Even as I type the thumps and rattles of the carnies packing up are ringing out across a quietened fairground.  This concludes the 5th (I think?) consecutive year of living in Beamsville and the 27th consecutive year of my life wherein I did not go to the fair.

I did, however get to experience the fury of the demolition derby at a slight remove.  Also the fury of the tractor pull.  The fury of the poultry has already been documented.  The actual fury was what was sparked in me every time somebody won a prize at a particular point in the midway.  It came with a terribly loud siren and many a shaken fist.

Things were not as bad as I expected or as bad as they could have been.  Total garbage left on our lawn consisted of three empty energy drink bottles and a little bit of packing tape.  This forces me to wonder what activity could possibly require the ‘temporary wakefulness and mental alertness’ provided by the beverages while at the same time the gripping power of packing tape was also needed.  This is a train of thought which can only end in horrific derailment, possibly into a major residential area so I feel it best to leave it aside.

My theory is as follows:  When people had little in the way of regular entertainment and life on the farm was nasty, brutish and short, the county fair was a welcome time of celebration and unwinding from the travails of the harvest.  It would be a major time for getting together with people from all around the town (rather than just immediate neighbours and whoever you happened to go to church with) and for young people to actually meet other young people, possibly even ones to whom they were not related in order to ensure a relatively low level of horrible recessive gene reinforcement.

The fair in its current incarnation has lost much of the original purpose of entertainment since television and the internet have been invented and risen in popularity.  It’s now a sort of traveling amusement park (though who in their right mind would ride a rollercoaster that was set up by a man named Clem in a couple of hours and is designed to fit onto a flatbed trailer, honestly) and, I suppose, a way for small children to get close to their farming heritage, assuming they have one.

I feel that the urbanization of the population has many and varied blessings associated.  I was very fortunate as a child to live in a fairly built-up area (Kitchener-Waterloo) that was close enough to rural areas (Elmira, St. Jacobs) that I could fairly easily take a school trip to see a cow and some corn without running the risk of being kidnapped and possibly eaten by a group of itinerant Whack-A-Mole drovers.

the falling of two towers