Mid-State Fair

Some of the strangest things you can buy at the Mid-State Fair

As my exploding closet can attest, I love to shop.

So it seemed right up my alley to find the most unusual things you can buy at the rhinestone-bedazzled haven that is the California Mid-State Fair.

Beside the requisite shorts and cowboy hats, there was a lot that is more unique. Here are my favorites.

A sculpture ... of your own face

Personally, I don’t think the image I want to preserve in stone is the sweaty, bedraggled mess I became after wandering through a crowd of people in 100-degree temperatures. But maybe you’re one of those people who is gorgeous all the time, or maybe you’ve always dreamed of immortalizing your noble visage in stone to decorate your country estate.

So if people commenting on your regal brow, or the graceful ar16ch of your nose, is your deal, I know where you can spend 45 minutes and $34.99.

“Kevin Bacon”

No, not the actor. A pig-shaped barbecue, painted hot pink, with eyelashes and a curly tail. I’m not sure what having this in the backyard says about somebody — “I like the thought of cooking a pig inside a pig?” Isn’t that almost cannibalism? — but I will admit that this was awfully cute among all your more standard grills and barbecues.

Also A+ on the name.

Furniture. BIG furniture.

I have never once gone to the fair and thought, “This is the time for me to buy a bed. Or a porch swing. Or a hot tub.” Yet apparently people do, because the shopping areas are FILLED with super large furniture. Take gun safes, for example — walking past these bad boys all I could think was how anyone gets them home (and if we could lock my friend in one, just for the fun of it).

Fortunately they deliver, so you don’t have to pay a small street urchin to push it around behind you all day. Alas, they don’t let you lock your friends in them.

You win some, you lose some.

Chocolate-covered crickets

Last but not least are the tiny crunchy edible bugs. I was skeptical about this, but my friend who has an iron stomach and no sense of self-preservation persuaded me to try it with her.

Honestly? It wasn’t half bad. Kinda like a KitKat bar (sorry if you just gagged, I know my coworkers did when I told them).

The booth was giving out free samples of white-chocolate covered crickets, but they also sold an assortment of other edible bug delicacies (cricket chips, anyone?). These can make great gifts for people you like AND people you hate, depending on their level of appreciation for insect-related humor. Just don’t be surprised if you present it to them and their reaction is: *crickets*

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie