For Jerry’s Kids

1008 Julie w MDA poster

When I was a child in the 1970s, around Labor Day weekend I would set up my own backyard version of an MD Carnival. I lived in the country and didn’t have neighborhood friends so my dolls and stuffed animals were recruited as carnival-goers. I put on my pretend carnivals under the guise of doing it for “Jerry’s Kids” and that I was practicing to someday raise actual money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. But in reality, I was just doing it for the MD Backyard Carnival kit because I thought it would come with actual perforated tickets.

I was in love with perforation and how it sounded and felt to tear perforated items apart. I spent a significant part of my childhood puncturing homemade tickets with a paring knife so that they would be perforated, but it just wasn’t the same as the real thing. My ultimate goal with throwing my own pretend carnival was that one of Jerry’s Guys would happen to be driving by my farm in the middle of nowhere and would see the amazing carnival I organized and would say to me, “Say, you throw a real nice carnival kid (the guy was born in the 1920s). Here’s an official MD Backyard Carnival kit complete with your own roll of perforated tickets.” Yeah, it was an awesome fantasy that never came true—despite my continued efforts to make it happen.

When my daughter was turning seven we were shopping at a party supply store for her birthday. I saw that the store had rolls of 100 perforated tickets. Barely able to contain my excitement, I offered to buy them for “my daughter.” She looked at me with confusion and said, “I’m having an Under the Sea theme.”  I said I knew that but that maybe we could turn it into a Carnival Under the Sea. She said that didn’t make any sense. So I said I could buy them for her pretend store at home. She asked why she would want them. I said, “Because they’re actually perforated!”  She looked at me with concern and said, “No, thanks.”

I never did find an excuse other than I love perforation! to buy the roll of tickets. But, maybe someday I’ll have grandkids that have an appreciation for perforation and we can put on an MD Backyard Carnival together for “Jerry’s Kids”—for real (I’ve got dibs on being the ticket lady!).



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© 2017 by Julie Ryan. All rights reserved
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