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  • The one thing that made me stay is the Fair held every September. The town’s residents, who for the other 364 days of the year sit in their houses and benignly ignore each other, gather in a field for a day of parades and food cooked in a huge pit in the ground and contests such as pie eating, tractor-pedaling for children, and stone throwing. At the center of the Fair, amid hay bale throwing competitions, axes spinning through the air into tree trunks, and the lady making balloon animals who gives you a sticker if you say please, stands a dunking booth. For a dollar, anyone can have a shot at throwing a ball at a button which, when hit with sufficient force, causes the police chief or a selectman to be deposited rather abruptly into a tank of cold water. For the most part, the age group most interested in this activity is about five to ten, but interspersed among the children who have no agenda beyond wanting to see someone dignified get wet, there lurks the occasional adult with less than friendly feelings towards the local government and many dollar bills to spare. As long as we can dunk our government officials into cold water, democracy lives.

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