Monday, July 16, 2012

Carni Folk

Our Saturday was a bit unusual.  Instead of taking the boat out, we went to a city carnival!  Dave and some guys from work decided they were fit enough ( they were not) to sign up for the 3 on 3 basketball tournament, so the girls and I got to indulge in all things carnival between his games.  Just a short walk from the basketball courts, we found a city park, transformed by the traveling carni-folk.  In place of overgrown grass, there were game stands, funnel cake tents and about fifteen of the sketchiest rides you've ever seen.  The tickets were overpriced (cause why wouldn't they be) and the people watching was top notch. 

The carnival employees themselves are some of the oddest people you'll ever meet. The mandatory requirements for that job seem to include :
1.  You must have a super effed up haircut that may have been popular in the early to mid-eighties.
2. You may only have a maximum of 15 teeth (this is NON-NEGOTIABLE).
3. You must be EXTREMELY socially awkward.
4. You must have the ability to make parents very nervous.
5.  If you don't speak English, learn the game of Charades!  It works just as well.

All that being said, why wouldn't I put my flesh and blood on the sketchy rides they maintain?  There is no logic to it at all, but the kiddies had a great time.  They rode around in a circle, hundreds of times, in a variety of ways.  Boats, motorcycles, carousels, giant spinning strawberries and the most dangerous of all.......the swings.  I loved "The Swings!" when I was a kid and my girls are no different.  I vividly recall riding the flying swings at Lagoon as a kid and always wondering what would become of me if my swing suddenly detached from the ride.  Would I land in the dirty pond, the concrete, the trees, or would I die in mid-air, flying wildly toward the nice folks waiting in the line?  I survived the ride every time and never found out what would happen if  the ride malfunctioned. 

That was at a well maintained theme park.........the flying swings at the carnival were frightening.  There was visible duct tape on half of the swing chairs.  I believe in the power of duct tape.  It's strong alright, but this still seems like a bad sign.  There were also giant circular cutouts on the backs of the swing chairs.  The seat belts were ill fitting and appeared to have been stolen from cars made in the seventies,  and the back-up safety belts were chains.  It all looked really shady, but I'd already given the mute ride operator our eight tickets, so we were locked in.  I looked on in mild horror as the ride slowly began circling.  Full speed really wasn't all that fast, and I was relieved by that.  The looks on my children's faces were absolutely priceless.  They were overjoyed.  That amount of smiling and laughter can only mean one thing.  Mother did good!

I'm glad we had such a good time on the scary rides, because the rest of the weekend would be a sad glimpse of life with Dave as a 90 year old paraplegic.  It turns out that my husbands body only looks fit.  In reality his tall frame + his age = injuries!  Even he was a bit surprised that his former athleticism had deteriorated into this.  He had no energy, a bright red face, two huge blisters on his feet and an ankle that swelled to the size of a softball.  It was a sobering sight indeed.   But at least we now know that homeboy needs to regain some fitness before he gets any older, because I don't want to be tiny nurse maid to a broken giant anytime soon.


  1. Clinton days I presume?

    1. Clinton days it was. I'll say that the Weber county fair was WAY worse in terms of freaky ride operators.