By Mark David Blum, Esq.

Lights; bright and blinking, shatter before your eyes. Colors, of every shade and hue compete for attention. Muzak and jazz and rock and the blues all come at you at once. Once inside, you are trapped. Every person and thing shows the same mercy as a roulette wheel and as much love as a downtown hooker. You feel just as good and satisfied.

That is the Fair. At least that has been the “Fair” for me. It has had its hand in my pants and down my pockets since the day we met. Any explanation mirrors that of any addict to any substance. We see it on the face of someone in love. “Dumbstruck as a Dumfuk”.

If pressed, I could tell you the date and time I met the Fair and reportedly fell in love. From the year my wife and I moved here and since, we would engage in our annual trek of hoggish slog and see and do all from the hares to the snares. It was always one day; generally in the afternoon, and usually cost a lot more than expected. Yet, notwithstanding the experience, it was always good to be walking the walk of the dead back to the car at the end of the day (assuming you can find it).

But to make my confession complete, you have to understand that at the time we met, I was at a vulnerable point in my life. Back in 2002, my license to practice law had been suspended and work was hard to come by. Every job interview started with the same question asked by a “Dumbstruck as a Dumfuk manager: “With this resume, you want to shovel shit and clean up garbage?” Every response was the same. “I have to feed my family”.

So I was hired by the company that got the contract to clean up the garbage from the fairgrounds. It was a company that engaged in large projects like multi mal site snow removal and parking lot sweeping. The Fair was a new area for them and they were obviously desperate enough to hire me. I was anointed “Supervisor”, given a golf cart, and had to spend ten paid hours driving around and picking up trash bags in my trailer. I would whisk it away to a dumpster and return to my zone. My peeps did a good job and handled it all; even the Clintons and a last minute catastrophe one morning. (Hey, it can happen).

The work was disgusting, dirty, hot, miserable, and stanky. I hated doing the job but really made a good time of it. I learned how to spend hours driving around doing nothing. I would have to sit sometimes for hours with nothing to do. I am a nosey curious person and everything became my business to know or find out. Most relevant was that I met the large unseen world of people who worked and staffed the Fair. To the average Fairgoer, the Fair is a superficial 3 dimensional experience where you use only your five senses.

There is another large gathering of people around. Temporary workers, travelling workers, Fair and vendor employees, employees of every State and local agency, who along with their friends, family, suppliers, delivery companies, and the animals all live and exist behind the scenes. From my golf cart, I saw this world. In my job I was part of that world. Knowing I would not having to do this job for the rest of my life made it bearable. The best way to describe it is like the time as President of the Chamber of Commerce, I was invited to ride in the Manlius parade. It was a wonderful experience I never want again. Though I rode IN the parade, I never SAW the parade. Being part of the show allows you access to the show’s production but commands your performance in the show.

In the period of months that went by after the garbage fair, I met a group of folks who wanted to put a booth at the Fair. Also, during the intervening months my license was returned. A job was available to run their booth. It was all the fun and none of the garbage job and though I just got my license back, I needed the income. Throw Jeff Kramer into the mix and long story short, doing so gave birth to “Rat Tales” and everything you read in it since 2003.

This tale has to come to a close. It is time to bring our relationship to an end and say “goodbye”. Ours has been an intense pairing that I know paints a beautiful landscape of desire. Though there is only one “me”, I am also one in a million. You are now a part of my history and a part of everything I will be. These past summers have been special. Nothing in my life will ever be the same.

But, I want my life back. My love for you kept me from my family. I want to go home. I am tired. My life has changed since I first wrote Rat Tales. So too my relationship with the Fair changed. We are not what we once were. Having changed in so many ways, keeping up appearances is a problem. I need a divorce.

Not from anger or betrayal do I make this plea. But it must be made. Let our last moments be what they were and stop there. Time commands we let go and move forth. So much money has been spent and time and fluids of every nature have been spilled, you cannot call me a fraud.

I don’t know how the years have weathered me. But one look from me and I know in my heart you will survive this move. I won’t survive if I don’t let go and move on. My life and my family need me back. My health can’t take it and it is a financial drain.

Nothing can ever take away the magic or the memories that we have shared. But the game became life. It has been a couple of years that I have been involved with you because I had to do it. The last few editions of “Rat Tales” show how weary from all the days and nights Fair dear and I spent together. Which world is “real” and which is a game is difficult to balance. I must return my life to normal and to my normal life. My personal and financial health must rest.

Fair dear, we must move on. You have a life of great adventures and amazing people to capture and dominate. I too must move on. We are done and you must fly on down the road. Me, I will return to the life given up. Though our paths may cross over the years or you ever need my professional services, please feel free to call, please let us part in peace.

Thank you for everything.

Some pig, huh?

Back to The MARKBLUM Report Back to Rat Tales Home

It is always a far better thing
to have peace than to be right.
But, when it is not,
or when all else fails


P.O. Box 82
Manlius, New York 13104
Telephone: 315.420.9989
Emergency: 315.682.2901
E-mail: mdb@markblum.com

Always, at your service.