In the early Thursday evening hours of my local fair sightings safari in 2008, I was approaching the commercial exhibits building and noticed three mischievous little teeny-boppers heading towards the sparse bleachers area on the north side of the building and I had a strong expectation that tobacco was about to be consumed. Now I’m getting older and it’s not as easy to discern the seventh grade girls from the 10th grade girls nowadays, but these three didn’t look a day older than 14, and one of them looked even younger than that.
Even though my gut told me I was looking at fresh-faced nico-teenagers in the year 2008, I still couldn’t quite bring myself to believe that they were rebellious enough to be smoking at the fair. I sat on a bench and stole glances their directions every few seconds. I couldn’t tell if the girls were taking note of me watching them or just incredibly nervous about getting spotted by other adults, but they kept looking around them to make sure the coast was clear. Finally, my hunch was confirmed as I spotted wisps of smoke coming from the fingers of two of the girls, and then spotted a cigarette in the hands of the third as well. What a treat!
Unfortunately, the girls’ fears got the best of them and they started to migrate into the campground area behind all of the buildings with their cigarettes, still not convinced they were out of the view of law enforcement or disapproving elders. I had to be fast on my feet to get a closer look before they migrated out of sight, and got creative by quickly walking into the commercial exhibit building and racing to the back, where I was able to watch the three cuties sneaking back behind the trailers to finish their cigarettes.
And what dolls they were. None of them were conventional “class hottie” material, but all had a girl-next-door quality that I know I would have been pleased to pursue back in middle school. The cutest was the girl who appeared to be the youngest, with shoulder-length dark brown hair and glasses that gave her a certain “cute nerd” look. One of the other two girls was a light brunette in a strapless red top and tight blue jeans, while the other girl, a blond who was the most conventionally pretty of the three, wore an adorable little white sundress. For about 10 seconds, I watched them parade behind the trailers out of sight, cigarettes in hand, en route to engage in some precocious smoking. Seeing them from a closer vantage point, I became more certain that the three of them were indeed in their mid-teens. It was a great sighting, but it could have been positively mind-blowing if I had been able to actually watch the duration of the smoking show. I did spot the girls again later that night on the midway, but this time without cigarettes.