Our State Fair is happening right now and it's just about the most fun you could have spending seven thousand dollars in any one setting. We try to visit every year and not only do we love seeing how much joy the kids have in running around playing games and riding rides, but we too, find ourselves grinning at the nostalgia of it all. The food - sending wafts of glorious scents of popcorn and funnel cakes while you pass by the sounds and lights all around...dare I say it? The germs.
Of course you know they're there. I've just never been one to let the worry of E.coli keep us from a good old fashioned day of fun. That was, until this year.
We happened upon a tent set up with sinks and hand washing stations. A man welcomed us in as we walked by, so I figured a random hand washing couldn't be that bad. What's the worst that could happen?
He pulled us into a blackened tent after squirting what I thought was hand sanitizer into each of our hands. "Rub 'em real good", he said.
This is about the time I shot my husband an awkward look, wondering what we'd just signed up for.
"Okay, kids." He smiled. "I'm gonna turn a magic light on and show you what pretend germs you have aaaaall over your hands." Farmer Dan was starting to freak me out, and I questioned how hard it might be to knock him out while getting the kids away from there.
At that moment, a black light came on and all six of us were surprised as we looked down to see our hands, glowing in the dark. The man seemed to revel in this discovery, then proceeded to push us out of the tent to the sink stations, instructing us to wash our hands.
I was beginning to see the value in our lab rat fair experiment, and elbowed my husband, saying it would actually be good to show the kids how important it was to wash their hands longer than the 1.3 nanoseconds they regularly do.
Sure enough, Farmer Dan reappeared and tunneled us back into an exit tent. "Okay. Ready kids? I'm gonna turn the magic light on and see how well ya did. If you washed yer hands good enough, all the glow germs will be gone."
"Three, two, one..."
WHAT THE?!!! I'm quite sure a small crowd outside our tent stepped back at the scream I let out. Our kids were covered in magic germ juice. COVERED. Their hands had barely changed at all, still all glowy bright as fireflies, but now they had glow in the dark slime on their clothes, arms, skin...even their FACES. HOW in THREE SECONDS, did they POSSIBLY manage to get their FACES?!
I had the incredible urge to push Dan out of the way, this time, going back into the wash stations to scrub all four kids down. I never realized in all these years how even when I thought my kids were washing their hands, they were literally doing so very little, let alone smearing germ juice on their cheeks.
So, to our State Fair, I say thank you. Thank you for totally FREAKING me out with the fact that my kids are walking cesspools, swimming in a sea of petri dishes in this thing called life.
We walked away a little wiser, a little glowy-er, and yes...after a little while later and another hand washing at the next opportunity...a little happier as we shared our annual bag of cotton candy, which I'm quite sure still glowed in the dark going down.