This past Saturday I went with my family to the 'Great Minnesota Get Together'. Again. It is an annual ritual to endure no matter how busy we become. As we get older, the State Fair continues to be a mutual satisfaction.

This year's main attraction for me was neither a band, booth, or ride. Rather it was a french-fried potato, wrapped around a hot dog, on a stick. I had heard of it first listening to a local sports radio show at the Fair. I envisioned thick-cut french fries, wrapped around a massive hot dog (that would make the Dome Dog run and hide), centered on a stick. Though I had other interests, including Minnesota wines, the acquisition of the "Texas Tater Dog" was foremost.

We had our fun. We ate too much. We walked too far. While I confess I hate the crowds, I have been willing to suffer each year for the food and fun. As it grew darker, and my party weary, we decided it was time to return home. My family was aware of my quest for the Tater-Dog, so I was sent off alone on my mission, to rendezvous at the entrance. Without too much effort, and the assistance of a well placed information booth, I located the excitement du jour.

I was surprised to see no line at my most desired stop. I ordered and received my fare within minutes. The meat was long enough, but I was dismayed to find the potato was a spiral cut (that means not much potato). The meat it turned out was a shriveled (coarse) sausage, and not a succulent hot dog full of whatever makes them so tasty. Duped.

Reality was not the illusion I had built for myself. I was left nauseous.

Brett Favre comes to the Minnesota Vikings in 2009. I have thoroughly enjoyed this preseason since his arrival. Other than the local announcers from Channel Five trying to shove the inevitable Super Bowl down my throat, it has been an enjoyable start. I think they want us to make Miami reservations in September. Avoid the rush.

Favre may end up being the perfect treat. A concession like the Fair's Fudge Puppies, Deep-Fried Snickers, or the classic Pronto Pup. Man, those are good. If Favre is a Fudge Puppy, we will win for sure. I look forward to the Sundays ahead. I have hope for an even better outcome than 2008. But I am not so disillusioned as on Saturday. Anything on a stick can be a risk.

Lord knows we Vikings fans have had our share of Tater-Dogs taking snaps.


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