As I so often do at my county fair, I was preparing for my “final loop of the night” on Thursday evening of the 2014 FCF but managed to keep getting sidetracked and/or talking myself into yet another “final loop of the night”, but I am so damn glad I held out for one last walk through the nearly empty midway at about 11:20. At the back of the midway I caught from behind the image of a girl I just knew was gonna be magic. I saw this dark rear image of a girl with straight dark blond hair going all the way down her back, held down up top with a head band that had a little white bow on top. A black sweatshirt and nice-fitting pair of dark jeans completed the conservative ensemble but there was one thing that didn’t fit at all with the rear silhouette image I was observing….an unlit cigarette protruding from the girl’s right hand….
A wide-open bench gave me a perfect vantage point of the sighting that would transpire….and I approached it giddy as a schoolgirl to get a look at the face and see if it lived up to the profile. I thought I had prepared myself for the caliber of wholesomeness I was plunging head-first into but she exceeded my wildest expectations. This girl was not only beautiful beyond belief, she ranks among the top two or three most unlikely smokers I’ve ever laid eyes on. I’d put her at about 19 or 20 years old and her animated face just radiated sunshine and warmth. I kept thinking this girl looks like she should be a counselor at a youth camp for Christ because her beaming, glowing presence just seemed naturally inclined to do something wholesome at all times, absolutely never including being at the county fair midway holding a cigarette in her hand….
And while it took me a while to collect myself after seeing a face this beautiful (she vaguely reminded me of actress Amanda Seyfried….only prettier), it took her more than just a while to light that cigarette. She was cheering on a male and female friend preparing to ride the “Ring of Fire” thrill ride which hangs upside down. She was giving her encouragement from the sideline so I was still confident of getting her to myself for the entirety of the ride the friends took. Finally, after a good three minutes of holding the unlit cigarette in one hand and the lighter in the other, it was time to get to the part where she ingested carcinogens. Her light-up was drama free but it still sent tingles throughout my body when her cigarette consumption became real. The friends were just getting on the ride in time for her second and best drag, which was average in length but where a delayed exhale came out in the form of a sloppy smoky blob even as her face was more lit up than ever with a toothy grin as she watched the friends climb aboard the Ring of Fire. And the exhale still wasn’t over as a residual puff escaped her nose a couple of seconds later. A “smiling exhale”…I suppose I’ve seen one before but never one as animated as this. Now more than ever it was hard to reconcile this saintly looking girl with the cancerous filth her body was addicted to. The next drag was a little more traditional, with her exhale blown completely out of her mouth in a straight line…..
Another duo of girls who I’d hoped to see smoking again that night was walking by with cigarettes but I wasn’t going anywhere as even a tow truck couldn’t pull me away from what was easily my best find of the night. But of course my best find of the night couldn’t possibly follow the preferred script without a complication either. Suddenly, some random overweight dude her age or slightly older approached her and she seemed to know him. After taking a drag I couldn’t see, she suddenly handed the guy the cigarette. NO!!!!!! This led me to believe she was probably just a social smoker who didn’t need more than half of her cigarette and was looking for someone to take it away. It was a letdown as the guy got his hands on the not-even-half-smoked cigarette and never returned it. Still, I wanted to identify the brand this gorgeous dark blond was smoking. The two friends who went on the thrill ride had just gotten off and the three of them, combined with the new smoker dude and a friend of his, were walking eastward out of the midway. I followed, doing something I never suspected I would….waiting for a dude to finish his cigarette so I could get a butt ID. After about three walking drags, he did finish it and drop it. I looked down to see it was a white filter Marlboro with a little blue dot on the filter, which I believe are those Marlboro Nxts, the Marlboro version of Camel Crush….
I was a little disappointed with that last sighting and began what ultimately was my final loop of the night, and stumbled into none other than the 2012 “woolly beret girl” (FCF #15) just as she lit up, and I was prepared to get a delicious sighting from her. But that’s where the story took a surprise pivot. It would take a lot for me to abandon my first sighting of the year of the old reliable woolly beret girl, but “a lot” was exactly what I was in store for……
At the exact moment the “woolly beret girl” lit up, I looked past her to find another group crossing paths with them. It was the “Ring of Fire” midway group……and I was shocked when I saw the insanely wholesome hottie placing another unlit cigarette in her mouth. This was her second in the last 15 minutes, and keep in mind I had written her off as a social smoker when she handed half of her cigarette to the fat guy moments earlier. But now that seemed far less likely as “my greatest find of the night” raised her stakes dramatically by being the only member of her group of five to light up another cigarette. She paused her walking briefly to light up and I could barely control myself from shouting for joy at the top of my lungs. They were heading to the north side exit of the fairgrounds, the exact same exit I take on the way back to my grandma’s parking lot and I would be able to follow. This couldn’t have worked out more perfectly. She was more attentive in smoking this one as well, taking more frequent drags as she walked. Unfortunately I had a mostly rear view and was usually only able to admire the exhaled smoke I saw flowing from her gorgeous face, but on a couple of occasions she turned her head while dragging and I got to see her lips pucker around that all-white filter and the cherry glow bright red. While walking, the two guys (including the one that smoked half of her first cigarette) that seemed to come out of nowhere on the midway were hanging back, apparently not riding home with them….
I continued to follow as just the original three from the “Ring of Fire” ride progressed to a red sports car in a private lot in a guy’s yard. The guy and girl who rode the Ring of Fire climbed into the front seat and I was waiting with baited breath to see what stinky girl would do. I didn’t know if it would be sexier for her to drop her Marlboro Nxt butt into some stranger’s yard or to bring it inside the red sports car driven by obvious nonsmokers. It could have gone either way as she opened the back door and took a deep drag…..but she broke the tie by closing the car door and bringing the cigarette with her. Not only do the friends have to deal with her residual ciggy stench, but she’s actually going to smoke a cigarette inside a stranger’s likely expensive car. I watched the car drive out of the lot….with the back window cracked and a smoldering cherry held between the fingers of a truly gorgeous young woman as it did. An otherwise modest Thursday night ended with a grand slam.