Springfield, MO — During the summer, locals visit the Ozark Empire Fair for a variety of reasons–to ride rides, watch concerts, or just to enjoy the classy Northside atmosphere. However, one Springfield resident found his own reason to visit the Fairgrounds this week.
“I just needed an ego boost,” said Walt Richie, “I figured doing some people-watching would really make me feel good about myself.”
Richie, 39, an admittedly overweight two-time college dropout was just recently laid off from his job, which prompted his wife of fifteen years to request a divorce.
“I had never felt worse about myself,” explained Richie, “I was drinking a lot, and I was just feeling more and more pathetic. But I decided there had to be people in worse shape than me, so I went to find them. And I found them at the corner of Grant and Norton.”
Richie recalled being overcome with self-pride as he simply watched the Fair’s population explore their environment.
“I saw people shove funnel cake into their mouths like they needed it to breathe; I saw a neck tattoo of a shark waving a Confederate flag, and a lower back tattoo that said “WWJD”; I saw enormous children struggle to buckle themselves into collapsible roller coasters, and then vomit a jug’s worth of root beer, only to go buy more root beer!”
Richie has been back every day since.
“I feel really good about myself, and it’s way cheaper than therapy or anti-depression medication,” said Richie. “Yesterday I saw this guy who was bald and had a ponytail. Bald AND a ponytail. Man, oh man. The Fair really puts things in perspective.”
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