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A Carnival at Night Time

Ever have that awkward moment when you run into someone you should know, but you have no clue who they are?  I can honestly say this has happened to me more times than I care to admit.  I usually just smile, chat along with them, and pretend like I remember who they are.  It’s really kind of embarrassing.  Sometimes I open my mouth and something stupid comes out of it.

For anyone who grew up in Abilene, Kansas, the Central Kansas Free Fair is a big deal.  Anyone who is anyone goes to the parade and fair.  Even those of us who have moved away make a point to go home once a year and walk the fairgrounds.   Like most kids in Abilene I grew up belonging to 4H and showing my rabbits, dogs, and projects at the fair.   Going back is always fun and exciting, if not interesting.

A few years ago I went back for the yearly walk of the fairgrounds and to take the kids on the rides.  I’m not sure they felt the same rush and excitement that I did at seeing who was there.  It’s always fun to see who goes to fair and how much they have or have not changed.  Not that I am one to talk, I certainly don’t look like I did when I was sixteen.

Walking around the carnival that night I kept seeing a dark-haired man with a mustache and goatee.  He looked so familiar; I knew that he had to be from my past somehow.  How on earth did I know him?  Old boyfriend maybe?  No, that wasn’t it, he had to be about ten years older than me. Maybe we were related.  He did look a little like my cousin Paul.  It was driving me absolutely insane.  So, after stalking him and his girlfriend for several minutes, I finally worked up the courage to walk up to him.

“Hi, my name is Michele.  You know, you look an awful lot like my cousin Paul”.

He just looked at me, shook his head, and said “Michele, you moron, I am your cousin Paul.”

Oops, OK, so I hadn’t seen Paul for a couple of years and he definitely didn’t have a mustache and goatee the last time I saw him.  It’s been ten years since this happened and I still haven’t lived this one down.


(n.d.). A carnival at night time. [Print Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.freestockphotos.biz/stockphoto/14058