I remember the annual Fair as a magical wonderland of lights, ringing bells, free goldfish, and crazy insane rides. The whole atmosphere was Back-to-School, Christmas, and School Dance all in one. My parents always groaned at the idea and I barely got to go. It felt like all my friends lived at the fair and did fun things without me. My wife says she was never allowed to go, probably a wise move.
This week we took the kids to the Fair and my memory has betrayed me. It is a dirty cul-de-sac of questionable rides with carnies hawking games like souvenir salesmen in Mexico. “Hey buddy. Think you can pop a balloon?” “First toss is free.” “Win the lady a polystyrene timebomb?”
I’m not big on crowded areas and I don’t like solicitation. We can talk all day long but please don’t try to sell me anything.
The kids are amazed by the lights and activity. They bounce around like ping pong balls. Good thing at least one is strapped into a seat. They are begging to ride the rides. Rides seems like the worst description for the rickety moving seats. Why are the kids not cowering in fear? The first ride we try is creepy glowing eyes Donald Duck. The ride was built by Stephen King and might be featured in his new book.
Eventually the child realized she was riding a living nightmare. The meltdown was rapid.
Well that was fun. What next? Hey how about a ride where you can spin yourself into vomiting. Sure why not? Two kids made uncomfortable, only two more to go.
What else can you ride if you are a small human being? Not much. There was one ride that was off to the side from the rest. I instantly thought of the Zoltar machine from the movie “Big” but in this movie Zoltar was a man-sized rusty food processor looking ride. Must be why it only cost one ticket to ride. The slide was three tickets and it was a slide.
Seriously, look closely at this ride. There are severed electrical lines on metal railing. Rusty I-beams. The seats are possibly giant measuring cups? It is really hard to tell in this picture but only because taking a picture of something evil is usually blurry. If the kid from Toy Story (Sid?) who Frankenstein’d toys grew up to be a carnival mechanic he would build this.
The animals were really cool. The mosquitoes were not. A special thank you to the petting zoo, now my wife has researched Kangaroos and has decided we need one to make our family complete.
I reminded her we already have four. In an effort to wear them out I sometimes put a stopwatch on how long they can jump in place. They are competitive little roos and usually burn themselves down to a nub. Don’t judge me, if it works it works.
We saw a magic show with Magic Bob. He was very entertaining but I can’t help but wonder if he is a fugitive from the law, hiding in the Southern equivalent of “running away with the circus.” I can’t blame him. There is a constant supply of Funnel Cakes and interesting people.
The lemonade stand girl had a discussion with me about teeth and a phobia of ‘Gators. The gentleman taking tickets at the giant slide said something about, “’Dem kids and dat slide just got ups come down.” I agreed? At three dollars a pop I would think they could afford to employ somewhat sober people but then again drinking may be the only way to deal with other people’s terrible children. One boy rode his brother’s head, on top of a burlap sack, to the bottom of the slide. Not just a head like a murderous psychopath, but sitting on top of him with his butt on his brother’s face. Farmer Fran grumbled something about stupid kids and waved his hands. I vaguely feel like he disapproved.
Cap this off with stepping in fire ants and I am good with going to the Fair for a year or two. Overall we really did enjoy the experience and the company was great. The majesty was a little faded but what doesn’t grow weary with time?
I did get fun pictures too.
Sorry I had to.
If you don’t want to go to the Fair and needed to experience it through someone else. You’re welcome.
Underdaddy to the rescue.