We attended the Punahou Carnival yesterday. This makes the third consecutive year, and that’s full-blown trend territory. We’re probably two years away from calling it a true tradition. In case you’re wondering – and I know you are – the “Ultimately Being Let Down by the Mets” tradition is in its 14th year. Cheers.
First thing’s first: as we learned the past two years that the lines for food get crazy around sunset, the first thing we did yesterday was grub. Lynnette showed some discipline by ordering a single gyro. Madison’s eyes screamed for corn on the cob and saimin. I also had a single gyro. And a teri-cheeseburger. Even though I had eaten McDonald’s for lunch a mere 4 hours earlier. It’s the Punahou Carnival: you kinda gotta.
Madison typewritered her corn. When she told us that she wanted the corn and a saimin, I thought it was a gross miscalculation on her part. The only kind of food Madison generally eats a lot of in a single sitting is junks. She will eat candy and other “desserts” until someone cuts her off. Her piece-of-candy-per-minute ratio is a staggering 8.39 while her bite-of-actual-food-per-minute ratio is an underwhelming 2.71. Those are some pretty serious splits. I also thought that she would simply say she wasn’t hungry so that she could start getting on rides and playing games. I was wrong. She sat there and methodically decimated her dinner.
Last year, I took a picture of Lynnette and Madison in this same spot. I took a turn with the Goob this year. Madison was in awe of the rides for big kids and adults. She saw the hang-glider looking one and started throwing out random numbers which were meant to signify ages when she might be able to ride such a contraption. We saw the big swing thing, which is something Mad has a definite interest in. On our way to the kids’ rides, we passed the Tilt-a-Whirl, and Madison shouted “I want to ride that!” Lynnette couldn’t say no fast enough. The last time Lynnette rode that thing with Madison, my child thought it was the coolest thing in the world while my wife wouldn’t walk straight for the rest of the night. No, the Tilt-A-Whirl has become a stain, that most regrettable of one-night stands: looked like fun; there was a bunch of really jerky movement; about half-way through, you prayed it would just end already; it ended, you felt horrible about it; and every time you see it, all it does is conjure up those same memories and emotions of ugh. Lynnette will not be giving the Tilt-A-Whirl a call back. Like, ever.
Obviously, I really wish I had a better camera. This was the first ride Madison hopped on last night, and the actual time spent going round merrily was noticeably brief. It may have made a minute, but it didn’t feel like it. As Madison got onto more rides, it became pretty clear that this was carnival-wide mandate. At first I was kind of upset about it considering that each ride costs 3 scrips. But as I thought about it, I guess it’s kind of the best solution to a problem that is impossible to solve. Since I already bought the scrips, I’ve already paid my money. What I get from that point out is irrelevant. As far as the kids rides are concerned, there are two choices: each run can go for two minutes or longer, or they can go for about a minute. While the first choice seems immediately more desirable, the by-product of the second option means that the lines move more quickly. I know that the timing isn’t exactly linear, but as I watch Madison and Lynnette spin in circles, then do a mere three circuits on the roller coaster, I asked myself: Would I rather wait in line for twenty minutes for Mad to ride for two? Or would I rather wait ten minutes for Mad to ride for one? Yeah, I wasn’t trying to spend all night at the Carnival, you know?
Other than when she was scarfing down her dinner, Madison made me the most proud last night when she played this game. I won’t bore you (again) with a summary of her throwing technique, but I will say that I was beyond pleased that she had some extra zip on the beanbag last night. I guess she finally figured out that she’s got to put some arm into it if she wants to win these games. She actually stepped into her throws last night. She put two beanbags into the little funnel last night. One of them was a fastball right down the middle that collided with the backboard and dropped straight down. She was fired up. “You did it!” I said. “Two times!” she shouted. She got her hands up for high-fives before I did. The last time she was that excited was the other night when we were watching TV and that Prilosec commercial with Larry the Cable Guy came on and she perked up, screaming “He sounds like Mater!”
This year’s prizes: a green sparkly bracelet, a pink inflatable crayon (destined to join the other half-inflated fair/carnival prizes), and a wand-thing that is essentially a smaller scale version of that cheap light saber of which I own two. I think we’ve already recouped their full value. Madison pretended to draw on my stomach when we were waiting in line for malasadas, and she and I had a swordfight with the crayon and the wand before going to be last night. Through my years of research and development, I have found the best use for inflatable toys is whacking one’s daughter and wife. It doesn’t hurt because it’s air, but it makes a solid sound because it’s captured air. It’s light and can therefore be moved quickly. No, you’re right, I’m pretty irritating.
Sugar on the mouth? Check. Sugar on the hands? Check. Sugar on the shirt? Check. Sugar on the skirt? Check.
I forgot to ask someone to take a picture of while we were actually on the Carnival grounds. We were already past the potted plants when I realized that we hadn’t taken a shot capturing all three of us. A older gentleman was polite enough to take this picture of us right before we crossed the street to return to our car. Lynnette with a snack, myself with a Coke, and Madison not looking at the camera, playing an inflatable crayon like an inflatable guitar. Yeah, this is pretty much us.