On Thursday night we attended a local carnival. You know, it was one of those traveling type amusement parks that you read about in the news because some local patron has lost a limb or worse. It’s the type of carnival that you swear you’ll never let your children visit because you’re sure that it’s held together with duct tape and super glue.
In other words, it is just like home.
And that’s exactly where we took our children. Because we’re a family of thrill seekers, and thrills are a little hard to come by since our Disney passes have lapsed.
We have been passing this carnival going to and fro for about a week, and what with all the bright and twinkling lights, and freakishly frightening looking rides we were powerless to avoid it.
We arrived at the opening time of 5:00 and virtually had the place to ourselves. We sized up all the really scary rides to determine which one of us would be most likely to chicken out. As it turns out, that would be me. I noticed that the majority of the really fun looking rides were of the SPINNING variety, and somewhere along the way, my equilibrium has taken quite a hit.
But because I have a soft spot for nostalgia, there was one particular ride that I couldn’t walk past, because it took me back to my youth, and one of my first visits to Six Flags over Texas in Dallas/Fort Worth.
From what my sketchy memory can recall, there was a ride at Six Flags called “The Thimble” that looked like a round drum set into the earth. You walked down into the center and stood along the wall. The ride would begin spinning until the centripetal force pinned you against the wall. AND THEN THE FLOOR DROPPED OUT BENEATH YOU, WHILE YOU ARE STILL STUCK TO THE WALL. From what I can recall, the people waiting in line could look down into the thimble to watch from above.
It was one of my favorite rides. Way back when, you know, balance wasn’t a big deal.
One time my cousin, who was probably in his 20’s at the time, rode The Thimble. Just as the ride was just gaining momentum, he stuck his arm out in front of him just to see if he could. Right about then, the centripetal force took hold and quite involuntarily his arm flew back against the wall. And as luck would have it his right hand landed on the breast of the woman standing beside him.
Those related to him standing opposite witnessed 4 sets of very large eyes, staring straight ahead. When the ride was mercifully over, he removed his offending hand, and both of the people involved exited without a single glance or word exchanged.
I related this story to my friend, Stacey, as we opted to ride this somewhat similar centripetal force type ride together. I assured her that I would keep my hands at my side, because good friends are hard to come by.
And how did I enjoy that trot down memory lane? Centripetal force. OH IT MAKES ME GREEN. YES, YES IT DOES.
Therefore, my very favorite two rides were the bumper cars (which were not unlike driving in 5:00 traffic up the 405 in Los Angeles) and a ride that I affectionately call “The Plummet”. It is a tall needle like structure. You strap yourself into a seat around the base, and then you are lifted high into the air. And by high, I mean I nearly lost consciousness because the oxygen levels were not sufficient to sustain life. Then after hanging in mid-air for about 10 of the longest seconds of my life, we were then dropped back down to earth. My heart trailed behind.
How I can subject myself to something like that given my intense fear of heights, I have no idea. Fiddledaddy comforted me by reminding me that should one of us perish, the other one could sue for negligence and the remainder of the family could live comfortably ever after.
It was a fun filled evening, as we were able to share it with cousins and dear friends. Jensen, who is now described as a “maniac” by his cousins, showed no fear whatsoever as he rode every single ride that matched his height requirement. The only ride he was turned away from was the Plummet. Sadly. But all the spinning and going upside down (often at the same time) did not faze him. Which surprised me since this is the kid that used to throw up on my keds after swinging on the playground.
Have a fantastic weekend, everyone! And thank you again for all of your camping suggestions. I’m determined to be the most organized and well prepared camper EVER.