Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fresh Piglets and Other Attractions

The Canadian National Exhibition is an annual summer fair.  I associate it with squinting up into blindingly bright sunlight while watching a roller-coaster loop upside-down, getting sun-burned at the air show, and paying ridiculous sums for bottled water.  This year, however, it was cloudy, rainy, and wickedly chilly.  I can assure you that I didn't sweat a drop.

Auntie N and I have a long history of going to the CNE together; she used to take me when I was a kid, when the fair was still gritty and unpredictable.  I remember riding The Flyer with her; a wooden roller coaster that has since been taken down since it did not meet today's standards of either thrills-per-minute or safety.  Mostly what I remember is feeling like I was going to fall out if I didn't hold onto the lap bar with all of my strength (Harness?  What harness?  This was the '80s!) or that, if I did manage to ride it out, all of my teeth would be shaken loose.

When Auntie N and I were at the CNE last year, she decided that for her 60th birthday (this year) she would ride the zip line.  The zip line runs from a platform 125 feet above ground level.  At first it was just an idea, but the more she talked about it the more excited she got, and the more it became a sure thing.   Her:  "I'm gonna do it!"  Me:  "I'll stay down here and hold your stuff!"

We both remembered her promise all year.  When I was on the CNE grounds for the One of a Kind Show before Christmas, I remarked to my mom that I'd be back in a few months to watch Auntie N ride the zip line.  Auntie N told a bunch of people too.

So what do you think happened?  When we arrived on the fairgrounds, the first thing we did was go to the zip line tower to check it out.  It was around twice as tall as I had remembered.  Auntie N took one look at it and was like "No way!  I'm not going up there!"  Later, when she talked to her boyfriend on her cell phone, she told him that she'd changed her mind.  There was a pause.  She told me "He's saying 'Don't be a baby'."  But she stood firm.  No zip line.  I think it was probably for the best.

We had a great time anyway.  We went to the food building to get grossed out by the novelty food.  If I had been hungrier I might have tried the waffle wrapped around a full Thanksgiving dinner, but the burger that's contained within two (!) Krispy Kreme donuts instead of a bun just looked nasty.  We went to the farm building and saw tiny piglets that couldn't have been more than a couple of days old.   We watched little kids lose their ever-lovin' minds when they had a chance to interact with a friendly, singing, "dancing" robot.  Whoever was remotely controlling Ex Bot gets a gold star for improv skills.  I like how he told people "May your batteries always be charged."

My souvenir for the year was this necklace, personalized with a photo of the moon at the phase it was in on on the day I was born.  It even glows in the dark!  Isn't that fun?  I've never seen anything like it before.  Go ahead, get one for yourself, and support a Canadian business.

Maybe I'll ride the zip line when I turn 60.  I don't have to worry about that for a while.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

No invite for me?? I love weird food! Also I was born during a New Moon, but not sure the necklace would look good on me.

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: Okay, next year we have a date. BTW, the Moonglow site has a men's section. I'm sure you can find a customized zodiac pinky ring that the ladies would love.

DarcKnyt said...

Sounds like a great time was had by all with a splash of returning to one's senses tossed it. What tops a day like that? :)

OH, and be careful about discounting how far out 60 might seem from today. It happens before you know it.

LL Cool Joe said...

I wonder if you'll still be blogging when you are 60 and I'll be reading about you on the zip line?

I think I eat novelty food most of the time. ;D

Granny Annie said...

My adventurous spirit isn't gone because it never existed. No zip lines for me....EVER! However if you ever ride one, I'll be mighty proud to know ye:)

Jenny Woolf said...

Oh my goodness, I had to stop when I read about a waffle wrapped around a full Thanksgiving dinner! :D :D

Lynn said...

Sounds like a good old fashioned county fair! A fun time, sounds like.