MNSF #36. Scaring Away Women and Children at the International Bazaar

My best sighting of the day on the cool Saturday visit to the 2009 Minnesota State Fair came in the morning, which is good for morale early in the day. Walking towards busy Judson Avenue from the north was a cluster of two 19-20ish couples. Immediately drawing my attention was the attractive, sunglasses-donning brunette chick in the cluster, the only one smoking.

And boy was she smoking. Rather than holding her cigarette at her side, she held it next to her face with a bent elbow as if she was sitting at the bar. She wore a green top and tight blue jeans that showcased her form nicely, accentuated by the bent elbow all-white she proudly held next to her pretty face. She was jubilant and bubbly as she talked to her nonsmoking friends (two guys and two girls) and when she took a drag, the windy air scattered it directly into the faces of the friends group who never complained when they got splashed in the face by their attractive friend, suggesting this was a common occurrence in the company of this girl and the nonsmoking friends had just learned to live with it.

Things really got hot when the foursome approached the entrance of the “International Bazaar”, a gathering that features live music and a cluster of international souvenir shops. Now there is no official smoking ban to my knowledge in this open air venue, but it’s just assumed that nobody would be obnoxious enough to smoke there in the sensitive, prima donna culture of 2009. But this girl was obnoxious and myopic enough to do just that, marching right past the entry gate with cigarette in hand.

The highlight of the sighting came when she stood behind the seating area and was followed in by a mother and her early teen daughter who stood behind her. My girl took a nice drag from her cigarette and thoughtlessly exhaled, allowing the strong north wind to splash smoke straight directly into the faces of mother and daughter. Both of them were waving the smoke out of their faces and then walked away with disgusted looks on their faces, while my girl stood there clueless the entire time about how badly she repulsed her fellow fairgoers. She and the nonsmoking female friend would then converse with one another for the duration of her cigarette before she dropped it to the pavement and crushed it out and then got in line for a beverage. I meandered over and quickly identified the butt as a Marlboro Light Menthol. Finally, a sighting worth feeling good about after a couple hours of mediocrity leading up to that, and a needed burst of adrenaline to get me through some very mundane afternoon hours.

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