From Hallie Cantor on
By Hallie Cantor
Illustration: An old-timey circus ringleader introducing the article (his monologue). Welcome one and all to the carnival of adulthood! Let me guide you through this most magical place, where new delights greet the visitor at every turn! We've fun games galore, like Career Horse-Racing! Illustration: Like that game where you shoot a water gun to make a horse go across the board, but the horses have knives and are stabbing each other in the back. The finish line is labeled "Success." Simply shoot the water gun to make your horse reach success before the others. It's the lighthearted game where you beat your friends to the finish line at all costs! Or perhaps you'd dare to take on a round of Pay-a-Bill? Step right up! Illustration: Like whack-a-mole but the moles are labeled: taxes, health insurance, electric, heat, internet. As soon as you whack one responsibility, another pops up! What merriment! And if you'd like a break from games, but you can't justify eating fried dough now that you're a grownup, why not visit the Personality Painting booth? Illustration: A girl sits straight up with her eyes closed while a carnival worker edits her Facebook page. Our skilled painters will make your social media profile into a work of art! A cool bohemian, an erudite pundit -- you can be whomever you want! The imagination runs wild! Once you've got your new face on, try your luck at one of our most popular games, Pick the OKCupid Date Who Isn't Crazy! Illustration: Like the fishing-for-plastic-duckies game, but the ducks have human faces, and the one being reeled in has a heart on the bottom. There are plenty of fish in the sea, but will yours be the one who forgets his wallet on the first date or the one who won't stop bringing up her ex-boyfriend? You have no way of knowing until you reel one in! And for the most fearless of all, pay a visit to the Explain Your Job to Your Grandparents booth! Illustration: Like the game where you swing a hammer to make a bell ring, but the bell at the top is your grandma's fully-comprehending face. Word bubbles are arranged from bottom to top of the backboard: "So you're not going to graduate school?", "But how does the website make money?", "Can I find your work on the Google?" They're never gonna totally get it, but how close can you come? Truly a challenge for the lionhearted! I beseech you, enjoy your time here in the wondrous playground of adulthood! Because next month, the Old Age Circus will be in town.