Oct 182007

Kid on swinging boat ride

The fair is in town this week. My eldest is just crazy about the fair. Specifically, the rides. He loves the rides that sling him around, that go up and down, that flip upside down.

I like the rides too, up to a point. I like the ones that go up and down, and the ones that sling me around. But I do not—repeat, not—like the ones that flip upside down.

The spousal unit didn’t want to go (“Didn’t we just do that last year?”) and the youngest wasn’t feeling well, so Monday after school it was just me and him. He was jumping with excitement, until I asked him to stop because my little car was bouncing like a midget lowrider. And he was laughing all the way there. Not from the excitement, but just because he finds me so terribly amusing these days. Apparently if you have a teenage son, everything you say is either eye-rolling idiocy or bust-a-gut hilarity.

Several miles away from the fairgrounds, I saw a sign that offered parking for $7: “Seven bucks to park this far out? Are you shitting me?” He nearly ruptured himself over that one.

The Zipper

The Zipper

We parked the car and made our way in, and the kid headed straight for the midway and hopped on a giant swinging boat. Next I joined him on one of those rides that slings you around (making sure to put my giant son on the outside). He got on a contraption called “The Twister” that flipped upside down. And then he wanted to go on “The Zipper.”

“The Zipper” is a Ferris wheel designed by the Marquis de Sade. The cars don’t just revolve around the center, they also rotate freely front-to-back. So a person inside the cage gets flipped over frontways, and backways, and frontways again.

Oh, hell no. I gave the boy some ride tickets and told him to have fun.

He went through the line, all excited. The ticket-taker talked to him for a minute, and he came back again, disappointed. “There have to be two people in the car,” he explained.

With a heavy sigh, I turned him around and led him back into the line. “All right, I’ll go on it,” I told him. “Make the most of this, because I am never doing it again.

He did. He thought it was the Greatest. Ride. Evar! My bloodcurdling shrieks added an excellent sound effect.

I didn’t quite kiss the ground when we got off. He was bouncing all over the place. “I think that’s my favorite ride!” he informed me. “Boy, you were screaming!”

“One advantage of being female is that I don’t have to be macho and silent,” I told him. “I’m allowed to scream like a little girl, because I are one.”

He laughed for five minutes about that. I gave him the rest of the ride tickets and retreated to the boring world of the crafts display and the animal barn.

Every year I go to the poultry tent and put chickens to sleep. They have an area with baby ducks and chickens that you can hold and pet; as soon as I pick up a chick or duckling, it settles down and dozes off. I don’t know why.


The Waterfall

After sedating poultry for a while I wandered through the craft exhibit, bought some fudge and caramel apples, wandered back out and got some fried dough, and eventually retired to the waterfall where we had arranged to rendezvous. The waterfall didn’t look like much, it was turned off because of the drought.

At one point the kid appeared out of the crowd, declaring himself ravenous; I bought him some pizza, he wolfed it down and disappeared in the direction of the midway. Eventually he turned up again to watch the fireworks with me, and then we headed home. He said he’d ridden every ride at the fair. I believe it.

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