Sunday, June 8, 2008

Life is a carnival -- believe it or not

something wicked this way comes posterI 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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  1. I've got nothing for you on the JUICY score. I suppose we should be happy she wasn't wearing the equally horrifying PINK sweatpants, for that would create an image we don't really want to picture.

    I am, however, bringing a healthy dose of parental guilt to the table. Of all weekends, this weekend my husband and I cleared the very hot second floor of our 1930s unairconditioned home of all of its contents and we're currently taking up 80 years of linoleum, tile (no, really - tile - in the hallway), wall to wall carpet, and unidentified materials. We prooooomised we'd bring the boys to the fair tonight. And look! What's that? Over there in the northern sky! Why, of course. Violent thunderstorms.

    Nice job, mom and dad. At least the fair will be back next year.

  2. It is because no woman, no matter what her age or shape, wants to admit to her widecomings.

    I may be pushing 38 but I like to pretend that if I DID dress up in a schoolgirl outfit, the effect would be more Britney-circa "Ooops" era. (Good luck working on Your Love for that one, by the way.)

    I fear that in actuality I would probably like more like some freak show in a John Waters film.

    At any rate, a constitutional amendment against spandex usage with a clause that bans the display of words on one's ass is really the only solution...

  3. The overripe one's are juicy. It's called Sir Mix-A-Lot, dude. Look em up.

  4. Patty: Proceed to the corner for a time out. One minute for every year old you are.

    MM: It's always about you flaunting your underdressed body in front of me, isn't it? Two minutes in heaven ...

    BHJ: It's fine if baby's got back but backs (plural) or peaches left in the Avery Island sun without an occasional mist for 39 years may not be suitable for most viewers. Now, behave, Po, or I'll nerve punch you until you pee.

  5. "They essentially partied like Mormon rock stars." -- AH&U, that is a slam dunk for the analogy of the year award. Brilliant... just brilliang.

  6. Thanks for stopping by :D.

    You got me on the whole "look at my butt" pants-thing. I've never understood that, but I was past my "look at me! look at me!" stage by the time those butt phrase pants became popular. When some size 2T pants were handed down to my daughter by a friend of my Aunt's, I really wasn't sure how to feel about there being letters plastered across my then 20 month old's backside.

    And, I love the fact that you were going to take a picture of her. I was just telling hubby last week that I'm going to start taking pictures of people in public, just to see what kind of reactions I can get. Especially when I see all of the celeb look-alikes. I swear to you, I saw Katie Holmes at the zoo last week and my husband played golf with a guy that looked just like Billy Bob Thornton on Saturday.

  7. confession: i check my ass everyday. i know that it is not overly wide or all baby got back, but i also could never in my wildest hallucinations imagine hosting an advertisement on it. like ever. ever. NEVER.

    also, i boycotted the carnival this year and let the Stud go solo. i didn't puke at the last one, but damn, if that launch the frog on the lilly pad game did not suck all the money and lifeblood out of me. i am pretty sure i stole the last dollars RIGHT OUT my son's hand so i could get another toss in.

  8. FTF: I just hope they don't reproduce like Mormon rock stars.

    HMC: I've put my kids in shirts advertising drive-thru beer shacks and sent them to preschool. Whatever pays the rent.

    Ms. P: They didn't have the lily pad and frogs, but they didn't have the ping pong ball and goldfish. Me and the fish lived another day.

  9. False advertising? Wishful thinking? Hard to say..

    Thanks for your comments.

  10. Funny the news article said 30 sick? It was more like 300 from our investigation, but they always down play these things - just like Pellicci’s two Christmas' ago.

  11. WhiteM - You're right but why would the NYT even have anything accurate about Connecticut. In my journalism days, we used to get together with the Sunday CT section and play "Spot the Inaccuracy."


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