Geek Love: Travelling Fairs

There was a travelling fair in town this weekend. This is the sort of carnival you won’t see in bigger cities like Montréal, because they already have their own amusement parks. No, travelling carnivals are the domain of the small town.

I saw them set-up in our mall’s parking lot on Wednesday, and I knew that as soon as they opened the first ride I would try was the haunted house: The Bordello of Blood. I was with my friend’s son and his best friend, but one of the boys chickened out when he saw that we could only sit two per cart, so I went in with the best friend.

Those moving carts are so old and rickety they remind me of old mining carts. It was a short ride, but very dark and claustrophobic. Unfortunately, even though I usually easily scream and gasp at things that jump out of the dark at me, I can’t say the Bordello of Blood gave me a fright. It was fun anyhow though. The kid I was with was so cute, he kept blocking his ears, because it was so loud, and we both felt something brush our hair. What that thing was remains a mystery. Although, if I was to venture a guess, I would say they had strings hanging from the ceiling for that very purpose. Tricky carnies.

One of my friends kid sticking her tongue out at me before proving how strong she is. Even more than the rides, I love carnival games. They’re more addictive then gambling, I say.

This nice gentleman gave me a little red stuffed alligator even though I only popped two out of three balloons with my darts. This would be a super fun game at a kids birthday party. Too bad I don’t have any. Maybe, I’ll just blow up some balloons in my backyard, since the kids party idea would really just be an excuse for me to play with darts.

I went on the Ferris wheel by myself, because my friend didn’t want to let her kids go on what seemed like a treacherous ride. She may have had a point, since the thing screeched and grinded at every opportunity, but I couldn’t help myself, I wanted to take pictures from the top… even if they turned out blurry.

I remember when this carnival used to come to town when I was a kid. I went on the Ferris wheel with my cousin Shawn, and as usual, he took every opportunity to try to scare me, so he spent the entire time making the seat we were in swing back and forth as hard as he could despite the sign that clearly said: “don’t swing the seats”. I mean why make them that way if you don’t want people to swing them, you know some kid is just going to jump at the chance?

The Sea Dragon, the ride that made every kid scream and lift their arms in the air with each swing. I didn’t try this one. The line was too long and it was too crowded.

This carnival didn’t have any bearded ladies, ape boys, or mermaids, only neon signs, rides, games, and cotton candy.

I resisted the call of the cotton candy, because this last ride, The Butterfly, as fun as it was left me feeling a tiny bit queazy and I didn’t want to push my luck. You see my friend didn’t want to go on any of the rides, and since the boys were too short for most of them, I became their official “Ah come on, there almost tall enough, how about if I go with them?” accompagnying adult. It worked too.

The bumper cars where one such ride, where I had to convince the carnie to let them go on if I went with them, which was fine, because I was there to go on the rides too, but let me tell you a little secret: I SUCK at bumper cars. I can’t get a handle on turning the wheel this way to go backwards and turning it the other way to go forwards. I mean which way do I turn it when I just want to turn?

It was kind of funny, because my cart got stuck amid a pile of other cars driven by little kids and the guy operating the game actually had to come on the track to get me the hell out of there so I wouldn’t spend the entire run of the ride stuck in one place.

The Tilt-A-Whirl should change its name to “Makes You Puke A Lot”. I got sick on this ride when I was in high school and have since sworn it off for the rest of my existence. One of the kids I was with didn’t take my warning to heart and went on it anyways. Of course, he got sick all over the place. The little trouper kept on trucking though… not five minutes after he was happily eating nachoos and cheese. I guess he got a bit peekish after emptying the contents of his stomach all over the place.

Oh carnie games, quit taunting me with your stuffed animals and bright lights. I’m a weak woman. You know, I can’t resist spraying water into the frogs mouth until a balloons blows up.

I hope you’re all having a great weekend!


3 responses to “Geek Love: Travelling Fairs

  1. Liz

    Amazing photos Olga! I love small town carnivals. I haven’t been to one since I was a little kid.

  2. Olga Wolstenholme

    Thanks Liz! Small town fairs kick ass!

  3. Now that is some wonderful literature.

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