FALL ON THE GREEN

Every year the village near my home puts on a fest called Fall on the Green. Most of the green is a parking lot. So it would be more accurate to call it Fall on the Asphalt.

Every year, in a jagoff test of loyalty, they schedule it for football’s opening weekend. Because FUCK YOU football fans.

Every year people fall on the green, puke on the green, abandon their kids on the green, go deaf on the green, and then complain on-line about all the non-resident riff-raff lured in by alcohol and kid rides.

Every year, the organizers get a line up of bands that can cover songs from other bands as loudly as possible.

“So you play Rolling Stones songs?”

“Yes”

“How loudly?”

“Well, we have our own equipment, Marshall amps of course, and a top-line mixing board. But our sound is classic, we’ve been written up by some of the best critics. Most think our Paint it Black is, without a doubt—“

“I asked how LOUD can you make with the music!!??”

They don’t want attendees talking about their lives or local government. Especially not local government. Which is bound to happen when you plan a fest that every resident child is going to demand to attend right when you’re sitting down for kickoff to the season opener.

“WHY THE FUCK DID THEY HAVE TO HAVE THE FEST THIS WEEKEND??”

“WHAT?!”

“WHY THE FUCK DID THEY HAVE TO HAVE THE FEST THIS WEEKEND??”

“WHAT?”

“WHY THE FUCK DID THEY HAVE TO HAVE THE FEST THIS WEEKEND??”

“WHAT?”

“IS THAT PAINT IT BLACK? IT SOUNDS LIKE SHIT!”

“WHAT?”

Attendees drink in a desperate attempt at time travel. It’s obvious when you look at how they dress. Wearing clothes that used to fit more than a president ago, showing parts that used to impress when Anniston’s nipples starred in Friends (which explains the name of the show). For some, it’s hard to determine where the leather vest ends and the arms begin.

The beer tent becomes party central for saggy middle-aged teens whose parents have gone away for the weekend. They drink extra hard because for three glorious days the Green is a sanctuary from those draconian open container laws. They can walk right by the 5-0 with their frothy time-machine fuel and smirk.

As is the custom, they leave their half-consumed beers on curbs and on garbage cans, to be picked up and finished off by invincible teens who don’t mind a little backwash with their Old Style. Leaving these plastic cups of cheap beer just sitting around is the alcoholic’s version of dandelion fluff, pollinating the next generation of alcoholics.

Parents bring their kids for two reasons: to teach them to cut in line and yell at them outdoors in front of an audience. Like Shakespeare on the Green with spittle flying everywhere.

“A-gain?! You wish to go a-GAIN?! For why must you be such an insatiable wretch for these damnable HOUSES OF BOUNCE??!! FOR WHY??!!”

The bouncy houses are free and over-regulated by teenagers. They know everything so that makes sense. Like the kids who aren’t old enough to drink but are given uniforms and authority to direct traffic. They stand on the corners, telling drivers what the traffic lights are already telling them, only shoutier. Within minutes of being assigned to the sacred duty of traffic light interpreter, they begin to categorize people as either civilian or AUTHORITY. Soon after that determination is made, they start to group civilians as either stupid or criminal. I saw one, who probably just received her high school locker assignment a few days before, scream at a driver who was making a perfectly legal turn to “STOP AND WAIT RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE!” just so I could cross the street right then and not a minute later.

Like the bouncy houses, the rides are also free. But I think that every millionth rider has to die or pay some other unspeakable price to balance things out.

This year, I had the pleasure of taking our three kids to Paintopia myself. Each one pulling me in a different direction and claiming to be unloved. After establishing that my very next move would most certainly lead to a lifetime of emotional scars, they began looking for a ride called Zero Gravity they remembered from the year before. I remembered it was operated by Billy Ray Syphilis. It wasn’t there and that was my fault somehow. Instead, there was something even more creaky/oily/deadly: the Pharoah’s Fury. Ben was too short to ride and that was my fault too.

 

That was the closest he came to no that day.

That was the closest he came to no that day.

But it was okay, because the only ride he wanted was aboard the Sugar Train. I bribed him with a clear sack of future fury and watched the other two climb aboard the ride I used to know as the Sea Dragon.

image

Ian immediately loved it. Elsa was TERRIFIED. Which meant that she loved it and needed to ride it 80 more times. That’s the way to Elsa’s heart—through her terror.

Ben wanted to chase the dragon some more. He began demanding ice cream with the remnants of cotton candy still clinging to his reddening cheeks. With Ian and Elsa demanding more rides inside an ancient stereotype and me there by myself, I bought him the overpriced frozen Spider-man face. In my opinion, the Good Humor man is one twisted fuck, encouraging kids to bite someone’s face, saving the eyeballs as an extra bonus treat for later.

Ben’s face was disappearing behind a thick sticky sugar mask. I pried the kids away from the Pharoah long enough to get him into a bouncy house and work off some of that sugar high. YES I ENDANGERED OTHER CHILDREN AND RISKED COUNTLESS LAWSUITS BUT I AM ONLY ONE FLAWED MAN!

All it did was work up his sugar craving.

We stayed for a little while longer. When it came time to leave, all of the kids were thoroughly disappointed with being limited to 4 hours of whatever the hell they wanted. I crammed some Smash Burger into their hunger holes and took them home where Ian insisted on renting Home Alone from Amazon Instant Video. They gave up on the movie and crashed. And I had a few minutes to unwind.

I AM ONLY ONE FLAWED MAN!

I AM ONLY ONE FLAWED MAN!

The next day, Jill came back from pretending we weren’t married and we all went to Fall on the Asphalt, where I got to ride that Pharoah with Ian and Elsa one sweet time. Sometimes one time is all you ever need.

I don’t know if you can overdose on joy, but I come close every time I watch this.

11 Comments

  1. The sugar train is my son’s favorite ride as well.

  2. Ben scared the crap outta the dog and Elsa screaming made him hide under his blanket. Best videos ever!

  3. What’s with how crappy Good Humor is these days? Our ice cream truck sells the SpongeBob version of that Spiderman thing, and it’s equally creepy. It turns their mouths (and chins and cheeks and noses) black, and as an added bonus, they have the morbid privilege of eating the gumball eyeballs. It’s disgusting.

    • jeffandjill

      09/10/2014 at 3:50 pm

      It’s pseudo-cannibalism. If it’s not a psychological study with a PhD in that truck documenting each child that orders a face to eat, then we’re just training serial killers. First they eat the face, then the eyes, and then, once they’ve acquired a taste for face, the sugar kicks in, sending them into a cannibalistic frenzy.

  4. This was all kinds of awesome. Those videos are great. Especially Ben demanding more sugar.

    • jeffandjill

      09/10/2014 at 10:17 pm

      Thank you! He had been going on like that for a lot longer than I taped him. Repeating over and over again “Another one ice cream!” I only began filming when he seemed to be running out of steam.

  5. Ben’s usual fix for sugar amounts to 3 ice creams and 2 candies. After that, he’ll mention that he’ll eat the mac n’cheese now. Course, he’ll have less than half and tell you how full he is. But then you must remember I’m grandma, so I don’t have the resolve of a parent like I once had.

  6. By the way, added note, it was a fantastic blog and the films were priceless.

    • jeffandjill

      09/18/2014 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks! Now that Ben has a bionic mouth, he can can ride the sugar train everywhere by Gummy Town.

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