Many people love the Minnesota State Fair.
Most, even, if this year's attendance numbers are anything to go by. The 2016 fair smashed prior attendance records, fair organizers announced yesterday, with 1,943,719 tickets sold for the 12-day event.
But let's get real. Not everyone can love the Great Minnesota Get-Together. And certainly even people who do love the fair can't love every single moment they're at it.
It is with these disclaimers in mind that we bring you the untold story of an unhappy couple.
Yesterday, an image of a handsome pair of Minnesota State Fair attendees -- one brown-haired young man and his blond companion -- hit the pages of Reddit through the viral image-sharing site Imgur. At the precise moment the candid photo was taken, the couple is riding the Sky Glider.
The woman looks intently down at her smartphone. The man holds his face in one hand. His thousand-yard stare could inspire two dozen novels.
Instead, it was used to inspire the photoshop engineer/pranksters of Reddit, who put this moment to use as fodder for humor in one of their so-called "PhotoshopBattle" contests. Many of the entries there are worth taking in, if for no other reason than to appreciate the sheer creativity and craftsmanship at work.
One of the most popular depicts our young man daydreaming of the only way he'd truly enjoy the fair. Alone.
Another swaps our leading man out for the actor Keanu Reeves depicted alone and disheveled on a park bench, a papparazzi photo that the internet would come to christen "Sad Keanu."
And this one replaces her with Sad Keanu, changing the scenario into a completely dejected bro-down.
Still another, which the commenter titled "Crushed dreams," shows the couple exactly as they are in real life... only now, she's got a tattoo.
(Note: If it's hard to read, that's the word "Abstinence," written down her left calf.)
This one impressed users for its artistry. Using graphic effects, our photo editor has thrust the couple's placid moment into a fast-moving amusement park ride. Yet, she's still fiddling with her phone, and he still looks bored out of his damn mind. A comment on the jaded millennial generation's perpetually unmoved demeanor? Perhaps. Undeniably impressive.
We genuinely hope this was an exceptionally dull moment for this couple, and that the rest of their day(s) at the Minnesota State Fair were filled with more evident joy. And we should thank them, for their immortalized instant of misery has already brought joy to so many strangers.
Hang in there, kids. Come back next year. Be happy.
Otherwise we'll have to stop saying "Great Minnesota Get-Together" and start calling it the Not-So Great Minnesota Grow-Apart.
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