This is my weekly entry for Dude Write,
which is a place where men submit their writing, people vote, and fake prizes are distributed. Please check out some of the other writers there!
Lucille Ball, that ginger harpy.
I especially hate the one where Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel go on a road trip that leads them in an infinite loop: continually returning to a terrible diner where the demonic figure of George Skinner switches hats and desks in order to bilk them out of all their money.
Why won't you punch him out, Fred? You look just like Butterbean; can't you fight like one, too?
Make of Ethel a gift to him.
One time we went to this Lamb Festival in the middle of nowhere, and it made me think of George Skinner.
We drove quickly, fearing an overstuffed parking lot.
We went inside the Visitors Center.
A teenage girl stood behind a counter, slowy twirling a rack of hot dogs over a heat lamp.
"Four tickets, please," I said.
"Oh you can't buy tickets here, you buy them at the ticket counter." She pointed the way.
Hot Dog Girl's identical twin stood at the ticket desk.
I looked back to make sure she had not pulled a George Skinner and duck walked over here, quickly switched hats, and popped up in time to ask for my money.
Judging from the price of the tickets, we were funding Lamb Fest's entire operating budget for the week.
"Here are your two complimentary tokens for the carnival games, and your wrist bands."
I wordlessly offered her my wrist.
...is what she should have said.
But no, the poor girl, probably assuming I was a bit touched, carefully wrapped the little paper band around my wrist, and made sure it adhered snugly to it's other end.
Whenever scenarios arise that involve wrist bands, entry stamps, ticket stubs, or the like, I think I revert to some phase of child brain development wherein I become unable to determine my own course, and am content, even needing, the intervention of another to light the path.
Left all alone, I believe I would end up with my "Over 21" stamp on my palm, where sweat and nervous gripping would make quick work of it; or my Lamb Festival wrist band would be around my neck, and there, on the floor, turning blue, my wife beside me and screaming, "Why did you let him put on his own wrist band? Can't you see he's not well?!? Get it off, oh someone cut it off...."
She produced that wrist band from her drawer, and my brain went slack, my wrist rose on automatic.
"Can we play the carnival games, Daddy?"
"Of course...we have two free tokens after all," I say, spreading my arms wide in an odd celebratory fashion.
The carnival games consists of yet another George Skinner girl, standing by a wooden board with a hole cut in the middle.
The object of the game is to throw a ball through the hole, and the prize for doing it is a small red balloon you must inflate yourself.
A little boy stood directly in front of the hole, throwing the ball through over and over again.
I want to complain that he will, eventually, win all the remaining prizes, but I decide to bide my time and see how the scenario unfolds.
"Caleb! Let them people do it!" the girl barks.
The boy walks away.
Both my sons are unable to throw the ball through the hole.
"They can git closer," says the girl. She gives us all a once over and hides her smile.
Not a good thrower in the bunch, I wager....she thinks, letting her eyes come to rest on me.
She has the large hands and tanned skin of a farmgirl, anxious for summer to come so she can do sex to her boyfriend and eat a pork chop after.
I want a red balloon so bad, but I daren't try to throw, I daren't.
Mustn't give her the satisfaction; the delight she would receive from watching me humiliate myself; the right arm drawn backwards on an impractical angle that foreshadows a toss straight into the tops of my shoes; the left absently rising to cup my breast, uncertain of where else to go.
"Lets find us some lambs!" I say, in my best hey-kids-every-minute-is-the-peak-of-fun-and-laughing Dad voice.
We troop out of the Visitor Center and across a cold, dead stretch of road to get to the barn.
The little horse comes trotting happily up to us.
"Aw cute.....," no one says about a horse with nasal discharge gone wild.
The barn is almost deafening loud; the hundred bleats and bellows of sheep and goats hoping someone will buy cones of feed for 2.50 and then whip that feed right into their faces.
Little children are pretty good at that.
Mine are plugging their ears in terror.
"It's too loud!"
They throw their cones of feed down, just shy of the actual animals, and make a run for it.
As we are leaving, I notice a sign advertising "World's Scariest Hayride".
Given the Lamb Festival, I can only imagine what this hayride might consist of:
A tired farmer at the wheel, sporting the pumpkin socks he breaks out only for Halloween.
The route takes you in a loop; past an inflatable ghost on a stick, then past a man in a ski mask, holding an air horn and hiding in the bushes, then a long stretch of nothing but autumnal twilight and the boom and spit of the tractor's engine protesting the extra load.
Between passes, Ski Mask Man scurries over and re-inflates Stick Ghost in wheezy, emphysemic breaths.
On your way out, the propriater stands there, holding a lit sparkler.
"Pleasant Nightmares, children!" he cackles, in his best rendition of the Crypt Keeper.
The sparkler sizzles out, burning his finger, and he yells, "Shit!"
You spend the rest of your Halloween warning your children that 'shit' is the Devil's word for BM's.