Jared Felkins: Cleaning out my notebook: On starting school, fun fair foods

“A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to need, and the rest he can put away in the lumber room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.” — Conan Doyle
Aug 16, 2014

Following a two-week hiatus from column writing, it’s nice to get back in the saddle. However, due to my lack of putting my thoughts to paper, I have quite a bit rumbling around up there just waiting to jump out onto the page. 

It’s a common scapegoat among the columnists of old to occasionally split up a lengthy column into a handful of mini columns to avoid the exertion of penning a complete thought. I’m blaming this cleaning out my notebook effort this week on this busy time of year with the start of school, football season and the Wilson County Fair all rolled into one month. I will admit I do look forward to August because it’s the one time of year that plays in favor of my attention deficit disorder. 

Better-than-fair food

I do look forward to getting the chance to stroll the midway with my children this weekend at our second Wilson County Fair. And if there’s one thing I anticipate more than anything else, that would be the food. 

A mere glance at my physique would justify my cravings for all the sweet and savory concoctions available at the fair. Most of my favorites could be summed up in a two-part recipe. Step one, take something already tasty. Step two, deep fry it. The deep-fried Oreos, candy bars and Twinkies are just a few examples. 

If you’re really quiet, you can almost hear my arteries clogging. A colleague asked earlier this week if he thought it would be a good story idea to track the rise in cardiac arrests during the fair. That’s probably not a bad idea, but my mantra is that which doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. 

Of course, if that’s the case, I have the heart of Superman. 

But there is one culinary masterpiece that tops my list. Much like many of the other food choices at the fair, it probably ranks somewhere between mercury and a Crisco sandwich on the nutritional value chart, but it sure is tasty. 

I’m talking about the Painturo’s creation of pizza fries. Basically it’s ground beef and sausage mixed with pizza sauce, poured on a mound of fries with melted cheese on top of it all. It’s genius, right?

Make sure to find the Painturo’s booth just off the beaten path at the fair this go-around. You won’t be sorry. 

School shouldn’t start so early

I am a big fan of education, but I’m not too sure the start of school each day should happen when it does. 

Now I’ll admit that I probably fall somewhere between a possum and a ring-tailed lemur on the spectrum of mammal who enjoy the nightlife. Case in point, it’s currently 2:53 a.m. at this point in my column. I would have never made it in the military, and that’s not the only reason. 

As such, it’s a bit tough to count on one hand the number of hours from the time my head hits the pillow to the absolute last second my children grace the school doors and still avoid a tardy slip handed to them. 

So when a freight train crossed our paths Thursday at 7:44 a.m., it wasn’t the most pleasant experience. I plan to call the train folks. 

Following our delay, I advised our 6 year old to make sure and tell her teacher a freight train caused her to be late. 

“A fright train?” she asked.

“No, a freight train,” I responded. Apparently my Southern vernacular got the best of me, but her tardiness was spared. 

Jared Felkins is The Democrat’s director of content. Email him at jfelkins@lebanondemocrat.com or follow him on Twitter @paperboyfelkins.  


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