Checking My Brain at the Gate of the Carnival

Recently, we had one of those small carnivals come to our town.  I saw it set up in the parking lot of a vacated business, and I thought what fun.  I didn’t even know those were around anymore.  So I talked the hubby into going down for a while and relive our youth once again.  Really, the youth thing wasn’t as important as the food we knew we’d be able to get that’s unlike food anywhere else.

We called some friends and set a time to meet up with them at the carnival.  The whole thing was pretty much as we remembered, and we were having a good time reminiscing as we visited several of the food and drink vendors, making our way through the pronto pups, smoked sausage sandwiches, cotton candy and funnel cakes.

Looking around at the bright lights on the Ferris wheel and merry-go-round, I felt that same excitement and anticipation I had when I was young.  Suddenly, I grabbed the hubby’s arm and said, “Hey, let’s get on the scrambler.  It’s been years.”  Of course, he just looked at me with that look I’d seen so many times before.  You know, the one that wonders if I’ve taken my medication lately.   “Come on, it’ll be fun.”

Our friends looked a little more concerned than he did, but they went over and bought tickets, too, and off we went.  We watched the riders ahead of us go whizzing by as the ride jerked one way and then threw the cars in another direction.  Just like I remembered.

When it was our turn to get on the ride, the first thing I noticed was that it was quite a step up to get in that little car.  “Here, help me get up there,” I said as I reached out to pull myself up on my husband’s shoulders.  Finally, after a lot of heavy breathing, I flopped into the seat.  Funny, I thought, I remember this seat being a little wider.  I did remember enough to have my husband sit on the side where you get squashed.  I’m not sure he remembered at the moment of getting on board, but I know it came back to him quickly as he kept pushing me off him.

Looking over our friends, the man in charge of the ride had come over to their car to make them exchange seats because he’s about twice her size.  I guess he didn’t want to be responsible for peeling the poor thing off the seat once the ride stopped.

I was all tingly just waiting on the man to pull that lever.  Then he did.  I’m not sure, but I think my life passed in front me as that first rush of air flashed me in my face.  I think it was actually the fourth or fifth turn before I could draw in a breath.  But I had little time to concentrate on that because from the moment the ride started, the hubby kept muttering, “I’m not sure about this.  I’m not sure about this.”

“Are you okay?” I said as I looked over at him.  I sure didn’t think riding was worth a trip to the hospital.

“Yeah, I’m okay.  I’m just not sure about this.”   By this time, we were being thrown in every direction at what seemed like the speed of light.  Everything was going by so fast that it made the scenes around us one big blur.  Now, we had paid $4.00 each for this, but at this point, I think any one of us would have given the man $20.00 to stop this thing.  In fact, the hubby kept digging in his pockets, figuring if he held the money up in the air, he might could get the attention of the guy with his hand on the lever.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity, my vision began to clear and the carnival man was standing in front of us.  “Are you two going to get off?”

The hubby looked at him and said, “When it stops we will.”  The young guy just looked at us and walked away shaking his head.  I knew he was thinking, I wish they wouldn’t even sell these old people tickets.  After climbing down from what seemed a second-story window to get back on terra firma, we made one more trip by the food trailer before heading back to our car.

Ah, the good old days.  I think they’re better left in memories.  Now, if I can just find that Pepcid, maybe I’ll recover.

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4 thoughts on “Checking My Brain at the Gate of the Carnival”

  1. I was too scared of those rides even when I was a kid. The few times I tried one of the scarier rides I regretted it. Last summer I took a trip to Coney Island with a friend. I went on the bumper cars and SHE went on the Cyclone … alone!

  2. The scrambler? You decided that would be the ride to try? HA HA! Carnival rides are the worst but I do admit the scrambler is a lot of fun unless you are the person on the end that gets squished by everyone else on the ride with you.

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