(It doesn't take much to make me happy.)
If you've ever been to the Texas State Fair, then you know that there are whole buildings whose main objectives are to set up booth after booth, offering free samples of Texas-made and grown products.
In other words: Sample Heaven.
Several years ago, my husband and I were wandering through the Food and Fiber building at the State Fair, enjoying a rare moment when the crowds were low. I was following my typical M.O. for The Art of Food Sampling:
Act very interested in the information about each food sample, but really not paying one bit of attention to that material.
Wait a respectable amount of time--so as to appear interested.
Pop the offered food into mouth.
If tasty, popping in 1 more sample is acceptable. Popping in more than 2 is piggish.
Move on to next booth.
My husband and I had split up for a few minutes. I believe he had gotten stuck in a conversation with the Ginsu knife guy. (Poor knife guy. He had no idea the tightwad he was up against!) I kept moving on. I was in the Disneyland of Samplings. I couldn't slow down...no matter how exciting were the knives, the Saladmaster pans, or even the Flowbee demonstrations!
(Okay, I did stop at the Flowbee booth for a few minutes. It is impossible to resist.)
My M.O. was working just perfectly that day! I had enjoyed some delicious cheese squares on toothpicks, some salsas on miniature tortilla chips, a whole buffet of dips spread on broken crackers, and even a little carton of chocolate milk.
I stepped to the next booth, and was excited to see the loveliest golden fried okra piled into a small red plaid paper tray. My mouth could almost taste the salty deliciousness of that okra. Only, there was a man in the way. He was standing RIGHT in front of the okra. And he was just talking, talking, talking to the man behind the counter.
Now, I am all for sharing in the Food Sample Shuffle, but this guy was not following the rules. He was NOT moving on.
Uh, hello, Mr. greedy okra man, it's time to move it. C'mon--the rest of us would like to try the delicious okra now. Okay, I would like to try the okra now.
I already had spent the repectable amount of time "studying" the information at the booth. (Okay, I was only looking at the okra, and the rude man in my way.) I had stood there so long, I was beginning to look like a Food Booth Lurker.
And we all know that Food Booth Lurkers get on everybody's nerves, right?
So, I did what every respectable Food Booth Lurker, er, I mean Food Sampler would do: I stepped right next to the Mr. Greedy Okra Man--uncomfortably close--and I reached in front of him to pick up my fried okra sample.
As I popped the okra into my mouth, Mr. Greedy Okra Man stopped talking, and turned to look up at me, and then down at the okra on the counter.
And then my face turned hot and beet red, and Mr. Okra Man looked at me again...as he picked up HIS tray of okra and walked off.
I just stood there, chewing on the stranger's fried okra, and finally noticed the actual title of the booth in front of me:
The Sheep Farmer's Association
Huh. Strangely, there were no food samples. Only pictures of curly sheep.
Sure wish I had noticed that about 30 seconds earlier...
I'm linking up this honest-to-goodness true story in response to Mama Kat's Weekly Writing Workshop. The topic I chose this week was: "Tell us about a time you were wrong." If eating fried okra is wrong...may I never be right again!!
Also linked up with Wordful Wednesday at Seven Clown Circus