T-minus 7 days until the church children's carnival. All over the area, mountains of cheap kids' prizes are being stacked, food is being stockpiled, and games are being prepared. It's just like the ramp-up to D-Day, except no one gets shot at. Well, given the neighborhood the church is in, I wouldn't positively swear that couldn't happen.
The games are mostly kitted out and conceived of (Thanks, Minute To Win It-got some ideas from that show), a lot of the artwork is done, the food is going to be prepared by the local Boy Scout troop (a good civic project for them to do), and now the big thing is going to be the setup. We have an outdoor and an indoor plan should it rain.
We've gotten a lot of help from a few people, and The Better Half says we're way ahead of last year in a lot of areas. I still have very little enthusiasm for this project and will be glad when it's all over. But I go where I'm told and do what I'm ordered.
Plus, our big pain from last year, Charlotte the Harlot, isn't with the church any more. That is what the great Brooklyn Dodgers general manager from the 1940s, Branch Rickey, called 'addition by subtraction'.
From what I heard last year, though, most of the kids present had a good time and none of the parents complained. I reckon in the end that's what counts.
The object of a carnival like this is a type of 'showcase' for the so-called 'family-friendliness' of a church. There isn't a lot of 'evangelism' in the classic sense. People are free to come and go and not hear a sermon or get assaulted by the, what is the term you use? God-botherers. If you were to attend, odds are good you wouldn't even know it was a church-sponsored event. It's just supposed a provide a place that families can connect and young kids can play games in a non-threatening environment.
Now all we need is for the volunteers to show up in reasonable numbers and at the time they committed to. We were about eight man-hours short last year from everything running smoothly. I think we'll be in OK shape this year.
I have, however, had thoughts of flying some of you up here to be volunteers for some of the carnival activities. I have activities that some of you would be perfect for.
Bangar-Runs the "Na mate, THIS is a knoife!" knife-throwing booth.
Child: That's a sharp knife!
Bangar: Knife?!? That, crumb-cruncher, is a genuine Gurkha kukri blade, made of hand-hammered high-tensile steel. See that notch? That's the trademark of the great Nepalese smith, Getahandjob Singh. He only made 50 kukri knives....
Havock-Runs the 'I am FKN God' booth.
Child: I wonder what God looks like?
Havock: You'RE FKN looking at him. Yep. GOD is ruggedly handsome, insanely intelligent, AND a FKN stud! And I'll CAP the Muppet who says otherwise.
Nat: We're going to play 'In The Garden Of Eden', by I. Ron Butterfly!
(five minutes later) Wait a minute! This sounds like rock and/or roll!
(possibly my favorite Simpsons moment of all time)
Moko-The petting zoo.
We need some prize miniature goats for the kids to pet. Just don't mind the fact that I enjoy curried goat Indian style...
Child: Can I pet the goat, Mr Moko?
Moko: Sure, kid. Oh, and here-have an espresso!
Barnesy: Runs the Target the Zombie game.
Child: Can I play Target The Zombie, Mr Barnesy?
Barnes: Yep. You get three bean bags. Go for the head! That takes 'em right out every time.
Doc Yobbo: Runs the Bible Stories booth. Although I think the Doc leans atheistic (alright by me), I know he can spin a yarn.
Child: Tell us about Jesus' travels!
Doc: 'Kay. One day Jesus got together with all his mates, Petey, Jimmo, Johnno, Matto, Luko, and...all the other ones. They got a brick of Coopers and headed up the coast road to a Nazareth concert...in Nazareth! They had a old '6 BC Holden chariot with two horses in front. The '5 BC Holden Hippodrome was a better chariot, especially when the great driver Gluteus Maximus drove one in the Trans-Roman Grand Prix. Along the way they saw this chick Mary Magdalene...oh that's enough. The Doctor is OUT.
Big Bad Al: Runs the 'Balloon Animals And Improvised Explosives' booth.
Child: Make us a balloon animal, Mr Big Bad Al!
BBA: Nah. You don't want a balloon animal. Let me show you how to make a detonator!
Well, I'm sure there's jobs that fit everyone's unique talents and skillsets. It would be interesting, wouldn't it?