Friday, June 1, 2012

Please Don't Bite The Farmer

I'm sure you all recognize what this is.

I believe I have just opened one. As some of you can attest - taking care of kids is quite a bit like sitting at an auction. Any movements or tiny noises are interpreted as confident bids of millions of pounds for utter shit by Tracy Emin. Before you know it you're having to explain sheepishly to an auctioneer at Christie's that you can't actually pay the $50,000 it appears you've agreed to pay for a sculpture she's made called Sexcrement. Then you end up in The Daily Mail as someone attempting to defraud a notable auction-house in the vain hopes of blagging some of Emin's poo to gratify myself with. Of course with it being The Daily Fail they'd likely have a headline like, "Did Muslim Benefits Cheat Defraud Britain To Promote Sharia Sex Act With Unmarried Socialist Woman's Fecal Matter?" Which isn't libelous because it's a question and not a statement.

Anyway - this morning I remembered that there is a local farm festival thing tonight. Knowing the sensitive nature of my children when promised something (and then not getting it) I made my wife tell them that we were going. That way if we don't for some reason it's her fault. And with my wife working until the kids bedtime lately I wasn't about to make any promises that might not be met. Anyhoo - the wife reassured the lot of us she'd be out of work at a reasonable time and we can all go point at tractors, ride a horse and get covered in that powdered sugar that is drenched on everything claimed to be edible in the US that is labeled as a festival.

My daughter gets extremely excited by anything with the word festival in it. Granted - she might actually think the word is "bestibull" - but she seems to think it indicates the most amazing fun that can be had by anyone ever. Call me a cynic but I don't think The Festival For The Souls Of Dead Whales has much funnel cake at it. Although I bet it's slightly more jovial than a festival for people who have had miscarriages.

Anyhoo, I spent the morning making a fool of myself for comic effect. That is trying to gee-up my son by telling him what he can expect to see at this farm festival - but by telling him things that will absolutely not be there. So I'll say, "there will be tractors, and horses, and kangaroos, and a massive octopus that violently squirts milk at everyone from a Graham cracker that can fly!" The idea being my daughter will then correct me and point out that there will be actually be normal stuff like pigs, sheep and possibly milkshakes. But definitely no aggressive lactating flying octopuses. It's a pretty common thing we do where I pretend to be much stupider than I am and my daughter plays along because then we get to be very silly without any reason.

Except that didn't happen. Instead they both sort of took it at face value. But ignorantly I kept it up assuming that my daughter (very much her mother's child) would get to a point where she couldn't swallow what were clear untruths - and would burst the bubble purely so we can all agree that facts must always be peer reviewed by experts until we all can agree they are true. Except she kid of grinned and made gasping noises. My son - taking a cue from that - did a fake shocked-hands-on-face thing (think The Scream and that's a pretty good description) And at some point I appear to have promised that i might rain salami, and that there will be a twelve-foot Canada Goose that defecates marshmallows - but also that rumor has it that the festival has come under attack from a rabid ghost-wolf that survives solely on children's bum cheeks.

They've both been hyper-actively screaming around the house in excited terror since then. That was almost an hour ago and they've only just stopped randomly shrieking that they've either just stepped in a marshmallow turd, or are at that very moment having their arse nibbled on (helpfully acted out by my son repeatedly biting my bottom every three minutes). The fog of madness faded a little. Except after they calmed down to eat a banana and watch Superwhy on PBS they now seem to have blurred the line between what is usually on a farm and the coffee-bean fueled demented nightmare that I made up this morning. In the end I had to actually say with genuine sincerity and regret that there would not be a lactating octopus, nor would there be a massive marshmallow-defecating goose and neither would it rain greasy fake-Italian sausage meat.  They both look genuinely disappointed. And - as is usually the case - they don;t really believe me.

So now I'm trapped between two likely outcomes. The first being where they may actually be let-down by a festival that they would normally be perfectly entertained by. In other words - I may have ruined Farm Fest. But on the other hand - we may become notorious amongst the agrarian movers and shakers of my community (which is quite a lot of them) as the family that showed up at an innocent farm festival and terrorized everyone with demented stories about a wolverine arse-cannibal - whilst my son rarbidly runs about biting strangers.

All I'm saying is I best take my camera.

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