When the carnival comes to town and someone tries to convince you to go, I’m here to tell you… don’t do it. I don’t care if your friend offers you money, or some other form of a payback. I repeat. Don’t go to the damn carnival. It’ll be a day of terror you will never forget.
So there I was. Minding my own business. My sister decides to come into town and she had her mind set on a Saturday afternoon at the carnival. I didn’t want to do it. I even tried to convince her we do something else. But OH NO! We had to go to the damn carnival. So what do I do? I go to the damn carnival…
We pull up to the parking lot. Fight our way through the masses, which, it was beyond me why that many people would fight bumper-to-bumper, pay oh-so-much for a ticket inside, then place their fate in the hands of a carnival swine, who holds the key to a person’s life with a push of a ride button.
Anyway… Back to the story…
My sister made it “our” mission to seal our fate with every carnival ride offered on that fine Saturday afternoon. We buy our tickets and start making our way around the maze of vendors and on to the death traps. We ride the first ride of terror. I return to solid ground, unscathed and only a little shaken-up. Ride two seemed OK, although, I’m pretty sure I had my eyes closed for the lengthy duration of the torture session.
By that point, my stomach was not doing so well. I kept thinking that my blood sugar was running a little low and maybe I needed to take a break and shove some food in my tummy. By the way, my carnival food of choice is a nice larger-than-life pretzel slathered in good ‘ol fashioned mustard (yummy!).
While hitting up all these thrillers, my wonderful sister had her eyes on one ride… the only ride name I remember to this very day—- THE ZIPPER!
Towering over us was this metal device with several cages whipping and twisting around as this vertical conveyor traveled up and down while flipping and swinging each cage for, what seemed like, an eternity.
Me: “Can we, please, ride this one last? This one’s got ‘Bad Day’ written all over it.”
The moment arrived. We sealed our fate, stepped up to the cage and locked ourselves in… to ride the Carnival Ride From HELL…..
I immediately hated this ride. My sister, on the other hand, was enjoying herself and laughing at my expense. After a bazillion minutes on this ride, sister goes quiet. All of a sudden she too is no longer enjoying the cage and wants off, the same as I.
All of a sudden, ONE OF US, I’m not saying which one, but one of us had quarters that escaped a pant pocket and started whipping around inside this cage. On top of desperately wanting off this catastrophic nightmare, our lives were now at stake with the possibility of our faces being taken out by a dead president.
Never ending. This went on for, what seemed like, hours. We were both on the verge of up-chucking our carnival snacks. To this day, the traumatic stress was so severe, all I remember was my voice screaming to be let off the ride. And seeing that carnival swine look at me and smile as we whipped passed him for another spin on the conveyor.
Finally, after the fear of losing an eye, sweat dripping off of us and both severely green in the face, the cage-flipping nightmare was screeching to a halt. Every single cage was set free… except ours. The Zipper Tsar proceeded to let everyone else off the ride and wickedly laughed every time he added us back in rotation on the conveyor belt.
Last, but not least, our cage door opened and I made a mad dash to the nearest bushes to collapse face-up on the cold ground. I. Could. Not. Move… Nor could I regain my skin color. My sister, on the other hand, had no problem recovering. She stood over me patiently waiting for me to turn back to normal. Luckily it was the last ride of the park, as it took me roughly 40 min to even lift my head off the ground.
Sis realized her card fell out of her pocket and she acted quickly to retrieve it. While she was away, I gathered enough strength to flip my body over and prop myself up on all fours. On her return, I tried tricking myself into thinking that I was fine and no longer needed to be on the ground. As I lifted my body, and shifted any remaining food products in my stomach, my mind finally snapped back into reality and told the rest of me that I was NOT OK and that it was time to meet my fate.
I barfed all over the place. And not just once. Multiple times. And I will tell you this: I hate being sick. I had tears rolling down my cheeks. Ugh. We had to hang out a little longer for me to fully recover from the horrific aftermath of the Zipper disaster.
While dragging my lifeless body back to my car, I realized we were on the verge of being late to a graduation celebration. No time to change clothes! We gotta go! So off we went, arriving at the tale end of a gathering in the same clothes we wore to the carnival. Whoops, we were the only ones in casual clothing as others were dressed for a semi-formal dinner reception.
In the end, we survived the terrors of the drudging carnival, the Tsars controlling each ride and the frightful Zipper that got the best of both of us (especially me). I exhaled a huge sigh of relief for myself as I relaxed in a chair at the graduation dinner, just to look down and see bright yellow vomit splatter all over my shoes from that wonderful pretzel and mustard snack that I had regurgitated earlier.