Friday, August 27, 2010

I Laugh at People

To see more of that I'm
talking about: State Fair Fashion
Did you notice they cleaned up the midway at the Iowa State Fair? They widened the walkways. The rides looked fresh, and the operators appeared to be working a summer job, not career carnies with the toothless look of meth-addiction. It was, by far, the most family-friendly experience I've ever had, circling the midway and putting the girls on the swings. Even that foul-mouthed clown in the dunk tank was gone, along with his crowd of inebriated admirers. I didn't have to brush up against overweight women in skimpy tank tops to get through the tight spots, and my kids didn't ask me on the way home about facial piercings. I didn't even get any fresh ideas for my prison tattoo.

I was so disappointed.

I feel like the color has been sapped out of my life lately. There are things I love about our monochromatic, suburban life: the McDonald's clerk doesn't get lippy when I make a special order, the kids don't come home from school with trucker vocabulary, and there's a park with a pond down the block. It's very pleasant here in Utopia, but, really, what's the fun in that? Every now and then, you need to see the neighbor circling your backyard on his lawn tractor, pulling a dozen kids on a sled, knocking down your landscape, and drinking a beer while he drives. What fun is a good night's sleep when you could be listening right through the walls to the backyard karaoke of ten drunken people blasting their version of "Desperado" on loudspeakers from their patio?

Apparently calls to the police have tempered the neighbors' enthusiasm for parties and lawn equipment, so things have been extremely quiet on our block this summer. Then the fair goes and takes away the human zoo we call the midway. At least my church is in the city – there's always some good, colorful folks around there to spice things up.

During our snarky laughfests, making fun of all the human silliness around us, I do realize that no one leaves the house in the morning thinking, "I hope this outfit makes a fool of me today." Or, "I think I'll go engage in some bizarre and unhealthy behavior tonight, just to give the neighbors a laugh." Truly, when I see those giant, tattooed women pushing strollers full of kids around the fair, I feel sadness for the brokenness of our world. I honestly hope that none of the neighborhood kids ever falls under the wheels of the lawn tractor. But as long as people are going to continue engaging in these absurd behaviors, I invite them to have a good chuckle at my prudishness, and then, by all means, bring on the show.

Wisdom is like having two good eyes; foolishness leaves you in the dark. But wise or foolish, we all end up the same. Ecclesiastes 2:14

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