were smoking.  I only got to see two drags before the cigarette expired but what a face!  A more sustained sighting of this girl on a future night could easily get a golden ticket into my top-25.  She was a touch chubbier than I’d prefer but certainly not disqualifyingly so.  I found a berm to sit on and admire her from afar after she finished the cigarette, but perhaps exposed myself a little here because directly in front of me on the sidewalk this sober boyfriend/husband was walking with his falling-down drunk wife/girlfriend who was stumbling all over the place and unable to get up from the ground.  My mini-donuts smoker girl was staring directly my way pointing and laughing about the drunk gal’s misfortune and probably taking a mental note of my presence in the process.  Hopefully this doesn’t complicate my ability to get more sightings of her later in the week because she was as cute as they come.

I despise the new outfit running the midway at my county fair that came in two years ago.  The old midway operation was open till midnight every night.  With the new place, it’s lights out at 11.  It’s already a struggle with as small as these grounds are to loop around repeatedly and not look suspicious, but when the midway loop is removed from the equation, the grounds tend to empty out rather immediately and there is even less terrain to explore and fewer people around to check out.  This basically means that by 11:20 or so, the night’s over.  I’d get one last sighting of a guy and girl leaving the beer gardens where the decently attractive mid-20s brunette girlfriend in a black dress had a cigarette in hand in the final minutes of the night, but that was it.

I had a weak first night in 2015 getting only 24 sightings but did even worse this year with 21.  Worse yet is that much of the low-hanging fruit–the regulars I see every year–are already accounted for meaning I can’t count them again and subsequent nights could be even weaker.  I’m not liking the trendline and am pretty shocked by how abruptly the local county fair crashed as a venue.  I’m not at all a fan of 70s rocker Ted Nugent and won’t even attend his concert when he’s here on Friday, but I’m anticipating a hard-core white trash crowd there that night.  Granted it’ll probably skew older, but I could imagine some nicotine-addicted daughters of Nugent fans traveling from afar to see this concert.  Nugent night is probably my best hope for a big smoker girl haul this year.  Other than that, 2016 could be the first year I dip below 100 for FCF sightings.  I got 101 last year, with a steady downward trajectory since my peak year of 2010 when I got 144.


Wednesday Night

Well that was better.  My Wednesday night at the county fair is not destined for the Hall of Fame or anything but I did better than the previous night, scoring 23 sightings, the majority of them being extra-base hits.  There’s only one that has even a chance of year-end acclaim but there were a few strong opening acts that could develop into stardom in the next three nights.  I got to the fair about 6:45, and it seems like more often than not when I arrive on Wednesday evenings I get sightings fairly quickly.  I thought I had really hit that jackpot and I perused past the people in line for the concert and saw three teenage girls with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths….fake cigarettes.  There’s a vendor somewhere on this fairgrounds that sells fake rubber/plastic cigarettes and I’ve had moments where my heart has stopped before seeing wholesome young girls wielding these things only to have my heart break a couple of seconds later when I see they’re not real.  These girls were posing for selfies with the fake cigarettes dangling from their mouths, making it all the more soul-crushing that they weren’t real.  Maybe before long, curiosity will get the better of them and they’ll try the real thing, enabling me to see them with real cigarettes while waiting in line next year.

But even after that false alarm, I still had a strong opening to the night. I had been there only about five minutes when I spotted a couple with two kids emerging from a seating area near food trucks and the tall early 30s blond gal in a white tanktop and black shorts had an unlit cigarette between her fingers.  I had to be careful here because I recognized the guy she was with.  Two years ago, I saw him at a family reunion.  He was then the boyfriend of my cousin.  I doubted he’d remember me but there was a chance, so I carefully hovered to the side as they walked towards the midway until she lit her cigarette.  The guy eventually lit one too as the small kids, which I’m assuming were hers, tagged along.  She got some good drags in and it was clear she was a long-time pro at this smoking thing.  I didn’t follow for the whole show but watched a few nice drags.  Less than an hour later, I’d cross paths with the couple again, and the blond was smoking another cigarette.  Good start to the evening.

That opening teaser to the night would be quickly surpassed as I headed to the south side of the grounds to get a drink from the fountain and noticed a young blond sitting alone on a bench with cigarette in hand.  There were a series of empty benches in the general area so I took a seat and watched the show.  She was mid-to-late 20s and had long strawberry blond hair.  She wasn’t unattractive but didn’t have a face that stood out in the crowd.  But if her face was only a 6, her body was very close to a perfect 10, and best of all it was draped in a pink tanktop and extremely tight white shorts.  There’s nothing sexier for summer attire draping the female posterior than white shorts and this girl was rocking the sexiest pair I had seen worn by a smoker girl yet this summer.  Her smoking technique was impressive too, with very nicely timed drags and exhales a few moments apart.  She helpfully attended to her phone while she smoked, allowing me a very nice little show sitting in near isolation with her about 15 feet away.  I got to see about eight drags before she stomped out the cigarette under her feet and got up off the bench.  I only had a moment to admire that smoking hot body in those painted-on white shorts while she was in a standing position, but I lucked out watching her approach the water fountain and got to see her bend over for a drink in those tight shorts, her fantastic ass stretching the fabric of the shorts to the breaking point. I took all of this deliciousness in as she progressed northward from the drinking fountain.  I quickly got up to ID her butt and found that it was a Marlboro Nxt, and out of the corner of my eye noticed she had walked into a commercial exhibits building.  I slowly meandered to the building and went inside to discover my smoker girl was sitting behind a Verizon Wireless booth in the company of a middle-aged guy forced to choke on the cigarette stench she brought with her into the booth.  Unfortunately behind the booth I was unable to see her lower body in those tight white shorts, but I made a point of walking past a couple more times that night just to keep an eye on her as she sat at that lonely booth with a look of major-league boredom on her face.  I’m holding out hope that I haven’t seen the last of this gal and hope I get the timing right to spot her on another smoke break during subsequent visits this week, providing she’ll still be working the Verizon booth any additional days.  Even if this is all I get to see of her though, Wednesday was off to a much better start than Tuesday.

I’d get one more mediocre sighting in that first hour before picking up my food and drink and heading to the grandstand to my usual spot overlooking the smoking area and beer gardens.  The musical performer tonight was one-hit wonder country act Chris Janson, who was okay but didn’t leave too much of an impression, yet drew a slightly larger crowd than the night before.  While I certainly didn’t get any homeruns at the beer gardens, I stitched together a decent string of sightings during the hour and a half or so I sat there.  The most prolific were a duo of attractive 20-somethings amidst a group of five or so gals who were unfortunately deep inside the beer gardens to the point that I only had a distant vantage point of their faces, but I sure liked what I was able to see.  The best smoker of the two was the long-haired blond in a white T-shirt and short jean shorts.  She was somewhat short and easy to temporarily lose in the crowd, but there was always the cherry from a smoldering cigarette between her fingers and an airborne exhale into the sky that helped me ultimately discover my nicotine Where’s Waldo?  Her technique was impressive and the image that stuck with me most was when she lit her second cigarette and proceeded to dangle it for about 30 seconds.  Over the course of about 45 minutes I saw her smoking three cigarettes.  And actually beating the blond in the presentation department was the other primary smoker in her group, an attractive light brunette in a green plaid country girl blouse and jean shorts.  She was a little taller and had a distinctive cowgirl hat that made her easier to keep tabs on.  She was still too far away and too deep into the crowd to fully appreciate, but she smoked two cigarettes and my heart began to race every time I watched the cigarette approach her lips and the cherry began to glow as she took her drags.  There was another dark brunette in the group who smoked once but it was pretty clear she was a social smoker unworthy of the show the other two were putting on.

And as those gals were smoking their final cigarettes during my observation period, another gal cooperated much closer to the fence inside the beer gardens with a smoke show of her own.  A wholesome young couple who looked about 30 ventured into the beer gardens area closest to my vantage point and hovered there listening to the music.  I didn’t hold out a ton of hope for smoking as the gal looked very wholesome, but I’ll be damned if she wasn’t foraging around in her purse after about five minutes there with her likely husband.  Out came a cigarette, and the husband got instantly scarce when the cigarette came out, noticing a friend of some sort and walking over to chat with, leaving the wholesome blond to smoke her cigarette all by herself.  It was a solid show with well-paced drags and well-directed exhales that sailed entirely from her mouth in a straight line in front of her.  For a couple of minutes I was able to turn my head back and forth from the aforementioned blond and brunette deeper inside the beer gardens and this cutie closer to me.  It was around 9:30 and time for me to leave the concert anyway, so I took off and timed my pass near the beer gardens fence just in time to see the blond take the final drag from her cigarette and then drop it to the grass.  She was indeed as wholesome upclose as she appeared from afar and definitely didn’t fit the profile of a smoker in the year 2016.

