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For some children, life just isn't fair

"Mommy, Mommy, I want to go to the fair."

"I hate the fair."

"But I want to go to the fair."

"Have you ever been to the fair?"

"No."

"Then how do you know you want to go to the fair?"

"Because I want to."

"Son, where is all this coming from?"

"From this. They gave us this in school."

"Let me see that."

"It's all about Students' Day at the Fair."

"Who would come up with something that moronic?"

"My teacher gave it to me."

"Is she allowed to hand out advertisements like this?"

"We all got them."

"What goobers. Let me see. 100 years of history . . . salute to agriculture . . . livestock barns . . .. No can do, it's on a Friday. Feb. 6 is a Friday."

"So it's Friday."

"So you have school, and I have work."

"No, Mom, school's closed."

"Closed?"

"Yes. So we can go to the fair."

"They wouldn't close the school for that."

"Yes, it says so, right here."

"This is insane. We're moving back up North."

"Can we go to the fair?"

"I told you, I hate the fair. And I work on Fridays."

"Can't you take the day off?"

"No, I can't take the day off."

"Then what are you going to do?"

"I guess I'll have to hire a babysitter."

"Won't that cost a lot of money?"

"Yes. I will probably lose money working."

"Then why can't we just go to the fair?"

"Look here. I hate the fair. I have to work that day. And, even if I didn't, the fair costs money."

"How much money?"

"At least as much as the babysitting bill, maybe more. First we'll pay about $20 to get in, even with this little discount they give you. Then another $10 to park, if we're lucky. We'll need $50 or $60 for ride tickets. And we'll end up spending at least $30 more on really unhealthy food."

"Like the Florida State Fair corn dogs that they sell in school?"

"That's right."

"But mom, I love those!"

"Are they teaching you nothing about nutrition? Antioxidants? Carbohydrates? The health risks of eating red meat? Saturated fats and cholesterol? Mad cow disease?"

"Mad what?"

"You know. The illness that started showing up in Great Britain a few years ago and is now in our country."

"No, mom. None of that is on the FCAT."

"Oh yes, the FCAT. The reason they make us cut our vacations short and send our kids back to school in the middle of the summer."

"That's right."

"Even though they close the schools whenever they feel like it for idiotic non-holidays like Students' Day at the Fair . . . "

"That's right."

". . . forcing working parents to either leave their children at home unsupervised, or pay a fortune in babysitting."

"Yes, yes, and yes. Now, can we go to the fair?"

"Why the fair? What do you say I put in for a day off and find another way to pass the time. How about we go to the beach? Or ride our bicycles to the park? Or catch a movie? Or you just play outside with your friends."

"But I want to go to the fair! I've never been to the fair! You can learn a lot at the fair!"

"Like what?"

"Like how they make beef!"

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