The 2001 Minnesota State Fair was the first day where I spent almost the entire day exploring the grounds solo, unleashed from the shackles of my parents’ presence, with the singular objective of spotting and cataloging the sightings of attractive young smokers. While the day was going reasonably well as I approached the 6:00 hour, I had to yet to score a sighting that really grabbed me where I lived until I made my final midway run of the day.
Sometimes a walk through the midway yields results at the Minnesota State Fair, other times not. But this was the first time in my new role as an active fairgrounds fetisher that it definitely did. A group of three 15-ish girl-next-door types sat down on an open bench in front of me. I had a good feeling about them for whatever reason, so I was pleased to see a bench about 10 yards away was open and allowed me a glimpse directly at the girls. It still felt like a longshot though as I awaited a light-up, because they looked so darned wholesome.
Imagine my unbridled delight when the cutest of the three, this adorable 15-ish blond in a tanktop and jean shorts with the face of an angel, opened her purse and proceeded to extract a pack of Marlboro Lights. She lit up and enjoyed her cigarette, putting on a perfect display of precocious smoking from what I suspect was a fairly new smoker. None of the other girls lit up, which actually added to this sighting. Here was this angellic-looking young blond smoker who, despite the fact that her friends didn’t share her love of cigarettes, had decided that no human companionship could rival the friendship nicotine offered her.
She was so adorable sitting there inhaling smoke from the cigarette and exhaling it with the gusto of an eager “smoker-in-training.” The other girls seemed to grow progressively more restless as their stinky little friend sat there enjoying her cigarette. They weren’t specifically beckoning her to leave, but you could tell they wanted her smoke break to end far sooner than she was willing to to wrap it up. As cutie finally finished her cigarette and got up to leave, following her friends back into the midway, it really struck me how special this sighting was with this most unlikely smoker holding up her friends’ fun out of a selfish need to fill her own adorable little body with stinky carcinogens. Not to say I couldn’t see a sighting like this again, but looking back 13 years later there’s just something very 2001ish about it that gives me a woozy feeling recollecting as a trophy from the good old days.