I have a theory, that receives some rather substantial proof every August when the fireman's fair erupts just beyond my back fence. This theory may seem hopelessly optimistic, but I believe wholeheartedly that there is a lid for every pot.
As the smells of funnel cake and pizza, french fries and horse manure fill the air, a sweltering mix of humanity flocks to the rides and food. A wondrous mixture of lids and pots.
Some pots have found their lids and display their tandem-ness with pride. The elderly couple who shuffle along, carrying their aluminum lawn chairs to reserve their spot on the grass for the gospel singers who perform the first night. The vinyl webbing for the chairs has been removed, and in their place are matching woven yarn patterns. His and hers. They sit together and chat with everyone around them. He cheekily pats her knee with a gnarled hand which earns him a girlish smile that rearranges her wrinkles and a playful smack on his arm.
You look around and there's the middle-aged couple advertising their fit by strolling arm in arm as they wear matching outfits. Dressed alike, you can't miss that he's her lid.
Then there's the odd couple. A gigantic man with natural orange hair, pencil drawn eyebrows, tattooed eye liner, and a lavender shirt covering his substantial bulk loudly expounds on the golden era of Hollywood. A thin young man, in black from the tips of his spiked hair to the tips of his combat boots hangs on his every word as tightly as he hangs onto his arm.
Lids and pots. Everywhere you look. Some matched up; others on the hunt. Flocks of teenage girls giggle and scream, sounding the availability call to the gaggles of teenage boys, who laugh and shove and bullshit their way around the midway. The flashing neon lights of the rides and games draw them just like clouds of moths, looking to try on a lid for the night to see if it fits.
As I wait in line for the umpteenth time to put my youngest urchin on her favorite ride, the operator strikes up a conversation that doesn't require much on my part.
"How old is she?"
"Oh, that's almost as old as my twins. They're four." He bares his twisted teeth at me in a friendly way. "I got a seven year old and another'n on the way."
He nods his head across the midway to a surly looking young woman with a severe ponytail; pregnant out to here. She glares at me as she slumps in her decrepit metal folding chair, and I smile the smile of someone caught staring, before she returns to taking the tickets for her ride.
"They gave her a chair so's she c'n sit down."
I nod, and he flashes those teeth again, as I try to decide if he's seventeen or thirty. All I can discern for sure is he looks like life has already ridden him hard and put him up wet.
"Yup," he continues undaunted as he takes in the midway with awe, "They gave us both jobs, 'n they've been good to work for. Just look at that chair they gave her." His chest swells with pride as he gazes over at her again.
And I can almost hear the metallic clunk of a lid falling into place.
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