Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Carnival

The Northport Fire Department, a fire department a block from my house, owns this HUGE field. Like, overnight, the NFD fair set up.
I couldn't believe it. One moment it was a big, empty field...
...the next, it was this....
So you see, I'm a total weenie when it comes to carnival rides.

But, when I first stepped inside of the carnival, I saw that there weren't any 'medium' rides; which are the rides between embarrassingly kiddy and extreme.
I knew I would be forced to go on the extreme rides, and I stalled as much as I could.
At the pig races, the owner of the pigs picks out one member of the audience for each color, blue, red, yellow, and green. If your pig wins, he gives you a little slip that says,
He actually called on me in the second round for yellow, and all terror of the impending rides was momentarily forgotten.
And in the end, I WON! I got my blue slip, and Dad and I wanted to stay for the remaining two races.
Ana, less amused, went off to try the riptide. After the pig races, we met Ana at the base of the riptide.

ANA: It was so, so awesome!

DAD, POINTING TO KIDDY RIDE NEXT TO RIPTIDE: I think Jane wants to go on that one.

ANA:  Are you kidding?!!!!


DAD: I have an idea. (whispers)


They led me over to the line to the Swirlin' Berries, ginormous strawberries which turned lazily around.
I was just about to step through the gate when Dad yanked me towards the riptide.
It wasn't the line for the Swirlin' Berries, it was the line for the RIPTIDE.

ME: You tricked me!


It was too late to get out of it. I scrambled for the back row, knowing I couldn't see over the wall in front of me. Nevertheless, I shielded my eyes and refused to drop my hands. The entire ride kind of went like this:

When I stepped off of the ride, I was a changed person.
Something had changed inside of me. After that one ride, the extreme terror had mutated my DNA... changed every scardy-cat cell inside of me...
Now it was a hunger. A hunger for extreme... a hunger for terror.
After four more times on the riptide, I conquered the Zipper...
Then The Round Up...
The Super Slide...
The Sizzler...

Okay not the sizzler...

The Dragon Loops...

Okay, not that either...

But you get the point. I went on all of the extreme rides except for those two, and went home happy that night.

The next morning Dad's work friend Jim brought his daughter, Olivia, and her two friends over to go to the carnival.
Olivia and her friends are nine, and really loud. But I like them very much, and they loved to play fetch with the dogs. Only, this must be a nine year old thing, they like avoiding the sanitary way of using the Chucket...
...and instead, picking up the gooey tennis balls that the dogs have layered in spit with their bare hands.

But, anyway, I showed them the Cabana outside, the trampoline, the pool... and then we set off for the long, harsh, one hundred feet journey to the carnival.

When we arrived, the girls wanted to go on the Riptide. Me, being the cool big kid for once in my life, said,
From Left to Right... Olivia, Chloe, and... erm.... The Other One.
I was just getting on to a story about how I had climbed a tree when Dad hustled us over to see the pig races again. Ana went off to have the rest of the night to herself and her friend, Rachel, she had invited over, and after two pig races I got bored and went on the Riptide, and everybody next to me screamed so loud that the girls looked up at me in envy. I put on my cool face, and appeared bored, and afterward I resumed my cool swagger-like walk, as if I hadn't been affected at all.
After the riptide, the girls and I walked around, searching for good rides. I steered them away from the two rides that I was still terrified to go on, but, after the roundup, they caught sight of the dragon loops.
They pulled me over to the dragon loops, and asked me what I thought of it.
I couldn't let them know I hadn't gone on it.
We waited in line for fifteen minutes, and then I climbed in with The Other One. Olivia chickened out and didn't go on, and by the way she couldn't stop laughing I'm guessing she'd heard me screaming my head off the entire time.
I wish I could record my scream and put it here, and you'll understand how loud I scream.
Afterwards, the girls were terrified and didn't go on again.
I had to keep them away from the sizzler.
It was too much for my very large grammatical brain to take. The individual sock-shaped cages twist and turn and flip and flop and it's so scary!
Fortunately, they were too scared to go on it, and the night passed with relief.
Tomorrow was the last night of the carnival. It went smoothly; I skipped the kiddy rides and coolly went on the extreme ones.
Oh, and once there was this kid across from me doing the macarena on the roundup.
It was really bothering me, so I made a face at him until he looked at me.
No, his face is not bleeding. He's blushing.
Anyway, on the last night, after a brief two rounds of piggies, I went off to mingle and do my share of rides, until it was almost about time to leave.
I stared bravely in the eye of the sizzler, and I knew that I had to go on it.

Known in Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Dog Days) as the Cranium Shaker, the sizzler was a very unsanitary ride. Whenever somebody barfed on it, they just threw buckets of water on it.
Yet I knew I would never become a man unless I went on it, so I hopped in line and patiently waited for ten minutes, ignoring my fears and focusing on three boys trying to get a five dollar bill with a stick from outside of the roped off area.
Finally, it was my turn to go on. Before I went on, I felt a little bit of a drizzle. Worried it was raining, I quickly hopped inside.
Ana, being the loveliest sister ever, went on with me. She had already gone on it with Rachel, and just as we had been strapped in she told me she regretted her decision, and after having watched the sizzler through only one rotation, I was scared out of my very large grammatical mind.
The ride began.
It can't be drawn, so I shall use my words.
Ana looked puzzled as the ride came to a halt.
"That was only a quarter of how long it was when I went on it," she said to me. I couldn't register English anymore; even if the ride had just been a quarter long.
I waved at Mom through the bars, but she looked revolted as she half-heartedly waved back. Rachel was looking a little green as well.
When we stepped off of the ride I realized it wasn't raining. I hadn't felt any drops on the ride, either, but it had been pouring so much when I had gotten on the ride.
Mom quickly pulled me towards the exit.
"Hey! Where're we going?" I demanded.
"We have to take Rachel home," Mom declared nervously.
"Hey, Mom, why was the ride so short?" Ana asked. Mom made a face.
"What happened?" I asked her. "And it was raining before I got on the ride. I felt it."
"I felt it too," Ana said.
"I don't know what that was," Mom said. "But your ride was so short because two people in two separate cars in front of you vomited." My eyes went wide.
"Is that what we felt?" I asked her. "The rain?"
"Probably," she answered. "But that was before the two people threw up. Those guys working it were like, oh no! And it smelled really bad. All they do are throw buckets of water on it, but they didn't have buckets of water, so they just left the cars empty, I think." We walked in silence home. The carnival sure had ended with a bang.
All of us didn't want to go back after the sizzler, and our carnival adventures were over.
It was the best carnival ever.



  1. Wow, Jane! Your drawings are getting so much more expressive! I could really see all your emotions in the pictures. Glad you're blogging again...you are very talented and I really enjoy your adventures.

  2. Wow - that was incredible. I really felt like I was there ... even for the yucky parts at the end. Gee Thanks! I still can't go on the scary rides. I've given up trying. Your blog is great. I really enjoy your writing and drawing. Keep it up!