Telling the truth

All the way to work today, which constitutes about twenty minutes, I turned over the same thought in my head, and that's unusual. For me.

"...I also think that the magic of our State Fair, or any state fair, is that it can be enjoyed by naïf and cynic alike, at levels both basic (“Hey, get a load of that pig!”) and ironic (“Hey, get a load of me, getting a load of that pig!”)..."

My friend Evan wrote that, in the preamble to his annual listing of events going on at the Indiana State Fair, emailed out to who knows how many people right around the start of the Fair. I keep capitalizing Fair without really knowing why.

Evan's insight lasted me the entire commute, like a mental gobstopper or some such, I think because it's so unexpectedly true. Everyone's come to expect glib quips in these emails of his, jokes such as pointing out that the Indiana State Honey Queen will be appearing at the Home & Family Arts Building at 4 p.m., and that next year Evan plans to be the Indiana State Honey Drone, doing nothing but stand next to her and hand her funnel cakes and Lemon Shake-ups. Funny as crap, no getting around it, but in the expected way, and as such it's to be chortled at and forgotten.

The other thing, though - the thing about the two levels of enjoyment - that's something else. It was honest, and funny, and honestly funny. You see - I just did it. I made a clever little wordplay out of the thought I wanted to communicate, and it was kind of a cop-out. I knew that I'd be forgiven for not expressing my point perfectly or genuinely as long as I was cute.

Every so often you can rise above that, and Evan did in his email. He knew he had something to say, and he found it, and he said it. What else is there?

Everything else is just sly, dumb references to earlier ideas, nudging name drops to obscure common themes and precious navelgazing, and all of that washes off in the rain.

The underlying truths are what remains. Those are what strike you the moment you hear them and stay with you all the way to work two weeks later.

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