Three Tries for Five Bucks; or, How I Almost Lost My Rent Money at the Mississippi State Fair.

faked by Tuesday, October 25th, 2005

Alright, I’ll tell you the truth: I didn’t pull out an exotic dagger and try to murdah the carny. But, I kind of wanted to.

So there was this booth where there was a BB machine gun, and there were gigantic stuffed animals for prizes, and all you had to do was shoot out the red star in the middle of the target, leaving no trace of its redness behind. I used to be a good shot, but I haven’t taken aim at a target in four or five years, easy. I figured trying to win a gigantic prize for my niece Sara was a decent reason for dropping a few bucks and squinting a bit to get back into shape, bullet-wise.

Imagine my surprise when the first few BB’s actually ricocheted off the paper target. Uh-huh. I see how it’s going to be.

The red star is what hangs you up, initially. A few bucks are always dropped on your earliest, caveman inclintations: SHOOT THE STAR SHOOT IT OUT SHOOT THE PRETTY RED STAR. Ten or twenty bucks in, you realize the angle—don’t shoot the star itself; shoot around it. Try to make a circle with your shots, through which the center drops out.

Easier said than done. Once you get the methodology down, there’s still the ugliness of proving yr magnificent State Fair Theorem.

My best effort:

Me and my brother-in-law, Sara’s stepfather? We quit before we hit triple digits, cash-wise. Call us sissies; we were already bruised from the kiddie rollercoaster and I’d already squealed in fear on what I like to call the Film Canisters of Doom, Wherein Small Nieces Are Thrown to Their Giggling Deaths. Sara loved the centrifugal hijincks, but the moment she came up out of her seat and we were ten feet off the ground, I shriveled.

The difference between the two of us: she bounded off to gallop through some Raiders of the Lost Arkthemed playground (which had been sort of desperately updated with Angelina JolieTomb Raider grafx, making it only a few years out of date, instead of twenty), and I wiped my brow with a shaking hand, totally knowing that when I was five years old I was a sissy, and she’s a VIKING.

I leave you with a hand-out from the evangelicals at the fair. Because, you know, in Mississippi we don’t have enough Christians.

Dear Fair Missionaries,

What about, I don’t know, Ecuador? Or, maybe, Nepal? We’ve enough Baptists here. Trust me on this.

For reals, yo,


p.s. Roll Tide! Bama’s on a run that hasn’t been seen in their parts since the mid-nineties. My dad and I pretty much just scream AAAGH a lot and close our eyes, wishing Jamie Christensen to greater and greater heights.

Currently . . .
Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson
Listening: The Twilight Singers, “What Makes You Think You’re the One,” from She Loves You
Playing: Sigma Star, Game Boy SP
Bitter Fish in Crude-Oil Sea: You Don’t Have to Bother Me.

10 Responses to “Three Tries for Five Bucks; or, How I Almost Lost My Rent Money at the Mississippi State Fair.”

  1. pinky says:

    as far as the hubby goes, we prefer “extra-dad,” she likes that.

    and you DO NOT want to know how much we spent. gross, gross amounts.

    p.s. i think you shoulda stabbed the carny. okay, not stab, maybe goose a little. i mean C’MON!! none of us were winning anything! I DECLARE SHENANIGANS!!

  2. So you didn’t actually pull the human-sacrifice-style dagger, but you’ve got one, right?

    I love that even the money gets sad in panel two.

    Why is it a “Million Dollar” question? Is this the official set value of the human soul now? Did someone find “literal” evidence for this in the OT by doing a cubit-to-dollars exchange ratio?

  3. Polly says:

    TOTAL lies! i saw that calvin and hobbs collection. it was still in the shrink wrap. get to reading NOW

  4. Calla says:

    Ooh, if you go to the website mentioned on the Million Dollar Bill, Kirk Cameron is featured! And I looked at him WITH LUST! (Or, I did when I was 12.)

    I like that you got so mad in the third frame that you TOOK OFF YOUR BRACELETS. That’s serious.

  5. gorjus says:

    Well, you can never get blood outta leather! Or, so they say.

    The E! True Hollywood Story about “Growing Pains” makes a whole lotta hay outta how Kirk Cameron became a big time Christian. Um. Not that I’ve ever seen it. Twice.

  6. herman rarebell says:

    oh, wow! have you ever seend the kirk cameron + trenchcoated sidekick infomercial for “way of the master”? CREEP OUT! the best parts are kirk’s semi-zany dramatizations of sin.

  7. KoE says:

    The rendering of you in the third panel? Made me spit food onto my computer screen. The eyes and mouth are goddamn funny.

  8. carson says:

    The red star kinda looks Russian. It’s great Tide is rolling, and maybe Vandy can beat Tennessee. In Knoxville. In front of a million people.

    Million Dollar question? If I went to church for hundred years and gave them $10,000 years then they’d get a million off me. I think that’s what they’re thinking.

  9. jaysus says:

    is the carnie asleep??

    the giant tried that game, too, to no avail.

    E! has officially shortened the name to THS. for future reference.

    i didn’t get a million dollar bill, sadly, but i’m curious: did anyone happen to go and see what the fuss was about the “Wordless Book”?? it smelled vaguely of tract-ish trickery.

  10. gorjus says:

    Nah, the carny’s on auto-pilot!

    Oh, I got the million bucks at the Wordless Book tent! I should have said that. I just sorta knew—like you did—that it had to be some quirky Bible reference.

    I walked too close, looked a little too intently, and a very clean person handed me that above bill. Rats.