The concert was still ongoing but I had fetishing to do on the grounds, wandering the general area near the grandstand for a bit and then heading to the midway, which turned out to be a very good move.  Towards the back of the midway, a dark brunette was standing in the darkness behind one of the rides and it was clear she was smoking a fairly freshly lit cigarette.  I proceeded towards her to get a better look and she was definitely an extra-base hit, a petite dark brunette who looked at least partially Hispanic decked out in a medium blue tanktop and white shorts.  The shorts weren’t as tight as my Verizon Wireless girl earlier but you can’t go wrong with white shorts on a shapely female form.  As petite as she was it was hard to discern her age in the darkness but I could tell she wasn’t a teenager.  I settled in for what I figured would be a decent show but she took only a couple more drags before dropping the less than half smoked cigarette to the grass and racing back into the midway, apparently concerned her group would leave her behind.  I was able to check out the discarded cigarette and discover it was Marlboro Light Special Blend before following her back into the midway and seeing she was part of a group/family dynamic with some Hispanics and some whites, putting her own mysterious ethnic composition into more question although I’m quite sure she was at least half Hispanic.  I’m guessing she was about 21 or 22.  I’d see her in her group a couple more times that night but never again smoking.

From there I was en route to leave the midway and try to catch the final moments of the concert along with the departing crowd in the grandstand, but instead found myself checking out this beautiful female face in between two midway rides talking to a guy.  I quickly noticed a freshly lit cigarette in her hand.  She had weirdly alternative pinkish-purplish hair that went down to her shoulders, which didn’t fit her gorgeous face at all but was not disqualifying for me the way tattoos or facial piercings are.  It would have been challenging to watch this sighting play out in between the rides but thankfully the two of them started walking elsewhere on the midway, with the guy lighting up a cigarette of his own as they proceeded.  What a smokin’ body the purple-haired nicotine girl had, with a lower body draped in skin-tight leggings that had a multi-color flowery pattern on them and accentuated with a pair of very high-heeled stilettos that could not have been comfortable.  Damn what a presentation, and her smoking was impressive too with well-timed drags and voluminous exhales, some of which I was able to take in the face as I alternated between walking behind her and walking to her side, all without detection.  I wouldn’t have been able to make a photo work with the difficult lighting mix in the nighttime carnival setting, not to mention the risk of incurring the guy’s wrath if he saw me.  The couple came to another stop towards the back of the midway to finish their cigarettes a little away from the crowd.  I couldn’t help but notice that the guy looked at least 10 years older than the girl, with him looking mid-30s and her looking early 20s.  Considering I hope to be going to the fair tonight with a smoker girl 19 years younger than me, the age difference didn’t seem too far-fetched.  I watched the final few moments of her cigarette and couldn’t get enough admiring that crazy hot body, her entire presentation only mildly diminished by the goofy hair color.  Since she began smoking before him, she also finished her cigarette a couple of minutes before him, but they both littered their butt on the edge of the grass and then walked back into the midway.  I had marked the location of her discarded butt and was able to ID it as another Marlboro Light Special Blend.  Unfortunately I wouldn’t see this girl again Wednesday night, smoking or not, but hope to see more of her later this week.  With that hair color, she should be easy to single out!

From there I hustled back to the Chris Janson concert as he was by now closing his show with his only big hit.  I ventured to the smoking areas on both the north and south sides of the grandstand and hit pay dirt on the south side as I saw two young girls standing there smoking.  The girl that beckoned all the attention was a tall and chubby blond who reminded me of my teen smoking ex-girlfriend Brittany.  She wasn’t gorgeous but had an IT factor about her that made her a memorable smoker, but best of all was the T-shirt she was wearing that gave away her age.  On the back it said “Seniors ’16” for a high school from a neighboring town.  Hot damn….this was a genuine, confirmed 18-year-old smoker girl in the year 2016.  The prettier girl of the two, a brunette in a black sweatshirt and jeans, was also smoking and was about six inches shorter than the blond but far less illuminated in this dark location.  I was able to sit down on a berm about 10 feet away and watch what would unfortunately be the final couple of drags of both of their cigarettes.  I didn’t get to see enough of the performance to say much about their smoking style, which was frustrating, but was heartened that two 17-18ish girls are so addicted to cigarettes in 2016 that they had to leave the concert a bit early to get their nicotine fix.  I would see these girls several more times in the next hour, but unfortunately never again smoking.  Since they’re from a town 25 miles away it’s a long shot that I’ll see them again this week either.   It was mildly disappointing that I didn’t get more from them but I know was stringing together a multitude of extra-base hits in a pretty short time period.

Sarah was back tonight and I had to continue keeping my distance from her because she has me figured out, and she wore a helpfully distinctive outfit Wednesday night with a pair of white overall shorts (!!) that made her easy to spot and only admire from afar.  I didn’t have as many run-ins with her as the night before but still saw her smoking two more cigarettes.  It seems pretty clear this girl has quite a problem with nicotine dependency.

It would be another 15 minutes or so before my next sighting, but it would be another impressive extra base hit as I watched a mixed-gender cluster emerging from the fairground’s south side heading to the main blocks of the grounds.  I somehow missed cigarettes on the first pass but quickly took note of a mess of smoke spilling from the face of the petite long-haired blond in the white tanktop and jean shorts who was at the front of the cluster.  The blond hair and nice body made for a great presentation but upclose she was only a 5 or 6 beauty-wise with some fairly rough features for a girl who I figured was probably not yet 21.  Fortunately, seconds after seeing what would be one of only two drags I’d see from blondie before she surrendered the rest of her cigarette to a chubby guy in her company, I spotted another smoker girl in the group.  When I first laid eyes on this group, the face and body that stood out most to me was this very petite dark-haired brunette with an oddly old-fashioned hair style decked out in a black tanktop and a skin-tight pair of tie-dye print leggings on her bottom.  Her ass seemed a tick plump, but it was only because the rest of her body was so little, and it was the kind of booty plumpness that worked for her rather than took away from her.  From afar, you’d have swore this girl was no older than 13 given her body type and height of less than five feet tall, but given the early 20s nature of her friends group and the one brief glimpse I’d taken of her face, I knew she was older.  As for her smoking….phenomenal.   It was the best performance of the night as she took rapid succession drags with intense exhales that came in the form of three thick streams of smoke spilling from her mouth and both nostrils.  I saw four or five of these drags in less than a minute before she discarded the cork filter cigarette to the pavement and proceeded onward with the friends group.  Unfortunately, the crowd in the area was such that I didn’t get a butt ID, but I still had more business at hand of getting a really close look at her face which I had not yet done.  She was attractive but the face did not match the body at all.  It was basically the face of a 25-year-old on the body of a 13-year-old.  Her outfit seemed like something a 13-year-old would wear too.  I’d see the girl a few more times that night but unfortunately not smoking again.  This is another one I’d like to see more of this week as she definitely has the potential of year-end greatest hits acclaim if I get a long enough performance in the right setting.

The extra-base hits kept coming as moments later I got another reward from the Tom Thumb Mini-Donuts stand I’d been keeping an eye on all night because of a certain teen cutie I saw the night before.  There she was again, this time in the company of an older gal who worked in the booth (older as in maybe 30, not “old”) and both were smoking.  Now I should clarify that this girl is filled out just a little too much to be top-tier.  She’s not obese but given that she’s probably only 17 or 18, she likely will be as she ages.  But that face!  Such an angelic looking doll, with the imagery made perfect with those two braids rolling over her shoulders.  The smoking performance was damn impressive too as she took nice, deep drags and then released monstrously cloudy exhales that filled several square feet of airspace in front of her.  I was able to sit at a bench that was further away than I preferred but it did allow me to watch the entirety of her performance.  It was quite a show and she filled a lot of space with her toxic exhaust.  Not sure if this girl is capable of anything that will put her in my top-tier of the year but if I see a smoking performance all five nights like I’ve seen in the first two nights, I won’t rule her out.

