You've only got a few more days to visit the Gwinnett County Fair. If you haven't been yet, do yourself a favor and go.
My family goes every year. We spent the day there this past Sunday, and as usual, it was a great time.
Where else can you eat a funnel cake, ride in a spaceship, talk to a mermaid, shoot a machine gun, see a giant watermelon and learn about bees, all in the same day?
For you fair newbies, I guess I should explain some of this stuff.
When it comes to funnel cake, go ahead and splurge for the ice cream. Be prepared for the paper plate to sog itself into mush by the time you're finished, and to my fellow diabetics, take your glipizide or insulin ahead of time. In fact, you may want to eat the funnel cake on the sly to avoid the whole, "Your sugar is going to be sky-high," scolding you're sure to get.
The spaceship -- a ride called the Gravitron -- doesn't actually take you into space. It doesn't even leave the ground. It just spins at a high enough speed that centrifugal force gives you the illusion of taking off.
The mermaid? Well, I would tell you to just save your money, but I'm a firm believer that everyone should go through at least one carnie rip-off in their lives. It serves to teach the lesson about a fool and his money, and since it's only a buck, go ahead and do it. If mermaids aren't your thing, they also have a snake woman. But be prepared to laugh, mostly at yourself.
As for the machine gun, it shoots BBs and is chained down to prevent idiocy, but it's still pretty cool to shoot at least once. Be forewarned: You will never shoot out the entire star pattern to win a prize. (See the previous paragraph about learning life lessons.)
Alas, I have heard that some unruly teenagers apparently busted the giant watermelon. And I'm planning on winning the raffle for the bee-keeper's start-up kit, so don't even bother entering that (he wrote in a subliminal attempt to limit the competition.) But you can see a live bee hive.
If you still need convincing, there is a roller coaster, a Ferris Wheel (you can see Stone Mountain and the Atlanta skyline from the top), various sports cars on display, concerts, a livestock show (I petted an ox last year), leatherwork, belt buckles and airbrushed T-shirts for sale. Add to that fresh root beer, chicken on a stick and an art show. (Some of the art is quite good, and if anybody knows if you can buy prints, copies or originals, please shoot me an email.)
They have cotton candy. Pony rides. They even have a clown circus.
If you can't find something cool in all that, you probably hate Christmas. And pizza. And fun.
The fair runs through Sunday. Get there. Have a good time.
Just don't enter the bee raffle.
Email Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.