Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Let's Go to the Ex"

Let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths.
Colossians 2:16

The New Testament didn't have the Canadian National Exhibition in mind, but the quotation seemed apropo considering the hamburger in a donut bun (consumed by a 17-year old with an active metabolism) and other culinary monstrosities served, the fluorescent 'juices' on tap for the under 10, the lights, the whistles, and the gut-wrenching rides that all add up to good, clean fun. Let no one judge; just go and have fun.

S-I-L invited me to join her and her young male entourage on their annual pilgrimage to the "Ex" knowing that it has been DECADES since I last walked these hallowed streets. Operating every year since 1879, the "Ex" has a special place in the hearts of many. As kids, we all received free admission passes with our year-end report cards from grade school and a trip to the "Ex" marked the end of summer and return to school. We probably all got sick there after too much sugar, too many rides, and too much excitement, but we all looked forward to doing it all again the next year. So after a long hiatus, I enjoyed walking around looking at all the old familiar buildings amid some that were new to me.

We walked past the fountain which was the designated family meeting point when my brother and I were old enough to wander the midway sans parents. Somehow, the fountain didn't seem as big today as it did back then; the perspective has changed.

I was a little disappointed that it is no longer possible to walk among the horse stalls and breath in cow manure. Nowadays, it seemed to me, the agriculture component has been minimized with a few horses, cows, pigs, turkeys and alpacas housed in a small area. We were not in time for the sheep shearing demonstration nor the milking demo, but the piglets kept us amused.

Sadly, much of the horticulture building has been relegated to leather sofas, teeth-whitening and other sales, yet still on entering the building you are hit with the over-whelming scent of lavender and a couple of vendors still sell the same wicker sachets that my grandmother loved. I was pleased that some things haven't changed, even if the lavender made/makes my nose tickle.

And then there are the rides. My days of paying money for the pleasure of feeling queasy are over, so I enjoyed the thrills of whirling and twirling from the sidelines. Note in the background that King Tut has risen from his Theban tomb and followed me to the "Ex".

The Tilt-a-Whirl is still here, as is the Haunted House, but looking around at all the new ways a person can now 'woof their cookies', I marveled at the perversity of the minds of the engineers who think up these rides!

The dazzling colours of the midway always make for excitement and it's great to see someone beat 'the house' and get to take home a Rastafarian banana.

It was a great day of shopping, eating, memories and laughs. The "Ex" will always be a sweet spot. Thanks S-I-L!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oh the lavender sasha's......