Saturday, September 1, 2012

Butterfly Apocalypse Now

I have been to the Minnesota State Fair what seems like a billion times over the years, but this year I stumbled upon a building that I had never noticed before. It was a strange looking building because of one thing - it had screens instead of glass in its windows. It was also noteworthy because the outside of the building was festooned with colorful paintings of butterflies. Yes, it was the Butterfly House, which I'm sure a lot of you have seen at one point or another. This building is completely filled with exotic butterflies from around the world. People of all ages were inside, trying to tempt the butterflies to land on them, which is the big attraction of this building.

Being the manly man that I think I am, I had never noticed this building, or if I had, I quickly walked by on my way to finding more manly endeavors, like deep fried cheese curds. But now that I have two toddlers, things have changed. The Girl wanted to head inside the Butterfly House as soon as she realized what was in there. It took a little longer for the Boy to get enthused, but eventually he did, so the Wife took both of them inside while I watched through the screens, along with my mother- and sister-in-law.
The three of them paid the small ransom that it cost to enter the Butterfly House, and soon joined the hordes of people inside. Everybody was being inundated by the butterflies - I saw one kid who had 10 or more butterflies perched on his t-shirt. I also saw my Boy, who didn't seem like he was enjoying himself too much. He didn't seem to be too excited about all the bugs flitting around his head, but he was being a trooper, and by that I mean he was not throwing a fit or screaming to get out. There were chairs near the exit of the building, so the Wife took our two kids over there, with the hope that the Boy would settle down a little, and  a few butterflies would decide that they all made adequate landing spots.

The next few moments happened too fast for me to accurately describe, so let's just say that one of the butterflies ambushed the Boy with a sneak attack on his knee, and the Boy reacted with a quick and deadly counterstrike to the butterfly's midsection. Chaos erupted, and the next thing I knew my Wife was herding my two kids through the exit, the Boy displaying a long black smear of butterfly goo up and down his leg. Mom and dad were slightly embarrassed, but we told ourselves that things like that probably happen quite often. The Boy seemed unfazed by his deadly deed, so we wiped off the goo and moved on to the next attraction. I wonder if we'll be allowed back in the Butterfly House next year...

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