JARED’S NOTE: This idea is as original as my previous charitable fundraising challenges. All credit should be paid to Dr. Brian P. Moritz, Ph.D., my friend, best man and eldest child.
FACT: I haven’t been to the Great New York State Fair in about a decade….2006 sounds right.
FACT: I hate the Great New York State Fair with the power of 1,000 at least 500 suns.
“I can’t believe you don’t want to go to The Fair. It has everything you like: weird foods, beer, strange people.”
That’s the typical response I get when I tell someone that I will not, in fact, attend the end-of-summer tradition that is less than a half-mile from my house. Most people look at me like I’m a high ranking officer of the Fun Police. And that’s just The Wife.
So, what’s my problem?
Am I an agoraphobe? Possibly. It wouldn’t been the strangest diagnosis I’ve ever received.
Am I afraid of the rides? Not of the rides themselves, but I am not what you would call confident in their quality and construction.
Am I cheap? $10 just for the privilege of eating fried food and drinking cheap beer. I don’t know.
Am I a classist pig? OH YEAH. I don’t like mixing it up with the unwashed masses unless I have to. Plus, animal barns smell. And (from what I remember) the Center of Progress is a collective of Ronco merchants, state departments of whatever and abortion (pro and anti) activists. And…
It’s not air conditioned. And I have to pay to park AND walk from the lot. And it’s always hot. And…I’m a whiny little princess, I know. But, in a land of Great New York State Fair true believers I am the True Fair Hater.
So, for this year’s Al Dente/Walk To End Alzheimer’s challenge, let’s do this…if I raise at least
$1,750 $1,500 between right this second and noon on October 1, 2016 (right around the time I’ll be finishing the press release for that day’s Syracuse walk), I will attend the 2017 edition of The Fair. I will be there at the open of the day, eat all three meals at The Fair, ride some rides and smell some animals. Since I’ll probably drink some things, we’ll bring along a breathalyzer and have some fun (Note: I have a breathalyzer now. I’ll write about that sometime soon.).
And I will smile. I may not like it, but dammit I’ll smile.
The rules are easy: We have less than a month to make this hurt. Visit my page, make a donation and put me closer to breaking a decade-plus long streak. And, we’ll make it fun:
For a $25 donation, my wife and/or another member of the entourage (members TBD) with whom I attend (child-free) will take your suggestions for things that I will do during my visit.
For a $50 donation, my wife and/or another member of the entourage with whom I attend (child-free) will take your suggestions for things that I will eat or drink during my visit.
For a $100 donation, you can join the entourage for that day. Maybe we’ll have t-shirts made. (You are responsible for buying your own ticket.)
Why would I put my Fair boycott on the line? Two reasons (in no particular order): 1) I’ve run out of ideas. We’ve hit Olive Garden and Golden Corral, the dregs of American food culture, and there’s not much else I can think of. 2) Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death and the most expensive disease in America. It steals our memories, our loved ones and our futures. Really and truthfully, there are few things on this Earth I would rather not do than attend the Great New York State Fair (live under a Trump presidency, go on vacation with my wife’s family, relive my middle school years, move to Boston). I’ve shaved my head, eaten low-quality food and otherwise humiliated myself on multiple occasions to raise money for this cause. How much can one day at the Great New York State Fair hurt?*
*Probably a lot
UPDATE (SEPT. 21, 2016, 6:51 P.M.): Since $1,750 looks like a tough get, here’s what I’m willing to do. If I break the $1,000 barrier before midnight on Sept. 22, I will drop the goal to $1,500.
UPDATE (SEPT. 22, 2016, 1:23 P.M.): That didn’t take long. I’m over $1,000 and I have adjusted the goal accordingly!
UPDATE (SEPT. 28, 11:52 P.M.): And it is written. Thanks to Shawn Campbell for pushing me over the hump. Don’t let me reaching the goal stop you from contributing to the cause.