Adrian Burr: Worker’s Rights and Rubber Ducks – An Instaessay

“If you get the ring to land on the jar in the middle, you get to keep the fifty dollar bill taped to it, see?” Andy hands me a small, red plastic ring. I toss it. It misses. // “It’s called entrapment,” Bud explains, “People can’t help but try it once they see that money.” Bud’s been in the carnival business thirty years. // “There’s an old Gypsy saying that all us carneys leave behind is cigarette packs and wagon tracks.” He looks at me. “Girls come here to get knocked up ‘cause the guys are gone in a week. A lot of people work here ‘cause they’re wanted by the cops.” // “Jesus Bud,” Andy interjects, “you gonna tell her everything?” // Bud ignores him. // “The games with the big prizes are rigged. You see that guy?” He points to the meaty, ponytailed man in the next stall. “He’ll rip you off faster than you can blink. But Mary over there is nice, you should talk to her.” // Mary sells Scooby-Doo dolls and a hundred bow-tie-toting rubber ducks that float round and round in a plastic blue baby-pool. I take a picture of the plush poop emojis hanging from Andy and Bud’s tent ceiling. // “They treat you like shit too,” Bud continues, “I got interviewed in Cleveland once and talked about it. All the other carneys got mad at me for speaking the truth. But where I come from you don’t lie.” He stands a little straighter. // Over the crowd echoes a tinny recording of children singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. // I smile and thank Bud and Andy for talking with me, to which Andy replies, “Oh don’t worry about it, you’re a nice young lady, have a good day now.” // I escape into the masses, my presence once more masked by the screams of children, the crank, grind, and whoosh of technical monstrosities, and the ringing lyrics; “For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out…”

#InstaEssay  #WorkersRights  #DelawareCountyFair  #TakeMeOutToTheBallGame  #Fairs #TheAmericanDream  #DucksInBowties  #EveryDayPeople  #PoopEmoji

Adrian Burr ’19 is a Spanish and Creative Writing double major and a History minor. She loves traveling, good food, and salsa dancing. Her favorite poet is Pablo Neruda. 

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