Today was Fair Day. Do you know that the Texas State Fair is the biggest in the world? Do you know that if it crawls upon the earth, a carnie will kill it, batter it, fry it in oil and serve it on a stick? Do you know that arms and legs are collected at ATMs to thoroughly entertain your family? Sweet Mary. I took my three year old along with my friend and her two kids. I alone plunked down 40 bones for food and rides. BTW: my tickets and parking were free. !!! Expensive, but a blast. Emily is a DAREDEVIL. You know the spinning cups ride? Spins in a circle and then goes up and down in a bigger circle? She went on that with me and screamed "WEEEEEEEE!!!!!" the whole time. Her four year old friend cried and said "Make it stop!" God, I hate it when kids are scared. I spent a good five minutes asking, "are you sure? Honey, are you SURE you want to ride a big kid ride?" "Uh huh."
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOBBBBBBBBBB!! Boo. We stuck to the "General Lee" cars being chased by the "Sherriff" cars. You know the ride? Affixed to a bar, goes in a circle? Kids can push a button to make the "eh eh eh eh eh eh eh eh" noise that makes mommy want to wet her pants a little? Rode that gem three times.
Also, I HATE it when parents force their kids (I'm talking 2 and 3) to ride a ride when you KNOW they are terrified. Saw that three times, and almost snatched the kids away from the parents. I get when you have an older kid who is trying to get attention and really wants to do something, but that is pretty rare. QUIT MAKING YOUR KIDS DO SHIT THAT SCARES THEM!! Once I saw one of the carnies tell them to take their kids away, they were scared, and said it in an indignant tone. Oooh! Schooled by a carnie! Ouch.
The carnies on the rides were as nice as could be. I think it's interesting that our society, which is so image focused, has created a niche for ugly people. Is that mean? When someone has two eyes and you don't know which one to focus on? And there are literally four teeth in their head? And the kids hang back, afraid to be touched? But they are kind and thoughtful, and seem genuinely surprised to hear, "thank you! Have a good day!" And look how I pay them back.
The best part of the fair for me is the livestock. Is that country? Well, screw you. I love seeing the lambs (ooh! We got there in time for shearing: 3 year olds LOVE that.), and the swine (1200 pound pig won the blue ribbon! Jesus, that's a lot of bacon. Mmm. Bacon.). We went to the horse pavillion and saw all the Appaloosas and Paints and Quarter horses... Sorry, Adis723 , but I love horses. I am calmed by their furry noses and their whickering to each other. Emily got really quiet and asked for their names. She was rewarded with fat, furry noses snuffling her hand. The mounted policemen were exercising their horses, so that was fun to watch them bow, cut, and canter. Fun and, more importantly, FREE.
The best part of being in crowds (info on me: I HATE crowds. More than 15 and I'm a wallflower) is sitting on a bench and watching the people. By the livestock pavillions, there are old cowboys and their wives who look at the animals and talk to them quietly. They size up their flesh, nod hellos to the 4-H'ers who raised them, and I saw one old man (in his best pressed Wranglers and shiny boots) pat a young girl on the back by the Sale Pavillion. She was crying over selling her Limousin Heifer that she raised from a calf. He didn't look at her, just looked at the clear sky and said, "yup." It actually made her feel better, and deep down I know why.
Head over to the opposite side of the fair and you hit the Midway. Talk about opposite... Vietnamese gangsters and their girlfriends stealing secret gropes as they play basketball for a prize, loud high school kids from a hick town overcompensating for their lack of urban cool, groups of four and five teenaged girls who got waaaay too dressed up in their hopes to score a new boyfriend, an elderly black couple dressed to the nines, and the husband easily winning a prize for his "bride." I loved watching that particular couple. Still shamelessly flirting with each other after being together most of their lives. When he handed the huge stuffed snake (??) to her, she looked around as if to say, "what? You didn't think he could do it? Pfft." And him strutting off as if he had only swatted a fly.
Later, we saw them again as we listened to a Japanese drumming group. The drummers had dramatic poses and had timed strokes and made the most amazing music. The couple from before came up near us and started dancing next to the kids. Emily really had her groove on, by the way. The music wasn't African, but the older couple managed to turn it into African sounding simply by hanging over at the waist and flinging their arms about. They looked so amazing dancing and moving their bodies. Fucking awesome. Oh! I was good: only ate a Fletcher's corney dog, and not a whole one. Em split it with me.
Forgot that tonight was the *** Elementary school night at McDonald's, so we show up, me with a paper to read while the kids play, and EVERYONE in the entire city is there. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but there were a lot of kids there. And only the noisy ones were allowed in, apparently. We were there for an hour. An hour of SCREAMING children. (For those on my flist without kids, is this good birth control?) Come home, they are STILL wound up. If there are spelling errors, it's because I'm pausing and yelling up to them "GET YOUR TEETH BRUSHED! NOW, YOUNG MAN! DO IT!!!!!!!" Every now and then my monitor hums. From the yelling. I'm a good mom. :-)
I need to have a pad and paper with me when I am in the car. Why is it that I am doing one thing, and my brain hops to another thing? Write a letter, think about Wee!Spike. Write Wee!Spike, remember all of the school notes I need to sign. Visit teacher, start telling her about Wee!Spike. Not good. So, I'm halfway through some more Wee!Spike, in case you couldn't tell. But I'll post it with a warning for those on my flist with smarter sensibilities. *crickets* Yeah, that's what I thought. Pervs.
Last thought, because I am a spazz. I have always thought that carnies are America's gypsies. They roam from fair to fair, bringing their dunk the ball, crazy ladder, and squirt gun games to take people's money. I love to watch them, especially on a day like today when the fair is quiet (weekday). They have a comraderie between them that is fun to see. And today, tell me if this has happened to you, I saw one that looked handsome. Wow! Got a little closer, and he smiled, had two teeth, and his skin looked like old leather. That had been left under a rotting log. Ever been sucker punched like that? Thought someone looked good and then got close? Sorta like a Monet. I think they interpret squints as "come hither." More like "go thither." My new glasses come in tomorrow.