My town has a street fair every fall. It’s pretty cool: a typical small suburban affair with a few rides, crab cake sandwiches, kettle corn, funnel cake, zeppoles, and more ways for a kid to spend your money than there are orange jackasses on Jersey Shore.
The first year we lived here, we all went to the street fair together. The kids had only been living with us for a couple of weeks. They didn’t have many friends yet; they didn’t have their stuff from their old house yet. #5 was a small four-year-old and I carried him most of the time. The first thing we did was get cotton candy and I remember being surprised how fast he became covered in blue stick. Luckily, one of the churches had their bathrooms open and we were able to hose him down before he became permanently stuck to a lamppost- or worse, the street. I remember standing in line for ride tickets behind a guy who was wearing a Scissorfight T-shirt. I asked him about it; turned out he was friends with the band. He was there with his kids too. I questioned the wisdom of each of us being involved with children.
This year #5 was the only one with me. The other kids made appearances as they met up with us for money or food and to hang out with their little brother. The two oldest girls were working booths, #1 as an employee and #2 for high school volleyball. I was still a walking wallet, but everyone sought out one-on-one time with #5.
The Ferris Wheel.
Originally built for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr, variations of it have been tormenting amusement-seekers ever since. I don’t like the Ferris Wheel because the first time I ever went on one I was pretty young, maybe about six. I went with my sister and the cars on this particular Ferris Wheel were enclosed and capable of spinning all the way around. You could flip your car independently of (and simultaneously with) the Ferris Wheel spin. Two spins for the price of one.
Due to the inefficient nature of the Ferris Wheel, riders often get stuck at points around the spin as other riders are let off and on. My sister and I had the misfortune of being stuck at the top for an extended period of time while our car was upside down. Yes, both ways we could spin were stuck. We were two little girls by ourselves stuck upside down eight billion feet above sea level. That’s like, a vortex of stuck suck right there.
Sometimes you remember things and then you wonder if you’re really remembering it right or not. While #3 and #5 were waiting in line for and riding the Ferris Wheel, I called my sister to corroborate my memory.
While the kids were on this:
I was looking at this:
My sister remembers it the same way. She doesn’t like Ferris Wheels either.
Perhaps this is a good time to lay my X-Files theory on you. The X-Files is hands down my all time favorite TV show. I own all the DVDs (purchased, obviously, before kids). My theory is that for any situation, any occurance, anything that crosses your mind, there’s an X-Files episode about it [I have the same theory regarding Jonathan Richman songs]. Sadly, I’m not enough of a hard-core geek to know all the actual titles of the X-Files episodes, but I can fill in the plots.
Anyway. The rides at the street fair remind me of the X-Files episode with the bad santa at the creepy holiday amusement park where Mulder was sure he would find his sister but instead they found lots and lots of dead children.
On second thought, perhaps this wasn’t a good time to lay my X-Files theory on you. Probably, I could have kept that to myself for at least a while longer. You were bound to find out at some point though.
You tell me, aren’t they kinda creepy?
Eh, maybe it’s just me.
What do you say- carnie rides: creepy or not creepy? Do you do the Ferris Wheel?