This was back in the previous century, when traveling carnivals visited farm communities in the Mid-West. The farmer was in the next county looking at farm machinery, and his harried wife was left to deal with their teenage boy.
Billy wanted to go to the carnival, but his mother resisted. Billy persisted, and the farmer’s wife finally relented. But she gave him some stern advice.
“Son, when you get amongst those carnival people, you are entering a different world. There is stuff you need to be aware of, things you aren’t meant to experience at your age. You can ride the rides, and you can take your turn at some of the games, but you need to avoid those tents that show girlie dancers out front.”
Billy was puzzled. “Why, momma? Why can’t I go in there and see the shows?”
His mother was adamant. “Son,” she told him, “If you go in there you are liable to see some things you shouldn’t see. Do you understand me?”
The boy assured her, and off he went to the carnival. He was back home a little before supper time.
As his mother prepared supper she grew suspicious. “Billy, did you have a good time at the carnival?”
“Yes, ma. I sure did,” Billy replied.
“Now, be honest with me, son,” she said. “Did you go into one of those tents I told you about?”
“Billy was despondent. He hung his head and admitted the truth to his mother. “Yes, ma, I did.”
“See, I told you so,” his mother told him. “And did you see some things you weren’t supposed to see?”
“Yes, ma. I did.” Billy was so ashamed.
“And what did you see, young man.”
“I saw my daddy sitting down on the front row.”