Posts Tagged With: Fair

Baby Racing

Last week we took the baby to the LA County Fair. And by “we” I mean my dad, sister, brother-in-law, and aunt. Brian hates the fair with a passion that is irrational, but I’m resigned to it.

Asher is pretty good in the car unless you’re stopped for any reason. Then he frets and complains, and sometimes starts to cry. On the way into the fair there were many stops and starts as we navigated traffic.

“Unghhh!” said Asher at all of them.

“What’s wrong?” said my dad.

“He’s just upset we’re waiting,” I replied.

“Oh,” said my dad. And then he started making vrooming sounds.

Asher stopped fussing almost immediately, totally content with the facsimile… “Good enough, and thank you for the attempt,” he seemed to say. “You efforts at infant placation have been accepted.”

Of course, this is not the end of the silliness. Part two of this story involves school. Both Brian and I have class on Monday nights, so Asher goes over to have a grand old time with Grandma. I don’t have enough time between drop off and school to go get food, so I usually run through the drive-through with Asher in the car throwing a fit because we are WAITING at a window, mom!

So tonight, instead of sitting through the crying, I am in the line for the drive-through making vrooming noises. My window is down, and there I am with a silent baby in the back who is unobservable because of the tinted windows, and I’m pretending to have some sort of stock car race with my mouth. I may not have been the weirdest thing those drive-through workers had seen, but I’ll bet I at least received a “you’ll never guess,” when they went home that night.

The things we do for our children…

In other news, the baby has realized that if he runs off with his pants in the morning, it takes me much longer to put him in them. He’s usually so proud of himself about it, too, waving them in the air with a smile on his face as he stalks around the kitchen and growls.

He’s trouble, but he DOES make me laugh.

Categories: Kids, Life | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Renaissance Faire

The Renaissance Faire garners a lot of criticism for their fluffy portrayal of history. And it is terribly fluffy. I hate to break anyone’s bubble, but frozen bananas were not a thing of the past. Nor were dragon puppets, bows with arrows tipped in rubber erasers, cloth tapestries of yin-yang symbols, or hair wreaths where the dye runs in the rain. Only the wealthiest people could afford to eat a turkey leg. Artichokes existed nowhere outside of Greece.

The atmosphere at Faire seethes. Dust clings to everything, mingling with sweat so that when I come home, I can tell the exact location of my bodice by the dark line of gray across my chest. The crowd is a confluence of those in trademark bodice and skirts or doublet and pants, those in princess costumes of satin with lurid gold trim, barbarians, colorful jesters with elaborate codpieces, fairies, those in jeans and t-shirts. A woman has pinned a button to the bodice in front of her vast breasts that says Nice day, aren’t they? The dusty road, really a sea of people, serpentines through aisles of booths. Hawkers cry their wares.

“Faire Special!” yells a man with a pole full of hair wreathes. “Buy two, get two!”

“Hot Chestnuts!” says a woman behind a red metal push cart. “Put my hot nuts in your mouth!”

The serpentine streets dump out at the jousting stadium, a collection of metal bleachers draped with flags.

And yet, for all the historical travesty, the Renaissance Faire gets at least one thing right. Public drunkenness. It is the truth that during most of history alcohol was readily available and most of the population was drunk most of the time. Water was usually polluted, untrustworthy. If you didn’t want to get dysentery, beer was much healthier than water. In the words of Dr. Estes from Chapman University, “back then almost everyone was drunk pretty much all of the time.”

When I heard this in class, a lot of things suddenly made sense. Like jousting.

And so the point of this meditation on the joys of the Renaissance Faire is to say, history might surprise you. The things that seem authentic are often not, and vice versa. The next time you see a sprite, wings attached by elastic to her shoulders, holding a plastic cup of beer in her hand, know that at least one thing in that equation is a certified historic experience.

Categories: History, Life, Medieval History | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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