I know people who are suspicious of carnivals. Their fears aren’t unwarranted; I remember news reports of people getting flung from rides that they thought they were securely locked into. Those reports are what gave me the idea for a series of special reports, the best one of which would be “Texas Carnival of Death 3.” Naturally, it would be aired by Fox.
I, however, love carnivals. Last night Mr. Sandwich and I went over to the local park, where a carnival has been set up. Our first stop? The Tilt-a-Whirl, naturally. As Mr. Sandwich said, “We’re not going to miss the Tilt-a-Whirl. You talk about it incessantly.” Seriously, I love carnivals.
So we buy tickets and then get in line for the ride. As we’re standing there, we notice that (a) the little girl in the cute red coat with leopard collar and cuffs keeps trying to sneak in front of us, and (b) the cars on the Tilt-a-Whirl seems to spin rather enthusiastically.
Our turn comes, and we pick out a car. The first thing I notice is that this Tilt-a-Whirl is not adorned with clown heads. I think every other one I’ve ridden has had clown heads. Normally I suffer from coulrophobia (shut up! a lot of people do!), but clown heads never bother me on the Tilt-a-Whirl. That’s how much I love this ride.
The next thing we notice is that the bar on our car does not lock in place. (We would never make it into the televised special, because we’re not in Texas.)
The ride begins to turn, and we quickly learn that our car doesn’t just spin enthusiastically. It spins intensely. So intensely that my glasses get pushed up a little, and I’m reasonably sure that if Mr. Sandwich hadn’t had his arm around my shoulders (Lifelong dream: carnival rides with a boy who likes me. Mission accomplished!), I might have gotten whiplash. In all my years of riding Tilt-a-Whirls, I’ve never been on one that made me spinny, particularly when I wasn’t even leaning to increase the rotation.
At the end, we literally staggered off of the ride and down the short fairway, eliminating rides that looked awesome, but, in Mr. Sandwich’s words, were “too kinetic.” Ultimately we rode the Ferris wheel to see what we could see (lights in the hills, but on the whole not that much–it wasn’t that big a wheel). And in the process, we got really cold. So we gave our remaining tickets to a father and daughter pair, and headed home.
Because carnivals are awesome, but so is our couch.