We took my son to a little local festival on Saturday and then to the movies on Sunday. When I finally introduced a vegetable back into my body Sunday night, there was a collective sigh of relief from all of my major organs.
Saturday was the Freedom Festival at Mercer County Park in West Windsor, NJ. The local radio station was there, along with a Bruce Springsteen tribute band that wasn't half bad. When my wife and I lived in northwestern NJ, our idea of a festival involved standard carnival rides, farm animals, and good food. Obviously, our hopes were too high for the Central state's equivalent. Their idea of a festival is mediocre food, beer gardens, and every type of inflatable bounce house/slide/obstacle course on the face of the planet. $2 to get into a bounce house. $3 to go through an obstacle course that takes a 5-year-old ~30 seconds to complete if he puts his mind to it. Luckily, they had unlimited wrist bands for $20, so you could at least limit the wallet bleeding. I'd been through this at least once before and a 5-year-old still doesn't quite grasp the "pay to play" concept. I'm still a bit foggy on it myself.
Dining at the "festival" was an adventure. My wife chose wisely and had a beef brisket sandwich (+ fries + drink = $15...thankyouverymuch). I thought I'd go safe and get chicken fingers. I should have just skipped straight to the funnel cake (mmm...funnel cake). Anyway, the "chicken" fingers were overcooked and the ratio of "chicken" parts to filler was probably 2 to 1. Yummo. My son ate part of a hotdog and some fries. Later, after a brief respite from bounce-o-rama, I got my funnel cake. Now, I'm not a big guy, but I could easily eat several funnel cakes on my own. I'd probably be regretting it shortly after, but I could do it. However, having a 5-year-old son who insists on "sharing" everything that's sweet and isn't green, brings a whole new concept to my enjoyment of this common festival treat. It became immediately apparent that I needed to eat more quickly! When dealing with another adult, there's an unspoken pace at which something shared is consumed. With a 5-year-old, it's eat as much as you can in the shortest time possible. My wife had maybe two bites of this particular dessert. I struggled to enjoy my part as I watched my son scarf down at least half. He ate like I was going to take it away…which crossed my mind. Shortly after, I would have my revenge, even if it was unintentional.
"Hey, bud...wanna go on another ride (ie, bounce-o-rama)."
About two minutes in, he bounces over the screened window I'm watching him from, holding his stomach:
"Daddy, my belly feels like it's going to explode."
"Yeah...that's the funnel cake telling you how much it loves you. Come on out before you get love on all the other kids."
Once out, of course, he insisted that his stomach didn’t hurt (probably because this also coincided with our decision to leave). A major meltdown was averted when my wife offered him ice cream. Have you ever seen a confused dog cock its head? Yeah. That was me. We stopped him from playing because he was feeling vomitus. Now, you want to shovel some frozen curds into him? “But, he didn’t get his own dessert!” Riiiight.
Sunday we decided to go see Cars 2. Do you remember when all you'd see before the film started to roll was a slide show of local advertising and crappy trivia that didn't change for six months? Not anymore! Now, you get to watch what amounts to a bunch of commercials just prior to the 25 minutes of...more commercials (slyly called "previews" in order to fool us) that come before the feature. By the time the movie started, we had consumed at least half of the popcorn, water, Nerds, and Reese's Pieces we had purchased. By the time the movie ended, I was deep in self-loathing for every last handful of popcorn I pulled from the bottom of the bag. I was also a bit unimpressed with this version of Cars. Though splashier and more visually stunning than the first, I thought the overall story was a bit flat.
But, maybe that's just the Nerds/Reese's/Popcorn stomach ulcer talking.
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