Sunday November 28th, 2010

The exercise:

Let us write about: the fair.

Kat and I went up to Penticton today to check our their Community Christmas Fair. Let's just say that it didn't quite measure up to what we were used to seeing in Vancouver. At least we were able to pick up a few Christmas presents.

Going to give the NaNoWriMo story another go this evening. Update later.

Update: day twenty-eight. Figured something important out, feeling good about things again. Only two days to go!


I ride the roller coasters,
I drive the bumper cars,
And though I'm always moving,
I don't get very far.

I eat the cotton candy,
I snack on deep fried bull,
And though I'm always chewing,
I don't get very full.

There is magic in the air,
There is joy all around,
And though I should be going,
There's more fun to be found.


Greg said...

Ah well, a Community Fair will always be influenced by the size of the community, and I'm sure Vancouver's is a little bit larger than Penticton's! It can't have been too bad if you got presents and it inspired today's prompt though :)
There seems to be a fair few food-themed fairs coming up around London, so I guess that's what Christmas means to us! I shall try to get to one next weekend.
Your verses all resonate with me, but I think the second is my favourite for its accuracy -- pointed and precise, it's great!

The fair
Pestilence ran his hand unseen through the small child's hair as they walked past the Dodgems. The child ran off happily, unaware that he was going to have hair-eating dandruff for the rest of his life.
"Where is he?" he said suddenly, his head up and his eye-sockets scanning the fairground.
There were happy (and unhappy but pretending) families everywhere; the rides were ablaze with light and colour, and a riot of sound bounced from the gaudy wall of one tent to another. People strolled and staggered, children clutching sticky treats and mothers clutching damp tissues, futilely trying to clean faces. And somewhere, off to the left perhaps, was the sharp crack of a fairground rifle turned lethal.
"Who?" said Famine, looking bored. Fairground food could cause a famine of it's very own without his help.
"Friendly fire."
"Rifle range."
"This should be good, then!" Pestilence's voice was gloopy with anticipation.
"Yeah. Teapot."

Zhongming said...

Marc – Great poem! I feel relaxed after reading your smooth-flowing poem. :)

Greg – Great story and detail! I love the way you them together :)

The Fair

“Look at the bird eye. It looks like she is having some thoughts right? She look spaced out. I think she must be thinking about her child or something. She is obviously day-dreaming about something.” Grandmaster Lu pointing at his own drawing and that’s his answer to our fellow student reporter.

Then he moved on to the next painting and comments that: “look at the flowers, its lovely isn’t it? And look at the bees. It teaches us a lesson isn’t it? Grandmaster Lu smiles at all of the students as if he understood that they have already been enlightened.

Watermark said...

Oooh a fair! I haven't been to one in ages!

Marc: Loved the ambience in your poem! Just felt there.

Greg: Loved your description!

Zhongming: Your piece just took me somewhere else - lovely!

Here's mine:

Lily stood watching the children in the merry-go-round whirl around like the thoughts in her head. Her nephew, Little-T as she liked to call him, was sitting on one of the colourful red horses, making giddy-up and trotting noises. He was in full character, his wispy hair flying in the wind. Not in a care in the world. Not a concern for anything to do with the future. She wondered how he would react when he eventually did find out. Things at his home would never be the same again. He would be going to boarding school next year. Lily wanted to spend as much as time as she could with him before then. Little-T hopped off his horse and ran towards her with a gregarious laugh. She scooped him up and gave him a big hug before dropping him to the ground again. Hand in hand, they spent the rest of the day walking through the crowd, eating cotton candy, painting their faces and making memories.

summerfield said...

okay, pardon my ignorance, but what is a fried bull? i should maybe google it later. marc, your poem about described the whole fair experience: "though I'm always moving, I don't get very far" - love that line.

greg, i think pestilence and famine are my favourite characters of yours and i always look forward to reading your posts.

zhongming, thank you for your kind words. and your post, as watermark wrote, it's "lovely".

watermark, i could relate to your piece. my grands are in the middle of a nasty custody battle and i feel so sorry for them, the only thing i could do is to let them have "child" activities because i don't want them to enjoy their childhood no matter what.

The sign was too large to ignore. In large white letters with black background and an arrow pointing west at the bottom, the sign read: PARIS FAIRGROUNDS.

"Oh," Jean, my passenger, an elderly lady who was staying at the Telfer Place senior home, said. Her head followed the direction of the arrow.

We were stopped at the intersection of Grand River Street and Silver Street going into Telfer Place. She smiled and her eyes sparkled from a memory that suddenly appeared itself, and I felt so afraid to step on the gas long after the green light came on for fear I might run over it. The loud honking from the car behind us jolted the car as I stepped on the gas, and so did Jean's revery.

As I parked the car, she said, "I almost forgot about the Fairgrounds." She looked towards the street, as if she could see the Fairgrounds which was a few blocks down east.

"Would you like to go there, Jean?" I asked.

"Yeah," she said immediately, without hesitation, and the eyes once more sparkled.

I shifted the car to rear and drove back onto the road and followed the arrows. After two minutes we entered the Fairground's parking lot, near the red and white tents that were still deserted. The fair didn't open until late afternoon on weekdays.

"That's where I met him," Jean said, pointing to an old willow tree several metres away. Her hands, ravaged by time and arthritis, shook as she pointed.

"Your husband?"


"Would you like to tell me about Billy?" I asked.

"He was a painter. I passed by his tent and he asked me if he could paint me. I said yes, then we made love."

"Jean!" I said, "in the tent? Right then and there?"

Jean looked at me with a blank expression on her face. "Of course! Not everyone in the reign of Victoria was pure, you know. A lot of us did some disgraceful acts once in our lives, some more disgraceful than others. But that didn't mean we were sluts."

"I am shocked!" I said, smiling, and putting my palm over my chest.

"My husband Paul was more shocked when he found out our first child, your husband," she paused to point her finger at me, "was actually Billy's child. Of course, I didn't tell him right away."

"When did you tell him?"

"Just before he died," she said, matter-of-factly. "I suppose he had to know at some point." Then she motioned with her hand, "Let's go. I had enough of this fairground."

just remembered this incident that happened about eight or so years ago when my husband's mother was still alive.

summerfield said...

really? they have "fried bull" in the fairs here? hmmmm...interesting.

Marc said...

Greg - love those two, they make a great pair. And if I'm not careful I'm going to start using 'teapot' myself.

Zhongming - great scene :)

Watermark - '... making memories' was the perfect way to end that.

Summerfield - do they really? Haha, I was just poking fun at the fact that they seem to have deep fried everything at fairs.

That's a great little vignette, and all the more gripping for being true.