Last Sunday, Elijah and Luca and I visited a big, fancy carnival sponsored by a big fancy church in Skokie. I believe it was Our Lady Of Charging Insane Prices For Things. As we walked through the parking lot, Luca pointed to the towering Ferris Wheel and said, “Ooh Dad. I want to go on that.”
Yeah right. This is Luca we’re talking about. He takes after me in his philosophy of “Don’t Do Things. Why Do People Have To Do Things?”
But after we paid the lady at the ticket booth who knew better than get into a Jesus and The Money Changers debate with me, Luca was still Gung Ho for the big wheel. Eli was also in because he has no concept of public humiliation.
We got to the front of the line and the Carny right out of central casting shouted, “Two!”
I felt bad for his math skills and gently said, “There are three of us, my good man.”
“Two riders only!” He shouted back.
We had to act fast. The basket was swinging accusingly in front of us. I bent to Eli and said, “You have to go by yourself. We both know what will happen if Luca is alone.”
Eli said, “No.”
Panic enveloped me as I felt the stares of the other line members. You do NOT want to cross people who have paid $5 to ride a potentially lethally rusted carnival attraction.
The man behind us said, “You can ride with my daughter, son.” She was a perfectly adorable little girl around Eli’s age.
The prospect of an arranged marriage made Eli go pale and he casually said, “Um. I’ve decided I don’t want to ride this anymore.”
Luckily, we spotted Joe, of our friends Kitty and Joe fame and Eli ran over to him. Joe offered to take Eli on a super fast, spinning monstrosity called “The Vomitorium” or something.
As Luca and I crept up the Ferris Wheel, I could see Eli and Joe having the time of their lives. They laughed. They high fived. They sang “Best Friend” by Harry Nilsson. I distinctly thought I saw Eli mouth the words, “I wish you were my dada. My dad is a jerk.”
But after Luca and I disembarked, Eli came running up and begged me to buy him a lemonade and a funnel cake and a toy and a funnel cake. Thus re-establishing my status as dad.