I love carnivals. Or, at least I love the creepy, cool fever dream images of carnivals I keep in my brain. These come from reading too many Ray Bradbury stories while I was a sheltered adolescent whose parents wouldn't let him ride his bike out of the yard.
Needless to say, I got as giddy as the schoolgirl I'd wish My Love would dress like from time to time when I noticed a nearby church was setting up its annual fair. It took three days for The Things to notice it, but when they did, it was all "Daddydaddydaddy, canwego, canwego, canwego" in Beach Boys harmony.
I went looking to uncover some great metaphor for life or have a "Paul the Apostle knocked off my ass by lightning" revelation. Two hours of seeing my kids reflected in the neon-lighted whirls of the Mind Scrambler and Vomitorium Vulture should produce some deep thoughts, I figured. Then, I'd peck up these wondrous insights and pass them on to you, changing your lives for the betterment of all humanity.
At minimum, I was prepared to develop food poisoning like My Love did during the Notorious Norwalk Oyster Fest Chicken Fajita Upchuck of '91. She, for obvious reasons now, does not like these events as much as I do.
But, frankly, I got nothing. Nothing but a $60 hole in my wallet from the unlimited-ride wristbands.
The Things took to heart my requirement they spent their own unearned sheckles on the rigged games (results: one plastic sword, two small stuffed animals and a purple nubby ball). They repeatedly ran through the world's lamest fun house and hall of mirrors, and they rode the whiplashing mini-race cars and big-ass slide until I broke their little hearts with news of pending bedtime.
Thing 2 didn't even break into his "It's TOO SCAAARWWWY! TOO SCAAARWWWY!" routine on at least one truly, pathetically not-scary ride. Last year, it was the little fire trucks that go around a 20-foot circle at a breakneck 1.3 mph.
In review, The Things had the kind of fun members of the single-digit set should have at one of these cheesy, overpriced affairs. They raced and giggled with a bunch of their school friends. They ate too much cotton candy. They essentially partied like Mormon rock stars. I guess that's what being a kid should always be about, regardless.
The event, however, did present one great mystery of life to me.
I saw a mom cuddling her baby as she watched her other child circle overhead in the Helicopter Heaven ride. It made me wonder:
Why would a near-middle age woman wear a pair of brown sweatpants with the word "JUICY" emblazoned in apple-size gold letters across the butt when her posterior is definitely closer to "OVERRIPE"?
I tried to take a photo to prove my sighting but it came out too dark because:
1. I was too far away and my flash stinks.
2. My zoom was sticky. That's not a sexual metaphor at my expense, either.
3. Her husband was nearby and he definitely looked like he could piledrive me … or at least give me a voice-altering wedgie. Not an image I want kids to carry with them for life.
4. Taking Pulitzer-worthy photos of women's rears could land me on the same watch lists as my brother-in-law. He's a master of shamelessly snapping digitals of the waitresses' backsides whenever he goes to Hooters.
So, I'm open to explanations. Anyone?
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