It’s local fair and carnival season! Do you remember being insanely competitive as a child trying to win something at the carnival games? The best one was the dime pitch, where the nicest dish was on the top of the pyramid of shiny, sparkly glassware most likely bought from the dollar store. If you were in a store, you’d never want any of these glasses in a million years. But because they’re on a showcase display as part of a challenge, next thing you know you’ve cashed in your entire hard-earned summer allowance into dimes. You think you can win the fake Waterford Crystal on the very top, until you notice your first toss clears the whole display and hits the poor volunteer fireman in the leg. Next toss falls short. This isn’t going well. After $60 worth of terrible tosses, you finally land one by accident in an interior, lower tier glass, and now you feel like you’ve won the lottery. You can’t help but yell, “I GOT IT!! That’s mine, right there, see it? I just won that. Totally mine.” At first you want to be the hero of the family by winning the top prize, but now that ugly glass you’ve won is like the holy grail to you. After claiming your “prize,” aka a 50-cent glass ashtray when nobody in your family smokes that cost you $60, you’re off to throw baseballs at milk cans that won’t budge no matter how hard you throw. After giving up there, you then attempt to pop underinflated balloons with dull darts. That huge stuffed animal literally hanging over your head as a prize is not something you would normally ever want, but now suddenly its your life’s goal to get one. After a dart gets deflected off of a balloon and almost hits the carnival worker, you give up on that quest before somebody gets hurt and head to the goldfish challenge instead. Even though you have no fish tank at home for the poor fish and it’s not even healthy enough to survive the trek to the flooded parking lot to your car that’s stuck in the mud, you spend the rest of your money chucking ping pongs at glass jars that refuse to catch the balls. Even as a parent you’re spending all of your money on these games to win something so that your child isn’t heartbroken…it gets to the point where you’ll even settle for a gross feather roach clip. If you do win a stuffed animal, even if it’s the size of the palm of your hand and looks creepy with its buggy, uneven eyes, you’re going to make sure your child plays with it every day and takes it to college because of all you went through to get it! Of course the night that you choose to go to the fair with your kids is the night it rains, so your shoes will get ruined in the process of having a great time. Or a bull will get loose and you’ll have to run for your lives; that’s always a bonus challenge too. But the whole family looks forward to the local fairs and carnivals all year because you can’t beat the food, the shows, the kids’ rides, the awesome animals, local crafts, the awards on projects, the old friends you see there, and it’s all for a good cause so you wouldn’t miss it for the world. Enjoy!!