Thursday, August 29, 2013

Remembering Scratcher Bun Buns Motorcycle Eater

My husband, Sam, is pathologically allergic to crowds, which is why it surprises me every year when he insists on going to the Cotton Gin Festival.  We always drive forever to get there, watch the tractor parade, do one or two activities, and then he insists we've had enough family fun and ushers us home.

Two years ago, we arrived late and had to park in the middle of nowhere.  We were walking to the parade, when we came upon the children's play area.  Since there wasn't anyone there, Sam insisted that we hang out and play a while.  The only problem was, since it wasn't technically time for the children's area to be open, our activity choices were very limited.  Actually, we only had one choice, goldfish toss.  If you've ever been to a fair or a festival of any kind, you should be familiar with goldfish toss.  You pay $3 for something like 10 ping pong balls and you throw them at little unsuspecting goldfish in little tiny bowls.  If your ball lands in a bowl, that goldfish gets to come to your house for a few days in preparation for its eventual burial at sea.  

Tyler asked if he could try to win a goldfish, and I readily agreed.  I could handle the responsibility that comes with having a goldfish as a pet.  Sam handed over $3 and Tyler went to town.  It was at this moment that I noticed the red bowl in the middle of the display, which I knew  meant that there was a grand prize to be won.  Warning bells began to go off in my head when I inquired what would happen if Tyler threw a ball in the red bowl, and the lady running the game pointed to the floor of her booth where a half dozen baby bunnies were running around.  Tyler, seeing where she had pointed, immediately got excited and announced, "Daddy, I want to win a bunny!"  If I ever I needed proof that Sam isn't a mind reader, this was it.  I was trying my best to wordlessly communicate with him what a bad idea I thought this would be, but he just smiled and said, "Then let's keep trying buddy!"  

It's important to note that we had stopped at the ATM on the way and gotten out $100.  I knew that once Sam was on board with operation "Let's take home a baby bunny", that the odds weren't in my favor.  I plastered an encouraging smile on my face and began praying nonstop for God to intercede on my behalf.  Luck appeared to be on my side because $60 something dollars later, we were the proud new owners of approximately 5,000 goldfish, but we'd yet to land a ball in the grand prize bowl.  My inner mommy was jumping up and down while planning a mass burial at sea for our new pets, who probably had no idea that they were sitting on death row.  My outer mommy was being sympathetic to Tyler's bunnyless plight.  At this point, I reminded Sam that we might want to cut Tyler off so we would have enough cash left over to buy lunch.  

Sam told Tyler that it was time to cash in his winnings, and my inner mommy started doing her happy dance!  I was moments away from escaping unwanted rabbit ownership.  Just as my inner mommy was halfway through the electric slide, Sam looked at Tyler and said, "I bet if you tried really hard, you could sweet talk the nice lady into letting you trade your goldfish for a bunny."  My inner mommy stopped dead in her tracks, and began telepathically trying to give daddy a peace of her mind!  Outer mommy was trying desperately to covertly tell daddy and the lady running the booth to stop the insanity!  I had a 3 month old baby to take care of!  The last thing I needed was an unexpected pet! Apparently, I'm not very good at covert charades because moments later, Tyler was inside the booth selecting his new rabbit.  

As we were leaving with our $60 rabbit, I asked the lady what she did with all the leftover rabbits at the end of the day, and she told me she sold them.  I then asked how much she sold them for.  Turns out we'd severely overpaid.  At the end of the day our $60 rabbit would've been $10.

Disclaimer: I'm a not a fish Nazi.  Had Tyler brought home the 5,000 goldfish he'd actually won, we would have loved them and taken care of them right up until they died.  There would have been no mass fish murders where we marched them to the gas chambers prior to flushing them all down the toilet.  It has just been my experience that when placed in the ownership of a small child, the average life expectancy of a goldfish is approximately 15 minutes.  In those 15 minutes, the fish would have been loved with all Tyler's little heart.  I'm pretty sure we would've ended up throwing them a fishy funeral, where I would've had to get up and say something nice about each and everyone of the dearly departed.  There would even have been a period of mourning.  So please don't call the police and accuse us of being fish abusers.  I can assure you we aren't.


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