Stinky fair workers continued to be the ongoing theme for the next 20 minutes or so as I saw a total of three attractive 20-somethings who worked at the fair in some capacity seated in the lawn between the edge of the midway and the bathroom area.  The most attractive was the first one, a dark brunette with a nice tan wearing a navy blue top advertising whatever vendor she was working and a nice-fitting pair of tan shorts.  She was sitting there with two guys smoking a cigarette and looking beautiful doing so, but there were two problems.  She was a very slow smoker and I was not well-positioned to stick around for an extended show, forced to lurk awkwardly in an isolated area and constantly turn my head towards her to watch, which was tough since she was so slow to take drags and because there was a constant presence of guys who occasionally made eyes with me when my eyes darted that direction.  She was beautiful though and worth some risk, so when a bench opened up overlooking her, albeit from a more challenging distance, I took it.  Unfortunately by that time she was down to her last two drags.  She finished off the cigarette and left it there in the grass, walking my direction en route to her food vendor truck and letting me get a look at her pretty face except with better lighting. Definitely one of the more attractive gals of the night.  Not long after, two decently attractive blonds were sitting smoking with two other guys in the same spot.  They were both nice to see with cigarettes, but didn’t have the IT factor of the brunette and I definitely could not lurk in that same spot any longer to watch much of their show, so I had to simply take a couple half laps and walk past them every couple of minutes to see what they had to offer.  Logistics and timing have been a struggle at this year’s county fair, even when the sightings have been impressive.

And while logistics were still far from perfect, I saved my best for last on Wednesday evening.  I was heading towards the sparse north side of the grounds near the livestock barns and farm equipment to make a final lap of the grounds for the night around 11:00 with the midway already going dark and the crowd rapidly dispersing.  I turned my head in between two livestock buildings, observing complete darkness save for the silhouettes of three approaching females, at least two of whom were quite young.  I had a good feeling about this trio and then turned to my left to approach and almost immediately noticing the hand of one of the younger gals approaching her mouth, followed by the scant illumination of a cigarette cherry as she dragged.  Jackpot!  I kept walking and as I crossed paths I looked the trio over pretty good.  There was an only mildly attractive middle-aged smoking mother closest to me and two very hot daughters to her right.  The girl in the middle looked about 21 and had the best presentation from a distance, a decently attractive face with long platinum blond hair, a blue tanktop, and very nice fitting white shorts.  Unfortunately she wasn’t smoking.  But standing to her right was the girl who was smoking, and absolutely gorgeous long-haired 21ish blond in a light green top and very tight blue jeans.  Unfortunately, I now had a problem as we made eyes with each other, but now I had to turn around if I wanted to follow them and see more.  I waited a brief moment and then did, watching the three women navigate in between the farm equipment en route to the beer gardens where I figured they’d disappear to.  If that was the case, my window here was narrow to see anything else as I followed in between the farm equipment, frequently losing my vantage point due to the obstructions.  Fortunately, when I got through the obstacles and approached the entrance of the beer gardens, my prediction was wrong as only one of the females went inside, and it was the nonsmoking blond in the white shorts.  The smoking mother and daughter would stick around hanging outside and finishing the show.  I took a bench and enjoyed the festivities….

I finally got a really good look at the face of the beautiful blond smoker.  She was a perfect 10, radiating supermodel-quality beauty with a Midwestern flair, and she also happened to be a girl I think I saw before and got a photo of while smoking in 2014.  You don’t see a face this pretty every day and I always hoped after the brief sighting I got of her two years ago that I’d see more of her, but didn’t until tonight.  Unfortunately a couple of guys who knew the mother and daughter approached and began talking to them, occasionally wandering in and out my view of the smoking blond.  I still got to see a few really nice drags though.  There was nothing distinctive about her style, but seeing a haze of exhaled cancerous smoke that was produced by a girl this beautiful in the presence of two nonsmoking guys was such a thrill.  All too quickly, she surrendered the butt to the pavement and crushed it out, continuing to stand there chatting with the guys and her mom.  The sister was now coming out of the beer gardens searching for the two smokers, ultimately sending a text as she wasn’t seeing them.  The smoker quickly received the text and wrote her back, and they reunited within a minute or so.  The females separated from the guys and headed southward, allowing me to approach her butt and discover it was a Camel Crush.  Two years ago she was smoking a Camel Menthol, reinforcing my suspicion that it was probably the same girl.  The nonsmoking sister ventured to get a slice of pizza and I was able to get a couple of closer looks in passing at the smoker girl as she waited.  To call her the prettiest face at the fair last night that had a cigarette hanging out of it would be a massive understatement.  A night that had already produced its fair share of memorable sightings had really closed with a winner here, although I’m crossing my fingers I’ll see more of this one in the next three nights because she’s worthy of top-10 caliber status.

I left the dead fairgrounds at around 11:20, losing out on a good 40 minutes of fetishing that I had in the years prior to the early lights out at the midway.  With 23 new sightings on top of the 21 from Tuesday, I now have 44 sightings, positioning me modestly well to get to 100, especially if Jerrod Niemann draws a younger crowd on Thursday and Ted Nugent brings the desired demographic on Friday.  I don’t have much hope for The Charlie Daniels Band on Saturday though, so I better hope I run up the score in the next two nights.  There also remains lingering ambiguity as I write this mid-afternoon on Thursday whether my 19-year-old blond smoker will show up tonight.  She’s still being coy, which given her history leads me to believe she won’t.  It won’t break my heart if she doesn’t though as it’ll make it easier to score sightings.


Thursday Night

With only 15 new sightings, I had a pretty weak night numbers-wise which was disappointing because tonight’s grandstand act was contemporary “country” singer Jerrod Niemann who I figured would draw the youngest crowd this week.  If anything, the crowd was slightly smaller than Wednesday night, perhaps scared off by the forecasted rain even though that passed through by mid-afternoon with sunshine and pleasant temperatures in its aftermath.  Thankfully, I scored some extra-base hits among the new material with two sets of girls pretty much dominating the night and saving it from being a complete trainwreck.  I walked around for about 20 minutes after my arrival before my first sighting, observing the short lines at the gate for the concert and being unimpressed by the crowd generally, but thankfully the first sighting of the night perked up my mood in a major way…..

Last evening, I talked about a dark brunette beauty who appeared to be working for one of the food vendors who was slowly smoking a cigarette in the company of a male vendor, but between her slow smoking and the challenging logistics the sighting wasn’t all it could have been.  There’s nothing better than getting a second chance and my county fair often provides those second chances.  The dark brunette was sitting in the same spot with a freshly lit all-white tonight, only all by herself this time which helped me a little as I didn’t have to look past a dude in my line of vision to catch her smoking.  The previous night she had her hair in a bun and was wearing tight tan shorts, but her presentation this evening exceeded the previous evening as she now had her hair in a long, flowing ponytail that gave it more vibrancy, and had a pair of tight black leggings below her work T-shirt that showed off her curves just as nicely as the shorts the previous night.  She also had a pair of badass sunglasses at the beginning of the sighting but she removed them in a couple of moments as she was distracted attending to her phone.  As for the smoking, the slowness of her performance from the previous night was also a thing of the past as she was working the cigarette like the pro that she was….

I couldn’t sit too close without being obvious but wish now I had because even though I got photos, they’re not as close-up as I’d prefer.  I prepared my phone and snapped a couple of pics as she sat alone in the grass with cigarette in hand, her legs crossed Indian-style.  But when I looked her way a split second after snapping a photo, I caught her with the fairly fresh cigarette dangling casually from her lips.  Oh how I wish I could have gotten this on camera, but once I spotted it I couldn’t take my eyes off of it as she let that cigarette dangle there for a good 20 seconds before puckering up her lips and taking a fierce dangling drag, letting a huge stream of smoke flow from her nose with the cigarette still in her mouth.  Now this would be the highlight of the sighting but the rest of her performance was outstanding too with fierce drags, very long hold times, and sick exhales.  I wish my pics were closer-up but I got one fantastic one that nailed her exhale, a geyser of smoke spilling from her gorgeous face.  I hope I can enlarge the image and post it on my Tumblr gallery.  The location that was so challenging the previous night served me pretty well tonight and I watched her smoke the whole cigarette, crushing it out into the grass before standing up and revealing her hot body in full in those tight leggings.  She was holding the pack in her hands and it looked like either Marlboro Lights or the ML Special Blends.  I walked over to where she sat but since the fair workers seem to all sit here to smoke there were butts everywhere and I couldn’t make out which was hers.  It’s actually a good bet that several of them were hers!  I followed her this time and was able to see she works at a freshly squeezed lemonade stand which was very accessible in passing and allowed me to get a glance at her every time I walked past and keep tabs of her comings and goings.  Very beautiful face…..I’d guess she was mid-20s and her dark hair and features reminded me of a heavy-smoking beauty named Ashley I went out with two years ago, although this girl was about 50 pounds lighter than Ashley.  I had already seen the lemonade girl the previous evening so I couldn’t count her as a new sighting, but she had dramatically raised the stakes from the previous night and I was confident I’d be seeing more smoking from her.  I was right.

