The Cheap Bastard's Guide to the State Fair

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Catherine Downes
The air is thick with the sweet smell of fried Pepcid. The Texas Star Ferris wheel beckons your sweaty butt to its benches. As you read this, a kid is puking up a Fletcher's corny dog on the Midway, just as a yellow-naped parrot bird-diarrheas onto audience heads at the Birds of the World bird show. And somewhere in the depths of this fair-ness, a grandma is flipping off her grandma competitors as she wins a blue ribbon for her jarred sweet pickles for the 10th straight year.

That's right: Fried Christmas is finally, officially here. And this year, you're determined to have a front-row seat as the new Big Tex rises like a Jesus-phoenix from the ashes of his Gus Fring-ed face. You will hug New Big Tex's big-as-Ron Perlman's-big-ass-face boots. That hole in your heart will heal upon his return. And you will immediately reopen that heart hole by shoving booze and fried everything into it.

But if you're not careful, the fair can drain your bank account faster than you can say, "Holy crap, how did I just spend $100 on balloon darts?" Admission is $17. Parking is $15. And all that deep-fried magic? It'll take as many dollars from your wallet as it will years off your life.

Fortunately, I'm a fair veteran and a noted cheap-ass, and I'm here to help you tame this beautiful beast without letting it punch you in the gut place, dry hump your wallet and put its creepy mustache on your bank account's privates. We're about to extreme-coupon the shit out of the fair, y'all. Hold onto your butts.

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State Fair of Texas
All will be revealed.
Yes, it is possible to spend zero total dollars at the State Fair of Texas without pretending you work there or holding it up with the help of your local militia ("I am not playing around here, people. LET ME THROW THIS BALL AT THAT FAKE MILK BOTTLE OR I WILL STEAL EVERY LAST DROP OF THE FRYER OIL IN THIS BITCH"). It also may be the most challenging and fun option (and by "fun" I mean "it'll earn you a fried case of chlamydia").

Here's how it works:

Parking Budget: $0
Park somewhere free -- your favorite hooker's apartment, say, or on the front lawn of some dude who's charging but not you because you showed him your good boob -- and walk to the fair. Considering the caloric damage you're about to do to your insides, the post-fair walk will be necessary anyway. That goes for your toddlers, too, whom you can regale with nostalgic tales of walking to school and back uphill both ways through eight feet of dog shit.

Or just have a friend drop you off. Or just cut the crap and teleport.

Admission Budget: $0
Ask around: Someone's work or school probably scores free tickets, assuming you have friends who work or school. Or bring any Cinemark movie ticket stub -- I'm bringing the stub from when I peed my pants at Blair Witch Project -- and get free admission to the fair on Thursdays. Or go on Dickies Day (October 3) wearing a clothing item with the Dickies logo. It doesn't say you can't print a Dickies logo on a loincloth and get in free, so do that. And immediately Instagrammit.

Food Budget: $0
If you've ever bought a water at the fair, punch yourself in the tit right now. Then open your brain for a second and remember this important informational shit: You can bring your own cooler full of food and drink. No glass bottles, drugs or booze, though, so fill a rolling cooler with a gallon of Goldfish, a 12-pack of Red Bull, some jerky, a stick of Rolos, a brick of Crisco, pita chips and hummus, and you're set for a totally free food day that'll jack your insides up just like a full fried fair day would, but for free-er.

What's that? Chugging a brick of Crisco isn't as romantic as eating fried butter? You desperately want to try Fried Thanksgiving, which just won the award for Most Creative at the 2013 Big Tex Choice Awards, and you want it for free? Hit on a stranger and prepare to pay dearly, possibly in the back of a Yukon in the Automobile Building (Crisco optional).

Rides Budget: $0
Obviously you could go to the fair and ride zero rides and really not miss out on anything (except the chance to vomit a fried-beer buffet on passersby, a cherished fair pastime). But if you're set on riding a ride and not paying for it, an alternative option to our Boning a Stranger for Free Stuff Technique (patent pending) is the oft-forgotten BYOMILF technique.

Step 1: Bring a MILF. If you don't know one, go to Fearing's, ask if anyone has change for a $100, beat the ugliest MILFs off of you (these are also known as just moms you'd like to dry hump, or MILDHs) and take the best one with you in your pocket to the fair.

Step 2: Once you are at the fair with your MILF, ride on her MILFy coattails as she gets free rides just for looking ILF-able. This technique does not -- I repeat, does not -- work with DILFs.


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13 comments
midwstgirl
midwstgirl

Roger the tee shirt comment--I'll take one too, please.    Alice you crack me up I always look forward to reading your articles (blog, commentary...whatever).  You are funny as hell.

easychord
easychord

I laughed throughout this article. Loved it. Can I get an airbrushed State Fair t-shirt of you, Alice?

susanwilliams407
susanwilliams407

<!-- <b> my roomate's mom makes $72/hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for 8 months but last month her paycheck was $17219 just working on the internet for a few hours. her response,,……..Blue48.ℂℴm…..</b>

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reganator
reganator

Alice, I just want to say I love your writing, and I get your humor. <3

Poop4Daddy
Poop4Daddy

This article is worse than my username.

jflkeeper
jflkeeper

Totally agree with ShakingMyHead.  I spent more time commenting than I did reading this mess.  Funny is funny, this is not.

ShakingMyHead
ShakingMyHead

Using words that third graders giggle about doesn't make you witty or humorous.  Once again, I read less than one-three paragraphs and moved along.  Alice Laussade is always the name I find at the top of the page, after I decide to scroll up to find out who wrote the filth that I refuse to keep reading.  Come on guys.


cheapestbastard
cheapestbastard

or could just go when its called summer adventures, even though it was eight million degrees out they had two huge ac tents with a huge sand castle pit and another with thirty lego tables...I took the 4 year old and spent 40 bux for seven hours at the fair..we rode a shit ton of rides and they also had splash parks....40 dollars now would get me near the fair....maybe..gotta check the inflation rate

Joshstruckoutagain
Joshstruckoutagain

Reckon as soon as you start handing out James Beard awards for humor writing, Alice and most of us will give a shit about your opinion.  Opinions are like assholes, errone has one.

scumfuc
scumfuc

@ShakingMyHead go watch fuck dynasty....go give your pastor that drives a escalade some more of your cash....this is satire moron

ShakingMyHead
ShakingMyHead

@scumfuc @ShakingMyHead 

I don't watch Duck Dynasty.  I don't go to church, so I wouldn't know where to find a pastor that drives an escalade to give him cash.  I know what satire is and this is a very poor example, if one at all.  Go read Jonathon Swift's 'A Modest Proposal'.  That's satire.  Hope you have a great day & know that I am certainly not a moron sir.  Much love to ya!

ShakingMyHead
ShakingMyHead

@rolandwarnock @ShakingMyHead  Hmmm trolling...Internet slang.  Had to look that one up in the Urban Dictionary.  Nice!  (Speaking of third graders)  Thanks for the advice though.  I didn't like the article, so I won't be reading it through the end.  The internet thrives on the people's choices.  Choices to leave a remark about bad service at a restaurant, to applaud someone's remarkably clean hotel rooms, etc.  You have an opinion.  I have an opinion.  Get over it!  I'll continue to remark as I see fit.  What are you doing "trolling" the comment section of this article anyway?

rolandwarnock
rolandwarnock

@ShakingMyHead Grow Up! if you don't the article then just don't read it. Trolling is something third graders do which is leaving me wondering why you are not finding this funny. Go right a better article about the fair and give us the link then.


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