What is it about Sven Sundgaard?
All the other news anchors are just news anchors; chipper, vaguely good looking, with the ability to pull off a solid color pantsuit. But Sven, there’s just something about him. Is it his frighteningly tan skin, regardless of season? His petite faux-hawk, nice pec muscles, and suspicious gayness? What is it that makes a bizarre number of men and women in the Twin Cities extremely excited by this Kare 11 weatherman? Lured by him, drawn to him. There are innumerable blogs devoted to him…his likeness to an Oompa Loompa…questions about his sexuality. One person said he wished he could put Sven in his pocket and carry him around.
Yesterday in the Kare 11 building at the State Fair, I got my picture taken with Sven. Hoards of excited people, myself included, had shown up to gawk at the pint sized weatherman while he predicted the forecast, live at five. He kissed babies, chatted on his cell phone, waved to the crowd. A burly, middle age man in the audience shouted, "Sven you’re hot!" The woman behind me turned excitedly to her husband and said, "He’s almost as tall as me!"
In person, Sven comes in at maybe 5’4", and he looks startling like a troll doll. He’s a good-looking guy, don’t get me wrong. An orange, short, stubby, chipper, good looking guy. And I don’t know why, but I loves me some Sven Sundgaard. I wasn’t expecting to have my photo taken with Sven; I also wasn’t expecting to win the lottery, or hear an experimental classical music troupe perform on the U of M stage outside the food building. A band that sounded, honestly, like the worst time anyone could have tripping on mushrooms. But so it goes at the Fair!
Yesterday, I was too tired to care. I knew it would be my last day at the Fair; I knew I wanted a malt at some point, but it was really hot and crowded. I was also playing third-wheel, and was kind of hungover. My husband has been out of town, and when he goes away, I don’t sleep well. I watch too much TV, drink too much alone, and google late, late into the night. That’s how I found this gem.
It was my friend and her boyfriend’s first day at the Fair, and when we walked through the gates and looked out on the sea of sweaty Minnesotans, my friend turned to me and said, "I’m lost already." I am an expert at finding my way around at this point, so I became their unofficial Fair compass. Fried Green Tomatoes? Right this way. Modern Living building? Follow me.
We had a good time puttering the afternoon away, munching on cheese curds, chocolate malts, stopping at the MPR building, the Faces of Meth booth. "I think that chick got hotter after the meth." "Meth made that guy look a lot like Daniel Day-Lewis." And then we hit the Midway.
I’ve been intrigued by the Magnum, the sexy-shake ‘em ride at the Midway, since day one. The backsplash is a mural of Hawaiian Tropics looking girls in bikinis and it just doesn’t seem Fair appropriate. My friends wanted to ride it, so we went. The woman who tore my ticket said, "You’re going to want to tie your hair back." I didn’t, and my hair looked like spun, cotton candy afterwards.
Sweet lord, that ride doesn’t fuck around. It spins you around, while it pulls and pushes you on a twirling circular track. It’s basically like being dizzy from every possible angle. And it is not fun. It would be fun, if it lasted for thirty-seconds. But it lasts for three minutes. I sort of had to burp at one point, while being flipped upside down, and sucked backwards, which is a sensation I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Then we rode the Tilt-A-Whirl because evidently, my friends like being extraordinarily dizzy. I think there are people who like roller coasters, and people who like spin-me-around rides. Yesterday, I learned I’m a coaster girl.
I have this memory of going to the State Fair and getting a ton of free food. I’m not just talking water handouts at WCCO, and eating the rest of someone’s cheese curds. I mean: I asked the vendor – I received – no money changed hands. Pickles, cookies, pork chops. That’s my memory. Sounds too good to be true, I know. And the thing is, no one else remembers this. I’ve asked dozens of people: "Nope." "I wasn’t there." "Must have been someone else." "That sounds like you made it up."
You can imagine my excitement when halfway though the afternoon, my friend turned to me and said, "Hey, remember that year we came to the Fair, and we got drunk off rum and Frutopia, and you got a bunch of free food?"
"Yes!" I said, overjoyed. I’ve been dying to share this memory with someone since I was sixteen and a bunch of us did in fact, sneak as-awful-tasting-as-it-sounds rum and Frutopia into the Fair, got drunk, hung out, and I scored us a bunch of free food. "How’d you get all that free food, anyway?" She asked me, biting into her gargantuan corn dog. (I stand corrected, corn dogs are not the same as Pronto Pups, they are much, much tastier.) "I don’t know, I think I was just drunk, and annoying, and sixteen. I guess I asked."
"Hey," we heard a group of teenage boys behind us say, "Want to see if any of the animals have afterbirth hanging out?" referring to the miraculously gross innards that accompany the cute little animals in the Miracle of Birth building. Ah, to be young again.
"You guys want to ride the gondola?" friend’s boyfriend asks us.
"I need more cheese curds, first," friend says.
"Maybe a brat." I chime in.
"With Kraut?" he asks.
"Of course," I reply.
"That’s a good Midwestern girl for ya," he muses, approval ringing in his voice.
And off we went.