Garrison Keillor’s Top Ten State Fair Joys

The Minnesota State Fair is quickly approaching and we thought it would be fun to look at Minnesota native Garrison Keillor’s Top Ten State Fair Joys. The following are his Top Ten State Fair Joys:

  1. To eat food with your two hands.
  2. To feel extreme centrifugal force reshaping your face and jowls as you are flung or whirled turbulently and you experience that intense joyfulness that is indistinguishable from anguish, or (as you get older) to observe other persons in extreme centrifugal situations.
  3. To mingle, merge, mill, jostle gently, and flock together with throngs, swarms, mobs, and multitudes of persons slight or hefty, punky or preppy, young or ancient, wandering through the hubbub and amplified razzmatazz and raw neon and clouds of wiener steam in search of some elusive thing, nobody is sure exactly what.
  4. To witness the stupidity of others, their gluttony and low-grade obsessions, their poor manners and slack-jawed, mouth-breathing, pop-eyed yahootude, and feel rather sophisticated by comparison.
  5. To see the art of salesmanship, of barking, hustling, touting, and see how effectively it works on others and not on cool you.
  6. To see designer chickens, the largest swine, teams of mighty draft horses, llamas, rare breeds of geese, geckos, poisonous snakes, a two-headed calf, a 650-pound man, and whatever else appeals to the keen, inquiring mind.
  7. To watch the judging of livestock.
  8. To observe entertainers attempt to engage a crowd that is moving laterally.
  9. To sit down and rest amid the turmoil and reconsider the meaning of life.
  10. To turn away from food and amusement and crass pleasure and to resolve to live on a higher plane from now on.

Read more about Garrison Keillor’s “Top Ten State Fair Joys” at NationalGeographic.com.

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