STATE FAIR OF OKLAHOMA - Credit or blame for this story starts with a short conversation I had with 'Candy Man' Mike Meeker about the universal qualities of a smile.
"Miles of smiles. That's what we're talking about," he beams.
"You've got a good, wide one," remarks a visitor to his candy shop in the Cox Pavillion.
"Do I have to go like this," he asks stretching his mouth as wide as possible?
"No. Not at all," says the visitor.
That got me thinking as I, literally, walked for miles at the State Fair.
Here's the question.
"How many smiles in a mile," we asked.
"Three," smiled one bearded fair goer.
"Thousands and thousands," stated on father at the fair with his young family.
Another gentleman said, "Miles and smiles. I'll go miles."
"One million," said a little girl at the fair with her friends.
"Oh wait. I got this," said another girl. "100?"
"How many smiles in a mile?" a woman fair goer asked herself. "A thousand," she answered.
"How many smiles in a mile, Allison," asks a father of his little girl while she munches on cotton candy.
She doesn't respond.
A best guess is the most appropriate of answers.
The reasons for all the smiles at the fair vary too.
"So what is it that makes you smile at the State Fair," asks the visitor?
"It's fun," says a man with a full cup of beer in his hand. "We have good times. Visit friends."
"The food," smiles a military recruiter.
"What makes me smile," posits an ice cream vendor? "Handing out samples and selling a big old Nitro-Cup."
The Oklahoma State Fair is one of those events where people bring their best to share.
We are a species that likes to gather.
Get enough people together, line them up, and you just might get 'miles of smiles' if you ask the right questions and share enough treats.
The fair runs through September 27.