“Keep your eyes forward.. just keep walking.. ignore them– they will leave you alone…Or not.” I chanted as I made my way across the Midway.
I’m glad I couldn’t see myself wandering through the carnival- trying to convince myself to ignore the carnys… because I’m pretty sure I was talking out loud. To myself. In public. But please- they were SO LOUD. I had to do SOMETHING.
“Win the pretty lady a prize, big guy” They shouted…“Hey are you feeling lucky? Lets see if you really are!” ” I can tell you got skillz- come win a prize!” “Come on- you look smart enough to beat this game… give it a shot!” Again and again they tried.
The carnys words bombarded our ears with hundreds of ways to blow WAY too much money at 3 tries for $5 at a time. The kids got antsy and wanted every 3 foot tall stuffed cartoon character they saw..(which would have to go into the closet immediately upon arrival at home due to nightmare inducing- a 3 foot tall Squidward is creepy!) I thought we’d save a lot of money by taking a trip to the dollar store on the way home.. but, no one agreed with me. The whining for “more tries” and “prizes!” ensued.
I won’t even repeat what the one sitting high up on the platform of the dunk tank said. He was trying to get my hubby riled-up enough to take a few five dollar tries at dunking him. It nearly worked. Suffice to say it wasn’t nice- something about my tan being from a can. IT WAS NOT. (I’m not bitter though- no ma’am.) If hubby had thrown that softball- it would NOT have been at the little round target. It would have been at the guys head. Ouch. We moved away from that tank- for the everyone’s safety.
I could not leave the Midway fast enough. If there was an Olympic event for stroller pushing I would have won. I maybe even could have set a world record. It’s been years since that hot summer day.. but I still remember the carnys barking their taunts.
Carnys seem to want relatively few things from passersby- and they are quite adept at getting them. They want:
1) Your money. (for stuff you don’t need but suddenly MUST win- kind of like the last 2 minutes of an e-bay auction)
2) Your attention. (good bad or otherwise-doesn’t seem to matter which)
3) Your time. (funny how much time I can waste arguing with a carny.. not that I’ve EVER done that…:)
I wish the midway was the only place where carnys taunt. (and even then, I wish they had to whisper) It isn’t. Carny’s are everywhere-on TV (someday’s I feel like it’s a “carny marathon” on TV.. – some days there is more commercial content than actual content! Carnys everywhere- at the mall, (no I do not want to try that perfume- I already HAVE a headache from it, thank you very much) at the school- (another committe needs my help NOW.) Carnys at church and online.. even in my own head…carnys everywhere.. wanting my money, my attention and my time. Some I can ignore fairly easily- others not so much. Especially the carny in my head.
The carny in my head barks at me constantly- “You should be taller- prettier.. thinner- funnier…then maybe you’d win a prize..” “where’d you get that TAN? IN A CAN?” “Don’t you think you need THIS, right now It could be YOURS and then you’d feel…..____????” She takes her job of distracting me and stealing my money and time pretty seriously.
I wonder what the world would be like if the carnys (mostly the metaphorical ones) had to take a day off?
Maybe it would be more peaceful… maybe I’d spend my time and money more wisely on the things that really matter and last….. maybe i’d be happier…more content….now that sounds like someplace I’d like to visit. Better yet- someplace I’d like to LIVE.
Since I can’t control ALL the carnys in the universe– I think I’ll work on the one in my head:
I’m listening to this – instead:
Philippians 4:8 (New International Version)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Sounds like a much better way to spend my time.. don’t ya think?