My friend Corey and I had just left a forgettable country concert on Tuesday, the opening evening of the county fair in 2009, and I had been stuck seated in the sightings-free midsection of the grandstand for about two hours, quietly enraged about smoking going on everywhere in the fairgrounds behind me while I was missing all of it. When the concert finally ended, the temperate sunny afternoon had given way to a decidedly cool August evening. My friend and I left the grandstand and were on the cusp of separating, drifting to the remote north side of the grounds where he was gonna go to some horse show. About 10 yards in front of us were the denim-clad backsides of what appeared to be very cute 16-17ish girls. They looked pretty innocent from my brief observation so I didn’t anticipate any smoking would transpire, but lo and behold I caught a wisp of smoke exhaled from their direction and focused on them intently to discover cigarettes protruding from the fingers of three of the four girls. With perfect timing, Corey chose that exact second to bid me adieu and walk away, as the girls all stopped where they were and I grabbed an open bench just behind me for a front-row seat to my only genuinely blockbuster sighting of the evening.
The girl who caught my eye first was the girl on the right, the cutest and most innocent-looking of the bunch…and curiously, the most distinguished smoker of the three. She had curly light brown hair that flowed past her shoulders, wore a very feminine blue plaid blouse and jeans, and had a look of pure mid-teen innocence on her face. She didn’t hold her cigarette in a very feminine way, but she took deep drags, leaned her head back and fired jets of exhaled tobacco into the evening sky repeatedly for the next five minutes or so. The other girls were also impressive. The most conventionally pretty of the three was a curly-haired blond who had a certain glamorous aura to her. She was to the rear of the cluster so I saw the least of her. The other smoker on the left of the cluster was a brunette cutie with a yellow sweater and jeans. It was a treat watching all three of them make the cigarettes held in their nicotine-stained young fingers slowly disappear. The fourth girl had her back (and ass) to me so I didn’t get to see much of her, but since she wasn’t smoking, she wasn’t a top priority anyway.
The highlight of the sighting came when a cluster of apparently local girls were walking the direction of the smokers when one said in a slightly catty tone, “Look at those girls smoking cigarettes. I don’t know ANY of them!” Not sure why, but this chick’s words really raised the stakes of this sighting, almost as if the smoker girls were out-of-towners marking their territory at the county fair with their cigarettes knowing the local girls would resent it. As so often happens, a cluster of dudes then rained down on the cluster of sexy smokers, flirting with them and making light conversation. The dudes weren’t smoking but still courted the company of these adorable young female fumers. They parted ways after the last girl finished her cigarette and crushed it out beneath her flip-flop about 5-7 minutes later. Up to that point, this was hands-down the best first-night sighting I’ve ever had at the fair, as Tuesdays are generally the least attended and weakest sightings night.