06 November, 2005

Wrapping Up

...counting the days 'til I'll be with you/counting the hours and the minutes, too/ Bye, baby, goodbye/Bye, baby, goodbye/ Bye, baby, goodbye/ bye-bye, so long, farewell...


We’ve planned to breakfast at the Bizarre Bazaar before tearing down Panto Camp. In my twenty seasons at the Faire, I’ve never been to a Bizarre Bazaar, though it’s held weekly during Fairetimes.

All the testosterone that doesn’t share my DNA is firmly ensconced in the basement showing no signs of activity. I make coffee, post a note, and the children and I leave.

Vultures circle the parking lot, in search of easy meals. One bold fellow sits on the ground, close enough to eye us with beady glitter from his red head. Another swoops low in front of the BoringMobile, looking at us as much as we look at him.

"Look, Mama! There’s their home!" My daugher’s eyesight is as keen as any vulture’s, or moreso. She’s right: there is a leafless tree, decorated with two birds, just beyond the back edge of the joust arena.

Joseph, who gave us plain pins, cooks eggs while Frank the Elephant Trainer cooks potatos behind him. The menu is posted on paper tacked to Heineke’s knife booth. Joseph writes our orders on a scrap of cardboard. The cash register is a clear glass jar and payment is the honor system. An iBook plays CDs through small speakers in what must be the most dramatic display of underutilization of technology I’ve ever seen.

That Girl hands something to me.

"You owe me two bucks."

It’s underwear. Specifically, hot pink satin tanga panties trimmed in black lace.

(Yes, I am wearing them. Why?)

"They still had tags on, and I knew you had to have them. So you owe me two bucks."

We are comfortably covered, our cold-and spandex-induced Nippleometers no longer in evidence.

"Is it the right nipple for temperature and the left for barometric pressure, or the other way around?"

Not sure. Mine's a Swedish model, so it's likely to be different anyway.

Hilby arrives with Martin and Aviv, intent on taking Fluffy with them to the National Aquarium. Martin stays, as does Fuzzy, under duress. She does not appreciate that I am rescuing her from the cruelty of two boys burdened with a little sister.

The Bazaar is...bizarre. I buy a hat, a silk scarf, ponder earrings I do not need. Once the Bazaar and breakfast have finished, we tear down. Seven large plastic totes, six pair of stilts, four big ladders, five folding chairs, two armloads of white costumes, three tarps and two five-gallon buckets fill both the BoringMobile and That Girl’s pickup truck to capacity.

"All this stuff. All this preparation. I suddenly feel inadequate with only stilts, trousers and a baggie of makeup." Martin is a minimalist, it's true.

Yeah, but you pack out and travel in a drill case.

"Please. It’s a chainsaw case. Much more macho."

Fuzzy, still put out with me, opts to drive with That Girl. As we caravan out, I look for vultures.

It's different from this morning.

"What is?"

I drove in with children, and I'm driving out with an adult.

"Bit like life, then, really."

(Fabares Shelley; See You In September)

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