Saturday, September 09, 2006

That's So Raven...Nevermore

This past weekend we took the our two girls to the Maryland State Fair to see Raven Symone in concert. For those of you who don't know, Raven used to play Olivia on The Cosby Show and now has her own show, "That's So Raven" on Disney Channel aimed, of course, at preteen girls. This show teaches girls the important things in life like how to whine and use important phrases like, "Ewwwww" and "I don't THINK so"...

This should be fun, I thought. The thought of an infield full of screaming, 8- to 12-year-old girls was enough to make me shudder. Little did I know that it would be much worse.

Our first sign of trouble was when we arrived at the fairgrounds just as the infield gates opened. There was a sudden stampede of screaming preteens, much like I had seen in my nightmare the night before.

We arrived near the front of the grass and staked our claim on a piece of grass just large enough for the four of us to huddle together and maybe sit down for a bit.

Then it was time to get food. Of course, they didn't actually sell any food on the infield where the concert was taking place. I, being the hunter/gatherer of the herd, went BACK out to the midway to find something suitable for all of us to eat...which included chicken strips, a rare, specific request from Marissa, my 9-year-old step-daughter daughter.

I hit the midway and...BOOM...pizza stand. Good enough for all of us...oh, except for those chicken strips. I bought several slices of greasy, bowling-alley pizza and the cashier covered them with paper plates. I headed off in search of chicken.

By the time, I reached the opposite side of the State Fair, I finally saw a Boston Market, take-out stand where I bought what had to be the most expensive chicken strips on the market. The old law of supply-and-demand at work once again, I tell myself, being the Econ major that I am.

Luckily, the cashier took mercy on me and found an empty milk crate in which I could tote our four slices of pizza, 2 pretzels, 3 drinks, and an order of chicken strips back to the infield. As I marched across the infield I suddenly realized that I could make a killing if I were to suddenly start vending this stuff. Of course, then it would be my family doing the killing so I crossed that idea off of my list.

By the time I had returned, the crowd had grown substantially. I finally found my clan and provided them with the feast I had just slain...er, bought.

We dig into the pizza, which after removing the paper plates from the top, is now cheese-less. Brilliant, I thought to myself. It tastes something like cardboard with tomato sauce with a strange after-taste that I can't identify, nor do I want to try too hard to do so. Marissa certainly enjoys the chicken strips, though, so my status as "dad who rocks" just went up another couple of rungs.

The opening act finally hits the stage. Those of us that had been at the front of the field for hours in comfortable chairs were immediately overrun by those desperate to get a closer look at this apparent hip-hop star opening for Raven. We were not happy, nor were the other families around us. Low-thumping bass, rap music, hording masses, and the sudden feeling of being trapped hit me.

Then it was Raven time. She finally took the stage and what little piece of earth we had left was being invaded. My 9-year-old couldn't see over the new swarm of teens that had just stood in front of us. I think I tapped one of them on the shoulder and muttered something like,

"Gee, I really feel upset at the moment. It would be nice if you could move on to another part of the field."

Well, OK, not EXACTLY like that but they did move, strangely enough. I thought I felt my clothes beginning to rip...must have been the pizza. And why do they look so frightened? Oh well. We can see now.

After two songs, Marissa states, "I want to go home now" and Sophia proclaims, "I have to go potty."

This can't get much worse.

We are surrounded. There is no way to leave and no way to get to a potty. We improvised. We emptied out Sophia's sippy-cup and formed a 'circle with the wagons'. Once Sophia stopped looking at us like a deer in the headlights, she was able to go in the sippy cup. A few moms around us giggle as I screw the lid back on the cup. Real funny, I'm thinking. Care for a drink?

After about 6 songs that sound remarkably similar, the crowd starts to thin. We see our opening. We make like a baby and head out.

My pulse returns to normal, the walls have stopped closing in.

That's So Raven...Nevermore.

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Anonymous said...

I don't get how your "Raven" experience was bad...sounds more like you were the one with the problem....