Some cliches are cliches for a reason. They have become overused and hackneyed, but sometimes that's just because they have more than a little truth to them. Terms like "jolly fat man", "sad clown", or "bottom-feeding lawyer".
One of my favorites is "toothless carny". Wait. I didn't mean for that one to be a link. Or did I...
One of my favorites was a woman who looked to be in her 70's, was missing her front teeth, had long, gray hair and was sporting a garish tiara. Which I guessed was her advertising one of the better prizes for the little girls who played her game of chance. Or maybe not.
I wanted so badly to get a picture of her, but I was too far away. I thought briefly about asking her to pose for a picture with Audrey, but, contrary to popular opinion, there is a limit to what I'm willing to put my daughter through for this blog.
There's something about sitting on a bench watching a tiara-clad carny barking to passers-by over the sound of "Sex on Fire" and teenagers screaming on the rides while eating a 3,000 calorie funnel cake that just says "summer".
I blogged about the same carnival last year, and how the ticket pricing somehow renders me incapable of doing basic math and figuring out how much each ride costs. This year we were lucky enough to get in on an all-you-can-ride wristband for a sawbuck, a fin, a deuce, and an ace. That's $18 for those of you not hip to carny slang. Pfft. Buncha larries you are.
Since she had a wristband, Audrey was able to do this about 83 times...
Problem was that she wanted to go back the next day when there were no wristbands and it cost $2.50 for each time down the slide. Now just think about trying to explain why she was able to go down the slide to her heart's content one day, but only a couple of times the next. The night before Day 2, I could only hope for a tornado to decimate the midway. But since one had touched down in our town just days before, it was unlikely. Man, nothing ever goes my way.
Or does it? The next morning Audrey woke up with a bad cold. YES! But she still would not be denied returning to the carnival. BOO! But her enthusiasm had waned, as well as her energy for hiking her wee butt up four steep flights of stairs to get to the top of the slide. YES! But not so much that it still wasn't going to cost me an arm and a leg to satisfy even her diminished slide jones. BOO!
After spending so much time there on Day 1, I had gotten to know the two carnies working the slide. One was crazy by-the-book -- holding the kids back so as not to cause a backup on the stairway, making them wait to be handed a pre-folded sack so they wouldn't trip on an unfolded one, collecting tickets for every stinking ride -- while the other was, well...AWESOME.
He kept the line swiftly moving, and, best of all, looked the other way for A LOT of free slides. So all I had to do was keep Audrey distracted with other things while the first carny was running it, and then tear-ass over there when I saw a shift change.
Crisis officially averted, thanks to my carny friend Darrell. So if you have a carnival in your town, look for a guy with a huge gap-toothed grin, an easy laugh, and sweet white-framed BluBlockers...and tell him Audrey sent you.