cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Bus Instead of Drive...
The Riteway/WCCE bus to and from the State Fair is a great deal in my estimation. I have become a convert after this my third year of using this service. A pleasant ride down and back. Buses every half-hour. Clean. Relatively inexpensive. And, discounted State Fair tickets courtesy of All American on Mequon Road in G'town.
Soon after arriving, I had an experience that has haunted me since. I do not mean to be offensive, but I suspect some will be offended. I heard a man hollering and saw, some distance ahead, a mother and son (about 5 years old). All were well-dressed and neat in appearance. They were working on some problem the son was having and the son had dropped a near-life size Spiderman game prize on the street while this went on. That father was furious that 'Spidey' was on the street (although the street was clean and dry for a street). The mother, who had been quiet until the hollering began, also commenced to scream and berate the boy. The boy looked bewildered and then began to cry, only provoking more hollering and the use of epitaphs that refer to one's mother derogatorily. Both mother and father used this term in addition to telling the boy that he was "stupid". Then, the father, apparently having done his duty, turned and left to go back in the direction of the inner fairgrounds eating his 'blooming onion' while the mother and son walked toward the exit on 84th street. Mom continued to berate the son verbally. I didn't see any physical involvement. There was no intervention by fairground security if they were even aware.
This was a 'stomach-turning' display. There is no other way to describe it. It was so out of the ordinary for me that I was dumbfounded. It was over very quickly for me (except for the images in my mind) but the little guy lives in that world 24/7.
Frankly, this immediately brought to mind another drop-out at the age of fourteen or so adding to the woes of the Milwaukee Public School system and society some nine years from now, if it takes that long, and if he survives that long. What kind of future does that young man have if he continues to be raised and educated in his current environment? Where did society take the wrong turn that created the environment that produced Mom and Dad?
There seemed to be less lugging of mops and brooms and other 'fair goodies' this year than last. The hawkers had smaller audiences, if an audience at all. I saw two political party booths: Democrat and Libertarian. I may've missed the other major party's booth but I don't know where it was. If it is any consolation, neither were over-populated at the time I passed them. To think the people were all at the other party's booth is, however, to be naive. I saw one Obama button being worn and that was by a person who had boarded the bus in West Bend.
That was it for this year's fair experience other than to say the weather couldn't have been better. We again saw Rhonda and her husband performing at Rupena's renewing a friendship of my wife's. I guess my overall experience of the fair was over-shadowed by that early encounter with the highly dysfunctional family. That was a 'downer', to borrow a term from a younger generation, that I'll carry for some time.