Today's winning entry for our Indiana Jones DVD giveaway contest, Noah Wiese of Washington, D.C., discovers adventure can strike even in the most unlikely of settings.
As streams of crazed children rushed past me and humid, greasy air filled my lungs, I knew I had to make a choice: run or fight. All around me harsh lights melted into a noisy cacophony of sensory overload. My mind reeled. But if I wanted to make it out of this freak show alive, now was the time to act. Adrenaline rushed through arteries constricted by fried Twinkie consumption as I pushed through the mob and stumbled toward the grandstands.
How in God's name did I end up here? Blind drunk and half crazed at the Iowa State Fair. And more importantly, how would I get out?
Driven by an impending sense of dread, I moved past the Cyclone roller coaster and towards something called the "Butter Cow." After what seemed like an eternity of bib overalls and stale Bud Light smell, I could finally see the stage, where an unrealistically large man wielded a guitar dwarfed by his frame. I was trying desperately to get my bearings by a dilapidated turkey-leg cart when an attractive but mysterious woman approached me.
"What took you so long?" she asked.
"Um, hello ma'am, what can I do for you?" I replied tentatively.
"I'm your wife, you idiot. What's wrong with you?"
I eyed her suspiciously.
"Ugh! I knew I shouldn't have left you alone in the beer garden. Alright, try to pull yourself together. It's time for us to go," she said, shaking her head.
Though still disoriented, I followed her out. As I took one last look over my shoulder, I reflected on the epic struggle I had just endured, and thought that one day I would surely sit the grandkids down and tell them the story of my great escape from the Iowa State Fair.
Photo: The Iowa State Fair, by Ryan Caiazzo via Flickr