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9 Life Lessons Gleaned From Eating Terrifying Fair Foods

#6. Deep-Fried Chicken on a Stick at 1:52 p.m.

To the most obvious question at hand -- "Why a stick?" -- I have no answer. Yes, these are just chicken strips, or "tenders," if you're into that sort of thing, that have been skewered and pawned off on the unsuspecting for $7 a pop. There's no rhyme or reason to it. The breading was made from the strongest of grains, some kind of adamantium wheat flour such that even biting into the thing sliced into the flesh of your gums like a hundred tiny knives. This was what it must feel like to try to eat a chicken while it was in the middle of a cock fight, ankle razors and all.

I opted to peel the shell off of the remaining chicken and sup on the dried-out flesh therein. If I were a homeless man, I would not have been ungrateful to have it. But not being a homeless man, ungrateful I was.

It was time for another break, and that meant more fair shenanigans. At this point it was clear I would not be going on any rides, as doing so would be a cruel punishment for me and those in the splash radius. Instead I did what all white kids from the city do -- I visited the farm animals. Look, it's a goat:

Getting the stink-eye from a goat is a rare treat.

This was the fabled goat of La Mancha. His ears made me laugh, so I endeavored to make him a friend or supplicant, whichever seemed easier. He responded by snotting on my shirt. Look, snot!

"Say, Felix, that's a nice bowling shirt!"
"Thanks!"

I spent the rest of the day with a crusty sheen on my bowling shirt that looked for all the world like I had been jacking off and just didn't have the common courtesy to clean up afterward. Thanks a lot, goat of La Mancha. The friendship has been cancelled.

After touring around the animal world some more, I discovered this guy:

Stupid turtle, you can't climb a fence, you're a turtle!

Is this a turtle attempting to climb a chicken wire fence? Pretty much. I appreciate how completely irrelevant this is, but dammit if it didn't make me laugh when I saw it. Anyway, back to eating!

#7. Obscene Corn Dog at 3:26 p.m.

Just look at it. Look at the scale and the majesty of it. This is what you'll find in Chernobyl Studios porno. It's unwholesome, is what it is. But still, I had committed to doing this and I had yet to find anything as troubling to gaze upon as one of these.

It had been about four hours since I started this adventure, and clearly this was too much food to consume in a single day. Trying to eat this corn dog was literally in my top ten worst experiences ever. So much doughy wiener, just cramming it in my food hole and trying not to cry.

#8. Pulled Pork Sandwich at 5:40 p.m. (At Home)

My efforts to spend the whole day at the fair were dashed on the rocks of gastrointestinal discomfort, as that last corn dog made me feel like the devil had impregnated me with his angry seed and the young'un was suffering from some severe restless leg syndrome deep in my dark, damp places. My only option was to flee to the homestead and ride out my terrible, stupid idea. But I did stop on the way out to grab some pulled pork sandwiches and lemonade.

As you can see, the pulled pork looks a lot like zombie movie special effects or the glistening remains of a once potential-filled man's pride and good sense. However, it was far and away the most delicious thing I ate all day. Make note -- I would push down any elderly personage with impunity should they dare stand between me and this sweet, piggy ambrosia and I would not regret it for a second. It's that good. However, it's also pretty heavy, so you do need a beverage. Good thing I got one!

#9. The Carny's Preposterous Lemonade at 5:45 p.m.

Is it ever necessary to top a drink with an entire fruit salad? My original joke here was about someone drowning Carmen Miranda in the tub, but then everyone would ask who the hell Carmen Miranda is, so I dropped it.

Despite having to harvest the top of this beverage before I could get into it, the rest of it was surprisingly delicious and refreshing. Oh you crazy carnies, you've done it again! The fact that it was a liter of lemonade wasn't doing me any favors, though, and after a solid pound of pulled pork on top of the rest of the day's slop, I was forced to sip slow and lazy like an old lady nursing a brandy.

Out of fair food and with no desire to eat again, I was forced to conclude that, yes, some fair food has thought put into it. Heart, even. Caring. Not all carnies are diabolical purveyors of coronary trauma. One or two of them just want you to be satisfied before you puke on a roller coaster. Good on them.

I didn't gain 20 pounds or vomit in a McDonald's parking lot because I'm not a wanker like Morgan Spurlock. Mostly I just felt like shit for the rest of the night and watched The Goonies. It was a good day.

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Felix Clay

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