blue moon (2)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Fair ©

The local fair opened up the other day here.
I haven’t gone in a long while, four years to be exact.
I remember going as a kid and having all sorts of fun.
My parents took me for the first time and even though they didn’t speak English that well I think they did enjoy it.
My father was always mesmerized the gadgets that they sold at the fair.You know those things that never work and come with a life time guarantee which lasts until the fair leaves town.
He bought one of those gas saving devices that you put on the top of the carburetor. The only thing it seemed to do was get rusty over the years.
I used to like the smell of all the different foods; the fried onions always seemed to draw people in. There were stands that had these machines that made fresh cotton candy, sno cones and fresh pop corn.
The cheese burgers always smelled and tasted better at the fair than they did at home for some reason; I used to love the sausages on a bun smothered with heaps of fried greasy onions and peppers. My arteries are already screaming but my mouth is watering as I write this.
My parents didn’t play to many games and couldn’t afford to let us play many. They did give me some money to throw away. They did like the one game where you throw dimes and try to get them in different glasses and plates. They were trying to replenish the glasses my brother and I broke constantly. They used to win lots of them but I couldn’t tell you if they got their moneys worth, my father could miss a well even if he was standing on the edge and made me throw dimes.

As the years flashed by I found myself going to the fair with my friends as we got older and we used to go and do the rides.
The first ride I ever got on, a ride that scared the shit out of me that is, was one called the Sky Diver. It went up one way and came down upside down and would spin at the same time. The worse part was when someone up above puked and sprayed everyone below. I have gotten one every ride that ever came to the fair I think.
I used to play the games and try to win the damn stuffed toys but it was too hard. I remember the first huge one I won. It was a 5 foot tall Teddy bear which would have been cheaper to buy for the amount of money I spent I believe. The food was still great though and we met a lot of people and had fun.
By the time I was sixteen I ended up working there and it was a way to earn some extra money and get onto the fair grounds for free and free rides.
I worked at the games that had milked my money all those years and I also learned how
too play them. I worked at various stands. The one I worked the most was a game where you had to stand up a coke bottle holding a fishing rod with a ring on the bottom of it. You had to get the ring around the neck and stand the bottle up on a polished piece of flooring. One out of many thousands got it up, it looked very hard but I had to go out there and show them how easy it was to do, thus making the poor suckers (Boyfriends, fathers) spend more money.

As I got older and became a parent, I used to take my kids to the fair and the smells, noises were there and the rides. The prices had soared though and what cost pennies to go, now cost hundreds of dollars.
There was a major difference now, I was super winning dad. All those years working there taught me how to beat the games and winning wasn’t an issue. By the end of the day I was usually banned from playing most of the games at the fair. I did learn that letting the kids go on the rides first and win the crap later or you’ll be carrying around everything for the kids for hours.
Boy did I fuck up that first year.
See, even Walker can learn a trick or two.

The other day a good friend of mine went to the fair and I saw him the next day. We have gone to many together over 35 years.
I asked him how it was.
He told me not to go because I would only ruin the memories I had of the place when I was a kid.
The games are almost all gone.
The cotton candy machines have disappeared and it comes in plastic bags from boxes kept in the back of a truck.
The popcorn is stale and cold. The big popcorn poppers are gone with the fresh smell and the noise the kernels made when they popped.
That’s a SIN!!!!!!!!!!
I love the red candy apples, so that means I get none this year. I know I can make them at home but they taste better there and I don’t have to clean up after.
The rides he said are mostly for toddlers now and the big rides couldn’t scare a fly from moving.
But I think the saddest part was the cheese burgers.
They were prefab pieces of rubber.
No more ground beef.
Who ever said change was good, must have been talking about his/her underwear.
Some things should never change.
Some traditions should never be lost.
We have changed so much that we have reinvented boredom and forfeited possible memories.
The fair is supposed to put smiles on our faces and to give families something to do together. These are the memories we carry as we get old.
When friends and family members pass on, these small memories put the picture in our eyes of a youth long gone with the ones we loved the most.
I am sitting here and I can smell the onions, I can here my father asking me to read the instructions on the gadget he bought.
I can see the smiling faces of my little girls as I win a big stuffed toy for them.
I can taste the cold coke I am drinking right now in that big gaudy blue glass my father won 40 years ago.

2. Lost Children’s Services
3. Guest Relations Booth
4. CHEZ Stage
5. SUPER PET Petfest
6. The Nintendo Motocross Show
7. The Giant Tiger Stage
8. The Winns Thrills of the Universe Show
9. The Pure Country Pavilion
10. The Pizza Pizza Stage / The Stars on the Rise Contest
11.Midway Guest Relations Booth
12. Midway
13. Ontario Lottery and Gaming CorporationSUPER STAGE presented by Slots at Rideau Carleton Raceway
15. Cartier Place Suite Hotel Kids World
16. Baby Change Station
17. Paid Public Parking
18.Rolling Stones Concert (August 28th @ 6pm)
19. Media Trailer
20. SUPEREX Offices


1 comment:

trinity said...

Your blog is great! It's hard to find blogs with good content and people talking about stuffed toys these days! I have a secret stuffed toys exposed if you want to come check it out