Back in the first half of the last decade, I usually attended free bandshell concerts put on by country singers with one or both of my parents that began at about 8:30 in the evening. We would have to get seating for these concerts around 7:30 or risk not getting a seat. Since I always wanted one more trip around the fairgrounds at the onset of dusk to catch some more sightings, I would always excuse myself for a “bathroom break” once we found our seats and then proceeded to make a half-hour loop around the guts on the fairgrounds, sometimes even the midway.
It was during this early evening detour on my impressive day of sightings at the 2004 Minnesota State Fair that I scored a sighting that had the potential to be top-10 given its context, even though it ended far too soon. Approaching the still-crowded grandstand area just before sunset, it was hard not to miss two girl-next-door blonds no older than 16 who were right in front of me, stopped dead in their tracks and attempting to light each other up. I say “attempting” to light each other up because the wholesome blond cuties were in possession of a broken lighter and didn’t seem quite able to get the job done, struggling for a good 30 seconds as I watched from closeby, and obviously getting quite frustrated but finally getting their cigarettes lit when the lighter pulled off one more flame just for them.
It was so cute because they seemed like new smokers by the way they were carrying themselves, but the very public location in which they chose to illegally fire up their cigarettes showed they were not at all shy about being underage smokers. Like the girls, I was in an awkward location myself and had to reposition myself a few feet back out of the walking lane in hopes of seeing more of this sighting. I had a feeling I was spotted by the girls which also contributed to my interest in finding a different vantage point, but when I finally got there I found the girls had mysteriously disappeared. I still don’t know where they vanished that quickly, but I looked everywhere in the area in the next couple of minutes in hopes of seeing them smoke their cigarettes, ideally with the same level of beginner’s cuteness with which they handled their broken lighters. Whatever the case, I have to give them credit for being the first addicted smoker cuties who’ve ever lost me when I was stalking them.