And lemonade girl wasn’t the only carnival worker who was smoking in that same grassy spot outside of the bathroom.  Three other 20-something blonds were smoking there as well in the half hour following the brunette’s great show.  Two of the three were repeaters from the previous night, but there was another blond wearing bright lipstick who worked at an onion rings stand who was wrapping her bright red lips around the filter of an all-white on a break too.  I got to watch most of her performance and while it didn’t hold a candle to the lemonade stand hottie, I still enjoyed it as she chatted with a nonsmoking friend before crushing the cigarette out and heading back to work.  Due to the lipstick stain, I had no problem IDing this butt as a Marlboro Light Special Blend.  I’d see this girl smoking again later in the night as well.

I went to the grandstand to take my seat for the concert around 7:50, disappointed by the paltry crowd both in the grandstand and in the beer gardens.  My unreliable 19-year-old temptress kept up her unreliable streak, having hedged earlier in the day when I asked if she was still coming.  It was pretty clear she wasn’t so I was annoyed sitting there waiting for the concert to start that I would not be making my own contribution to the smoky air quality at the county fair.  I sat and sat and sat before the concert and after it began waiting for sightings.  Finally a familiar face in the smoking area appeared with cigarette in hand.  Even though she now had mostly brown hair and a more nontraditional cut, there was no way the face of “Old Reliable” wouldn’t register with me.  Ironically, one of the first sightings I got of her was five years earlier at a concert by….Jerrod Niemann, the same guy performing tonight.  I have seen her every year since except 2015, sometimes multiple times, and she was back tonight with her polished style of nice drags and heavy downward projected exhales that produce a giant glob of smoke hovering in front of her chest and stomach.  She was wearing a brown top and a nice pair of leggings.  She was slender and sexy as hell in 2013 and 2014 but had put a little of her weight back since then.  She still looked great though, and one of the best things about Old Reliable is that she always seems to be the only smoker in her group, and whenever she’s with a guy, as she was tonight, he’s a nonsmoker.  He stood there waiting for his hottie girlfriend to finish her cigarette, before she crushed it out and they walked together into the concert.  She can usually be counted on for two or three smoke breaks before and during the concert, but that was the only time I saw her tonight.

I had a couple of cruel moments tonight and the first came when I looked over my shoulder to the fairgrounds right as the concert began and spotted a wave of smoke rolling out of the face of this gorgeous and wholesome blond in tight jeans who looked like Taylor Swift when she was 21.  I had no choice but to abandon my seat in the grandstand and race on out to get a better look.  Unfortunately when I did I saw she was in a cluster with two older women, one of them clearly her mother.  The middle-aged mother was just tossing a cigarette to the ground….while the daughter was holding a damned e-cigarette.  What I had seen in the grandstand wasn’t cigarette exhaust….it was a ridiculous haze of water vapor.  The presence of these things, particularly the “vape tanks”, remains far more relevant in high-tax Minnesota than I’m used to in Iowa.  And in fact I would see the 18-ish cutie who I saw both vaping and smoking a Parliament on Tuesday night again tonight, looking adorable again, but carrying around a vape tank rather than a cigarette.  The world is becoming a scary place for us fetishers.

Anyway, I would return to the concert moments after the wild goose chase with the vaper girl and after about 15 minutes, the beer gardens finally delivered.  There was a cluster of girls inside the fence who didn’t look even close to 21 from a distance but must have been since they got inside the beer gardens.  There were about five of them, and a fairly tall blond in a red plaid country girl top and jean shorts was smoking a cigarette.  She was too far away to fully appreciate but she looked incredible from afar.  Standing in front of her was another blond with almost identical attire.  She was shorter and a touch chubbier but from a distance she looked even hotter.  I was getting excited as she began digging around in her purse and, sure enough, out came a pack of cigarettes.  She inserted one in her mouth and carried on an impressive unlit talking dangle for a few seconds before lighting it.  Again, it was too far away to fully appreciate but she took long well-timed drags with solid hold times and careless exhales that probably nailed some of her friends in the face.  There was an even shorter brunette in the group with really tight jean shorts that looked like the most sexy girl of all in the friends’ group, but she never smoked.  Shortly after the shorter blond smoker finished her cigarette, she and the short nonsmoking brunette separated from the group and left the beer gardens.  They walked into the concert and it allowed me a better look at the smoker.  She was still attractive but didn’t have the IT factor up-close that she had while smoking from afar and considering she was probably only 21, she could definitely stand to lose about 15 pounds.  Within just a few minutes, the girl had poached two guys from the concert and walked back into the fairgrounds.  But what about that other blond smoker in the group who was still in the beer gardens??

I spotted her going inside the building structure at the beer gardens and re-emerge near the fence towards the end of the concert and I figured tobacco would likely be smoked again soon.  I left the concert to take advantage of the open bench in the smoking area and get a better look at her.  She didn’t disappoint on either front.  I had misjudged from afar expecting that the second, shorter blond smoker was more attractive….but this girl was by far hotter!  She was a bodacious blond beauty with a perky, infectious smile radiating from a beautiful face, and long smooth legs flowing from her perfect jean shorts and a perfectly toned bubble butt stretching the fabric on the back.  I took my bench at the exact moment she removed a cigarette from the pack (still couldn’t get the brand) and lit up.  Now my vantage point still wasn’t perfect because the two guys and girl (particularly the girl) she was chattering with always seemed to be standing in the way.  There would be occasional parting though, and on a few occasions the parting occurred as she placed the cigarette to her mouth and took dependably long drags, usually turning her head just a little to the left to release a tight plume of smoke entirely from her mouth.  I snapped a couple of pics but they were too far away with too many obstructions to be able to offer much.  Plus I had to be careful because I was supposed to be watching the screen showing the concert slightly to my right but was instead turning my head to the left rather conspicuously spying on this smoker beauty.  I got to watch her smoke the whole cigarette before she dropped it to the grass and I was very glad I left the grandstand to get an up-close sighting of this beauty.

The concert was almost over so I headed to the south side grandstand gate where I saw the recent high school grads having a smoke break towards the end of Wednesday night’s concert.  I wouldn’t get anything that good tonight but there were no fewer than three young mommies with strollers (two together, another separate) smoking.  These was all only “singles” in terms of quality but they were useful in bumping my numbers up when I needed all the help I could get.

The rest of the night was full of frustration, salvaged mildly by some of the evening’s previous stars.  Right after leaving the concert, I saw the brunette was not inside the stand for the lemonade and I correctly figured there was only one other place she could be.  Sure enough, she was off near the bathroom smoking again, only this time in the company of the guy from last night.  This posed another logistical challenge for me as I had to stand next to the dumpster to watch her smoke without getting detected, with him in the way for much of the sighting.  I noticed she was really getting touchy-feely with the guy and wondered if they were a couple.  I dismissed it as a hot girl getting off on stringing a guy along by handling him and making him think she was into him.  Either way, she was back to her frustratingly slow smoking pace in his presence.  I did get to see about four more of her trademark drags and cloudy exhales, including a shorter version of her epic dangling drag from the early evening.  It was such a pretty face to see such cigarette gymnastics emerge from.  But alas, the awkwardness of the setting forced me to walk away before I’d prefer to…

And only like a half hour later, I’d spot the same couple again on yet another smoke break.  This girl really has herself a problem…albeit of the most adorable variety.  And this time there was no ambiguity whether they were into one another as they were sitting there making out with freshly lit cigarettes in hand, tasting each other’s ashtray mouths.  I stood and watched the show for about a minute but since so little smoking was going on and my positioning was still bad, I aborted yet again, seeing the last of her tonight but being reasonably confident the next two nights will produce more sightings from her.  Thus far, she’s easily the most prolific smoker girl of this year’s FCF and has the potential to blow the doors off the place with an up-close, prolonged, or storyline sighting.

