The fair offers so much. Rides, fried food, washed up metal acts, pig petting. But you sell something no one wanted or knew about. Crafts. In the August heat with your diabetic socks, oxygen tank in tow and a cigarette dangling between your lips, you peddle your "art." It's a hard sell, but you got the determination and $1.50 refill souvenir Dr. Pepper cup to push through.
Alone you work. Your lifeblood of Lemon Shake-ups, your only support an obese beagle so aged that it can no longer move from beneath your chair. Nothing fazes you. "What is this?" they ask and without batting an eye you answer: "A rock painted with a sports logo." This is the American Dream fractured to the millionth degree. From nothing you make next to nothing. For months you've squatted in your Craft Lair of a basement gluing beads to stuff for this and now it's here! Time for you to monetize third grade art class.
Who knew the diversity and creativity possible within your craft universe. Your card table covered with your creations. A mildewed apple wrinkled and carved into a face. Mismatched socks stitched together and stuffed with plastic bags to form a snake. Gourds. No part of the house is spared from your crafting ambition. There is a decorative pinecone ornament perfect for every moment of one's life. You have the insane ability to see the possible worthless knick-knack hidden within everyday garbage.
And everything on the shelf is half off! Yet people still walk past, ignore you completely. They buy giant turkey legs, they buy air brushed t-shirts. They do not buy your knitted scarves, your homemade silver cleaner. Legend has it that no one bought Van Gogh's work during his life. And though he never made mobiles out of old AOL disks and his desired clientele weren't leaving the Corn Museum in sweat soaked Big Dog T-shirts, I'm sure you can still relate in a way.
The world is simply not ready. This "rustic" John Deere sign is beyond comprehension. These fridge magnets do not fit into their reality. And is this a Top Secret Blueprints!snowman costume for a cement goose? Oh you clever girl, you. This is like the ending to Back to the Future. You sell the worthless trinkets of tomorrow. Perhaps, maybe, our children will love them.
Etsy? Pinterest? Hell no. You take the crafts to the street. Trinkets for the masses. The people need to see this with their own eyes. No webpage can contain this decoupage. A child wants to hit up the bumper cars. Not before seeing the plastic jewels stuck to a plant holder. A morbidly obese man with a tattoo of Daffy Duck wearing a confederate flag t-shirt on his way to the butter sculpture? He passes you first.
In a world where kids don't know how to write letters, where cellphones get upgraded every few months, and where maps are forgotten relics of navigation, it's important to remember you and your little craft booth. It's important to remember that this stuff still exists and still sucks just as much as before and that I should have just slept all day like usual. I hate the fair.
Maria Mitchell is shown holding a telescope to each eye, using them to ogle passing hunks on the street below. OOOGA! Her tongue rolls out like a firehose, her eyes comically bulging through the ends of the telescopes.
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