“When are we going? Hello? When are we going? The carnival, when can it expect us?” For three days, I hounded Henry about some wimpy-assed fucking church carnival after we saw a sign for it.
“You know this is going to be a small thing, right? Probably not very many rides, if any,” Henry kept reminding me, probably hoping to change my mind. But my mind is unchangeable without something of equal or greater awesomeness to replace the void. And no one came knocking on my door, inviting me out to play with moon boots, so I remained fixated on the Saint Sylvester church carnival.
We got there around 6:30 and I immediately became aware that what this was, right here, this carnival, was really goddamn lame, a real sad affair. The rides weren’t running yet, so we cautiously followed the signs that promised us CRAFTS and FLEA MARKET, and led us into the church basement. The CRAFTS were sparsely strewn amongst tables forming a small horse shoe on one side of the room. Taking over the rest of the room was a fucking holy picnic of some sort, with people straddling tables and shoveling haluski and other church food into there religious maws. We awkwardly circled around the crafts, not even pretending to admire, me saying something obnoxious, before returning to the Little Church Carnival That (Possibly) Could (If Father Would Go ‘Head and Order Those Belly-Dancing Pygmies).
After two seconds of taking in my surroundings, I realized that this wasn’t a carnival so much as an asshole parade. All the moms strutted around, haughtily greeting each other, their mauve eye shadow caked on in thirteen layers and pooling in their crow’s feet. I of course did not fit in. Especially when you consider the fact that I am not a parishioner of this or any church, other than the church whose bell tolls in my head.
There were three of them that I especially hated:
- a tall corn-fed hoe with tightly-wound brassy curls that were clumped and heavy-hanging with Dippity Do, probably semen. She really looked out of place without the plow she should have been pushing on the farm, that dumb bitch. I bet she was a Majorette in high school.
- some haggard broad in an ugly pink shirt (not the awesome hue of pink that MY shirt was) who was friends with Olga the Plow Pusher. She had the worst eye makeup of them all and stood right in front of me with her saggy-assed chinos and pleather fucking fanny pack and the two of them dove right into a nauseating display of waving. It’s a sport for those people, you know. Church people? They wave for entrance to Heaven. And it’s phony, too. Their “hellos” are so nasal, like they’re playing Operator with their toy phones, and they stand there with their fists on the waistbands of their flood jeans, fluttering their costume-ringed fingers in their pretentious little waves and you know what? Go home and bake me some pumpkin bread, you assholes.
- rounding out the iron arc of pretentiousness was some bitch that was younger than those two, and it was clear, so so so clear to me that she only fraternized with them because they made her feel like the token spunky young mom with the poorly executed tattoos and too-skinny husband who I think I might have went to school with. I was glaring at her about the time Janna arrived and I didn’t even say hi, just pounced right into a hateful tirade that started with, “There’s a bunch of cunts here that I want to kill, Janna.”
And the rides! Oh, my brothers and sisters, please don’t get me started on the rides. There were only four of them: a rickety ferris wheel whose too-fast revolutions made me clutch my heart while watching from the ground, stupid ass helicopters, a tiny carousel that appeared to be fashioned from orphaned horses, and some dumb little kid spinny thing.
EACH RIDE WAS TWO FUCKING DOLLARS. Two dollars that would be better off tucked into a g-string. But Chooch seemed to enjoy the helicopters, and Henry reminded me several times that that was really all that mattered. I guess.
We stopped and bought three fried Oreos. They were pathetic. I ate half of one and begged Henry to take the rest. He was angry that I was complaining and reminded me that they only cost a dollar so what did I expect.
I DON’T KNOW. Perhaps for them to be drizzled with a nice ganache? Some kind of delicate rum sauce? LACED WITH COCAINE?
We walked over to the petting zoo, figuring Chooch could at least meet his animal manhandling quota for the month, but there was an extra fee for that.
“WHAT A RIP!” I yelled, purposely, hoping to be heard. “THIS CARNIVAL BLOWS.” Just then, the priest walked past me and Henry grabbed my arm, grabbed it the way a father does to an out-of-line child, the way my step-dad used to when I would spit YOU ARENT MY REAL DAD in his scruffy face. So Henry grabbed my arm and squeezed, hissing, “This is a CHURCH CARNIVAL. It’s to raise money FOR THE CHURCH.”
WELL. For someone who was so against Chooch being baptized, Henry sure seemed intent on defending the carnival. The holy fucking ghost must have anally entered him when I was busy looking for scene kids. Probably why he was walking like he had chronic jock itch. Meanwhile, we were going to sit at table but some undulating diseased genitalia stole it right from underneath us, an entire table just for her and her fucking hot dog. I was tirading all over this side of Pittsburgh by this point, pushing Henry to tersely say, “OK, that’s it. We’re leaving.”
I had sinful desires to jack this truck. I have a lot of things I could use it for. And I’m not just talking about carting crates of chickens around town.
On the way home, Henry lectured me about being hateful and that no one there gave me a reason to be so angry. IT IS HOW I AM WIRED. CANNOT, WILL NOT, CHANGE. it’s how my mama made me. And sometimes I don’t mind people. Like today, on my walk to the post office, I said hello to ONE ENTIRE PERSON and even exchanged weather-related pleasantries with a crossing guard. Granted, I considered changing my route home so I wouldn’t have to talk to her again, but I didn’t scowl at a single soul. And I walked, like, eight blocks or something! (Actually, I don’t really know how to count blocks when they’re not obvious.)
Janna didn’t seem to mind the carnival. I bet she went home and wrote about it in her diary.
Jeepers, I went to a carnival up at Saint Sylvester’s tonight and it sure was swell. They even had fried ice cream! Can you imagine, Diary? It was so dreamy, like really tremendous! Fried ice cream outside of a Mexican restaurant! Almost better than a malt in a frothy glass with a spiral straw! And pony rides! I ought to have straddled one of those ponies, Diary, if only I had the courage. Gosh, it was the craziest scene! Real life ponies! And people sporting their fanny packs, no shame whatsoever! I totally ought to have worn mine! And my best cuffed plow-pushers! My only regret is not bringing enough money to buy a macrame tissue box holder from the craft table. But overall, what a night! I mean, it was really the limit!
I guess the Westmoreland County Fair spoiled me after all.