Beyond lemonade stand girl, it was a pretty bleak picture for the two hours after the grandstand show.  At one point, at the back of the midway, I saw a huddle of five teens, three girls and two guys, who were definitely underage and I saw exhales from what definitely looked like cigarette smoke rather than a vaporizer….but when I settled in to enjoy the show there was nothing left to see.  And I couldn’t see any evidence that a cigarette had been smoked when they left and I foraged for butts either.  Maybe there were just passing a vaporizer around.  I’ll never know.  And on a set of tables near the food vendors, there was a late teen smoking couple where the girl was only modestly attractive, but they were constantly in the presence of other genuine babes coming and going to socialize.  But none of the ever babes ever lit up.  It was a tough night.

Thankfully I’d get one brief final act from some old favorites.  On another series of benches closer to the grandstand I saw a mixed-gender cluster that included the two identically dressed country girls in red plaid tops and jean shorts from inside the beer gardens during the concert.  There were eight people in the cluster and only two of them were smokers….the two country girls.  Unfortunately, the prettier blond was on her last drag when I spotted her and way too quickly leaned down to stub out the butt and then walked over to the garbage can to toss it, managing to deny me even a butt ID.  Thankfully the shorter, chubbier girl was still smoking and I found an adjacent bench to watch the show and eavesdrop on their conversation.  The shorter girl was quietly tending to her cigarette but the taller girl who had just finished hers mentioned something about “my daughter” which blew my mind.  I’m guessing she was 21 or 22 so obviously it was biologically possible but the last thing I figured checking out this girl’s hot body and innocent face was that she was a mother.  Despite the darkness I was sitting close enough that I was able to take a frontal pic of her.  It’s still not great but I did okay given the challenging lighting.  The shorter girl crushed out her cigarette and, unlike the taller girl, just left the all-white butt lie there.  The group was talking about hitting the bars and quickly took off.  The shorter girl left a Camel Light Menthol butt behind as I watched the hot asses of the girl drift to the southern horizon on the nearly empty fairgrounds.

It was after 11 and, as is typical in the era of the midway going dark at 11, the place was emptying out quickly.  I’d get one last sighting as I approached the exit and saw another mixed-gender cluster of young adults with cigarettes being lit by nearly all.  I quickly noticed that Tuesday night’s pretty but jumbo-assed brunette was one of the girls.  The other was a new face though, a slender long-haired blond in her early 20s wearing a white tanktop and tight jeans.  I had to be careful lurking from afar to avoid the heavier girl who has busted me before from noticing me again, but I found a good spot standing around a corner where I was able to exclusively watch the blond.  Nothing particularly memorable about her performance but she had nicely paced drags with solid exhales.

I left the grounds moments later with three out of five nights accounted for and 59 total sightings, putting me officially behind schedule for getting to 100.  I’m holding out some hope for a decent demographic turnout for Ted Nugent Friday night, but fear most of the smoker gals could be in their 50s so Friday could theoretically be a disappointment too.  Given that the even more demographically disastrous Charlie Daniels Band is scheduled for Saturday, Friday is my last hope for a really good night.  Thus far, the 2016 local county fair is my weakest in years in terms of memorable standout sightings.


Friday Night

If the 2016 local county fair was gonna find some salvation after a decidedly below-average first three days, Friday was gonna be the day with vulgar 70s rocker Ted Nugent coming to the grandstand and promising to draw a large and redneck crowd.  The only question for me was whether the crowd would be mostly people over 40.  Unfortunately, that was generally the case as the crowd skewed older.  I saw my share of smoking, but definitely no more than normal from attractive young females. I busted my butt to stitch together 20 sightings over the course of the night, which was very disappointing.  But it could have been much worse as the night was sidetracked moments after it began when the phone call I feared was coming came…..buddy Corey!

Corey has been an on-again, off-again mainstay at my county fairs for more than 15 years now and deserves some credit for inadvertently leading me straight to some incredible sightings over the years, but having him as my shadow tonight was gonna serious hurt my game, especially since I wasn’t going to the Nugent concert and neither was he.  He picked up some food and we sat together and caught up, my eyes darting around the crowd in hopes of finding nonexistent smokers.  Then his cell phone rang and another bit of double-edged sword news came from the call.  Corey’s brother Jason was in town and at the fair.  I hadn’t seen him in four years and I was better friends with Jason than Corey in high school.  We were gonna walk over and talk to him.  Nice as it would be to catch up, my night of fetishing was in serious jeopardy now.

I bantered with Jason about 20 minutes before he had to meet someone else and then it was just Corey and I, and he was very clearly gonna shadow me for some time yet to come.  I stitched together a few mediocre sightings as we walked, thankfully nothing epic that Corey’s presence sidelined me from observing, but it was killing me that there so many people on the grounds and I was not in a position to dedicate my night to sightings.  Worse yet, Corey is a former 4-Her and knows a ton of people who he sees at the fair, many of whom want to stop to chat for extended periods.  When we weren’t stuck chatting with people, we were trudging through buildings or just wandering aimlessly around the grounds, the latter of which at least gave me opportunity to look.  Fortunately, he’s easy to manipulate and I got him to check out the gates near the grandstand where Nugent was performing and where smokers would theoretically be lingering.  Unfortunately there was little to no smoking to observe.

But at one point as we walked past the entrance to the beer gardens I caught a glimpse of a trio of early 20s gals in the presence of a guy and two of the young ladies were lighting up cigarettes.  It was clear upon closer inspection these would be two of the biggest hotties of the night.  The first one I noticed was a light brunette in a pale blue top and jeans, but the second girl who was lighting up was this leggy, long-haired blond who had to have been six feet tall, her shapely ass advertised in an insanely sexy pair of fire engine red short shorts.  I looked over my shoulder as I passed her, ambivalent to whether Corey knew I was staring at her or not, and watched her dangle the long freshly lit cigarette in her mouth and take a dangling drag.  Oh my dear God!  Was Corey really gonna deny me a full viewing of this incredible sighting?  It sure looked like he was….but then he threw me a lifeline, telling me he was gonna head to the dairy truck to get a milkshake.  I thought quickly on my feet and told him I was gonna get a $1 7UP from a vendor right near where I was.  I wasn’t ordinarily planning to get a 7UP but I invented that excuse on the fly as an excuse to have Corey come back and meet me there, giving me a few minutes to see this sighting play out….

I quickly hustled on back to the sighting location just in time to see the tall blond in the red shorts handing a much shorter early 20s gal her cigarette, turning this into a much-needed three-for-the-price-of-one sighting.  The tall blond got her hands on the cigarette again and placed the cigarette between her lips for another sexy dangling drag.  I just had to get a photo of this and despite the darkness managed a not-too-bad one, albeit not in mid-drag.  Unfortunately, the shorter girl wanted some junk food and beckoned the tall blond to finish the cigarette before it was even half gone in order to approach the food vendor.  I was disappointed that this would-be classic ended so quickly, but thankfully the original light brunette on saw lighting up on the first pass was still smoking, so I lingered for a couple more minutes and watched her performance.  Neither her performance nor her presentation were as awesome as the tall blond’s but she was solid and a good consolation prize.  After witnessing a few drags, I got my 7UP before Corey returned with his milkshake.  While I was still stuck with Corey joined at the hip, I at least managed to salvage a better sighting out of the best girls I’d seen thus far tonight.  My task now was to bore him to tears wandering around aimlessly until he decided it was time to go home….and thankfully it worked.  Within the next 15 minutes, Corey was claiming he’d better get going.  Needless to say I didn’t protest!  It was 9:37 and the Ted Nugent concert was still going.  I could still salvage two more hours of this night and was excited about what I hoped would still be a cavalcade of additional sightings.

