Well I decided to do what a few thousand people decided to do last Monday. I went to the C.N.E (Canadian National Exhibition). It’s been a few years since I’ve gone and since I won the Rising Star competition they hold every year.
It really seems like a life time ago since I won that top spot as the big Rising Star! I think I have had three lives or more since then. As we arrived at the Prince Gates it was probably the hottest day of summer for sure. I was sweating almost immediately. Leave it to me!
I was actually tempted to head back over to Hanlan’s Point to chat with locals over on the island but no, the fair was calling. Oddly enough the fair, no matter where I go, always seems to remind me of that wonderful children’s story Charlotte’s Web. I’ve always been a great fan of that book. Of course I mentioned I am reading the story of the author at the moment, and so far it’s very interesting.
We immediately headed down the midway. I think myself and company were all dreaming of that crazy food they have in the food building. By the time we got inside I thought I was going to keel over from heat exhaustion. I was soaked through and begging for any place that had aircon. Of course I asked a carny person and he pointed back in the other direction from where we came. Oh for crying out loud!
We had to make our way all the way back to another building where we finally found solace from the scorching sun that baked the midway. I was bitchy the entire way and was wondering why the heck I wasn’t laying on the nude beach tanning my giblets. To make matters worse that damn noise of an airshow was rocking through the sky and I felt like we were in the trenches of some foreign boot brigade!!
But oh the joy when we finally hit the building with the iced air!!!! Sweet Canadian winter. I really did think I was going to pass out. I needed some homemade fudge immediately. It seemed like the only thing that could heal my carny carcass!
I dragged my dripping druthers over to a kiosk that read “homemade fudge” and I sweated out to the old woman behind the counter. Chocolate, Mint, Caramel and that one. It was orange. I didn’t care I didn’t have breakfast and I was pushing the wheelchair!!! Oh did I mention we brought “Mother”? Well why not? I mean she would have sat home all day in our perfectly environmentally controlled suite and we couldn’t have that now could we? Might as well drag her along for the ride.
My partner insisted we not yet eat the fudge of course because we hadn’t eaten anything for the day and it wouldn’t be a great way to start nutritionally. So we veered off to a little dining cut out of the brick wall on the south side of the energy building. I think we were in the Energy Building. Quite fitting considering I had lost all mine trying desperately to get in there.
Something was telling me “Maybe the Ex just wasn’t for me” but we continued and I hoped for the best. Maybe it would get cooler out later on in the day. The ruckus of planes had stopped. Thank God for that! I hate watching my tax dollars swirling around in the sky like that. Taunting onlookers! As if to say, “Look! Look how we spent your hard earned coin!”
Clearly I needed substance. “I’ll have three burger meals and coke” I told the ladies behind the counter. Oh the bliss of the fair. As I sat down with my $65 lunch in hand I thought, “Damn we could have gone to Red Lobster for that and they have all you can eat buttery buns!”
Well whatever. I sat there with a sinking feeling that this day was just going to get more taxing! We spent most of the day walking around the building trying to recover from heat exhaustion and of course we had some lemonade and more treats. Another $30 dollars. Ouch, this place is dear!
My partner and I do two things very well, spend money and bitch at each other about the fact that we are spending money. And of course this trip to the Ex was all my idea once he realized the severity of the cost. Oh no my dear, I wanted to go lay naked on a beach where all you pay for is a spank on the behind if you find yourself walking through the wrong set of bushes! We’ll get to that story Wednesday!
We finally decided to hit the midway. We hoped it had cooled and you know what? It had. Just enough that one could stroll through the hoards of stinking, sweating, greasy populous that was the midway wanderers. Oh joy!
“Rides, rides I need my rides!!” cried one over zealous fiancé! How could I refuse such a wanting of summer festivity? I pulled yet another wad of dollars out of my sad little wallet and off he ran to fetch some ride tickets. It was enough they raped us at the gate and again at lunch but now I would have to watch as they raped my partner again and again as he screamed riding the $20 Tilt-A-Whirl!!
As I waited and watched him go around and around, snapping a few pics and filming some live action accounts of the day, I began to wonder if I had finally become that cynical mid life guy who just didn’t know how to have a good time. Here was my partner looking like a 12 year old and having the time of his life.
Suddenly the clouds moved in and opened up right on top of us, Mother and me, as he laughed away at us. I finally cracked under the pressure of the sky and Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean began playing on the massive sound system that accompanied the ride.
I guess maybe I had become a little cynical. We are only alive once and quietly I pondered, maybe it’s time I start to live. John exited the ride with a grin from ear to ear. I wanted too much to give him a peck but I was too shy to show this affection among the crowds. A mirroring young couple embraced and kissed and I missed the moment. This would not be Ex rated!? We are only alive once and quietly I pondered, maybe it’s time I start to live.
The rest of the C.N.E adventure was simply grand!
This blog is dedicated to Mary Ellen Monk. Happy Anniversary!
Editor: Mary Ellen Monk