- I began writing this post two months ago but several things got in the way of me finishing it. Anyone who has followed my work will know that I am not a fan of southern time except of course for now! I am only two months behind on finishing this post so based on southern time I am not behind I in fact am completing this post early so for the readers who are annoyed with me for waiting so long to post another post…………………… thank you.
In my world everyone looks forward to the Fair. I suppose that our fair might not be the best fair in the USA but it’s not the worst and that’s ok with us here in southern Georgia. Our fair is called The National Fair. It is really more of a state fair than a national fair but that name was already taken by a fair not as good and down the road a spell, Ours is better so if it wants to be called a national fair that’ too is OK with the people in my world.
Almost everyone in my world has fond fun memories of the fair. We just had our fair 2 weeks or so ago give or take several weeks. It was another good fair. Before every fair two or three people in my world will get together and swap memories. I hope most who are reading this post have read at least my last post where I shared a secret about story tellers. In that post I pointed out that most story tellers don’t pay much attention to whatever story is being shared because they are far too interested in the stories they are about to tell. I am one of those story tellers but I am always willing to listen to a good story that I might even hear a little of.
Most good fairs have parades. The parade I remember best is the one where my youngest daughter stumbled in to and through cow or horse droppings (we never took the time to determine which it was). The Yankee in me brings out a quicker walk than most people walk especially in the south. I walk fast even when I am walking with small children though I do try to slow it down some, but when I do I can never slow it down for very long. My mother-in-law had joined us for the parade and surprisingly enough was actually helping us out with the kids.
The parade that I remember had almost ended and I wanted to get to my car as quickly as I could to avoid as much of the traffic jam as possible. I picked up my youngest son and took the hand of my oldest daughter and began to walk a big bit quicker than most anyone else on the parade route. My wife saw that glint in my eye and took the hand of my oldest son moving a little slower which is understandable since I walk kind of like I drive. (After a lot of years of living in California where the only way to get around is by doing it fast looking for and moving into whatever pocket of space one can find. Quite frankly I am very good at this, my wife is almost as good but in the south no one really understands the benefit or even the purpose in this. My mother-in–law had and still has even after 32 years a major challenge understanding anything I did,do or say but I digress.)
When I began to walk away my mother-in-law noticed it and with a look of terror in her eyes, (or I assume that she did since she always looks that way when she tries to follow me.} grabbed my youngest daughter’s arm and more or less pulled her after us. In her haste to catch up to us, she kind of pulled my daughter through the biggest pile of excrement that any cow or horse had ever left on a city street. (I write it this way so as not to offend the older readers since younger readers have a much shorter word meaning human/animal waste material than the one I use here.)
To be sure I did not see the actual clash of the little girl’s legs with the mountain of manure but I did hear the twin siren like wails of a little girl and a little bit older than middle aged lady along with an odor that wilted the flower pattern on my wife’s skirt. The stink was so overwhelming that it made me wonder what on earth those animals were fed at the fair. At that moment I would have given anything for an onion to peel right beneath my nose. I swear to this day that my sense of smell is still affected by the odor that wrapped around my daughter that day. As the wall of stink hit my sense of smell my fast feet came to a crashing halt. I was at a loss as to what to do quite frankly.
In the seconds that I stood not knowing what to do the odor caused my glasses to steam up and my eyes to water uncontrollably. Just as the situation had grown impossible my mother-in-law took charge and not a moment too soon. She had noticed that the only business open was a beauty salon. Like General Sherman she marched our band of seven to the salon. Our source of odor had two of us on either side of her, two of us in front of her and one of us behind her all of us marching in a sort of staccato beat trying desperately to get some relief from our little stinky cheese girl.
For the male readers who have somehow escaped the twenty-first century a beauty salon is full of noxious odors. For the most part any additional bad odor would be immediately swallowed up as soon as it enters the salon, even the odor of a week old dead possum would seem like a whiff of perfume if it was thrown into the salon, but when our band entered the salon the eight women having their hair done pulled their heads out of the sinks and out from under the hair dryers and made a collective sound that as near as I remember was much like “gaack” and to a woman they sunk to the floor. Meanwhile the six beauticians all attempted to take a breath and said, “What on earth.”
The manager showing the bravery of Robert E. Lee with tears rolling uncontrollably down her face met my mother in law and squeaked out, “Can I help you?” My Mother-in-law while breathing through her mouth said, “My granddaughter stepped into some parade poop, we need to use your restroom…….NOW!” The manager still with tears rolling down her face and with an amazing amount of bravery squeaked, “Not a chance, you go there and we will never get the odor out of the salon. Just having you in here for a few minutes is a memory none of us will ever forget. Here is a case of disinfectant wipes, now get out…………………oh and have a nice day.”
My mother-in-law and I have only liked each other for the most part for the last 5 years of the past 33 years, but I will never forget the kindness she showed in using every last wipe to clean up my darling daughter. She even used several wipes to dig out the inch or so of horse/cow ca ca between each toe. Of course she didn’t have a lot of options since I had climbed half way up the nearest sign post near the salon until she was finished. (I might be a coward but I ain’t stupid). My daughter was good natured about her experiences, at least she was several years after it happened but before that she cried a lot.
The good news was that when we finally got in to the car two hours after the parade there wasn’t any traffic jam to speak of. Even with my daughter being odor wiped the odor was still pretty bad which explained why those who sat near the windows of the car had as much of their heads out of the window as possible. The most amazing thing to me about our ride home was that if you scrunch your head just so it is indeed possible to drive with your head out of the window.
I am sure that there are plenty of stories about parades told and written by others but I can never seem to remember any.