Unfortunately it didn’t really work out that way.  I figured Corey had probably cost me some sightings up until that point, and it’s possible he did, but honestly it probably wasn’t many as the next half hour would prove that at least among the demographics I was seeking, there just wasn’t much smoking to be found.  And I had a quandary as right as the huge crowd from the Nugent concert was departing, my lemonade stand girl was making her first appearance of night, and she was alone!  My findings thus far persisted as solo sightings of lemonade stand girl were fantastic while group sightings of her were frustrating as hell because she smoked at a tortoise’s speed.  No such problem here as I got a full cigarette sighting with nicely paced drags, including a couple of brief dangling drags, solid hold times, and stunningly gorgeous exhales.  The initial blast of smoke escaped her beautiful face and was followed up by a great residual exhale from both mouth and nose.  On occasion, even the third breath would produce some final smoke spillage.  There was no inconspicuous location to observe this greatness but hovering next to a dumpster and watching her from slightly behind at a side angle served me well.  She was wearing tan leggings tonight and pulling them off just as well as the black leggings the night before.  It was a great seven-minute show and every drag was a party for the eyes, featuring some variation of that residual spillage on nearly every drag. She got up and returned to the lemonade stand when she was done, and an hour or so later I’d see her out smoking again, although this time with her favorite boy of the carnival, resting her pretty head on his shoulder and smoking at a glacial pace again.  For those keeping score, that puts her up to six cigarettes over three nights so far at the county fair, making her one of the most prolific addicts of recent years and raising her stock significantly for my year-end countdown.  I also officially got the brand as I was able to ID the butt she discarded after that first sighting.  It was a Marlboro Light 100.

As for the rest of the night….not much.  I stitched together a few sightings here and there but walking past huddles of teenagers and almost never seeing smoking was depressing and made nostalgic for even five years ago when nearly every evening produced memorable underage smoker girl sightings.  I didn’t get rolled completely on the teen front on Friday night though as I noticed a cluster of three 18ish girls hovering beside this ride and two of them had cigarettes. One was barely attractive enough to count, but the other was more interesting, with long red hair flowing over her shoulders and down her back, decked out in a ball cap, blue T-shirt and jeans covering her slender lower body.  Don’t get me wrong…she was only about a 6 beauty wise but was still a solid find for a girl her age these days.  Their positioning made it nearly impossible to watch but the smoker girl cooperated by walking up to the carnie operating the ride, cigarette in hand, to ask him a question of some sort.  I wasn’t in a position to continue watching so I kept walking, but about a half hour or so later  I’d see the same redhead sitting on a berm near the grandstand with the third girl of the group, a light-complected African-American girl, and the redhead was smoking a second cigarette.  Nicer yet, the black girl held out her hand to request a drag and received one, turning this into an ebony and ivory two-for-one.  I’d only rate this as a two-base hit overall as the girls weren’t attractive enough to fully whet my whistle, but the presence of cigarette in teen girls hands this day and age in the state of Minnesota is a benchmark worth taking note of.

The Tom Thumb mini-donuts stand delivered again with the two gals working there, including my favorite cutie, were out smoking behind the stand again after 11:00.  My 18ish dark blond who had been wearing her hair in braids hanging over her shoulders had her hair down tonight and it was at least as nice of a look for her as the braids.  Better yet, whatever she was wearing tonight didn’t make her look as husky as what she’d been wearing the previous night, and her form looked perfectly fine while sitting there on a lawn chair, cigarette in hand, her legs folded in her jeans in a way that really turned me on.  Turning me on even more, however, was her smoking as her technique was only a tick or two less spectacular than the lemonade stand girl, her face melting into her intense drags followed by consistently cloudy exhales that filled a few square feet of space in front of her with a toxic haze.  The only downside is that she seemed to turn her head my way every time she took a drag to the point of doubtlessly noticing me watching from the bench I sat on.  I made it through her whole cigarette but had to be extra cautious towards the end to avoid being busted without a shadow of a doubt and missed a couple of her stellar exhales.  Her cigarette count on the week thus far is now three.

My last sighting of the night came on the other side–the front side–of the Tom Thumb mini-donut truck as a cluster of early 20-somethings hovered, including a familiar face from previous years that was quite attractive but unfortunately corrupted by a noticeable and unflattering nose piercing.  It was still better than a tattoo, however, and she made up for it by wearing a black leather jacket on the cool early August Minnesota evening.  Her reddish-brown hair crashed onto the shoulders of that leather jacket and she was rocking it so nicely it almost made me nostalgic for fall…almost!  She was in a mixed-gender cluster of about seven people and she was the only smoker.  The positioning was horrible but I was able to catch about three drags.  Nothing extraordinary compared to either the lemonade girl or the Tom Thumb donuts girl, but a good sendoff for me on a night that was by all accounts a little disappointing.

There was little evidence that Ted Nugent’s show boosted my numbers much tonight and with only 20 sightings this evening, that puts me at 79 for the fair.  Unless there’s an unexpected flourish on Saturday night when the older-skewing Charlie Daniels Band takes the stage, I’m not well-positioned to hit the century mark, a metric I’ve reached every year since 2009 which represents the modern era of my aggressive sightings safaris at the local county fair.  And considering buddy Corey and his wife will be tagging along Saturday night, that’s a second strike against me. Hope springs eternal though and I definitely will give it my all to bring home a sightings gold medal on this opening weekend of the Olympics.


Saturday Night

I went into Saturday evening at the local county fair with low expectations, lacking confidence that several hours of accompaniment of my friend and his wife combined with the demographically unfriendly grandstand act of The Charlie Daniels Band would produce one of my worst sightings nights the county fair in years.  And while it wasn’t a record-breaking night by any means, I will say that Charlie Daniels somehow, some way managed to produce the smoker-friendly crowd that Ted Nugent didn’t the night before, and that included at least some younger females.  To be clear, I only got 19 new sightings and fell short of 100 sightings for the first time since 2008 when I probably logged in only half as much time fetishing as I have in most of the years since.  But I will say I ended the 2016 local county fair with more of a flourish than anticipated.

I arrived at the fairgrounds at about 6:15 and hoped to scavenge the grounds for smoker hotties as long as possible before Corey and his wife beckoned me.  No such luck.  I hadn’t been there five minutes before I ran into them and figured I had effectively forfeited the next four hours of the night.  Indeed, for well over an hour we spent more time in sightings-free buildings and livestock barns than we did outside.  In passing, I stumbled upon a couple of early 30s gals smoking but that was all I’d get before heading up to the grandstand.  Thankfully, I’m able to con my way into taking my favorite seat in the grandstand overlooking the smoking area, even though I didn’t figure it would be particularly worthwhile tonight.  From there, Corey’s wife wanted to hear the latest batch of crazy dating stories I’ve accrued in the past year as she does every year, so I was distracted for the next 20 minutes or so with storytelling.  But when story time ended, the strangest thing happened….I started scoring sightings in the smoking area and across the fence in the beer gardens before the concert started!

The first happened in the beer gardens as I saw a 20-something blond of relatively average attractiveness pulling out a pack of Marlboro Lights from her purse.  She was in the company of another blond and a middle-aged guy I assumed was her father.  The other blond I originally figured was her mother.  The daughter passed around cigarettes to the father and the other blond before taking one out for herself and lighting up.  I thought it was a cute family dynamic from the get-go but as the other blond turned around, I was even more impressed–and surprised–as I discovered she was also in her late 20s or early 30s.  Hot damn!  She was probably the other blond’s sister, not her mother.  Watching this trio of smokers, it struck me that I was probably looking at a 60-ish father out for a night of drinking and smoking with his two blond daughters.  Both women were only moderately attractive and deep enough inside the beer gardens crowd that I couldn’t fully appreciate the performance, but the dynamic here was certainly a fun one.

I figured that might be the best I could expect for the entirety of the concert, but only about a minute later I’d be proven wrong in the most delicious way.  I often take note of attractive young females emerging from the front section grandstand seating area, and in the past have always hoped with breathless anticipation that they’ll come out to smoke a cigarette.  I’ve become more cynical over the years, hardened by the realization that 99% of these gals are simply heading out to pick up food or a beverage or go to the bathroom.  For some reason though, I couldn’t take my eyes off of this girl-next-door mid-20s light brunette decked out in a red plaid blouse and torn blue jeans as she emerged from the front seats towards the gate all by herself.  I hung onto a vague intuition that she was a smoker as she walked closer to the gate, and before she even got to the gate, she confirmed my suspicion by removing a pack of Marlboro Reds from her purse and extracting one.  It had been a few years since I witnessed this series of events play out and it was a thrilling throwback to a scenario that used to happen every night not so long ago.  And there was just something about this girl that embodies Everygirl USA.  She was very pretty but oozed a low maintenance accessibility about her from her thrift store wardrobe to the way she carried herself.  This was the kind of girl you could bring home to mom and dad….provided they could handle her smoky stench!

