Thursday, July 31, 2014

Weird Times at the County Fair

The county fair started yesterday.  Normally, I don't go.  It's in the next town over from where I live, it's crowded, it's (usually) hot, and I'm an antisocial homebody.  :-)  But now I work a mile or so from the fairgrounds, so that knocks out one of the reasons I don't go, and I can put up with crowds for a little while in exchange for some fair food.  Plus a friend of mine (K) has four kids, three of whom were showing animals at the fair.  Between them, they are 4-Hing (let's see if I get this right): three steers, one very pregnant cow due to pop any day now (and therefore not at the fair), one newly-pregnant (if it took) heifer, and a whole lot of bunnies.

So I figured I'd pop in, say hi to K and her kids, see their critters, eat an elephant ear, and head home.  Well.

I mentioned to a mutual friend of mine and K's (S) that I was going to the fair, and she figured she'd join me.  Awesome!  The more the merrier, and if I have to venture out into the crowds, I'd rather do it with a buddy.  I arrived a little before she was likely to, and strangely enough, happened to go through the gate, and the line at the gate, that a soon-to-be-former co-worker was working at, taking entrance fees.  I chatted with her a little bit, but couldn't for long because, you know...line.

I found one of K's daughters at the beef barn with the younger heifer and chatted with her a bit (the daughter, not the cow so much), headed over to the bunnies, and took in the sites and scoped for foods I wanted to eat.  S texted that she had arrived and was waiting in line to get in, so I headed toward the gate she was at, not too far away.  I headed that direction, and who should I run into but my ex-husband and his wife.  Now, I know maybe thirty people in this region, MAYBE fifty total, and so to run into three people I know without planning to in a span of about 20 minutes was just weird for me.  Anyway, they were there with my son and his stepbrother, as well as other family of theirs, I think.  They told me where I'd be likely to find Nathan so I could say hi to him later, and I was off in search of S.

We found each other, and made our way (checking out the food options as we went) to where our friend K would be.  We found her, but she was tied up working the 4-H burger shack for a while longer.  So S and I wandered off, still not actually eating (we were waiting for K), but checking out the options.  We found the booth Nathan's step-mom's father owns, but N wasn't there.  Oh well--it's not my week to have him, so being able to say hi would've just been a fortunate incident, not something I was counting on, obviously.

We wandered some more, then went back to meet up with K.  She was just coming off of a VERY busy day, and needed to get back to her campsite (4-H is a full time job, so they're staying at the fairgrounds for the entire fair) to do a few things, and told S and me to just go ahead and eat without her.  So we headed off toward food.  And along the way, I saw an all-too-familiar person running through the fair, and hollered at him (using his full name--ha!) and called him over.  I gave him a hug and honestly wasn't expecting much more than that, but he was bored (his dad and stepmom were headed to a concert), so he chose to hang out with me and my other "old lady" friends.  Wow!  Crazy teenage boy!

So we all helped ourselves to some food, shared a funnel cake (yum!) and an elephant ear (YUM!!!).  We sat in the grass to eat our desserts, and I complained about having to keep my money in my back (buttoned) pocket because my front pockets were so shallow.  I said I was okay with keeping my keys or phone in the shallow pockets, as I would hear them if they fell, but cash or a debit card were riskier.

K still hadn't contacted us to figure out where we were, so we headed to the beef barn to look for her.  Found her, and all of her kids, doing their chores at the barn.  Then we all headed back to the food area so K and her kids could eat.  Meanwhile, I realized my phone was missing.  From my shallow pants pocket.  Ugh.  We all traipsed back to where S, Nathan, and I had sat in the grass, and it wasn't there, so the three of us started retracing our steps while K and her kids got some food.  I was glad that of all times to lose a cell phone, at least this was the work phone, for which my plan through work would be ending soon, and I was planning to get a new phone when I got a new plan anyway.  But I was still a bit upset about the prospect of someone else being able to hack into my phone (it does have a numerical lock on it) to get passwords, etc., that I have saved there, but really my biggest issue was not having my phone to play games, play music/podcasts in the car, etc., for the next day or three until I got a new one.

Anyway, we were retracing our steps, and I think it was S who saw police officers and thought to stop and talk to them.  They must've just been talking to some colleagues about the idiot who lost an iPhone at the fair, because they asked me to identify it (boring black case, rainbow photo that I took (not stock) as the background), and immediately knew it was the phone in question.  So they sent me to lost and found, back near the main gate.  We were directly across the fair from there, so we headed in that direction, and quickly located the red "Information" sign to our left, which I'm sure it what they'd told us to look for.

I asked the lady behind the window about my phone, and she gave me a blank look.  Um, is this lost and found?  No, it's not.  She didn't even know where lost and found was (hello?  aren't you supposed to have and dispense "information"?), but she radioed someone, who said it was across the fairgrounds, in the building we had been in when I first realized it was lost, then in front of again when we spoke to the police officers.

So we headed back that direction again, and weren't quite sure where in that building to go, so we asked a security guard, and he didn't know where lost and found was, either.  I guess it was living up to the "lost" part of the name quite well!  We saw a different pair of police officers nearby, and asked them.  They said it was back near the main gate.  What?!?!  No, that lady said it was here.  They sympathized with us and our schlepping across the fair multiple times, and suggested we all figure out exactly where it was before we set off again.  So we went inside the police office with them, and they tracked down where my phone was (indeed, at lost and found) and told us how to get there.  Turns out is IS up near the main entrance, but on the RIGHT side.  Sheesh.  So we traipsed BACK across the fairgrounds again, found the police ambulance thingie, and asked if they were lost and found.  The woman running it clearly was expecting me, so I said I was the one looking for the black "rainbow" phone, and she immediately handed it to me.  She didn't ask me to, but I entered the number code to unlock it just to prove it was mine.

Then, as S and I were turning around to leave, and I was all giddy and pleased with humanity that my phone was turned in and that we'd finally found lost and found, we saw a mom and her roughly 8-year-old son who were reuniting after getting separated, and it brought me right back down to earth and what's really important.

So speaking of sons, mine was with K and her family, who were at the beef barn again, all the way back across the fairgrounds again!  Except now that we'd taken so long to get my phone, they'd actually gone back to her camper, even FURTHER across the fairgrounds.  But that's okay, because we got to sit around at their campsite chatting and enjoying the pleasantly cool (and bug-free!) evening.

When we finally left, it took as long for us to get to the point of making progress TOWARD home instead of away from it as it normally would take me to get all the way home, making the trip twice as long as usual, and putting it at 11:45 when I got home, and well after midnight when I went to sleep.

So, a weird day of running into people I know (a rarity), losing and reuniting with my phone, and communing with friends and critters at the county fair.

No comments:

Post a Comment