Despite protestations that I was never going to attend a fair again (too many times going to fairs convinced I was going to have a good time, only to puke up blue cotton candy or spend an obscene sum of money to get sunburned and nauseated by beer and deep-fried snickers which seemed like an awesome combination at first but then my friends wanted to go ride a spin-y ride and then I got sick (FAIRS ARE BAD PLACES FOR THE WEAK OF STOMACH), or one time I got yelled at by a cop in the parking lot who slammed his hand down on my car and screamed "DON'T YOU KNOW THE RULES OF DRIVING IN MINNESOTA??" -- this is what fairs do to people), I was easily persuaded to attend the Pima County Fair with @theKFoss by 1) The promise of a free admission pass and 2) Being told that Boyz II Men were the featured entertainers.
Of course, I remembered almost immediately a reason I do stay away from fairs: rides that make can me pukey and discriminate against odd numbers:
|This is why fairs are bad for a teenager's self-esteem. It's a very restrictive model!|
It was also quite hot at first -- I guess it was the earliest day on record that Tucson has hit 100 degrees.
But gradually, as it became clear that I wasn't going to puke up blue cotton candy or cry over being a single rider (vast improvement over fairs of teenager-hood), I began to enjoy myself. Night fell, and night has the magical ability to turn to fairs from depressing places to magical, neon-lit tabernacles of delight.
Plus, there are funny signs.
This is the Tucson company that I think is responsible for my love of weird signs in the first place:
I intend to post this whenever I write about someone I dislike:
There was a lot of deep fried food, as per uze:
|Um, isn't a deep-fried burrito just a chimichanga?|
However, I do already have TWO disco sticks (EVEN THOUGH I DO NOT HAVE ONE WITH A STAR ON IT), so I refrained from purchasing this beauty, which was the fair-inflated price of $10.
Then I realized that for $10 I could buy a plastic gun that shot bubbles. So I naturally purchased this ASAP:
It was very exciting.
Now, my friend Katie, pictured right, is extremely photogenic, to an almost spooky degree. Like there are pictures of her looking elegant and beautiful under almost every extreme condition: "Look! I look beautiful and composed on top of a mountain in Peru!" "Look it's the dead of winter in Bavaria and I look adorable!" So in almost every picture of Katie I've ever seen, she looks composed, elegant, and ethereally lovely, because she's actually an age-less vampire and is eventually going to have to kill off this "Katie" persona when she realizes that other people are beginning to notice that she never, ever grows older or looks less than flawless.
So you understand how awesome all this has to be to make Katie lose her cool, just a little bit.
AND the following two pictures are probably the greatest two pictures of Katie ever taken. She looks so happy!
BOYZ II MEN.
Here's a clip of BOYZ II MEN PLUS BUBBLES! I don't mean to boast, but the cinematographical effect I've created here with my Iphone and a bubble gun is pretty epic:
As Katie pointed out (as we live-tweeted during the show; yes, we tweeted each other standing two inches away from each other):
Reasons Boyz II Men make best county fair concert ever:
1) They had like, five big hits, not just one -- so you're not waiting for "the one" part of "the one" song, like the episode of The Simpsons where Homer goes to the State Fair and the gets pissy with Bachman-Turner Overdrive: They're all, "We're going to play some old favorites, but also some new stuff..." and Homer is like "Just play "Takin' Care of Business"!....Skip to the 'workin' overtime' part!"
2) Plus, they seem realistic about their place in their career; they kept mentioning how grateful they were to still be making music, that their music was for "the old and young", that it was "awesome to see people out there with kids, raising them on Boyz II Men music" that they were "going to take you on a trip through time". There was no overt bitterness about having hit the state-fair-circuit part of their career, just gratitude to still be around and an instinct for what people actually wanted out of the show. They did a brief tribute to Motown and Michael Jackson, spaced out their big hits, eased a few plugs for the new CD (a combo of hits and new stuff), name-checked Tucson like ten-times, handed out roses to the crowd during "I'll Make Love to You" and in general were just consumate pros. One can only hope New Direction has as much perspective, energy, and ability to keep working in twenty years. Somehow, I doubt it.
3) There were only three of them onstage, as I guess Michael McCary (the really, really, really deep-voiced one) left --according to Wikipedia, because of back problems resulting from scoliosis. If that's true, shout-out to my peeps with scoliosis! Sorry, dude.
Anyway, the three remaining members are Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris (apparently not related, just a coincidence?), and Shawn Stockman. Or, as I always privately thought of him, the kinda funny-looking one.
I mean, c'mon. It's not that he's a bad-looking dude. It's just that in the videos he always seemed a little awkward compared to the others. I think it's also the skinny-plus-stick-out-y ears thing.
However, it turns out that in performance, he's the one that speaks the most and is clearly more-or-less in charge. He's also surprisingly charismatic.
Look, he even brought a baby onstage during "Mama." As you can hear me shrill-y observe in the background, "This dude should be a politician!" Seriously, he knows what's up. And he looks much hotter now than he used to! Burn on the other members, cause he got cuter.
But they can all still dance:
BOYZ II MEN:
Before and after the show, we played games, and people who are not me won prizes. The selection of prizes was impressive!
There were racist bananas:
AND racist chiles
But, perhaps to make up for it, there was a quarter-toss game called the "Rainbow of Happiness"
After a balloon-popipng game, there was some intense debate over whether to take away a racist banana or a pink whale for a prize:
I was like "RACIST BANANA! RACIST BANANA!" but he was all
And then there was a sudden switch for a blue cat and a lobster:
Who promptly started making inter-species love:
And Priya was pretty happy with the whole thing:
I document everyone's presence at the BoyZ II Men concert for posterity (skip to :55):
Also, watch itty-bitty Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake dance to "Motown Philly"!: