So. Yesterday after a great outing geocaching with the wife and kids we went to a conveniently located ATM to make a transaction. Within eyeshotrange of the ATM was one of those little side-of-the-road fly by night carnivals. It looked cool! Keep in mind we were 400 feet away, all we could see was the ferris wheel and the top of a bounce house.
Because we are super awesome parents we kept some cash and went on over. We first drove past and cased the joint. Crappy rides, some food vending, uh huh looked like a crappy little carnival just as we expected. I really wanted to be excited because the kids were excited. I really wanted it to be a fun place.
We parked and walked over. I bought 5 tickets from the ticket man. The ticket man wore a grubby polo shirt that said "______ Amusements" I wish I remembered the name. So we get the tickets and walk to the game booths.
Instantly we are berated by the filthy dirty no good depravity known as "The Carny" If your a carnival booth worker and you take offense to that, good. Go flirt with a townie. I oblige the dart guy and get a dollars worth of darts for the kids. "Every player wins" he says. I split the darts up among my three kids. Zoe went first and popped a balloon. Chase the lefty stepped up and tossed his dart. He popped one balloon. Ian took his turn popped a balloon. Three tosses, three kids Mr. Carny had to cough up three cheap stuffed animals for three kids. At this point I was feeling ok. I wasn't getting the "get away from this roadside entertainment travesty" feeling I normally get.
We headed over to the big inflatable slide and the kids handed the tickets over to a couple of 13 year old girls who looked very indifferent. I'll call them "talky" and "stick jabber" because one talked and the other jabbed a stick into the ground and made little holes.
Talky took the tickets and the kids climbed up the big slide. They came down the slide and had big smiles and really really liked it. I brought the shoes back over to them as I thought they most likely only got one turn down the slide. Talky said "They get two turns" I was elated as I felt I was going to get my moneys worth.
While the kids were making their way back to the top I was approached by a Carny who I think was on break. This guy was quite unappealing to look at. He was eating some kind of gross looking meat and chewing it with his yellow and green teeth. His face was covered in the same kind of sores you see on the "Faces of Meth" page. http://www.facesofmeth.us/main.htm# I don't want to judge but I am. This guy was a freak. I instantly had the fatherly "protect my young" instincts kicking in. My hackles were raised so to speak.
Carny "Those your kids"
Me (creeped out) "Yeah"
Carny "They got wrist bands?"
Me (remembering that ticket man didn't have those to offer) "No"
Carny "They got tickets?"
Me (Thinking "yeah you idiot") "Yes"
Carny "Two tickets each then"
Ginny "We already gave them our tickets"
Carney (to talky) "They already gave you them?"
Talky "Yeah, they already did"
Carney "Oh, OK then"
I couldn't let it go here. I was ripped. Who did this guy think I was? Did I fit the description of some kind of Carnival Caper that was pilfering free rides for his kids? Don't Judge me! Not only was he trying to get me to give more tickets but he wanted me to hand over more than what the ride called for.
Me (in a very stabby sarcastic way) "Hey...thanks for being concerned..."
I could not help but have the desire to shut this guys mouth up with my knuckles. Weird huh? So I was ready to get out of there at this point. The motorized riding contraptions looked very very unsafe and the Carney's were all just really starting to freak me out.
Picture a bunch of strung out 40 year olds leaning over the controls of a machine your kids want to get in. Meanwhile Guns and Roses "Dr. Feel good" is pumping out of a stereo somewhere and its driving me crazy mad.
Ginny made a good pothat'shen she called them gypsies because really thats what they were. A bunch of gypsies, tramps, and thieves...
Despite my dislike for the whole place I did buy a couple slabs of fried dough. The woman in the wagon was pleasant, all though I'm sure she had qualities I would hate if I stuck around long enough to talk to her.
I felt bad because the kids wanted to play some more of the games and get on the rides. The rest of the rides were two bucks a piece and were not anything you'd want to pay two bucks for. ( I had just two tickets left and the ride called for two. I wasn't going ot make a Solomonian decision to pick which child would try and cheat death to have fun) As a parent, how do you explain it to your kids that you were bailing on a fun little place after only five minutes because it was creepy and disgusting? In the end I told the kids next time we see a carnival to remind me and I'll give them ten bucks to spend at the dollar store.
It should be said that Carny's are not bad people. They are just deplorable. Thieving, lowlife bottomfeeding scum of the earth. If your a carney and want to rebut feel free to write it on your own blog when your not being so sick and disgusting.
"He's not just some guy, Marge. He's a Carny and part of a noble tradition.
Carnies built this country-the carnival part of it anyway -- and though
they may be rat-like in appearance, they are truly kings among men."
-- Homer Simpson on carnies