“Fair Brain” Is Definitely Real; Don’t Worry, We Know It
What is "Fair Brain"? Oh boy. I'll tell ya. I'm sure you'll know what I mean quickly.
I've been out at the Fairgrounds pretty consistently over the years with the radio stations. I don't go out there a lot unless it's the actual Missouri State Fair, then you're out there quite a bit. Sometimes we'd have to be out there literally all day every day. I remember having a shift from maybe 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. You'd sit at the booth or play games with listeners all day long.
Nowadays it's different because we're a little short staffed, and because of pandemic concerns. So most of the time somebody is out there for maybe three or four hours at a time as opposed to all day. But. It still happens.
What is Fair Brain? Oh, gentle reader. It may have gotten to you, and you didn't even know it. Well, it's something that happens to people when they've been on the Fairgrounds for a little too long. Maybe they've had one corn dog too many, maybe they've spent too much time in the sun, maybe they've had that beer instead of a bottle of water.... something happens. Things that were obvious to you, normal to you....they're gone. It seems perfectly reasonable to pay fifty dollars to play a game you know you can't win. You can read signs, but you can't comprehend them. Somehow, you never knew you needed a heated vibrating pillow that communicates to you via Morse Code - but now you HAVE to have it! You know facts, but you can't recall them. Deep fried butter is a balanced and healthy snack! You know what you should say, but something else comes out.
Example. During the Fair, we set up a little outpost in front of the Grandstands. Most of the time, we have little freebies you can grab, just like every other booth. But we also sometimes have tickets to concerts or events, and we want to create a memory for you, a fun experience, so you can feel like you earned those tickets. So we'll send you on a little mission, or ask you a trivia question.
This is where Fair Brain really manifests itself. I could have asked you yesterday, "What's the capital of Missouri?" and you'd answer "Jefferson City, of course!". But today, after having been to talk to Otto, after scarfing down three of Dick's corn dogs, after having been on one too many rides... you'll stare at me blankly. You won't know. You'll guess, "Springfield?"
And you'll be wrong. You know you're wrong. We give you another guess. "Kansas City?" Nope. We'll tell you the answer, and you'll say, "Oooooh, I knew that!" Because you did know that. Of course you did. But Fair Brain TOOK IT FROM YOU. That's what it does. Fair Brain robs you of a lot of your functions.
Don't worry, we know. We didn't ask you to make you feel stupid. We know Fair Brain is real, and it happens to us, too. So when you're on the Grounds today or this weekend, be aware that you have to pace yourself...or Fair Brain will strike. Sure, go out, have fun, get some good eats. But be careful. Fair Brain attacks quietly, slowly, viciously. When you get back to normal life, you'll look back and wonder what happened. But now, you'll know. Fair Brain happened.