Over the Memorial Day weekend we went to Ella's first carnival...well, the first carnival that she was really able to participate in. She had a blast.

It was fun watching her, but I must admit:
Carnies terrify me.

It's not just their apparent lack of appropriate hygiene, or their obvious meth mouth, but mainly because most of them seem to sporting some mental illness that would require immediate inpatient treatment for those of us in other professions.

At almost 16 months, there really were few things that Ella could ride at those carnivals. (Not that I would allow her to ride most. Carnies put those rides together. *See above.) She, of course, loved the carousel, but there were also a couple of other rides that she could go on for her age and size. One was a race car ride where she "drove" the car.


I immediately vetoed that ride the first night. The second night I was out voted and she went on the ride. (Possibly due to momentary lapse of clarity caused by a combination of corn dogs, elephant ears and caramel apples. With nuts.) We walk over to the ride and I'm prepared to go inside the little fence to place my child in her very first "on her own" ride (WITHOUT MOM) and instead find a carnie reaching over the fence to get my baby.
So she can place her in the ride.
And be the only person to insure the security of Ella's seat belt.

After the momentary shock subsides, I look at my KIA friend (and partner in crime) and say through teared eyes:


Ella was completely unscathed. I, however, am scarred for life.
How many baths does it take to get carnie out?


txsjewels said... @ 1:22 PM

i so relate to this post. Carnies terrify me. a few years ago, while in line for a "kiddie" ride like the one in your pic, i was arguing with my brother in law about the safety of the rides -- i taking the death-trap stand on the issue. so to settle it, he pulled aside the guy running the ride and said, "yall are well-trained on these rides aren't you? they get maintained every night, right?" the guy just looked at him and smiled. about that time a 40yr old well-worn nasty-ass carnie woman stepped into the conversation, "he can't understand you, honey," she said through her toothless gruffy grin, "he's in training on this ride. he's russian or polish or somethin. don't speak no english. no spanish either far as we can tell."
then we handed our children over the rail and held our breaths.

WritRams said... @ 1:48 PM

This was ONE OF THE FUNNIEST comments I've EVER received on my blog! Thanks for the laugh!

So, how many baths DOES it take to get carnie out?


thatdamnredhead said... @ 1:49 PM

I would ask WolframAlpha your question and see what it says.

I was almost a carnie once, briefly. I was volunteering at the first Grand Blanc "Family Fun Fest," put in by the chamber, and apparently the midway people were shorthanded. All weekend I kept hearing about how awful the carnies' service was, like that was somehow surprising. Anyway, so I was approached by the president of the chamber and she said, "OK, here's the situation -- the midway people need somebody to sell ride tickets for them because they weren't expecting this kind of demand. You're young, you know customer service, and you can count. They'll pay you $7.25 an hour."

I'm glad to know that being able to count is a prereq for that position. I wasn't going to do it, but I said OK if only for the fact that I'd have a great story to tell people -- that I was a carnie for a few hours because I'm young and I can count.

Turns out, the Head Carnie found somebody else, one of his own, to do the job. I asked why the president of the chamber why and she said, "Get this -- he said you didn't look trustworthy."


WritRams said... @ 1:58 PM

I always thought you looked suspicious, too...

I asked Wolfram|Alpha how many baths to get carnie out. Wolfram|Alpha said it wasn't sure what to do with the input. Go figure.

thatdamnredhead said... @ 2:34 PM

I really need to proof my comments before hitting "post," boy that was awful.

That's what I get for typing in a hurry.

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