OK, so, I am the first to admit that last week’s piece here was a real stinker, moose turd pie, as it were. Brain cramps. Writer’s block. Dry spell. I thought, “I need a fresh perspective.” How fresh? Well, how about life from a 6-year-old’s perspective?
This weekend was a perfect opportunity to encounter numerous youngsters. I had a booth at the newish Medieval Fantasy Faire in Atascadero. With live mermaids (yup), a full-fledged pirate ship (yup) and all the usual expectations of pageantry (a fairy queen at this event) and silliness, they would likely have some interesting things popping around their heads.
“Ah, Fiona (age 6), would you care to give me a few words on what you feel about all this?”
Her mom, “That sounds neat! We have to go bring this baby goat back home for her mama to nurse. When we get back.”
That was that. Nature rules. Got it.
“Mia, so, you’re 10?”
“What do you think about all these people dressed like this and acting so wild?”
“It’s fun. I like making things. I like things people make.”
I like that — plain and simple.
Her mother added, “She’s taking sewing in 4-H.”
“Wow,” I followed, “that’s such a great skill to have! You could make your own costumes, sew your own tent like this.”
She shrugged. “Yeah.”
“So, David, how old are you?”
“What do you like about life?”
“I like rocks!” (as he’s inspecting my box of polished local stones)
“Ah, well you are in luck, my good fellow! Tell me a joke, and you can have any one of those rocks you’d like!”
Oh, how the wheels did turn. There was much stammering and “um-ing” until his mother whispered in his ear.
He offered, “What do you get when a cow runs?”
“I am sure I don’t know!”
Proudly he responded, “A milkshake!” and ran to the box.
Simple pleasures. OK, I get it.
Most of the other kids enjoyed telling jokes and picking out rocks (as did many adults — talk about stinkers! I think my column was barely a step up, hahaha) but merely shrugged when I tried to get cerebral. I’m sure they figured I’d been in the heat too long and my bodice was too tight. They were not that far off.
After a long weekend of playing with people’s heads, I broke down my site, packed it all into my little clown car and headed for home.
“Oh, what the heck … how about an In-N-Out burger?”
I know, I know … meat. I rarely eat it, but post-faire always calls for something “special.” I ordered to-go and looked for a place to wait in the crowded restaurant.
Glancing over at the long, white, plastic bench nearby, I picked out the gentleman who looked old enough to possibly understand the lame joke that materialized in my head that I just had to use, a line from Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant.”
“Mind if I join you here on the Group W bench?”
He turned his weathered face and dyed black hair up to me and smiled. He then launched into his review on fast food.
“Now, I’m really a McDonald’s fan but, I gotta say, I love these onions here. And the lettuce. Nice and crisp. But, oh, I love McDonald’s milkshakes.”
He continued with his traveling tales, times he obviously relied on these joints for sustenance. So, another take on life: Crispy vegetables are important to customers. I’ll remember that if I ever open one.
Meanwhile, heard any good jokes? I got a ton of ’em. That I can’t remember. That’s OK. They’ll always be funny to me!
Dianne Brooke’s column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at ltd@ lady tie di .com, or visit her website at www .lady tie di .com.