Picture Fair by Hopes and Dreams

Minnesota State Fair - August 24, 2007

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Some squirrels nearby take some acorns and a discarded stick and create acorns on a stick. They laugh their fuzzy gray and red tails off. A large family gets out of the street to meet, apply sunscreen, synchronize watches, negotiate money, and revise schedules of “meeting back up again.” Three more families mimic the first with varying degrees of success. Two more groups march in, carrying blue wooden yardsticks against their shoulders like rifles. I have been to the Minnesota State Fair so many times, and people are always carrying the yardsticks, but I have never seen yardsticks being handed out. I have never seen where they come from. I've come to the conclusion that they are not handed out. People bring their matching yardsticks back from the Yardstick Year. I must've missed that year. They use them to measure how long they've been coming to the fair. This open area is no longer open; it's crowded. The squirrels have retreated to the trees and are chattering about engineering difficulties of an oak tree based acorn catapult. Below them, another group walks through carrying red wooden yardsticks. There must be a battle scheduled sometime today between the red yardsticks and the blue yardsticks. Just before I'm trampled, I get up. As soon as I move, a small half-built catapult crashes down beside me. I could lecture the stupid squirrels on the principles of motion, but instead I take my two paper canoes to the garbage.
                  - from the novel Hopes and Dreams: Stuck on AutoDrive

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