4/8/09

Cotton Candy

A friend of ours has a cotton candy machine. She takes it to various town events and fairs and makes some good money making and selling the stuff. Fortunately for me, she is a friend.

I remember cotton candy from the County Fair where I grew up. It was this amazing delightful stuff. They would stick this little cardboard stick down in this machine and wrap it around the stick until it tumbled over your knuckles while you carried it around. You couldn't actually EAT it becuase it melted wonderfully the moment you put it in your mouth. Your friends and family would grab chunks of it and push it in their mouths and you would laugh at one another while you enjoyed the sensation.

I had no idea that they now have various flavors of cotton candy. There is green apple, bubblegum and pina colada to mention a few. My friend asked me which flavor I preferred and I immediately responded with "I prefer cotton candy flavored cotton candy!"

Nothing else brings back wonderful memories of County and State Fairs, boardwalk adventures and near death experiences in haunted houses and silly rides than cotton candy flavored cotton candy! One year my banana bread won second place at the Lincoln County Fair in Tennessee! I still make some pretty tasty banana bread (my mom says the secret is green bananas - so I still use them!) One year my sister and I rode "The Bullet" and the guy forgot to put the pin in the door. We spent the entire ride terrified of falling out. I do not believe I have ever gotten on one again even though he demonstrated to us afterwards various other safety features which we could not physically see.

It was at the Tennessee State Fair that I got the most enjoyable experience of embarrassing my best friend when I brought my own food which was vienna sausages and generic soda. I preferred to spend my money or rides and....cotton candy!

Three years ago, our daughter talked us into allowing her to get a pet rat. I believe I have written about our Gizmo. He has easily transitioned into a member of the family and we get loads of entertainment watching him and observing his intellectual ability to think through things. Six months ago, we bought him a buddy and named him Forrest. Forrest is wilder having been "rescued" from a large colony of rats destined to be snake food.

Two evenings ago, we introduced them to ....cotton candy! Our friend sent a couple of bags of leftovers home from her weekend venture. Now...Gizmo and Forrest are both skilled beggers. Gizmo will stand on his little shelf in his cage with his tiny humanesque hands out waiting for us to deposit some treasure. Forrest on the other hand will stick his nose and upper teeth through the wire assuming it's best to bite for the treats since the humans then withdraw quickly.

After our daughter left the room (she will now allow sweets to be given to rats as they are slightly obese), I decided to introduce them to the delightful sugar concoction. I deposited a piece in Gizmo's paws and he immediately headed for the lower deck to hide it. Then, I held out a piece for Forrest. He bit it - and it dissolved leaving the remainder in my hand. He bit it again...it again dissolved. He then made a pretty skillful imitation of King Kong, grabbing the bars and shaking them! He tried again to bite it just as Gizmo returned to stick his little hands out and grab another wad and disappear.

It took Forrest a few tries to realize he had to use his hands. When he finally figured that out, he grabbed a handful, pulled it through the wires and promptly put it in his mouth to carry to HIS hiding spot. And....it was gone. He seemed to enjoy the flavoring but became so frustrated with the chemistry of the stuff, he sat in a corner and sulked the rest of the evening while Gizmo enjoyed his hidden stash.

Now I have new memories of cotton candy - of two little rats - vermin to most - and their discovery that this new substance was a tasty challenge.

I love cotton candy!

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