Ah, yes. ‘Tis hard to believe that it’s been nearly two years since I posted about going to the Texas State Fair, but honestly, it took that long just to save up enough dinero to make a return trip. Last year, our small business loan fell through, which prevented us from partaking of crispy fried goodness, but this year, we worked it out. Economy be damned. Granted, the kids won’t be wearing shoes with soles until after Christmas, and we’re gonna have to see if the cars will run on canola oil and hard wishin’, but it was totally worth it, if just for this:

Confused? Unsure of what the fuss is about? Well, allow me to illuminate things.

Do not adjust your TV; objects in the picture may appear closer than they really are; your mind is definitely NOT playing tricks on you. What your oggling ocular orbs observe is a true wonder unto mankind, an invention rivaled only by the electric light and fresh air. It is, quite simply, chicken fried bacon.

(I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in.)

Chicken fried bacon.

I knew it would be there – the news media usually announce the year’s fried goodness weeks in advance, in order to get people’s taste buds mentally prepared for the burnt offerings (inasmuch as a taste bud CAN be mentally prepared, not having a brain and all). I was already aware of the fried bacon, and it was pretty much the first thing I sought out upon entering the park. But those things, those crispy treats are usually kept in the back of the fair, near the farm animals and the wallet-emptying games of chance. (The basketball games can kiss my monkey ass.) After toiling around for hours, I hadn’t even SEEN anyone eating chicken fried bacon (or CFB, as I now call it), and that struck me as odd…until I got my greasy hands on some.

The first thing I thought when I saw it was “That sorta looks like catfish”. That’s a bad sign, because if you’re expecting bacon but get catfish instead, that’s a beating. Seriously, even if you LIKE catfish, you’ll be pissed if your mouth was all set for bacon and you get the freshwater version of a live vacuum cleaner on your tongue. After watching people purchase the suspicious items, and then seeing their eyes roll to the back of their heads as if they were being fellated by angels who were simulataneously increasing their credit rating and putting the keys to brand new Lexuses (Lexuses? Lexi? Hell if I know), I decided to plunk down my 9 tickets ($0.50 per) to get a batch.

The State Fair people thoughtfully included a multitude of dipping sauces to accompany the CFB. I went with the ranch dressing and ketchup, not really know which would go best with bacon. Uncharted waters, people. Trembling with excitement (and a touch of hypoglycemia), I opened my watering mouth, and accepted the invention of the gods.

I know – I look scared. And I was, a little. Bacon is my staple food, the consumable I love above all others. What if it didn’t tast good? What if it made me sick? How would that affect my deep and meaningful relationship with bacon and fine bacony products? I was a bit apprehensive…but it was bacon. I couldn’t not do it.

And I did it.

And I couldn’t speak. It was hot, breaded heaven. In fact, it was so good, when my kids starting peeking over my shoulder trying to sniff my stash, I completely curled my arm around my food, prisoner-style. I think I even growled once. Sensing danger, they backed away until my body language told them that it was save to approach. I let them try a bite. A small, small bite. Shit, it was GOOD! And expensive. The next time I pay $4.50 for some bacon, it’ll be a whole pack. Of thick-sliced.

Another cool thing at the fair was the Rock Band truck, which tours the nation and gives the common folk the chance to make a minor fool of themselves in front of other people (who were waiting in line to make fools of themselves). Now, since we have the game, my boys are well-versed in the songs, and can even play them pretty well. When they spotted the truck, they were practically in line before we even knew what the deal was. But eventually we got our turn, and the boys picked “Dirty Little Secret” by the All-American Rejects. I was on bass (naturally), 5YO was on drums, and 9YO played guitar and sang, ’cause he gets down like that. And you know what? We totally rocked it.

It was a fun outing – for the kids. I would’ve had more fun too, if money weren’t an object. Don’t even ask me how much we spent that day. Let’s just say that if the government wants me to pitch in on this bailout, they better wait until next Friday to ask, or that check I write them will be very, very springy.