Carnie Dreams Destroyed

Well-fed LennieSeveral years ago, I had to get a physical for a job I had taken, and as a part of that physical, I had to be weighed. This was about a year after I got out of college, where I had been large-shouldered but fairly trim from the shoulders down. My weight throughout college was about 185. I knew I had put on some weight in the intervening year, but I wasn’t prepared, when I went to get my physical, to learn that I had blown up to 220. I was bigger, sure, but I didn’t look 220. I should have known then that I was out of the running for a career as a carnie weight-guesser.

Lennie has, by several accounts, gotten a good bit bigger in the last few weeks. I haven’t really noticed it because I see and hold her every day. Incidentally, I’ve long thought that the kids you grow up with always look exactly the same, even when they look markedly different. I wonder if anybody else has noticed this. So when M made an appointment to get a weird mark on Lennie checked out, I didn’t figure she’d be that much heavier than she was at the last appointment, a couple of weeks ago, at which she weighed 9 pounds, 1.5 ounces. Maybe, just maybe, she’s up to almost ten pounds, I thought.

Hur-ray, hur-ray, step right up, for two bits I’ll guess your weight, and if I’m wrong, you can treat your little lady to this big purple stuffed gorilla.

As it turns out, she’s a whopping 10 pounds, 6.5 ounces, and that’s with a virtually empty tummy (when she was losing weight early on I always had to resist the urge to really load her up with a good meal just before her weigh-ins). And so, alas, my dreams of one day becoming a carnie have been obliterated. I do take some consolation in the fact that Lennie’s healthy and well-fed, as evidenced in a picture of her sacked out after a feeding and the subsequent digestion-promoting walk. (I personally have my doubts as to whether or not M’s walking the baby around has any real digestive benefits for the baby.)

Carnie PoseNote that her belly is substantially larger than her sizeable head. It isn’t altogether improbable that, having so large a belly and so large a head, Lennie might one day find herself on the midway, taking cannon balls to the gut or barking at marks to step right up and throw the ping-pong ball in the fishbowl or the softball in the milk can. One could even hope that she could aspire to that grandest of carnie professions, the ride operator. I drove a roller coaster one summer during my youth, though not at a roving carnival as would be ideal, and we all know how fathers love to have their children follow in their footsteps. Ah, the grand life of a real live travelling carnie (my position was at a static amusement park), ogling the hotties walking by in their revealing clothing, standing around acting carefree and nonchalant, limbs dangling and cigarette ember throbbing between pulls on the lever that sends the ride du jour whirling and rattling in its particular fashion, shirtless and shiftless and probably a little bit drunk.

Here’s Lennie mugging for her carnie portrait. We didn’t get a picture of her with the cigarette, but note carefully that her hand is en route to the heavy metal devil’s head gesture and that she’s opted for the topless look (part of why I think she’s destined to be a ride operator, as the game operators keep their shirts on). And don’t miss her biceps. She’s made for the midway, I tell you. Made for it.

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