Several years ago when Cameron was a young boy, I took him to the biggest and best agricultural fair in the State of Maine. The "Fryeburg Fair" has been held for well over 100 years in the neighboring town of Fryeburg. It runs for a full week in the month of October, and draws thousands of people every year.
Many generations of our family have attended the festivities, which range from logging competitions to horse and cattle shows, tractor pulls, music and of course a huge midway with games and rides.
As a young farm boy, Cameron didn't really want to spend much time in the barns looking at all the animals, so we didn't linger very long before going out to the midway. The sight of a fair midway is a magical sight for young and old alike...The colorful game booths with their yelling carnival folks, the loud, brightly lit rides, and the smell of fried foods coming from the row of food booths makes for a wonderful fair experience.
Cameron wanted to go on the rides first, so we tackled the Ferris Wheel, and then the Merry Go Round and then the Bumper Cars, Then, he thought we should try the Round Up. By the time we got off that ride, I knew we better stick to games for awhile, as fair food and fast spinning rides aren't always a good combination.
So, we made our way down"Game Alley", spending a dollar here and there, and not having much luck. We broke balloons with darts, and played ring toss, and then did some target shooting. Soon, we were almost at the end of the game row, and had nothing but a cheap ring to show for the sizable amount of money I had just spent.
Suddenly, I heard my name.."Hey Carmen! How's it going?" I turned, and saw a friend of mine from work walking toward me. We stopped and chatted for a few minutes. At first Cameron was patiently waiting, but soon begged a dollar from me to go try one more game. I gave him some money and watched as he went over to try his hand at the basket ball toss. My friend and I said our goodbyes as I watched Cam walk dejectedly back toward me, clutching a pen in his hand.
"I didn't win," he said, looking at the cheap prize.
"Well, it does write in 4 colors", I told him, trying to cheer him up. We started to walk past the booth, when I heard the booth attendant holler out.."HEY! Why don't you try to trade it in for a better prize?"
"How much?", I asked, as Cameron stopped and looked up at me with an excited, hopeful smile on his face. "Just another dollar", he replied.
" Well......" I hesitated, calculating the debt the fair outing had cost me so far. " Oh, Come on!" He said. "He might have better luck this time."
"Okay," I said, "One more dollar." Cam said "Yeah!", and ran over to take the basket ball out of the guys hands. I went over and stood by as Cam started to bounce the ball, getting ready to make a shot. By now, the attendant was very chatty, and came outside the booth, walking behind me to stand next to Cameron, showing him how to hold the ball, and where to aim. I was thinking to myself that this nice man really wanted Cameron to win!
Cam took aim, and threw the ball...it didn't go in.
"Awwwww, nice try" I said. "He has two more tries," said the helpful carnie worker. Cameron bounced the ball, and tossed again..missed!
"You can do it this time, " I said, as I silently prayed he would get the last one in..maybe he could at least trade up to a poster. Up went the ball, and IN!
"Yay!" said a very excited Cameron. I thought good..that poster is ours. Then, Mr Carnival Worker suggested he try a trade up, FREE this time. Well, there was no way Cam could resist this offer. By now, however, I had noticed the fair fella had made several trips around my backside, and I was starting to feel like the Sun and he was a planet in my orbit. And, he was friendly, very friendly.
Now I had been out of the dating game for awhile at this point, but even I could tell flirting when I saw it. And Mr Carnie was flirting. BIG time. I know that there are some fellows that are rather fond of women with ample, ummm.."assets", and this as it turns out, was one of those fellows. I received confirmation when I went to grab for a stray ball that bounced off the rim, and turned back to see the eyes of Mr Basket Ball Booth planted squarely on my derriere.
Cam played and played, and managed to trade his poster in for a mirror, and then his mirror for a small stuffed animal. Finally, I was thinking we really needed to get going before I was asked out on a date by the helpful basketball coach. I called to Cam, who was very pleased with his small stuffed animal, and we started to walk away.
I had decided in a rather naughty moment to see if my hunch was correct, so when we turned to walk away, I put a little extra swing in my "nether regions". Sure enough, I was right.
"HEY! Don't you want to try one more time??" came the call. Smiling at my incredible B.P, (that's Butt Power, not blood pressure), I turned around and said "Sure! one more time!" Cameron went back, made one shot out of five and ended up with a 4 foot tall giant stuffed wolf, the biggest prize I saw on the fairgrounds all day. He was so proud and happy. He kept that wolf in his room for years, telling all his friends that came over about how he won it at the fair. I never won any contests in my life, but I can say it was my rump, and not Cam's shooting that won the blue ribbon prize at the fair.
|The three of us..Cliffy, me and my rump|