So, you guys ready for the Adventure of the Ren Chaperone? Well, tough, you’re gonna hear it anyway. We get to the school, the clouds low and grey in the sky, hanging as though they were impregnated guppies that swam through grey paint. I waited in the office, the first victim, er, volunteer for our expedition. Various other suckers/parents drifted in, including one decked out, head to shin, in the school colors. Beneath his knees, below his shorts, he wore beige knee high socks. And here I thought my Bazinga! t-shirt might get me noticed. We get on the charter busses, Cloneboy and I can’t sit together because 7th graders are apparently stupid and territorial. I knew half of that equation going in. The convoy leaves the school, gets on the turnpike, and promptly goes nowhere fast. Traffic is lovely on Wednesday mornings. A Harry Potter movie gets put on, along with several statements that cell phones aren’t allowed. Fort Washington lingers in our windows for several long minutes. It is about this time that some girl a few rows up starts asking when we’ll get there and why she can’t get up and exercise. It took most of the fibers in my being to keep from pointing out that we were on a bus, not a traveling gymnasium. Then several of the girls start singing a song incessantly that only seemed to have four lyrics.
Patience, thy name is not mine.
The King of Prussia rest area is reached, and the bus in front of us pulls in, with us following. After several minutes it is determined that the air conditioning is not working on that bus. The conversation throughout turns to how the people on that bus may have to share our own, which I, again, want to point out could be difficult since there are no empty seats. After about twenty minutes of seventh graders wondering what is to become of their private seats, the other bus up and drives away, all passengers still aboard. We start up after, complainy girl still wondering when we’ll get there. The cell phone announcement drifts back, GEEZ, move the needle already! Traffic isn’t as bad at this point, so toward the end of Azkaban we reach the Lancaster exit. I scare the kid next to me by telling him that we should get there in another ninety minutes. I have to have SOME fun, right? Moments later, we pull onto the winery grounds, and it has started to drizzle. A largish fellow in some blue-tartanned kilt gets on the bus, naming himself as Angus MacRedBeard. After several less-than-energetic Long Live the Kings and God Save the Queens, we get off. Drizzling starts to get enthusiastic about being relabled rain.
At school, the English, sorry, Literacy teacher had suggested it would probably be a good idea if all the groups ate lunch before anything else. I steer our happy little band around to the picnic tables. Some of our party had brought lunch, the rest would have to scrounge, er, purchase something. One happy little individual complains that he wants pizza whilst standing about four microns away from an ancrhonistic place labeled Ye Olde Pizza Shoppe. When he asks, I tell him to turn around. He does, at first completely missing the pizza, only spotting it on the second revolution. Ah, youth. While pizza is being acquired, my hoagie being eaten, and Brian eating whatever the hell he had, along with his individual can of Pringles, one kid, who used to go to Brian’s karate school before being dismissed for, um, issues, says he wants to spend his money.
“Go for it,” I tell him. “Can you find your way back here, after?” I’m a firm believer that seventh graders can be given some independence. Some sixth graders, too. Many enthusiastic nods follow, and whilst he is off to make his purchase, another kid, in a Phillies windbreaker, starts to complain about the rain. Are we the ONLY parents that checked the weather that morning? Seems so, since Brian’s the only kid armed with an umbrella. By this time the Ex-Karate Kid has returned, having purchased a purple plastic half-mask. Keep that in mind; it’ll be important later.
Brian, being the ever-responsible one, after finishing his nacho lunchable, throws the trash away, along with the lid for his can of Pringles. I combine his can with mine, putting the lid on, crunching a few. We start to explore the grounds, and it’s at this point that Ex-Karate starts displaying buyer’s remorse. He literally asks every stall if they’ll trade his mask for whatever they have. It was cute twice, got quite annoying for the rest of the day.
Now, the Faire is known for two things in the food area, turkey legs and hot cider. Cider afficianado that I am, I got some, tasting the delectable steaming treat. I ask Brian if he wants to try it. He does, disliking it instantly and spilling the rest as he gave it back to me. Easy come, easy go, I suppose.
My little party of six seems to want to do a David Copperfield impression, as two of them keep vanishing. There’s a maze to walk through, where the proprietor is discounting admission due to the precipitation. The Clone was fond of this the last time, so he wants to try it again. Ex Karate and another kid want to go in. I stay outside with Phillies Rain Boy and the other two. There was a bit of yelling by Ex as he tried to outdo everyone else in there, if he knew them or no.