A week ago today, I met Kellan at the airport and hopped a Raleigh bound flight on account of some unfinished business with the Raleigh DMV. [Operation Becoming a Dickens: Take 83648202947573akjdffa;kjldfda;lkjfdakj;l.
I would have been indignant and possibly slightly dangerous if not for five little words: THE NORTH CAROLINA STATE FAIR.
Home to Turkey legs the size of my head and deep fried erry’thang, and the perfect excuse to wear my cowgirl boots and eat deep friend chocolate chip cookie dough.
Stop looking at me like that.
Given that I’m technically not from North Carolina and haven’t even the slightest interest in biscuits, tractors, hunting or collard greens, the State Fair was a learning experience for me. One of the first times that I went was in college, and some sadistic classmates masquerading as friends took unsuspecting me to a hog race.
I know. That’s a real thing.
Clearly, I hadn’t the foggiest idea what a hog race WAS, which my alleged friends took full advantage of when the hog caller [I know. I KNOW.] asked for volunteers.
With no warning, I was violently pushed to the front of the crowd, where a portly farmer in a John Deer hat grinned and waddled towards me.
Well HAY there, little darlin’!
There must have been something telling in my tentative “hello”, because he knowingly guffawed and belted You’re not from around here, are ya?
Indignantly: No sir!
Undeterred, he commanded me to pick a hawg, honey!
Now of course, was confused. I have very little hog experience on my resume, merely a deep rooted love for teacup pigs which was approximately ZERO help in that moment. Not to mention, I hadn’t the slightest idea as to why on earth I was picking a hog in the first place! With a weak smile, I pointed in the general direction of a rather indifferent looking brown fellow, and it was declared to the watching world that he was my hog.
Several other women were selected from the crowd [the camouflage and bleached hair added a sort of je ne sais quoi to their nomadic group, of which I was clearly not a part], and the pigs were lined up at the starting line.
And then the portly farmer dropped the bomb:
The winner would be crowned the Hog Queen.
He said it with a grin as wide as Montana, clearly believing he was making my day. My heart stopped and the arena started spinning.
My short life flashed before my eyes as camera flashes twinkled like stars. Would I be in the newspaper? Did I need to climb over the fence and race with my pig? Would there be a talent portion of the evening?! DEAR HEAVENS, I WOULD NEVER LIVE THIS DOWN.
Meanwhile, my new blonde compatriots hollered enthusiastically, while my peanut gallery friends turned purple with laughter.
Mercifully, my porker of a pig came in second, nobody had to throw a baton or wear a swimsuit, and the day was saved. Also, given her tearful, Miss America reaction, I believe being crowned the Hog Queen of the North Carolina State Fair was the pinnacle of my new bleached friend’s life.
And really, who am I to take that from someone?