The State Fair starts next week, and there are some things you need to know. Such as:
1. It doesn’t really start next week. I just wanted to remind you how you’ll feel about summer in a few weeks.
2. Taking a page from the Aquatennial, the fair has downsized to three days, and will be held at the Xcel center. No, that’s not true. Sorry. Nor is it true that the name “The Great Minnesota Get-Together” has been changed to “The Be-Around the General Vicinity of Others” because Scandinavians are uncomfortable with physical closeness.
3. Selfie sticks will be banned in certain places. This is true. Promise. They are banned in Ye Old Mill, because the boat could whip around a curve and you’d bang it on the wall and put it through your eye socket. Given that the boats move at the pace of a dry slug making its way across sandpaper, this is unlikely.
They’re banned on the Sky Rider, because one of you is sure to drop it and impale someone. If there’s one thing you don’t want “on a stick” it’s actual fairgoers. I was standing next to a ride a few years ago when a cellphone flew out and shattered on the pavement with such force everyone in the contacts file got splitting headaches, so I know people can’t be trusted to secure their possessions. On the other hand, if you are impaled by a selfie stick, you could use it to e-mail a picture to 911. #hurry #morphinesmoothie.
But they’re not banning yardsticks. Every year at the fair you see people with yardsticks, as if they got up that morning in Pipestone or Kasson and said, “Well, Mabel, time to head to the Cities and see what they got that’s 3 feet long exactly.” Or they get them at some booth that serves people who regard tape measures as a newfangled invention that ain’t got a patch on some good straight wood. The devil’s tongue, that’s what we call ’em.
An enterprising inventor might figure out a way to sell adapters that turn yardsticks into selfie sticks, and there’s nothing they could do about it. You’ll take my yardstick from my cold, dead hand!
Actually, it would slip right out. Fair food can be on the greasy side.