It was dumb luck that led me to the Brown County Fair in Aberdeen, South Dakota, in August 2013. I was taking a three-day road trip through the area and stopped in the small isolated city to stay overnight when I tuned in the local radio station and discovered the county fair was going on and that musical entertainment that Friday evening was Nashville recording artist Brantley Gilbert. Only two days earlier I had attended the Iowa State Fair but couldn’t let the opportunity pass to head to the fair, which thankfully had free parking and attendance. Within about 40 minutes after my arrival, I had already scored a trio of fantastic sightings, and this was the third in succession.
I came upon a group of 17-18ish girls in the midway seated on a bench smoking cigarettes. There was a blond and a brunette sitting there smoking, and two friends standing in front of them, one of them a hot dark brunette sharing the cigarette with the seated light brunette. They were both sexy and attractive smokers, but the star of this show was the blond in tight blue jeans sitting down, who had a sexy combination of petite cutie and weathered badass smoker girl. And whenever I saw her tending to the cigarette, it was clear just how hard-core she was compared to the other two girls smoking. Her drags were merciless extended pulls of toxic smoke into her black lungs, pulls so hard you could watch the paper burn away over the course of her lengthy drags. It was humorous that blondie managed to suck down her entire cigarette more rapidly than the two brunettes combined were able to finish theirs. I spotted where she dropped the butt and hung back for awhile until they got up from the bench to identify her butt, which was a cork filter but smoked too close to the filter to be identifiable.
I didn’t see any of those three girls smoking again, but about two hours later at a picnic table was a middle-aged woman smoking a cigarette….and across the table from her was the blond and light brunette, the two from the bench smoking earlier. They were both eating slices of pizza so I hung as close to the area as possible thinking there was a very good chance the teen smokers would light up after eating. While that didn’t happen, my return to the area around the tables brought a cute moment where another middle-aged woman came to talk to the three of them, and proceeded to ask some inaudible questions directed at the blond. She was clearly family or a friend to the mother and after their exchange ended, she hugged the blond in an affectionate way, and the only thing that crossed my mind during the hug was whether this woman had any idea that the blond she was doting on routinely rapes cigarettes with pulverizing drags. Mom had to know because even if the daughter wasn’t smoking in front of her at that moment, it’s unthinkable the daughter could have developed a smoking habit that serious under mom’s nose. I hung by them for a good 15 minutes hoping against hope for a mother-daughter sighting but it didn’t materialize, but still felt I got my money’s worth after seeing that daughter smoking on the midway earlier.