Sunday, August 10, 2003

Ah, the fair. The smells, the rides, the food and the...well, the smells. I haven't been to it in years. Too crowded. Too hot.
Most of my memories of the fair revolve around an old friend, Lisa Harkelroad. My freshman year in high school, Lisa and another girl decided to run away and leave with the fair. Their parents were frantic and everyone who was known to be close to the girls was called to the office and interrogated. Meanwhile, Lisa's mother figured out where they were and they had to travel out of state to pick the girls up where they found them staying with carnie guys in thier 30's or something, smoking copious amounts of dope and listening to way too much Molly Hatchet.
Years later I would see Lisa at the fair again, working the ticket booths. She was a junkie by this time, all sunken eyes and needle tracks. She was in pain almost all the time, but she would always talk a good game about how delightful her life was and whose ass she had kicked recently. Because of her, I stopped getting on the rides, since she explained to me exactly how shit-faced the guys were who put them together. I always imagined my ferris wheel car crashing to the ground because of one loose screw, no pun intended. Lisa actually became a full-time carnival worker, traveling the country and getting more addicted. She overdosed almost three years ago, and at her funeral, people who like to think they have class spoke in hushed whispers about what a terrible junkie she was. How you couldn't really be surprised that she was dead because of how she had lived. How the only thing they were surprised by is that it had taken her so long to finally get to that point. And of course, all of the horrible things she had done to support her habit. All of this within earshot of her then 14 yr. old daughter.
That daughter, now 16, has been staying with my family for a bit this summer, which is why all of this is so much on my mind. She's a wonderful, well-adjusted girl who misses her Mom terribly and still thinks of her as being a parent who tried her very best. I love to get her tickled because when she laughs, she sounds just like Lisa. And if Lisa were standing over my shoulder reading this she'd start bitching. "This shit is sad as fuck, Nicky!" She would not be impressed.
I won't be taking her daughter to the fair, by the way.

Oh, and to change the subject, I really hate to be talking to someone on the phone and have them start grunting because they're taking a shit. Is nothing sacred? I don't know about any anti-shitting on the phone bumper stickers, but you'd think some sort of group could be started of people who oppose this.
Just say 'No' to shitting while conversing. You would think that you wouldn't have to remind folks of that.


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