Monday, April 05, 2010
That’s My Story and I’m Stickin’ to It
So we are heading to the “Liar Liar” Geocaching Event on Saturday morning; which was all part of the plan. We drove up the overpass on Route 55 and down the ramp to the hamlet of Deptford NJ where to our wondering eyes did see a traveling carnival being set up in the parking lot of a closed down movie theater.
“Can we go?” shouted two of the three kids from the backseat of our SUV.
“No.” I said listening to the groans of disappointment gush from over from the backseat.
“Why not, Dad?” Chick 3.0 asked. “It would be fun.”
“There!” I said pointing at the attractions from our view at the stoplight, “That’s why not.” Four sets of eyes surveyed the rickety view. Half constructed rides that twirled, dropped or rotated at amazing spleen crushing speeds. There were names like “The Gut-Masher”, the “Vomit-Tron” and “The Mangler”. I could have sworn that the letters were shaped like broken bones on that one. In my mind’s eye I could see the unforgiving gas engines turning gears, pulling chains that made the wobbly, poorly constructed rides work. In my imagination I could see a man with a hook for a hand turn in our direction and scream through the greasy smoke of the funnel cakes and hot dog carts, “DO YOU KNOW HOW I LOST THIS?”
“And what’s wrong with that?” Chick 2.0 asked.
Before I could explain to my 13 year-old exactly what was wrong with that Mother Hen spoke, “I use to love going to the fair.”
“This is not a fair – it’s an Erector Set gone horribly awry!”
“What’s an Erector Set?” Chick 3.0 asked.
Mother Hen smiled. “Let’s take a look at what they’re doing.”
“I don’t know, Carnies don’t like to be disturbed.” I said.
“Carnies?” Chick 1.0 asked with a grin on her face.
“People who work at carnivals and traveling fairs – carnies.”
“So will they have games?” Chick 1.0 asked. “I love to play the games.”
“Games! I think you have to sign a waiver to play ‘em.” I said.
“Oh come on, it’s not that bad.” Mother Hen said. “Come on, let’s see what they’re up to.”
The light turned green and instead of driving straight to the event I turned into the parking lot. We made our way to the outskirts of the fair where workers looked up from their toils and watched us with untrusting eyes.
“Isn’t this cool!” Chick 2.0 said. I smiled at the workers as our SUV moved further on into the bowels of the fair.
We could see two men suspended on harnesses trying to secure a HUGE bowling ball to the top of a set of cartoonishly rendered bowling pins. They must have been 30 feet in the air. There was a sign underneath them that read, “Mad Jack’s Beyond Bowl-A-Drome”.
“They have games!” Chick 1.0 said.
A figure stepped in front of our SUV. I was going slowly but it still jarred us as I stomped on the brakes. No lie, this guy was dressed just like Indiana Jones. I didn’t know if he was a carnie, a sci-fi convention attendee, a mental patient or a geocacher. I just didn’t know. However, I did know that he was pretty faithful to the character from the fedora adorning his stubble-chinned head to the Mark VII British gasmask bag hanging to his left side. He had the beaten leather jacket, the bullwhip and a holster on his right hip that I was praying did not hold a Webley Mark VI like Indy’s did. He sneered at me and purposefully walked to my side of the SUV. Unfortunately, I already had the window down.
“Just what do you think you’re doin’ here?” Indy asked.
“We were curious and wanted to take a look.” I said.
“We ain’t open yet.” Indy said. Another worker who bore a striking resemblance to Chunk from “The Goonies” came over and stood just by Indy’s shoulder. Chunk was looking inside our SUV with that one good eye of his. I could see that he had Summer Teeth dentition – some are here, some are there.
“So when do you open?” I asked.
“When we are not being interrupted by trespassers.”
“Yah.” Chunk said. “Trespassers.”
“Trespassers? This is a public lot. We might be future customers.” I said although neither Indy nor I believed the later part of what I had just said.
“You’re trespassers!” Indy said. I’m sure he was going to say something else but an ear splitting CRACK interrupted him. As it turns out the two guys working on that huge bowling ball they sheared the bolts off of the thing and gravity was about to have its way with anything or anyone standing in its way. I saw the look of fear race across Indy’s and Chunk’s faces as the bowling ball… I’m sorry that’s not right… the BOWLING BALL crashed down and began to roll towards us. Sensing impending doom Indiana Jones ran past us with the Huge Bowling Ball in hot pursuit.
“INDIANA, INDIANA!” Chunk cried as he ran after him. He had a bit of a limp but this did not stop him from aiding his friend.
The five of us stared at the scene, jaws open. “All right then.” I said. “Who’s hungry?” Mother Hen looked in my direction as I put the SUV into drive and we made our way to Joe & Sue’s Liar Liar Breakfast Event (which was GREAT by the way).
Now if I could only get the theme to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” out of my head. Den da da da, Den da da!