Our first attempt at the carnival rides was a mixed bag. Grady's just a few inches too short for the AA rides, and Dylan's too short for the big league stuff, so they're stuck in carnival purgatory. But, they still love the carousel horses and the bumper cars and the small roller coasters. Ho hum, I thought. I need action! I need thrills! This year I talked Dylan into the most feared ride of all ... The Berry-Go-Round. Basically, you sit in a giant strawberry and spin around. The berry-coccoons hold one oversized adult and a handful of skeptical small people who are too polite to ask why a fuzzy old guy is on the ride with them. There is a wheel directly in the center that the biggest, baddest kid (me) gets to spin. And oh how I spun that strawberry. The kids were laughing and I was spinning and spinning until, well, until I got sick. "Faster," they yelled as I started scouting out spots where I could barf out the undersized door and not hit any families. Decorum states that fair board members wearing their official fair IDs shall not hurl on paying fair-goers. "Let's just rest a while," I told Dylan after that mess.
It didn't help that we decided to relax on the Merry Go Round. Easy peasy, I thought. I'll just stand here between Dylan and Grady and let my stomach settle. But the diabolical little girl on the carousel horse directly in front of us had other plans. As soon as the pipe-organ music fired up and we started going around, her finger started a frantic booger dig-and-scoop from nose to mouth. It was a wreck I couldn't not watch, and wanted desperately to unsee forever. The nausea came back with a vengeance and I almost became the first sober adult in history to throw up on the carousel horses. I settled my stomach with a corn dog and decided relaxing on the Ferris Wheel would help. Dylan and I went up and as we gazed at the iconic Yreka skyline, Dylan asked, "Daddy, in the 90s did they have Ferris Wheels?" I laughed so hard that my nausea completely went away. To celebrate, I ate another corn dog.
|Must. Hold. On.|
Dylan's fair-goal is to spend money. She brings her coins and bills and is lured into buying anything shiny. My mantra seems to be, You already have that at home, or, That will break before we get home. Instead, I convince her to play the Win a Goldfish carnival game. I figured the fish she won last year was a fluke and it wouldn't happen again. Last year she came home with three. This year she won five. I'm still not sure how. As is wont to happen to fair-fish, five became four, became three ... you get the picture. We're down to one, but he seems like he might make it. I figure the fish, like a fair steer or hog, are good lessons for life. Take care of them, treat them well, and if you're lucky, they'll live. And if you're really lucky, you can sell them at an auction. Dylan's only comment when one of the fish was found floating in the bowl was, "I wish it was just sleeping with its eyes open."
|Happy Fair Monkeys|
Next year, I'm staying off any ride that spins. Dylan's already planning on winning some compadres for our survivor fish and wants to do Pee-Wee Showmanship with one of our chickens. Grady's working on growing those last few inches so he can hit the medium-sized kid rides. And we'll be there, like a yoga class winding down, inhaling deeply through our noses to catch every smell, and exhaling deeply through our mouths to settle our stomachs.