Buzz had been on this Earth just thirteen summers when he suffered from what was the first of his many mid-life crises.
Actually what had happened was that Crazy Billy had told Buzz that he was too tall for a ride at the September Fair. Buzz thought that Crazy Billy was talkin’ real crazy like and decided that he was gonna get on the Great Eastern if it was that last thing that he did, so help him – Now let me tell you here and now, The Great Eastern was “a ride for the little folks under 5 feet tall”.
Buzz was 5 feet and a quarter inch, if he was a day. Buzz tried to say that he was only 5 feet when he left home that mornin’ but had grown thanks to the sunshine and the heat. Buzz said it was well known that the heat from the sun made you grow and at night folks would shrink again. I don’t anyone else who knew that, but Buzz said it was a fact as his Grandpa had told him just before they threw him in prison for selling his body hair to Chinese people. Least ways that’s what Buzz said it was, I heard that his Grandpa had been stealing knives and forks from Susie’s Diner.
That night Buzz and me had to sneak out to the Fairground at the dead of night. Boy it was as dark, I mean as dark as the Brownies that my Aunt Sadie used to make for passing gentlemen of the road.
Buzz had me dig several of inches of dirt away from the path leading up to the Great Eastern, which would mean in the morning when he stood in line, he’d be able to walk under the ‘no taller than this’ sign which had stopped my pal gettin’ on the ride in the first place.
As you know, I had to dig the dirt as Buzz didn’t want to get his hands all messed up, on account that he was going to be somethin’ some day and had to be ready for the good times.
Buzz tested the walk in the dark and it worked a treat. So the next morning, Buzz stood in line and got to ride on the Great Eastern. But the guy behind him, Jake, was five feet three inches and he got on the ride too. Which is why Jake was too tall when the ride went under the Black Mountain and he hit his head on top of it. He didn’t knock himself out, instead he dragged the Black Mountain around the rail with him, which then hit the Red Hot Volcano – so by the time that Jake got back to the start, he had the whole Great Eastern ride hanging around his neck.
Buzz thought it was time that we made ourselves scarce and he jumped from the ride, grabbed me and we ran real quick up to the top of Sneak Hill which overlooked the Fair.
bobby stevenson 2013