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Both of Sundays
September 2, 2009

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Afterbirth is a pretty crazy thing to see in real life, and I'm not even sure if that's what it was. I had a stomach full of corn dogs so after the first lamb was born and the mommy sheep started licking the goo off of the baby I sort of spaced off. I was there to see the pigs anyway. I was in one of the many buildings on the Iowa State Fairgrounds on the first of what would be two very different days at the fair, and I didn't know my afternoon would result in watching a barnyard birth. That's what's so great about the fair, but also pretty great about living in Iowa. Everything is completely random and there's enough opportunity and options around here that you really don't know what'll happen next.

I usually have a pretty weak stomach, I don't like bloody stuff or anything medical related, but seeing a baby lamb born at the state fair wasn't as gross as I thought it would be. At the fair everyone's senses are at ease. A fair goer can eat a funnel cake and a pork chop on a stick right before watching an animal pushed out of a slightly larger animal and it's no big deal. It's no big deal to walk through an enclosure of heavily scented cows while eating an ice cream cone. Cheese curds right before the ferris wheel? Of course.

I went to the state fair this year on both of the Sundays, once with some family that was in Des Moines for a wedding and the second Sunday was with a friend from high school, and they were pretty different experiences. The first was about eating and seeing all the usual stuff, like the butter cow and the animals. The second was like any other social time I would usually spent with friends. There were art galleries and live music and a beer tent that over-served us. It was a lot of random things thrown together in one big park but when it all comes together it feels like home. It felt familiar. Although the afterbirth was a new one.

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