Another classic from that second night at the Iowa State Fair on Wednesday in 2010, which was bookended by greatness in the evening’s early hours and late hours. The two sightings in this countdown from late in the evening have already been accounted for, but the biggest epic of all from the night came the first hour after I got there….
There are two sides of the street when walking down the Grand Concourse, otherwise known as the main street of the fairgrounds. Both sides of the street are busy so you generally loop the street by walking down one side of the street first and the other side on the return volley. I was originally planning to loop around the north side first and come back on the south side, but decided to go the other way for some reason. Well thank God fate compelled me to go the other direction as I didn’t even have time to process it completely when walking down the sidewalk and observing a half-smoked cigarette in the fingers of this cute little long-haired brunette with blond highlights wearing a gray tanktop, adorably tight jean shorts, and cowgirl boots who was standing in a huddle. My heart skipped a beat momentarily as she was only a few feet in front of me. I then walked around the huddle….and the other two girls had cigarettes too. The first was a really cute brunette in a bare midriff tanktop and PINK shorts. The other girl was the hottest of the three….another glamorous light brunette with blond highlights in a skimpy black tanktop and a pair of white shorts that fit her perfectly. All three had cigarettes between their fingers that were mostly smoked. And I kid you not when I telling you that these girls were no older than 14….
How could this be? Sure, 14-year-old girls still occasionally smoke on the fairgrounds, but they don’t stand in the middle of a sidewalk obstructing foot traffic and only a few feet in front of a middle-aged couple sitting on a bench. The nearby benches were all full so I had to find an awkward place to stand and watch what I could of this madness. The girls took short, cute little puffs and were obviously beginner smokers, but just seeing these adorable little girls standing in the most public spot in the whole fairgrounds with cigarettes in their little fingers in broad daylight sent my heart pulsating. Now I guess I would say that these girls had the look of smokers….but future smokers. In no way would I have been able to envision clouds of fumes flowing from their pubescent bodies if I wasn’t watching it with my own eyes. But amazingly, it got even better….
Standing right beside this trio of early teen girls was a cluster of about five or six nonsmoking girls. I didn’t connect these two groups until the three smokers immersed themselves in the crowd of nonsmoking girls, every one of them 14-15 and the picture of early teen innocence (a few others in the group who I would have LOVED to see in possession of cigarettes of their own). Apparently, the girls didn’t want to wait to finish their cigarettes and were not directly in front of the bench where Ma and Pa Fuddy Duddy were sitting, with no expression on their face that indicated strong feelings one way or another about the stink coming off these teen cuties. The girls at this point just had the final inch or so of their cigarettes left, but since they took small little beginner drags, the cigarettes continued to last a while longer. The huddle of girls was pretty densely packed so it became hard to see, but out of nowhere would emerge a snootful of smoke spewed by one of the girls directly in the personal space of their nonsmoking friends. Imagine being eight inches away from a friend who thoughtlessly exhaled smoke straight at you. That’s what these girls did when they were in the huddle.
Finally, two of the smokers crushed out their cigarettes at the edge of the pavement, but for whatever reason the hottest girl in the white shorts was walking off with the finished butt in her hand, likely looking for a garbage can to toss it into. I saw a canary yellow box sticking out of the front pocket of the girl’s white shorts, but only know of one cigarette brand in a yellow back, and it’s not one of my favorites. More on that later. It was challenging as that middle-aged couple was still sitting right there on the bench, but I was able to check out both butts discarded by the other two girls. The first was a Camel Blue and that was smoked by the girl in the cowboy boots. The second didn’t have a name on the label and was smoked by the girl in the pink shorts, who was still adorable but the least attractive of the three.
Watching that huddle of cusp-of-womanhood teen girls giggling and giddily prancing about, thoughts of the midway at Summerfest came to mind. As a general rule, it’s pointless to walk through their midway in search of smoker sightings because you always see huddles of girls just as cute as this bunch, but for obvious reasons in the modern era, virtually never see them smoking. Well what I saw last night expanded those horizons some. It was a sighting straight out of the 70s except with 2010 fashions. If girls like this are still willing to smoke publicly in broad daylight on the busiest street of the Iowa State Fair, it means there’s still potential to see just about any girl smoking.
Closing up the subsequent experience with these girls in a single paragraph, the cluster of smoker girls with a few of their friends continued to be a presence later in the evening, albeit without cigarettes, in the presence of some older teenage boys who clearly had fantastic taste. It was part of what was making those midevening hours frustrating as I invested a fair amount of time watching these girls hanging out on the edge of the midway. That cutest girl in the white shorts was even holding that yellow pack of cigarettes, confirmed as American Spirits, in her hand for the longest of time, yet never extracted another cigarette. I kept looping around to try to score an encore performance from these girls but they wouldn’t deliver again. However, they still helped facilitate my ultimate sighting of the Taylor Swift-ish girl (ISF #16) in my countdown, so they still gave me two reasons to forever be in their gratitude.