Here’s my new favourite dress I always wanted. The photograph doesn’t do it justice. It’s a kind of frosted strawberry pink with lighter pink ruffs on the bottom which gradually fade to white. The belt is solid rhinestone and it’s actually a strapless little number. Contrary to what you might be thinking, it actually looks kind of cute. I found it in a shop in Arizona. Here’s the thing with me and shopping: I frigging hate it. Usually I just walk around and look for the one thing that I want. This dress. This one. This is the one thing I really want.
PLUS it was on sale.
The blue one in the background was also on sale, but it just didn’t have the panache. It didn’t have the…as Wade would say, the “…uunnnhhhh…I dunno what” that this dress has. Plus, the mannequin sporting the blue dress was super judgy. In fact, I’d go out on a limb and say she was downright bitchy. And it’s tough to say I could blame her. She must have been really, *really*, fantastically cold. Judging by her nipples. Which is, in general, a good way to judge anyone’s mood.
No, but seriously. We left Arizona and went to the sea. But you know that already. We surprised The Nipper with a trip to Legoland. The Legoland hotel opens *next week*, so we missed it “by that much”, as Agent 99 would say.
It’s cleaner than most theme parks, not nearly as busy by a quarter (we didn’t wait in a single queue for rides for more than five minutes), and actually has edible food. But there was this booth barker. You know the booths at the fair where the carnies with the weird thumbs encourage you to try your luck and hook a too-small ring over the mouth of a too-big bottle to win a prize. A prize guaranteed with every play. You might not win the life-size arthropod, but you could take home a miniature eraser! Yes, those booths. The booth barker by the castle was …unsettling.
Most of the time, you just tune out the booth barkers. You just ignore them. You just walk on by, sometimes shaking your head, sometimes saying ‘nothankyou’, slurring the words together as if getting them out faster will erase what the barker has already said. As if you can take away that uncomfortable invitation to participate in a scam that you already both know is a scam, but you’ve seen those lovely arthropods…
As I walked past the booth barker by the castle, I heard him say “Try your luck…please? Please come to my booth. Please, just pay two dollars. Two dollars for three tries. I promise you’ll win a prize. Please? It’s lonely in my booth all day. I mean, it’s not the worst job I’ve ever had, but nobody talks to you. People just walk by. They just walk by and ignore you. I just…I’d just really like for someone to come to my booth. I have to stand here. All day. Alone. Please don’t make me stand here all alone. Come and win a prize.”
Yes, like you, I thought of Marvin the Paranoid Android. So much so that I did a double-take, but the booth barker looked nothing like Marvin. He looked more like someone whose name might be “Boyd” or “Duke”. Someone who might be featured on an A&E original series. I felt bad for the fellow, but not bad enough to stop. Certainly not bad enough to part with my money (which was reserved for things like the purchase of black cherry rum and malted milkshakes).
We spent the rest of the day on rides and checking out things like the miniature Sydney Opera House and Eiffel Tower and New York made out of Lego. Like the Vegas Strip, which they were making out of Lego. A Lego Luxxor. Like a miniature Mos Eisley cantina, with moving band members playing the song:
The next day, as Sea World was closing, I watched two Eastern Orthodox priests stroll through the Animal Encounters area, heavy crucifixes dangling from thick-linked chains around their necks. Their handler was pointing out sights to them, but I couldn’t tell which language they spoke to one another. One of the priests wielded a large cigar.
That was when I decided to just stop thinking laterally for a day.