I was nearly five hours into my Saturday afternoon at the 2018 Missouri State Fair without having seen anything too earth-shattering. But finally, a little after 5:00, I’d get my first rock-star find of the day at a remote grassy area behind a food stand and some “old-time picture” stand where group photos are adorned with Old West-style framings for those willing to pay the price. Apparently two sets of mid-to-late 20s couples had done just that because they were lurking behind the booth, and I’d later discover they were waiting to get their photo. I saw that both guys were smoking which gave me hope for the sexpot blond seated on the grass against this electric outlet box fixing her shoe, decked out in a black tanktop and very nice-fitting medium-blue jean shorts advertising a long set of legs. Unfortunately she wasn’t smoking, but when she stood up, I stuck around just in case because I got a vibe from her, a vibe that grew stronger when I got a better look at her face which, even partially covered by sunglasses, I could tell had some of the typical weathering you see in a late 20s heavy smoker. It was a pretty face too, and while I couldn’t put a finger on it at the time, I thought later that she looked like Kimberly Perry, the lead singer of the country-pop crossover group The Band Perry.
Anyway, luck was upon me as she opened up a bag she had been carrying with her and I knew I hit the jackpot when I saw at least three packs of cigarettes, all Marlboros but some bearing the colors of Marlboro Red Special Blends and one bearing the colors of Marlboro Lights Special Blends. Either she brought cigarettes for her whole group of four or this girl was one helluva heavy smoker!!!! She made it official in spectacular fashion as she got a cigarette out for herself and the unattractive female friend, firing it up and then dangling it for an absurdly long period, perhaps 30 seconds…
For some context, the Missouri State Fair has booths everywhere selling $1 bottles of water and I was already on my third of the afternoon at that point. I mention this because photo-taking was a huge struggle as I had to do it with one hand while trying not to avoid dropping the water bottle with the other. I missed the dangle, but I did get a few passable photos, including one of her in mid-drag. They continued to linger in that grassy area for another minute or so before they got the photo they bought, at which point they started moving into the well-populated streets of the fairgrounds. The men had now finished their cigarettes but my sexy blond had just gotten started on hers, treating hundreds of fellow fairgoers to a visual feast of her sexy body and an olfactory feast of her secondhand smoke. Dangling drags were a common feature, resting that cigarette between her lips, puckering up and ingesting the carcinogens, and then removing the cigarette before exhaling said carcinogens. The group weaved through some buildings en route to the south side of the grounds and ended up standing in line for lemonade. My blond smoker babe held back a bit near a tree, taking her last couple of drags before dropping the butt and formally getting in line. I was able to check out her discarded butt and pick out the cork filter, ensuring it was indeed a Marlboro Red Special Blend and not a light. I had a higher degree of confidence that I’d see this girl smoking on the grounds again that day than some of my previous above-average finds…and I would definitely be proven right on that prediction!
Less than 20 minutes since my Kimberly Perry lookalike had smoked her previous cigarette, there stood her group with the addition of another mediocre gal, all smoking another round of cigarettes. They were right in the middle of the street amidst the block of bars and grills and it was very crowded so it wasn’t the easiest job in the world to watch undetected but I managed to see a few more of her drags, although this batch more conventional without the dangling drags. They started moving eastbound towards the end of the sighting and I snapped a holding pic of her that isn’t too bad, probably the closest-up photo I’d get of her, although not the most flattering as her head is looking at the ground for some reason….or else to the cigarette in her right hand. Not long after that she’d drop it to the pavement and crush it out like the last one….another Marlboro Red Special Blend butt left to decorate the state fairgrounds. And don’t worry….I’ll still be seeing quite a bit more of her!
The crowd was getting bigger heading up to 7:00 as the grandstand was starting to let people inside the gate for the opening act to the Cole Swindell concert, and suddenly my sightings numbers were rapidly ticking as the crowd outside the grandstand was proving to be decidedly different than the overwhelmingly nonsmoking demographic from the Thomas Rhett concert attending the Iowa State Fair only three nights earlier. But the main event would be going on inside the gate from some of the first arrivals to the concert, the group that included my Kimberly Perry-ish late 20s blond. The Missouri State Fair has this grandstand arrangement where smokers are allowed to smoke under the grandstand inside the fence, meaning I can hover outside the fence and pick off sightings like fish in a barrel, and it was no surprise that this group was getting an early nicotine fix, and I got there just in time for the bag to come off blondie’s shoulders and see her select from one of the multiple packs of Marlboro Red Special Blends inside of it. I thought I had seen the best dangle off of a light-up I was gonna see for the day on her first cigarette an hour and a half earlier, but little did I know that was just a warm-up act for the main event…..
She lit up her third cigarette I’d seen from her on Saturday and then let it hang from those sexy lips. And it just kept hanging there…as she played with her hair…as she knelt down to either put something into her bag or take something else out…and as she stood back up. The dangle had to have run at least 45 seconds, at one point about halfway through producing a burst of airborne smoke as she was dragging in mid-dangle. Now I had found a great spot to watch this performance, playing out inside the fence as I watched between two vendor booths, but it was not a good spot for taking photos as it wasn’t close enough and too obstructed by the way the booths were set up….so again I didn’t get any of that magical dangle on camera. I was still walking on the clouds though and watched most of her smoking performance, hoping for more dangling but having to “settle” for her more traditional drags and exhales that would follow. She would eventually finish the cigarette and drop it to the pavement where it smoldered just below the fence. The group lingered there for a couple more minutes, and I changed positions to get a final frontal pic of her. The bars on the fence obstructed her face a little but it’s not bad, showing off her beauty and her sexy, shapely body in those jean shorts. In moments, they turned around to walk into the concert and I checked out her third discarded Marlboro Red butt of the last couple of hours, fully expecting I’d see her again and that she’d be the sighting of the day. I was correct on the former…but not on the latter. Stay tuned for more on both!!
Once grandstand opening act RaeLynn ended her set at around 8:15, I made sure I was near the grandstand gate for the intermission smoke break crowd, and there was one group in particular I knew I’d see, with one girl in particular. Sure enough, I got to the north side of the grandstand and peered inside, expecting to see the Kimberly Perry-ish dangling queen back at her spot, but she and her boyfriend were actually further ahead in line for the bathroom. Now perhaps smoking is technically permitted in the line for the bathroom under this grandstand, but pretty much everybody I’ve ever seen down there chose to take their smoke break to the gate to spare innocent bystanders from the secondhand smoke. Not this girl! She was smoking while standing in line a good 20 feet away from the fence, and I’m sure there were plenty of people in the line not too pleased to be breathing in her secondhand smoke while innocently attempting a bathroom break. Unfortunately, as the line moved, the girl would end up behind a giant cement pillar out of my sight range, so I took the opportunity to walk away and check out the other side of the grandstand for their intermission crowd.
After that brief detour, I walked to the north side of the grandstand a final time and the Kimberly Perry blond who had been smoking in the line for the bathroom less than 10 minutes earlier was now back smoking AGAIN in the location I predicted she would in the first place. I was able to stay for most of her cigarette but she and the boyfriend looked my way as if I was looking a little familiar by that point in the evening, so I had to cut it short before completion, unfortunately without seeing any more world-class dangling, and I wouldn’t see her again for the rest of the night. But it was a five-cigarette sighting with her over the course of a little over three hours, and judging by the multiple packs she brought with in her bag, I’m betting she smoked far more than that during the time she was at the fair on Saturday. I was pretty certain she’d be the big story of the day at the Missouri State Fair but shockingly she ended up only being the second-best of the day. My favorite was still to come!