The Big E

It was worth taking the day off from work today to avoid the crowds at The Big E. Katie and I left at the leisurely hour of 10:30 this morning and found ourselves on the Mass Pike around 11am-just about the time I would have been involved in an inventory reporting meeting at work.

Parking was ample in Gate 9A and only $5 for a straight shot to the entrance. Katie commented on the lack of RVs and I commented on what a waste of money it would be to buy a program as we were entering the gates.

Our first little adventure was the free admittance to Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Upon entering, we saw three large LCD televisions displaying a video about soon-to-be extinct Cheetahs and I immediately walked forward to check out the surround sound. I thought they were using a Bose Lifestyle system, but it turned out I wasn't too observant because the words "JVC" were plastered all over the media exhibit. ( I was wearing my sunglasses in the darkened jungle exhibit) Of course, Katie thought I was being odd about just walking up to the electronics until I explained why I was so focused. We sat for about five minutes watching the presentation and then moved inside for the exhibit.

It was pretty lame. About the only excitement I had was seeing JVC couldn't provide outdoor speakers! (I just so happened to notice as we were entering and exiting the exhibit that there were Bose Freespace 51 environmental speakers carefully hidden amongst the fake flora. Hooray for Bose!)

There was so much food everywhere and it smelled so damned good. Everything was fried, great chunks of flavorful meat on sticks were around every corner and the cotton-candy was fluffier than pillows. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. I don't know what I was holding out for as we walked through the fair grounds. But it seemed like all I could do was focus on the food.

We did the traditional walk-through of all the state houses and I did my best to avoid standing in line for a Maine baked potato. I didn't buy the Maple Sugar cotton candy in the house of Vermont, but I did buy a $3.99 bag of Pez in Connecticut. We came close to buying a Strawberry Shortcake in Massachusetts, but kept on walking. Katie secured some lottery tickets in New Hampshire for her mom and I forgot to buy the fudge.

The Big E has lots and lots of outdoor shopping. Although I've never been to Las Vegas, I'd liken the experience of shopping there much like the over stimulation you'd expect in Vegas. It's very easy to just wander from place to place talking yourself out of buying things such as decorative mail boxes in the shape of a tractor wheel and cleverly designed expensive bird houses.

We passed a performance by Maxine Nightingale this afternoon and she sounded great. Katie appreciated one woman who was walking and decided to stop mid-stride so she could get her groove on during a disco tune. We also saw a brief performance of JIGU-Thunder Drums of China.

As we neared the threat level of extreme hunger, we went inside The Better Living Center for some perimeter eating. We eventually landed on a spot that had comfortable seating. I had a cheeseburger and a strawberry slushy. I managed to drip a HUGE gob of ketchup just to the left of my crotch while downing the burger and Katie dropped a dollop of BBQ sauce on her denim jacket while eating her chicken nuggets.

We wandered around looking at all the stuff to buy. I found a booth that sold outrageously ugly and comical ties for men. I bought Spencer this hideous tie that had fat, happy pigs being dumped into an Uncle Sam hat and coming out as sausage links. It was so bizarre that I just had to buy it. As an incentive to buy more ties ($12.95 for one, 2 for $20), I bought him a tie featuring books on bookshelves thinking it would be cute for him to wear at the library. It wasn't until I was paying for the ties did I look more closely to see the books actually were religious in nature.

We used the ladies room in the Better Living Center which was so much better than a Port-A-Potty. We encountered an attendant who had a knack for rhyming for her guests. Here are some of her choice phrases:

  • "Ladies, take your time. I don't mind."
  • "Rest your feet, enjoy your seat."
  • "I know a man made the bathroom stall, that's why it's so small."
  • "Thank you lady in brown for using the best bathroom in town" - directed at me as I tipped her a buck in honor of her cheerfulness.

After leaving the Big E, we had dinner at The Outback and ended up coming home around 7pm. It was a long day, but worth it.

You can click here to see all the photos I took today at the Big E, too. Enjoy.

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