State Affairs at The State Fair, But Mostly Friendship Is Important.
“Gang Goes to The Big E”, That is what Dan named our Facebook group for our group trip to the Big E. I think he made it like way back in July or June, We were all so pumped to go. The year prior me and some of my closest bros went to the Big E, which for those of you wondering, “hey asshole what’s the Big E, you haven’t explained what that is, and yet you keep referencing it! Would you please elaborate on what this Big E thing is?!?!?!”, 1st off, please relax, 2ndly of course!The Big E, as it stands today, is the Eastern States Exposition, and according to Wikipedia and a lady at the farmers market “New England’s Great State Fair” Which is a pretty apt billing, It is just one giant state fair, but for the New England states. It has a carnival, a lot of crazy food vendors, a small series of State Buildings, a big ole flea market, and a lot of beer. I feel as though that description explains perfectly why me and my chums drove 2ish hours west to the lonely farm city of Springfield MA where there is nothing but fields and sky. Whatever, I just sat back down and it’s time to talk about friendship and The Big E.
You see my darling reader, I go on adventures, it’s what I like to do. I go to concerts for bands I’ve never heard of at any weird or classic venue, I go on hikes up mountains and gorges by lakes and waterfalls and forests with beasts all about, I wander cities old and new cavorting about and discovering new food and drink at each establishment I “hop” to. I do all of these things for 2 reasons, and 2 reasons only, 1. I have a zest for life and I enjoy seeing and doing new things it’s fun, also it’s pretty easy to entertain me, and 2. My friends are always with me when I do them. Seeing the most beautiful lake in all of Canada, tasting a new jolly rancher infused beer, and watching the twilight of one band and the birthing of another, mean very little to me if I can’t at a later date look across from me and relate my nostalgia to my dear friend who was there with me. I went to the Big E last year as well because a friend of mine wanted to, and we brought a group a great bros to go see a state fair and a smashmouth concert at said state fair. It was awesome. So let’s talk about the round 2, the sequel, the exodus from this trip that happened This September(I had to change this from last month, to this September because I dragged my heels writing this).
Dan, as I said called us to order early in the summer to the looming storm that was The Big E, (Note: I like stormy weather, so “Looming Storm” is a positive metaphor, deal with it.), ahem, The looming storm that is The Big E was soon approaching. We all jumped at the chance to adventure back out to the western reaches of our state to enjoy the State Houses, The wacky food, and a concert that would be announced in the coming summer. The concert in question was Reel Big Fish, which was actually kind of perfect for all of us, we dig skaaa music. So the core 5 of us from our original adventure and a couple new faces we gladly added to the roster plotted for a future trip. September slowly approached and the summer blessed us all with it’s kind distraction until every once in a while Dan would post in the event page about the food offerings or maps, or some other Big E related news. Suddenly the day was upon us, and barring some last minute cancellations and a big doofus dunderhead setting his google maps app to avoid tolls which extended his and his passengers drive by a whole 45 minutes because I was just trying to check on how bad the trip would be without tolls to see if I needed my EZ PASS AND IT ALL JUST KINDA HAPPENED AND BY THE TIME I REALIZED IT WASN’T JUST AVOIDING TRAFFIC I HAD DRIVEN THROUGH LIKE 11 DIFFERENT NO NAME TOWNS!!!!!!!!!! whew. My apologies, but like, that shit stressed me out fam. Anyways, We had arrived!
With our arrival came drinking some whiskey nips on our walk from the grass parking lot, and entering the fairground and buying cold beer almost immediately, In my car was Matt, Sean, Nic, and Carm! Ryan and Dan had already arrived and they were meeting up with Dan’s college buds. So while we waited for them, we went to get some fairground poutine, which I will discuss in the next paragraph on food, and if you like poutine click on any of the words “Poutine” in this post, as I have now decided while writing this that I will hyperlink my blog post about poutine to all of them, am I a monster, a blogging genius, or do I just like the word hyperlink? You decide! So we grabbed poutine and chilled out and our group became united! But soon, we wouldn’t be.DUN DUN DUN.
But let’s take a break from this semblance of a plot to go through all of the food we ate at the Big E! I’m gonna list them so I can organize my thoughts. Blogging is hard, well not really, but like organizing my thoughts is actually hard and that’s a part of blogging. sooooo…..
If you’ve read my former poutine blog post, then you know I have a borderline addictive love for poutine, it’s just the absolute tits. and poutine being a messed up dish of fries cheese curds and gravy you can top with quite literally anything, and bacon being a topping you can top on quite literally anything, it just works. Is it a marriage of convenience? Maybe, did I slog it down like a voracious beast, you know it. It was delicious, although, I would argue that it was a poor first food choice for the Big E, I needed to be more drunk to ignore how full my stomach was getting, and the poutine just filled me up, made eating new and weird food the rest of the day a little tricky.
You ever get that toy you wanted from the Toys R Us (RIP) catalog and you were so excited and then you start playing with it, and it is not nearly as cool you thought it’d be, looking at you Shell Shocker… actually na Shell Shocker was rad as heck. fuck. Anyways the Taco Chompers were basically Fried Taco Balls, Taco -centric croquettes? , and like the term “Taco Ball” has me sold already, I would argue that eating the poutine like not even an hour earlier really hurt my ability to enjoy this set of 5 balls of tacoy goodness. But they were aight but not really worth the stomach space they took up. Taco balls are definitely a Taco Bell menu item hopeful, if this were some kind of fast food tryout.
DILLY DILLY DOG.
With a memey joke name like Dilly Dilly Dog and this thing being served at a giant state fair you knew on context alone that this Bad Larry was gonna be good times. Plz allow me to define the Dilly Dilly Dog. First you take a hot dog then you put it in a cored out pickle, and then deep fry it Corn Diggity Dog style. Thus you have a Dilly Dilly Dog. It was disgusting, it was too much, it was perfect. Honestly a great treat, went great with ketchup and mustard, albeit difficult to get my tiny mouth around.
Pie 1 Pumpkin.
I can’t properly describe in words here about the euphoria one goes through when eating a moolicious farms pie, so here is a set of pictures of me enjoying the pie. Enjoy.
Pie 2. Pecan.
Ok but let’s actually talk about the amazing pie of Moolicious Farms, just authentic farm fresh ingredients in a toasty warm pie, with a friendly dollop of iced cream, married in your mouth whole leaving with you the sweet and tranquil pleasure that takes you to a dessert fantasy dreamscape. I fucking love pie, and I cannot stress enough, that Moolicious Farms of Southwick MA, make one of the best pies in the game. I went back for a Pecan Pie I shared with Dan.
Sean got corn, Sean really likes Corn.
Ok so after we had gotten poutine, we went into the big exhibition tent building. It’s a warehouse flea market. It is riddled with a lovely theatre of Infomercial sales pitches, kitschy and quality crafts, as well as your odd and unique antiquities and furnishments one can only find at a state fair flea market. It was around this time Dan separated from us and went off with his college friends, and I began getting much drunker. Honestly I was bummed at the time that Dan went off on his own, but I reflect on it, and I get it. I did not spend a lot of time with Dan during the rest of the day but he got to hang out with all of his old college buddies, people he barely gets to see. For those who aren’t familiar with the weird hyperbolic time chamber that is College or are still presently experiencing it. You create some of your greatest and strongest friendships in a fairly short period of time. You then leave the time chamber and you return to a world where no time has really passed and you reconnect with old friends from before, and you go off to take on the world and that sends you and those you grew close with to where you came from and to where you’re going and you suddenly realize… A lot if not most of those freshly departed loved ones are going to walk paths that no longer involve you, or follow paths that are just very geographically far from you. You lose touch, you miss them, and you wanna pick the phone up, but you get back from the office, and you gotta get to the gym, or watch that show, and it’s ok you have a group chat with them in it, and you follow them on Insta so you can make sure their ok. But it’s different. you know it’s different. So yeah… Bit of a tangent there, but I think when you lose touch with good friends it’s a very lame situation. So Dan hung with his college friends and caught up and reconnected with loved ones. He like many of us young adults and like many college grads and young professionals to come, is just trying to fight off the inevitable dwindling of his circle of companions, I do it every day, I imagine anyone of age reading this can relate. adulthood is a trial of loss and growth. We’re in the hyperbolic time chamber and we don’t realize it and when we leave time moves so cruelly and callously fast that I’m in my 3rd year removed from college and I can’t help but realize some of the people I wanted to introduce my kids too don’t even know about my new job…this was supposed to be a piece about a great adventure with good friends, and I’ll finish it. But hold dear the times spent with those you’ve chosen as companions because like all things that are human, they are temporary and fleeting.
So after the flea market, and existential crisis, someone who will remain nameless but identified as not me, couldn’t handle the September heat paired with the day drinking.So we had to splinter a little, but some of us found our way to the state houses! This is my favorite part of the Big E. As an expo of all the goods and produce of the New England states, each building (State-Building) is devoted to a state ( A New England State) each one offering up the produce and goods that are commonly found and are the lifeblood of the state they hail from, Vermont has a syrup and flannel, Massachusetts has apples and Chowder, They all have beer, and it’s just a really good time. I recommend it simply because it helps you to understand the rich tapestry of cultivational merchantry that is the New England way. Plus theres just a lot of cheese and fruit and lame slogan t-shirts so theres something for everyone. I got really drunk and ran to the state houses and napped under a tree outside the rhode island building until my friends found me, it was very relaxing and was just what I needed to bounce out through the rest of my day,
Not to be abrupt but I feel like I’m done writing this piece. I took too long writing it, and it just annoys me now. All in all I recommend the Big E, it is a full day of seeing cool and interesting things, buying some interesting things, day drinking, crazy food tasting, fantastic, and I honestly should go into more detail, but honestly, AMAZING PEOPLE WATCHING. As some final notes and lessons to take away from the Big E, or at least my experience.
- Hydrate while you day drink
- Don’t ride elephants, unless like it’s your pet elephant and you treat them very well, or you and the elephant are personal friends, circus elephants and fair elephants are not your friends and aren’t treated that well.
- Remember to make sure your GPS isn’t set to avoid tolls.
- Friendship is magic we create and sustain, it’s costly at points, but ultimately invaluable.
- you can literally fry anything and eat it, follow your taste buds and ignore your intestines.
Thank you for reading my Blog it’s good to be back. Sorry I didn’t tell you about how the whole day ended with a concert by Real Big Fish, but that’s show biz baby!