Best of all, she sat down at the table in the smoking area to put on the show, a show that seemed poised to be a five-star classic early on as she placed the cigarette in her lips and fired up, dangling the lit cigarette from her mouth for about 15 seconds while looking at her phone and then dangling drag her first serious drag.  Now that’s how it’s done, son!  I was settling in for an incredible show but got a most unfortunate distraction as some haggard old lady walked right in front of her and requested a light.  My brunette lit the old lady up and I wondered for a minute if they mother and daughter, although it seemed impossible this pair would be from the same gene pool.  The girl was on her phone but the old lady still seemed to be engaging with her, but worst of all for me, she was standing right out in front of me, denying me a full sighting of perhaps the most intriguing girl of the fair thus far.  All I could see was the frequently timed exhales gushing from where the brunette’s face was, hidden behind this old lady standing in the damn way.  Finally the two broke apart but the damage was done as the brunette was down to her last couple of drags.  She powered through the cigarette in short order and I was surprised the show ended that quickly, but there she was crushing it order with a haze of smoke hovering in front of this most unlikely wholesome face and then walking back into the concert.  I was grateful for that opening dangle and dangling drag but wanted so much more out of this.  You never know though…perhaps I haven’t seen the last of this girl.

The concert started and I was surprised by how many smokers were lingering out in the smoking area, more tonight than the other four nights combined at this year’s fair.  Even Corey mentioned how he can’t believe how many people still smoke given how expensive it is (the cheapest pack in Minnesota will set you back something like $7.50).  A few of the smokers were of the key demographic, but the girl who ran circles around the others came only about five minutes after the show started.  This young couple wearing matching camouflage sweatshirts (only in Minnesota does it get cold enough on an early August night to be sweatshirt weather) and camouflage hats, with the girl in a pair of tight-fitting dark blue jeans that caressed her form nicely, pushing a stroller with a child who looked one year old, give or take a couple of months.  I found it suspicious that they wheeled the stroller into the smoking area.  The thought crossed my mind that one or both were smokers, but the girl was at most 21 and had a presentation that made her seem far younger, with a baby face and her dark brown hair hanging over her shoulders in braids.  Ten years ago, I’d never have hesitated in suspecting she was a smoker but today I was a little more hesitant in letting myself believe she was.  But lo and behold, the boyfriend removed a pack of Newports stored somewhere in the stroller and got two out, one for himself and one for the brunette Pippi Longstocking clone.  It was such a thrill to see this cutie light up.

Her smoking style was about as average as it gets, but she spiced things up by dancing to the music and engaging with the infant in the stroller, making googly eyes and faces at the child with cigarette in hand, often while in the middle of an exhale.  She made the cigarette last quite a while as her drags were modest and drug out, but considering I had a front row seat and nowhere to go I was fine with that, still surprised this day and age to see such an unapologetic smoking show from a sweet-looking young mommy that lasted several minutes.  It reminded me of the crazy hot Marlboro Light Menthol blond dancing to George Jones while smoking and spitting in front of her young son back in 2010 (FCF #49).  Over the course of that first cigarette, three other people spilled out into the immediate area that were obviously connected to the young parents.  It seemed likely that I was looking at a family of smokers, something very rarely seen in such a public setting this day and age, at least where one attractive young female is involved.  And the best part is, this couple with the stroller stayed out there the entirety of the 90-minute Charlie Daniels concert, and more cigarettes were in their near future…

About 10 minutes after finishing her first cigarette, the brunette with the braids lit another one.  That camouflage cap would occasionally come off, presumably just to help her make a hair adjustment, and she was the second girl just tonight in the smoking area that gave off an adorably low maintenance girl next door image, particularly as she sang and danced with the baby to the music, dragging from her cigarette, and blowing the cigarette out of the right side of her mouth to avoid filling the child’s airspace directly up with her exhaled carcinogens, not that it mattered much given that there were smokers surrounding the stroller filling the whole area up with cancerous smoke.  She smoked the majority of the cigarette and then unfortunately handed it to the boyfriend to finish it off.  About two-thirds into the concert, the boyfriend lit up another cigarette and after smoking about half of it, passed the third cigarette to the girl to finish off.  That would be the end of her saga but it was still amazing that this young couple basically forfeited their seats at this concert right away to spend the entire 90 minutes standing in the smoking area for the sole purpose of tobacco freedom.  I couldn’t tell if the child in the stroller was a little boy or a little girl but either way it’s a good bet the child will either end up a smoker him or herself…or a smoking fetisher with a mommy this unashamedly into smoky performance art.

Now for that third cigarette, I was a little too distracted to pay much attention to the braided-hair brunette as she was being outshone by a competitor.  About two-thirds into the concert, a familiar face emerged from the grandstand….the girl-next-door brunette in the red plaid blouse and torn-up jeans.  I was so excited that she was probably gonna be smoking another cigarette but then I saw her keep walking past the smoking area and my heart sank as she walked up to a food vendor instead.  But the eternal flame of hope remained as a minute later she was seated on the same bench she sat earlier and smoked her first cigarette, now eating a barbecue pork sandwich she had just purchased from the food vendor.  I felt pretty confident a cigarette would be smoked as soon as she was done eating.  Unfortunately, I’d have another moment of panic as she approached the fence as if going back into the concert, but instead went into the port-a-potty, allowing me a glance at her nice ass in those torn-up jeans before she closed the port-a-potty door.  I waited patiently for about a minute before she came out, and this time she was for real, opening up her purse and revealing that beautiful red and white pack of Marlboro Reds once again, firing one up and putting on the most breathtaking smoking performance I’ve seen thus far in 2016, only this time there was no grumpy old lady standing in front of her denying me the needed visuals!

She actually walked over towards the young mommy in the stroller, herself consuming her third cigarette during the concert, but getting absolutely obliterating on style points by the older country girl.  It was literally a girl versus a woman in this unsanctioned contest with the brunette taking absolutely manic six-second drags, the cherry of her cigarette lighting up to the size and hue of a police siren in your rearview mirror.  When she finally got done dragging, almost every time, she removed the cigarette from her mouth and tapped the ash, leading to a shower of bright sparks dropping to the ground reminiscent of 4th of July sparklers.  It was a mesmerizing routine and it was happening in fast forward as her drags came one after another after another, each more ferocious than the last, and always managing to produce an ash shower at the same time as she released tight plumes of exhaled smoke several inches in front of her face in perfectly straight lines.  The only downside to this show was that is was going so fast, as she was consuming this cigarette in near-record speed, either because she was so desperate for her nicotine fix or because she really wanted to get back in to see Charlie Daniels.  Either way, within three minutes she was finishing up the cigarette with an honest-to-God rapid succession triple-hit drag that probably gave her third-degree burns on her poor lips.  She crushed out the cigarette and I watched her cute denim-clad backside hustle on back into the show, unfortunately never to see her again.  It was without question my single best individual sighting of the county fair this year, and a great vindication from the mostly lost sighting from her an hour earlier, but I’m still undecided whether she’ll win the round overall this year because of a certain prolific lemonade stand worker competitor we haven’t seen the last of!

The Charlie Daniels concert was very uneven.  I was pleased that he didn’t preach politics from the stage as I feared he would and the man still plays a wicked fiddle and has a great stage presence with some humorous storytelling, but he’s nearly 80 years old now and required no fewer than four breaks during the 90-minute show when other members of his band took over and held court as Charlie rested.  Corey, his wife, and I all thought it might be time for him to hang it up.  And speaking of hanging it up, as the concert ended, I kept my fingers crossed that Corey and Sarah would immediately take off, and thankfully they did.  It was just after 10:00 and I had 12 sightings on the night and about an hour to go.  With the size of the crowd, it seemed somewhat promising, but those late night sightings hauls just ain’t what they used to be….

