Here's a question for ya. What would a normal person not put into their bag in the middle of February when taking the fam to the county fair?
If you guessed sunscreen, you would have a nasty burn just like I do.
Okay, true it is Florida and that tropical sun can be a bitch but it is FEBRUARY.
The fair was fun. Lots of fat and cholesterol in the form of funnel cakes and potato ribbons piled high with chili, some kind of "meat" and cheese. We heard there was a new treat...chocolate covered bacon, but alas, we couldn't find the vendor and will never know the pleasure to the palate offered by that new concoction.
Throughout my 20 years of being a mommy and taking snot nosed brats to the fair, I have learned a few tricks that, as a public service, I will pass on to any young parents out there that have yet to have the pleasure…
1. Bring a big bag because every G-d damn thing the kids will accumulate, you have to hold.
2. Bring a big bag you don't like because you will be handed stuff that is never meant to go in a purse. Half eaten candy apples. Cokes that don't quite have the cap tightened enough. Cotton candy paper cones that have just enough sugary goodness on it that you won’t be permitted to throw it away. And every crappy prize that they are so excited about winning that you’ll schlep around for hours just for them to not give a shit about it ten minutes after they get home.
3. Don't put your cell phone or ipod in above stated bag. Getting candy apple out of the crevices can be a real bitch.
4. Bring wet ones. Cotton candy stuck to the face will turn black with grime the first time the wind blows that good ole carnival dirt around.
5. Do NOT stand next to or near a Carney. I don't know if they have running water in those little trailers in which they travel from town to town but if they do, it seems to be rationed by the teaspoon along with the soap.
6. Speaking of Carnies, if you have breast and you happen to glance in an area that happens to have a Carney around, they take that as an invitation to flirt with you. You do not want to make eye contact or try to be polite. Not only due to #5 but because they are bound to have a break coming in the next five minutes and will follow you in hopes of getting off the road and moving their smelly ass in for a well needed rest on your tab.
7. Kids will want to play games. It isn't enough that you've already blown fifty bucks on tickets so they can spin, twist and go upside down. The trick is to give the kid ten dollars in singles, tell them it is all they get for games, and stand back. When those little hands count out those crumbled bills to hand over to the Carney, even the hardest ass won't take advantage of them. Twenty minutes later they will return with ten stuffed animals, two posters. four yoyos and a gold fish.
8. “Lose” the goldfish while they ride one last ride.
9. Get their hand stamped “just in case we come back later”. True you have no intention of doing this but the mere suggestion it may happen will get you the fuck out of there while you still have fifty cents in your pocket.
10. County fairs have horses. Horses don’t use bathrooms to relieve themselves. Horses shit A LOT. Horse shit will smell up a car even after you are positive you got ever little bit out of the carpet. Thus, make sure you walk ahead and for G-d sake…. keep your head DOWN.
11. Be grateful it only comes to town once per year. That is just enough time to forget the dirt, sore feet and tummy aches and replace it all with fond family memories.
12. But most of all…if the fair occurs in the south..don’t forget to have lots of aloe at home.