Monday, September 12, 2005

carnival of sorts...

Just a couple random things I noticed today:

I was working today and happened to be down at the fairgrounds where some 'carnies' were setting up for the fair, which begins this week. Most of what the fair is here, is livestock and 4-H type stuff. They show everything from goats to cattle and rabbits. Some high-school kids who are super-involved with FFA (Future Farmers of America) will bring their prize steer out to the fair, enter it in the auction, and pay for their first semester of college with the $$. Being mostly a city boy, I had no idea that such things existed.

Anyway, I was out at the fairgrounds watching as some carnies from "Pride of Texas Shows" were setting up those cheap fair rides that, no matter how big they are, somehow compress down into the size of a trailer that they can pull from site to site, all over the country.

Now we all know that 'carnies' can be some creepy folk. That's not where I'm going. I'm writing to those of you who willingly plunk down your cash for those little 'admit one' tickets and check your brains at the door and strap yourselves into the rickety, metal, ancient yet all-lit-up-with-florescent lights carnival fair ride.

If you have long suspected, as I have, that you take your life in your own hands when you dangle from the rusty chains on the rotaty-swingy thing, then all you need to do to confirm your suspicions is spend a day at the fairgrounds while they're putting rides together.

I was watching this crew of four carnies put together a ride called The Landslide, which was a 5-story tower with a purple slide that wraps around it. It looked kind of like this one, except this one looks permanent. The one I saw flipped up out of the back of a trailer. And it had no slide attached.

That was where the fun began. 4 guys that looked like they may have been recently released from prison were trying to coordinate putting this thing together. The tower has a crane at the top, which they would attach to the sections of the slide, one by one, and try to hoist it into place. When the sections didn't seem to fit, they'd bang on them randomly with a hammer. When the sections at the end that formed the end of the slide were too high for the next section up, two guys tried to hold it up by hand while the hastily attached section dangled in the breeze, obviously not really balanced on the crane.

The guy who was walking up the slide, attaching each section as they would raise it into place, was climbing along these supports that stick out from the tower and hold the slide. Everytime he would step to a new support, I could see the thing bend way down, looking like it would break. And then he'd shake the slide and bang with hammers and shimmy side to side until the sections hooked up.

I've gone into way too much detail, but let's just say that when the Bride and I go to the fair later this week, I know which rides we'll be staying away from. All the other rides will have to be a calculated risk. So if you're going to the fair, there are 3 crucial rides to stay away from.

Which rides, you ask? Which rides will place you and your loved ones in mortal danger? We'll have that information tonight at 11.

Another quick thing. The Bride was ordering some stuff with a gift card from Crate and Barrel a few minutes ago. As she was looking on the back of the card for some number she had to enter. At the beginning of the small print, the message is made out as so:

To Gifted Persons: This Crate and Barrel gift card is redeemable for.......blah blah blah

That's right. It's official. We are gifted.

Score right now: Falcons 14, Eagles 7. Falcons driving in the second quarter.