The Snack Nazi

We headed to the circus this weekend and I had a small stash of cash to cover the cost of parking downtown, which is always outrageous on weekends, and a few snacks. Even though I had my BAMP (Big Ass Mama Purse) I didn’t smuggle in any snacks (not that I EVER DO THAT) except for a few packs of sugar free tropical fruit flavored gum which the girls managed to smack their way through within 48 hours. We ate a big late breakfast and the show was at 11 but I figured we’d be OK without copious amounts of overpriced carnie food. Of course the smell of popcorn, hot dogs, and cotton candy is an olfactory love fest.

About 20 minutes into the show it started.

“What’s that smell? MMMMMMMMMM.”

Ohhhh I’m hungry.”

“Can we have a snack?”

My older daughter brought a friend and I knew that taking a 5-year-old and two 8-year-olds to the concession stand would be no quick and dirty task so I made sure they really wanted a snack.

Of course they did.

We fumbled around in the dark to grab our coats and trudged up 20 billion stairs in the dark and when we got to the concession area there was no line. Cha ching! The girls each chose a snack after much deliberation and, being the practical mother that I am, I ordered one soft drink for my girls to share.

The concession stand attendant rang up our order. “That’ll be $15.31.”

I dug through my wallet. I had just enough cash. I placed the exact amount on the corner and then proceeded to help with the application of condiments, the securing of drink lids, and the grabbing of 15 billion napkins to wipe up all the nuclear orange nacho cheese drippage, all the while buttered popcorn was following my 5-year-old in a Hansel and Gretel fashioned trail because she insisted on holding the ginormous tub. The girl loves her popcorn.


I turned around.

“You gave me $14. It was $15.31,” the concession stand worker smiled sweetly at me.

I sighed and walked back over, apologizing and fishing around the bottom of my purse. I knew I had a random dollar bill down there somewhere in the crevices of the black hole. Why oh why did I bring the largest purse I own? I didn’t want to use my check card so I kept digging. Thankfully no one was behind me or I’d be getting death stares from the other customers.

“I’ll be glad to cover it,” he said kindly.

“Oh NO…thank you so much. I know I have another dollar in here somewhere.” Finally I felt a bill and plucked it out. It was nearly unrecognizable after living in the depths of my purse but it was a viable dollar. Yes!

Finally, after what seemed like a good half hour but was probably only 15 minutes, we made it back to our seats but only after I’d made the girls take a restroom break even though they insisted they didn’t need to go (I was not getting back up AGAIN.) 

About 30 minutes later I saw the #$%@& cotton candy guy.

Thankfully he was the world’s quietest cotton candy peddler. He was like a stealth peddlar. Actually the arena should probably fire him he was so quiet.

Still, the girls saw the cotton candy man like Octomom sees dollar signs.

I waved him down and he headed our way.

“How much is the cotton candy?” I asked.



“You don’t take debit cards, do you?” I asked, knowing full well the answer.

“Nope. Sorry.”

And then I played the mean mother card and told the girls the cotton candy cost $12 and that mama was out of cash and they were actually OK with that because then a new act came out.

Saved by the three ring circus.



  1. Michelle Smiles says:

    $12 for cotton candy!?!? That is obscene. I usually allow for 1 snack at that type of event because my mom NEVER let me have that kind of stuff and I want to be a little more fun than my mom was.
    Hope the circus was fun!

  2. Jennifer says:

    That is one of the reasons I hate going to those types of events. The snacks are SO expensive and the kids always want them. I wouldn’t mind getting them something, but sheesh. Why does it have to be so much?

  3. Brigid says:

    Ha! You are a rock star compared to me. My kids and I shared ONE popcorn and one drink. And I held the bucket so none spilled.

    Oh and on our way back to our seats I knocked over a neighbor’s FULL 32 oz drink with all the coats I was carrying. They had to get someone with a mop. Good times. 😉

  4. Kelly D says:

    Those were crazy prices.. but they always are…they get you coming and going. And about coming up short on cash, that happened to me recently at the post office when their credit card machine was down… I had to go rummage for change in my car!

  5. Erin says:

    “like the Octomom sees dollar signs” hehe. I’m using that one. It’s like that at Dodger Stadium- 6 or 7 dollars for a 6 inch Subway sandwich that was premade HOURS ago in only one flavor. You can bring your own snacks but I always forget.

  6. Kaye says:

    I like Cotton Candy – but even I won’t pay that. Good for you for saying ‘no’. We splurged for popcorn & soda for the first time in years at the movies one day at the early/cheap show. But then again, we were at the local movie in Springfield, so everything is a little more reasonable.

    Glad you enjoyed the circus.

  7. Linda@ussparenting says:

    Oh my! What an expensive day it was for you. To cut down on the cost (I had 4 children), I would try and either feed them before we ventured out, or stuff my purse with munchies. It didn’t always do the trick, but I believe is saved me a few dollars here and there.

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