Monday, June 26, 2006


Last Thursday I spent five hours working the traditional end-of-year carnival at G's school. I faithfully applied sunscreen in the morning, but for all the good it did, I might as well have sat in a tub of marinade and then rubbed myself with oil. By the time I got home, I could feel myself slowly cooking from the inside out, and by that night I couldn't bear to let anything touch me. Like clothing. Or a bedsheet. Or air molecules.

My job at the carnival was supervising a booth where the kids were supposed to use SuperSoakers to shoot plastic fish off a board. Just picture a bunch of kids on a hot day, armed with SuperSoakers and brimming over with almost-the-last-day-of-school mania, and you can probably imagine how that went. I can't count the number of times I got soaked to the skin, nearly dry, and then soaked all over again. When I wasn't reloading weapons, breaking up disputes about whose turn it was to shoot, or carrying heavy, sloshing buckets of water, I was chasing boys who had run away with their SuperSoakers and were playing commando around the booths or firing at random into the crowd. Boys in general gave me the most trouble, and the older they got, the more uncontrollable they became: the kindergartners and first-graders were mildly interested in shooting at the fish, but the second- and third-graders blazed away, screaming "DIE, FISH, DIE! YOU'RE GOING DOWN!" before turning their weapons on each other. Who knew testosterone kicked in that early?

Anyway, we ended up postponing the activities we'd planned for this weekend -- a trip to SeaWorld and a visit to friends who live in the area -- because I was just too sunburned to move. It's finally receded to the point where I can walk and sit down and wear real clothes ... just in time for me to go back to work. Oh, yay.

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