Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Bumper Boats

OOOOH! How cute! Look at the kids floating around in the bumper boats. The riders steer themselves as the boat's motor, (usually electric) powers them about across the water. 

When you put your child in a ride like the bumper boats, you want them to be safe. I've seen parents wading around in the water, following their little bumper-boated kid--just to be there if the bumper boat were to tip, or if their kid climbs out, or becomes aggressive--even worse, if someone else's kid bumper-bullies. Being harassed repeatedly while calmly floating in your own boat--can, I've been told, create long-lasting emotional wounds. In fact, some kids will never get in a boat again....which leads me to this:

As I reflect on my own childhood experiences, I remember that these sort of boat rides took place in a long, narrow canal-like pathway. Moving without any motor that we could see, there was no other direction we could go. We could turn the steering wheel, but it make no difference. It was a fake. 

Back in the good ole days, my dad had purchased a one-seat, fiberglass speedboat. The rider's legs flanked straight out on either side of the steering wheel, vertical with and on top of,  the boat's front. A single passenger boat--but what the hell? My sister was 5 years old, tops. Taking her for a spin across the lake and back in a boat for one seemed harmless. She was, after all small--not weighing much. She really didn't count as a real person. 

My dad got into the boat and sat my sister between the steering wheel and himself. Off they went, cruising across the lake. My dad calling to everyone--"Look at this boat! Have you ever seen anything like it?" After all, this was the newest, edgiest boat on the market. People in other boats gave him hardy thumbs up. The shoreline crowd moved closer to the lake to watch the cool guy in the newfangled speed boat.

Not my father.
My father loved basking in the spotlight. "Hello to you," my father shouted to every passerby. Zooming back and forth. Making crazy 8s and zig-zags. He did a George Washington crossing The Delaware pose as he criss-crossed in one direction, striking a body building pose on his way back.  
Not my father.

was jumping up and down--thrilled by the speed, the sound, the idea of being the only ones with a 'neat-o' boat. My brother ran along the beach.                                         

My father took the boat into a fast curve--and something went wrong--flipping the boat and dumping my father and sister into the lake. My father, drama king that he was, grabbed my sister and began the side stroke, pulling her with him. He tried to keep both of their heads above water...He was struggling, we all could tell. 

"Help!" my dad called to a lifeguard who looked up and then over to a group of kids playing on a large boulder.

"For God's sake! Help us," my father screams.

The lifeguard turns to my father, who is huffing, trying to save both himself and my father from what he thought was imminent--death by drowning. "Save the child," my father yells. "I've accepted my fate."

The life guard picks up a megaphone and yells to my father. "Sir...?"

We all glanced from the lifeguard to my father.

"Sir! Stand up."

My father stopped momentarily, as if trying to understand what the lifeguard meant. Then, in one quick movement, he stood up. The water, at best, was thigh-high.  Everyone on the shore began to laugh. Everyone close by in boats--howled. Everyone was in hysterics. Everyone, that is, except my father.

He looked toward us. It was written across his face.... and that of any possible Jew at the lake. We're Jews. What do we know about boating?

My brother, upon seeing that dad was okay, broke into the chant--originally used the first time anyone slipped coming upstairs from the living room to the bedrooms. It was a small flight of stairs and the possibility of real injury was low... 

"6.7, 5.4. 6.2, 3.4 (the French judge) and 5.8, " my brother yelled as if he was a panel of Olympic judges. Not bad for a Jew.

I don't know what happened to the boat. We never saw it again. But I can tell you this: whenever we kids went to a carnival that had boats, my mom warned us to never under any circumstances mention them when we got home. 

Some wounds are just too damn hard to heal.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

THE TUNNEL OF LOVE (The Dark ride, Fun In The Dark)

I like this ride. No, I love this ride and I'll tell you why: Sex. I'd like to say how fab. this ride is--the sudden twists and turns, the ghosts and monsters that light up. Creatures that threaten, scenes of gruesome activities that seem to be happening as you pass. You can even eat the 3 boxes of Milk Duds hidden in your jacket in one sitting...but  as much as I love this ride, I'll never ride it again.

