In Which I Pig Out At the Fair… and pour a lot of milk

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Tony Oliva pitches wiffle balls to little kids, minutes before he SIGNS MY HAT!

Yesterday was my annual trip to the Minnesota State Fair with two major highlights: Tony Oliva signed my Twins cap (!!!!!!!) and I poured over a thousand glasses of milk while working the All-You-Can-Drink Milk booth.
Plus, I ate a lot of food… the annual list:

  • Cheese Curds
  • Mini-donuts
  • Deep Fried Mac and Cheese on a Stick
  • Honey Sunflower ice cream — possibly the best thing I ate
  • Scotch egg
  • Milk (two glasses only — 1000+ poured)
  • One (free!) chocolate milk shake (in exchange for pouring all the milk)
  • Ginger Beer
  • Sweet Martha’s Cookies (actually, still eating them as I type)
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Four hours of pouring over 1000 glasses of milk!

My dad, as an employee of the University of Minnesota Ag School, was notified of the sign ups for volunteers to work the milk booth. Given that paying my dollar and consuming a lot of dairy is one of my annual highlights, it seemed fitting that I should give back and work a four hour shift pouring milk. In return, my mother and I got free admission to the fair, a T-shirt, a hat, all the milk we could drink (but not during our shift, which severely cut back the amount I drank) and one free item from the dairy barn (of which I picked a chocolate milk shake).
Despite my currently still sore right shoulder, working the booth was a ton of fun. My favorite customers were the elderly couple who very calmly drank four glasses each (him white, her chocolate) before waving goodbye and saying “See you next year.” I got the feeling they’d been doing that for 50 years (which is possible — the milk booth first opened in 1955). Another highlight was the little girl who, upon prompting her for her favorite dairy product, responded “Pizza!”
“That’s not really dairy,” I told her.
“No, but it has dairy on it!” she said.
Smart kid…
And for the other highlight of the day… over behind the Twins booth was a small “stadium” where I noted some kids playing wiffle ball. My mom wanted to skip it, but I insisted that we go look. And who should be pitching to the kids, but Twins great and should-be-Hall-of-Famer Tony Oliva! We stayed to watch him toss a few wiffle balls and then he left the “field,” walking right by me. I suspect because I was wearing my Twins hat and 2009 Central Division Champions shirt, he patted me on the arm as he walked by and said, “How you doin’, babe?” After calling my dad and getting a message to pass along, we followed him into the Twins booth where he started chowing down on some cheese curds. Someone else asked him to sign a book, so I decided that was a good time to ask him to sign my hat, which he graciously did.
“My dad says to tell you that the Cuban sandwich at the Tony O’s stand at Target Field is really good,” I told him.
He, with a mouth full of cheese curds, made the “Let me finishing chewing” gesture before saying “Thank you!”
Highlight of my year, I tell you.
Then we went off to the Minnesota Public Radio area where Garrison Keillor was giving an interview for the Midday show. What a Minnesotan day!

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3 responses »

  1. I am so jealous of your state fair experience. We obviously don’t have such awesomeness here. But I am planning to go to the big E (new england fair) in a few weeks if you’re interested at all!

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