Friday, May 23, 2008

Flashback Friday: Fire up the tilt-a-whirl...

This week we're flashing back to that special time that happens once or twice a year in small towns all across our great nation. One day you drive by the Wal-Mart parking lot and it's full of Chevy pick-ups and the next...it's transformed into a wonderland of faded metal, flickering lights and loud 80s metal.

That's right kids...the carnival is in town. (Cue AC/DC Back in Black)

When you're a jr. high-er in a small town that doesn't have a movie theater or a McDonald's let alone a mall, the carnival coming to town is big deal. Plus, you're old enough to be on your own (sweet freedom!) and it's not hard to find somebody to drop you off (as opposed to trying to get your friend's mom to drive 30 minutes to the next town over).

Aside from proximity, there are three things that made the carnival so appealing:

The Rides
Whether your tastes leaned toward the Zipper and the Gravitron or the more tame Tilt-a-Whirl and Ferris Wheel, there was something for everyone at the carnival. Well, everyone except the people who were concerned about the safety of the rusted out rides that were put up in 3 hours by men of questionable sobriety and dental hygiene.


The Games
Pop 3 balloons and win a Metallica, RATT or Iron Maiden mirror! Hell...stick around an collect all three! (I actually know people who think these are acceptable home decor items. OK, full disclosure: I am related to them.) Or try your hand at the impossible task of throwing a softball into a rigged jug or knocking down "milk bottles" with a ball. Don't worry if you don't win, you'll still get a prize just for playing:


OK. I know we grew up in a much simpler time (Pac-Man didn't shoot up the ghosts then gobble over to Ms. Pac-Man's house for a post-murderous rampage blow job), but still. In what alternate universe is it acceptable to give kids drug paraphernalia?? As a prize?!? These days, do you get a crack pipe for beating the high score in Whack-a-Mole??

The People
Perhaps the best part of the carnival is the carnie. Bud Light should totally make a "Real Men of Genius" commercial about them. But since they won't, I will:

Bud Light Presents: Real Men of Genius
(Real men of Genius)

Today we salute you. Mr. Carnival Ride Operator Man
(Mr. Carnival Ride Operator Man)
You can set up the Spider in 7 minutes flat. Drunk. And you may not have a high school degree, but every day hundreds of parents entrust you with the lives of their children.

(Buckle ‘em up real tight!)

Sure, that’s a lot to handle. But, hey, it’s worth it to live the life you do. You’re a nomad…traveling from city to city…a different set of high school girls in every town.

(JAILBAIT! WATCH OUT!)

Whether you’re assigned to the House of Mirrors or the Scrambler, you know that when the sun goes down and the Def Leppard comes up, you’ll be right there in the middle of it all. With a Marlboro Red dangling from you lips.

(Don’t forget to ash!)

So crack open an ice cold Bud Light Mr. Three-Tickets-to Ride, 'cause we all know that despite the stench of grease and BO that follows you around like a groupie at a Poison concert...
YOU'RE the true King of the Midway.


(Mr. Carnival Ride Operator Man)

(Photo courtesy of Howard Dion)


Today's title selection: Welcome to the Tilt-A-Whirl - Insane Clown Posse

2 comments:

Pearl said...

You are a Real Woman of Genius. That is some funny shit!

Not to mention I got to relive the memory of holding hands with some guy that I met at the food court of Town East Mall on that carnival ride where you spin around and stick to the wall and the floor drops out from under you. The Gravatron or something? Good times!

amanda said...

Ahahaha that Real Men of Genius song sounds exactly like one of their commercials!

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