Take a Femur, Leave a Femur

Merry go round closeup horse
Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

I decide to build a county fair in my back yard, so I go to Lowe’s and buy a hammer, some nails, and a plastic children’s pool for the dunk tank. On my way home from Lowe’s, I steal some trees I find planted in a median in the middle of Johnson Street. When I get home, I chop up the trees and use the wood to build a seesaw.

I hire a Fat Elvis impersonator. Fat Elvis’s job consists of sitting on one end of the seesaw and flinging the children who sit across from him into space. I hire a guy to do nothing but howl at the sky. He asks if he can whistle at any clouds shaped like the mole on Marilyn Monroe’s cheek. I tell him, Sure, have at it.

A couple hours before we’re set to open, Fat Elvis tells me he has to take a piss. Something to do with his prostate. I forgot to rent a Porta Potty and I’ve always kept a sparse yard, so there are no bushes for Fat Elvis or any of the future patrons to hide behind to take a piss. I decide I have no choice but to break into a nursing home and steal a closet full of catheters.

Even though it’s daylight, I dress in all black and crawl through a window of the Sunny Meadows nursing home. I can’t find a closet full of spare catheters, so I have to pull them out of the old folks trapped in the old folks’ home.

I give fake Fat Elvis a catheter and then begin gluing toy ponies to a scratched Neutral Milk Hotel record. I am making a miniature merry-go-round where every guest can put a picture of what has left them on a pony and watch it go in circles. There is a sign in front of the merry-go-round stating everyone is expected to feel something. I put In the Aeroplane Over the Sea on the turntable, gently gliding the needle onto the record as the ponies spin in circles and the songs hiss and skip and eventually blur into a sound I haven’t invented yet.

Entrance to the fair costs three Craigslist Missed Connections. A therapist stands at the exit of the hall of mirrors. She hands out her business card to everyone passing through. Most of them are crying.

By noon, we’re out of elephant ears because I never made any to begin with. I raise my voice to drown out the guy I hired to howl at the sky and announce that a raffle will be held exactly thirty-seven minutes before dusk. Everyone who loves the color turquoise is able to participate. The winner will have to build Ikea furniture for the rest of the fiscal year.

My neighbor Phil trips over an abandoned catheter and falls on his face. Phil’s nose is broken, twisted like a U-turn. His chin and neck painted pieces of sunset. No one helps Phil up off the ground because no one likes Phil.

The guy I hired to howl at the moon says he needs to take a break. He says his throat feels like it’s coated in rust. His catheter bag is full and needs to be changed.

I ask him if he fell in love with a cloud today and he says maybe. He leaves the fairgrounds, and I know I’ll never see him again.

I forgot to fill the dunk tank with water, so every time someone is dunked a piece of them breaks. I get tired of driving each of the fair-goers to the hospital, so I buy a bucket of femurs off eBay. I place the bucket of femurs on the side of the dunk tank. I tape a sign to the front of the bucket. It reads TAKE A FEMUR, LEAVE A FEMUR.

Shortly before the raffle is about to start, the police show up. A noise complaint. They want to know if I have a permit. I tell them, It’s a solemn thought, never being bitten by a radioactive spider. I tell them, I never had to make a diorama in high school.

The cops aren’t buying it.

I try again. My parents are still together. They still hold hands as they walk up and down the aisles at Kroger. I tell them, I haven’t had a nightmare in years. I’m too well-adjusted, though I once kissed a boy who didn’t like icing on his Pop-Tarts.

No icing? The officers shake their heads. Some people, they say.

Yes, I say. Some people.

Scroll to Top