On my second day at the 2012 Minnesota State Fair, I was scrambling like the madman that I am to make up for lost time heading up to 7:00, determined to max out my sightings as I was starting to fall a bit behind schedule. My baseline when meeting my parents at 7:00, as I do every year at the MNSF, is 111-125 sightings, and I was just over 100 as late as 6:40. But when trying not to get sidetracked, the worst thing a guy can do is to head to the awning and stairwell on the west side of the grandstand, but that’s exactly where I went and sidetracked I would be.
Surveying the crowd seating and standing out there, many of whom were waiting for the Journey/Pat Benatar concert, I could tell the crowd was more of a 40-something group than for Blake Shelton last weekend, which makes sense given the era Journey and Pat Benatar were popular. But standing by herself in a corner with her back to me was this ponytailed light brunette in a conservative purple top and blue jeans with a freshly lit cork filter in her right hand. Her rear profile intrigued me as I got closer, but I tried to talk myself out of building expectations too high. But then she turned around and my knees almost buckled. Hers was the face I had been looking for all day but had not yet found. She looked 16 or 17 and had the most perfect natural-looking tan and had the softest and most wholesome features of any girl I had seen this year, and perhaps for a few years, at the Minnesota State Fair. The closest celebrity comparison I can give is heavy-smoking actress Rebecca Gayheart back in the early 90s when she was the original and most revered “Noxzema girl” in their ads. Setting eyes on her, I knew I was looking at my best sighting of the day and indeed for the entire 2012 Minnesota State Fair. Unfortunately, the sighting doesn’t have much of a storyline and the photos I took are fighting with the long shadows and the glare of the early evening sun, but you’re just gonna have to take my word for it that this was the girl we spend many hours a year fetishing to see.
She was distracted while immersed in a phone call which made my job of snapping pictures and watching her smoke much easier. She took that first drag and confirmed my suspicion….she was just a baby. While this was very clearly not her first cigarette, her lukewarm drags and shallow exhales confirmed she had probably only been at this for a few months, which made it all the more precious knowing that with her looks and her developing dependency upon nicotine she was electing the glamorous life for herself. Every time I laid eyes on that beautiful face, I had to pinch myself to help remind me this was really happening….that an underage girl this wholesome and this beautiful was really smoking a cigarette in public all by herself. She had some black pouch around her waist which added to my initial suspicion that she was also working underneath the grandstand at one of the commercial exhibit booths. There was nothing wrong with the outfit she was wearing, but I lamented how sexy she might be dressed if she wasn’t working and how much more that would have added to the sighting, but then again if she wasn’t working in the grandstand she wouldn’t be out here smoking right now.
Drag after drag, my heart melted as this beauty’s body became more adjusted to the lifetime of nicotine slavery she was preparing it for, and it seemed as though even over the course of the cigarette her drags and holds became a little longer, and her exhales a little cloudier. Even though she continued to be immersed in the phone call, my lingering presence ultimately got noticed as she would occasionally look my direction and notice me lurking.
And true to form, at the exact moment this sighting was unfolding, out stepped this young couple that included a long-haired mid-20s dark brunette in a skin-tight black dress that ended about four inches below her ass and a pair of incredibly stylish black leather boots going up her calf nearly to her knee…..and she was sitting down on the other side and lighting up a cigarette while the nonsmoking boyfriend waited. Perfect! Competing sightings! The sexpot brunette didn’t get nearly the attention she deserved and frankly I was only able to look over and catch a couple brief moments of smoking glory from her as I just couldn’t abandon my sighting of the day, especially as she approached the end of her cigarette. Adding to the intensity was that it was 6:55 and I was supposed to meet my parents at 7, who would flip out if I was late. But nothing was gonna stop me from seeing this sighting through. Being a rookie smoker, she smoked slowly but she didn’t finish it off with half the cigarette yet to go as some teen smokers do on work breaks. She smoked it to within a couple of drags from the filter, but then confirmed my fears as she lifted her shoe and crushed out on her cigarette on the heel while standing in front of a garbage can. I knew it was coming and it did….she tossed the cigarette butt into the trash can before walking back into the grandstand, presumably to go back to her job.
I walked up to the garbage can, where luckily nobody else was standing close by and peered inside. I could tell by the telltale marks on the cork filter when she was smoking that it was a Camel Crush Bold, but I wanted confirmation. I was despairing as I didn’t see the butt, but as I looked closer I saw that it had fallen underneath a plastic glass. Sure enough it was the Camel Crush Bold I had been looking for that was smoked by the prettiest underage smoker girl of the 2012 Minnesota State Fair. At this point, I turned right around hoping to catch what was left of the girl in the short black dress and style boots….but she was getting up to leave, entering the grandstand with the boyfriend. I wouldn’t have missed the sighting of her for just anything, but seeing the 2012 version of the Noxzema Girl sighting play out in its completion was a rare exception. If I hadn’t been spotted already by that girl, I’d have followed her into the grandstand and feigned interest in whatever she was peddling, hoping I could get close enough to smell her stink. It was 6:58 now and I was heading to the agreed-upon meeting spot with my parents, riding high and hoping this burst of momentum would last into the evening.