The late afternoon and early evening hours of Day 1 of the 2016 Minnesota State Fair produced my best hours of fairgrounds fetishing this entire summer without a shadow of a doubt and the momentum crescendoed right around 6:00 at the high-foliage east side smoking area full of trees and benches which evokes somewhat of a park setting. A four-sided bench near the back of that smoking area was full of seven warm bodies seated in a circle. Right away I noticed a bright yellow pack of American Spirits (again?!?!) in front of this attractive late 20s blond even though she wasn’t smoking at that moment, but from the clouds of smoke hovering over that bench it was clear somebody at that table was, and I walked back there to see who it was.
My heart almost melted as I noticed an obvious family setting with an obvious patriarch and matriarch, likely with some of the friends of whoever the “daughter” was in the group, and the two hottest girls in the group, both in the 19-21 range, were both smoking in front of family members who were all older than they were, and they were both very impressive. Sitting closest to me was a wholesome long-haired dark brunette in a skimpy navy blue minidress who held her cigarette in her left hand and took a steady diet of nice drags. But it was the lighter brunette seated furthest from me but in the most direct line of vision from the bench where I sat who impressed me most, her face the vision of angelic girl-next-door wholesomeness with wavy long light brown hair decked out in an odd ensemble of a reddish dress with a pink lacy shawl covering it down to her knees. If the previous all-star girl I had just seen was an example of the most obvious-looking smoker of this fair season, this cutie was an example of the least likely smoker of the 2016 fair season…..
I had a deja vu moment immediately upon laying eyes on this light brunette smoker but it took me almost 24 hours to figure out who she reminded me of. My office hires these high school kids as pages every winter and in 2015 one of the pages was a girl named Brett, who had a very obvious huge crush on me, looking me up and down every time she walked past me and doubling back needlessly on occasion to make eye contact with me again. I fantasized that entire year about Brett smoking but was now getting as close as I’d ever expect to come to seeing it happen as her doppelganger was consuming a cigarette very impressively directly in front of me. She took beautiful drags, puckering up that wholesome face around the filter of her cigarette and tilting her head slightly skyward to produce a cloud of smoke that hovered for several moments above the entire family at that bench. Between her and the dark brunette, the haze of smoke in front of and above this table was pretty much omnipresent, and one of my two less than impressive photos captured some of that smoke haze. Unfortunately, my biggest regret from that day was not scoring a better pic of this group, although I had a good excuse in that their bench was isolated in a way that I could never get close enough to take the kind of photo I’d have liked to without completely exposing myself. I found a bench in the best place possible and even there it was becoming clear after a few minutes they knew I was watching.
Still, I couldn’t look away at this incredible family dynamic, the best family of smokers sighting I’ve gotten in 10 years since it was only the cutest and youngest female members of the group who were responsible for all the carcinogens the rest of the family was forced to choke on. But there was still one missing piece to this puzzle….the mid-to-late 20s blond with the pack of American Spirits in front of her on the table, herself very attractive, decked out in a black blouse and jean shorts with boots, was compelled to spark up a cigarette of her own by the stinky youngsters at the table. For a couple of minutes, there were three hot females smoking simultaneously at this table until the younger two finished theirs. By this point, however, they were on to me and making eye contact more and more frequently, so I made the tough decision to walk away, unclear whether there would be additional tobacco consumption by the younger girls that I’d miss out on by leaving. Still, after as many missed opportunities as I’d suffered through thus far in the 2016 fair season, it felt good to be at the right place at the right time for something so special.
Less than an hour later, I was stacking up all kinds of great sightings outside the grandstand in the moments before the Dixie Chicks concert, and was scurrying to meet my parents at the agreed-upon 7 p.m. meeting time. It was 6:55 and I still had one more pass to make by the east side of the grandstand, ultimately settling upon a familiar group whose presence sent my jaw dropping to the ground. Standing in a huddle of seven just as they were seated in a bench in a circle less than an hour earlier was the family of smokers who had already rocked my world to its core. Now they were back, the majority of the group, including the parents, delaying their entrance to the Dixie Chicks’ concert because the same three young females of the group feeding their addictions to cigarettes before were feeding the nicotine monkeys on their backs again, only doing so much more publicly this time, the center of attention standing in the middle of this cobblestone walkway with three hot smoker girls dragging copiously and exhaling clouds of cancer into the sky.
I only had a minute or so to observe and made one final attempt to score a decent photo, but unfortunately it’s a blurry mess as happens all too often around 7 p.m. when the sun is on its way down in late August. It was nice to see them all standing and be able to admire their great bodies in a vertical posture. The blond and the dark brunette impressed again but the star of the show was that wholesome light brunette who looked like my former office page Brett, and she also seemed to produce the cloudiest exhales. I doubt I’ll ever surpass the 2006 MNSF family of smokers sighting which included two gorgeous teenage girls, one of whom put on one of the longest no-purpose dangles I’ve ever seen, but this was the best family of smokers sighting I’ve gotten since then, and I hoped so much to see them out smoking again later in the evening, but this would be their last appearance of August 28, 2016.