Thankfully within minutes of the concert’s departure, I’d see a trio of two young gals and a guy who I had seen earlier at the show, only this time eating fair food and smoking cigarettes.  One gal was a light brunette and only modestly attractive, and her cigarette was almost finished.  But the other gal, a hot long-haired mid-20s blond in a white top and tight jeans, had been eating a corn dog and she was just lighting hers up.  They walked onto the crowded streets as blondie was holding her cigarette in one hand and her half-eaten corn dog that she must have tired of quickly in the other hand.  It seemed she was tending to one of the two items far more than the other as she progressed, and it wasn’t the corn dog getting all the attention.  I watched four nice drags as she walked with careless exhales filling the air and forcing dozens of fairgoers to choke on them.  I had planned to follow this till its end until one of the other two said “I think we parked back there”, pointing to a dark walkway leading to a parking lot behind the vendors where I wouldn’t be able to follow easily and even if I did I wouldn’t get to see anything else given the darkness back there.  I felt good about seeing what I did as they walked off out of sight though and hoping it foreshadowed a smoky hour after the concert.

It didn’t, but that’s not to say a known nicotine entity wouldn’t deliver for me one last time though.  I was walking near the main bathroom structure on the grounds and found two people approaching…..the lemonade stand brunette beauty and her loverboy.  And I happened to catch her in mid-dangle as she walked, puckering up her lips on her long freshly lit Marlboro Light 100 for another of her incredible dangling drags.  I’ve always been fascinated when smoking comes this naturally to girls…when it’s clear that it is so ingrained in their lifestyle that it effectively becomes another part of their anatomy.  I knew that since this girl was in the company of the guy it would ultimately be another slow smoking show and it eventually became one, but not without one more display of epic bells and whistles once the two of them sat down in their favorite spot on the grass.  She was leaning back and forth, using her black leggings-draped ass as the fulcrum for her anatomical see-saw, her cigarette dangling from her mouth for a good 30 seconds that offered up the entire anthology of yumminess that comes with dangles, including a dangling drag, a dangling exhale with blasts of smoke gushing from her nose while the cigarette still hung in her mouth, and then a talking dangle as she briefly conversed with the boyfriend with the smoke still wisping from her beautiful face.  Unfortunately, as soon as the cigarette was removed from her mouth, everything memorable about this sighting was past tense as she reverted to a conventional smoking style and did it agonizingly slowly while chatting with the guy.  I found a bench a fair distance away and watched what I could, but nothing else even remotely lived up to her opening histrionics.  About a half hour later, the same two were out smoking another round of cigarettes.  This was her seventh cigarette that I was witness to during the duration of the local county fair, and bear in mind that it was late Wednesday before I even saw her the first time!  Seven cigarettes is right up there with the highest cigarette count I’ve ever seen from an FCF girl over the course of five days, and it’s just incredible that it came from such a gorgeous girl who, again, I got a few photos of, but I’m hoping I can blow them up so that they can be more appreciated.

My Tom Thumb mini-donuts girl was nowhere to be seen Saturday night but a new girl was hovering behind there where smoke breaks so typically occur.  She was a 21ish light brunette in short pale blue cutoffs in the presence of a guy who was smoking but I didn’t see a cigarette on her….but then she leaned over and crushed out a cigarette hidden in her right hand on some outlet vent.  I missed her entire show….which was especially heartbreaking when I saw her gorgeous face, one of the prettiest of the night or really the entire fair.  At one level I was pleased to see she was a smoker and that I got to count her as such, but still felt robbed for not getting a real sighting from her.

But I was about to have the cruelest and most depressing finding of the night as I made a loop through the shrinking huddle of teenagers in the middle of the fairgrounds as 11:30 approached and the night was quickly approaching its inevitable end.  All week I had seen late teen and early 20s guys “vaping” from their ridiculous vape tanks in the middle of these huddles.  The upside was that I wasn’t seeing many girls doing it, but the downside was the girls weren’t smoking real cigarettes either.  That dynamic changed Saturday night when I saw a mixed-gender cluster with huge water vapor clouds rising above their heads and figured it must just be the guys again, but as I got closer I saw that two of the girls had vape tanks of their own they were dragging from.  But these weren’t just normal girls…these were gorgeous homecoming queen beauty caliber 17-18-year-olds, one a tall dark blond with short light blue cutoffs and very long legs, the other an even more gorgeous platinum blond in a black blouse and tight white shorts that fit her ass just perfectly.  I hung my head in sorrow thinking how wonderful it would have been to send the local county fair off with a sighting of these girls smoking, but instead they were hitting on those vile e-cigarettes.  I hadn’t seen enough girls “vaping” to go into complete panic mode, but it remains more relevant than I anticipated about a year ago when I started seeing signs of their attrition.

It was not a pleasant 10 minutes or so as I knew my county fair experience for the year was about to end, but I convinced myself to make one final pass through that teen huddle on my way back to my car.  I eyeballed the same group of guys and girls, only this time, the tall dark blond had a real cigarette between her fingers!  Hallelujah!  I was bracing myself for the sighting of the fair as she was the first teen girl of the gorgeous pedigree I had seen with an actual cigarette so far this year, and girls like that represent the top of the sightings pyramid for me.  I was checking out her tall, slender body and hovering awkwardly in the background waiting to see a drag…and waiting…and waiting.  She was damn slow but when she finally got around to placing that long cork-filter cigarette between her lips, sweet Jesus was it worth it as she took a very nice drag and then proceeded to exhale directly ahead of her face into a huddle of five people.  Not one person in that huddle was spared a direct frontal assault from her exhale, but one guy really took the brunt of it and may have lost partial vision because of it!  She was bubbly and lively and floating around in a way that made my job even harder, but I’d only see one more drag.  It came with another nice exhale although this one didn’t directly torture as many people.  Still, this just had to be my sighting of the year, I kept thinking, waiting to see it play out.  But then it went awry and she handed the cigarette off to one of the guys who proceeded to finish it off in about 60 seconds with pacing about 10 times faster than hers.  Obviously this sighting was a mixed bag and didn’t last long enough to reach my top-tier for the fair.  And the blond friend in the white shorts intrigued me most never did partake in anything more than her e-cigarette.  Still it was exactly the kind of pick-me-up I needed to see that this girl may have taken the edge off with her e-cigarette but needed a hit on the hard stuff to fully satisfy her bodily urges.  I turned around after this ninth-inning save and called it a fair.

The downside is I finished the fair with 98 sightings, below 100 for the first time in the modern era even in a year where the crowds were decent and the weather provided no obstacles.  Smoking is clearly down and continuing to decline among preferred demographics.  My local county fair had been registering well above its weight in terms of the quality and quantity of sightings it was producing for several glorious years, but in the middle of 2014 it started coming back down to Earth and hasn’t had much in the way of truly glorious moments since.  But I must confess that this year’s body of work, despite the slow start, was pretty solid, probably a tick above the disappointing 2015 at the county fair.  There were two bona fide superstars and a few others who will likely have a home in my year-end top-25.  I don’t like the long-term downward trajectory but it’s unsurprising and perhaps less devastating than one would expect giving collapsing smoking rates reported in multiple surveys.  I still have a brief jaunt into the grounds on the afternoon on Sunday before I’m officially done, but history suggests if I get even one sighting during that half hour final denouement I’ll consider myself lucky.



Partly as a function of my grandma living across the street from the fairgrounds and my mom and I visiting her on the Sunday afternoon that marks the official final day of the county fair, I typically get a final half hour at the fair on Sunday when I walk across the street to see what’s shaking.  I knew the odds were long that I’d score the two additional sightings needed to get to 100 this year and I didn’t.  But I wasn’t shut out of sightings completely as some old favorites were there smoking another round.  The lemonade stand brunette and her loverboy were smoking again, making this the eighth cigarette I saw her smoke at this year’s fair which I suspect is a record at my local fair.  I didn’t really mention how the three blond fair workers who also smoked seemed to be in that spot having a cigarette fairly regularly too, simply because the brunette had exponentially more IT factor than the blonds.  Whatever the case, two of the blonds were there smoking with the brunette and the guy, and there were passing around a half a watermelon they were picking at while smoking.  As usual when my brunette is smoking in the company of others, it was slow going but I sat at the tables and watched from afar for a few minutes.  That was all I got on Sunday, but it was a nice addendum.  It’s now official though that I missed the 100-sighting threshold, finishing the 2016 FCF with 98.  I’m still rating it as a modestly successful fair but there are without question troubling trendlines that seem to get just a little more troubling every year.




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