First, take my older son to the optometrist in Skowhegan. But since this means he'll be skipping school for the rest of the day, the plus side is that he'll be available as slave labor.
Stop at P.J.'s Party Store and see if she sells bunting that isn't red, white, and blue. What color of bunting might coordinate best with giant zucchinis? Mauve? Gold?
Return to town and, with my son, eviscerate the Harmony Country Store's storage shed. Debbie, the owner, offered me a rack for the Exhibit Hall, but it is hidden behind years' and years' and years' worth of Budweiser boxes. This is where the slave labor comes in handy.
Don my official blaze-orange Harmony Patriarchs Club T-shirt. (This is the town organization that runs the fair, and you may be surprised to learn that women can also be Patriarchs.) Reconnoitre with my husband, who will help me set up various warped tables and tottering display stands in the hall. We also have a nice selection of painted electric-company spools.
Pick up my younger son at school, facilitate him in his chicken-wrangling operations, haul his 3 chickens-plus-educational-poster to the small-animal barn. Start handing out money to my children so that they can begin their Friday-night fried-dough-and-soda odyssey.
Go home, collect band instruments and last-minute Exhibit Hall paraphernalia such as baling twine and staple guns. Return to the fairgrounds for the grand opening of the hall at 4 p.m., when the hordes arrive with their beets and Hubbard squashes and needlepoint Xmas ornaments and cute blurry photos of kittens.
Spend a couple of hours in a frenzy of vegetables, etc.
Hand over the hall to my substitutes because now I have to change out of the blaze-orange T-shirt. I'm damned if I'm going on stage in this ugly T-shirt. I'm too vain for that.
Sit in the audience and wince at Amplitude's bad notes and tuneless singing but cheer nonetheless: because this is my boys' rock band, and anyway I have to go on stage in the middle of the set and play a fiddle part and sing a song and play bass. Who knows what mistakes I'll make, but, like everyone, I hope for unconditional cheering.
Return to the Exhibit Hall at 7 p.m. in time to put up the closed sign and begin organizing exhibits for tomorrow's judging. Meanwhile, eat French fries.
Go home later than I meant to. Sit on the couch and drink beer.