ebyAfter six days breathing in aromas of fair fare mingled with livestock, like an urban strap hanger impervious to bus exhaust, it seems like George Lopez’s segment on gastronomic gluttony would be the last thing I’d want to watch, but the excesses made riveting television. I couldn’t click away.

Archived Story

John Eby: It’s hard to stick it to a bacon burger on doughnut buns

Published 6:50pm Sunday, August 8, 2010

A banquet table of sorts had been set for guest victim Will Ferrell, equipped with a 64-ounce, Mountain Dew-colored soda to cleanse his palette of some of the midway’s most egregious sins.
Once on a dare I succumbed to a deep-fried Oreo at the Cass County Fair, once being the operative word.
I also smoked a cigarette once to see what the big deal was. And a few cherry cigars.
But in covering the Cass fair since 1981, I’ve never had an elephant ear.
This year my guilty pleasure was 28 bite-sized meat morsels from the capable grills of Backyard Chefs.
I didn’t catch where Lopez’s staff assembled this smorgasbord of slow deaths on sticks.
If this haul was available from one fair, heaven help us.
I mentioned this show at the Republican booth and got some Homer Simpson doughnut drooling at the idea of chocolate-covered bacon.
Which I kind of get.
The same salty sweet premise made Paydays and a Mountain Dew the breakfast of champions on Mackinac Island in my barpretending days.
There, the noxious mingling of horse apples and fudge pretty quickly become unnoticeable, and my first summer I lived over a stable that was airbrushed out of the Grand postcard and replaced with more scenic and scented pine trees.
The sweet-salty teeter-totter is but a few generations removed from what Ferrell selected as the winner — or biggest loser — a bacon cheeseburger with Krispy Kremes for buns.
Even Lopez seemed to relax his clenched jaw once he bit into it.
Ferrell might have been fonder of a hot dog Twinkie had he not doused it in mustard.
I liked the idea of spaghetti and meatballs on a stick. It didn’t look messy.
Even watching, I couldn’t imagine deep-fried butter pats or deep-fried soda, which look like hush puppies from Long John Silver’s, I guess with a burst of cola when you chomp.
Thinking about fair food reminds me of the Backyard Chef entry the first year that was a roast wrapped in bacon and injected with maple.
Maybe it’s an acquired taste because it wasn’t bad, just different, like root beer mixed with chocolate milk that we drank as golf caddies.
It tasted like breakfast, if a meat dish could taste like pancakes.

John Eby is Daily News managing editor. E-mail him at john.eby@leaderpub.com.

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