My twins, my 12 year old and I are outside the Fun House. The kids jabber. "Let's go in. Let's go in!" I roll my eyes. I just wasn't in the mood to take two 5 year-old, very active (Okay, wild.) kids.
Wild you may ask?
Okay, here's an example:
They were two years old. 
My house was child proof. I mean everything. Drawers, cabinets, outlet blocks. My twins were playing quietly in the den. I ran upstairs to retrieve a book. I was upstairs maybe 8 seconds, max. When I returned to the den, they were gone.
"Brian. Nick," I call.
No answer.
I search downstairs. They were no where to be seen. I hurried upstairs. Not there either. I checked the cabinets (I couldn't open those damn child proof locks.) Had they gone outside? It wasn't possible. All doors had sliding locks on the top corner. I ran downstairs to check the locks on the doors. Everything was still locked. Borderline panic looms above me. I grabbed my keys, opened the lock on the door leading into the garage.

What I saw when I entered the garage...a chair had been slid over to Daddy's workbench. One of the twins was standing by the chair wearing a pair of safety glasses, a plastic wrench from his toddler tool box in his hand.
Aw...how cute, you may say.
The other was on daddy's workbench--plug in one hand, daddy's drill in the other.
They had taken the kitchen broom, slid the child proof  with the handle. Once in the garage, they used the broom to slide it back to a child-proof locked position and let it drop to the floor. I had it figured out. Damn child proof locks only keep adults out of things. Kids have no problem figuring these things out.
My parents came to visit from the mid-west. I thought I'd impress them with how brilliant their little grandchildren were. I scooped one of the twins up into my arms. Once he settled, I called my parents over.
"Check this out," I say proudly. "Show Papa your happy smile."
Nick smiles.
My parents are thrilled, discussing the fact that even though the twins were only half Jewish, the brains came from mom. Mechanical smarts, from his Dad (not a Jew) which reminds me of a funny joke.
Q. How do you get a Jewish girl to stop fucking?
A. Marry her.
I can tell this  'joke' because I'm Jewish.
But I digress.
"Show Papa your sad face."
Oh how cute. Isn't he cute? We all nod in agreement.
Show Papa your happy cute. Every coos at the twins
"Show Papa your angry face." Nick tightens his hand into a fist. makes an angry face and yells, "You Fuck!"

Needless to say, I didn't want to climb in a boat with these guys...my 12 year-old, Justin, steps up to the plate. "I'll take 'em mom."
I help everyone into the boat and off they go.

"Too bad,"
"Huh?" I turn and see a beautiful Latino man behind me. Mocha skin, dark eyes, hair tied back in a low pony tail.
"Too bad--you're missing a great ride." I love that Spanish accent. Love it. Love it. Love it.
"I didn't want to go with my boys," I replied. I just stood there, staring. As I've stated before, the only men that have the nerve to approach me are Carnies and crack smokers. He was neither.
"Want to?" I may have said yes. I think I said yes.
He grabs my hand and leads me to a boat.
The tunnel doors close behind us. Somewhere ahead, I hear my boys pleading to their brother, "Why can't I? The water's not deep."
X 's leg lightly rubs against mine. Yum.
"This is fun, " I say, lightly touching his arm. "Thanks."
"Yes. It is," he whispers in my ear.
We've made a rough turn and are in a completely black part of the tunnel. We start kissing. Deep, soft, wet kisses. On my neck. His face. My shoulder. His hand.
It's good. We can't wait any longer--unfortunately this ride is not twenty minutes--which is the minimum amount of time that I  usually need. I don't care.
He's rubbing his hands all over me. Under my tank top. Under my bra, up my dress...
And I'm all over him.
My nails dig into his back as he starts to sneak one finger--
I'm spinning on the tip of a needle.  Feels good. Feels so good.
I reach into his shorts and mumble "Oh,my god you are so--"
His mouth meets mine. I feel engulfed in a thick billowy cloud. And the pleasure. Oh the please he's giving me."
"No!" I hearJustin's voice ahead. A splash. "Oh Fuck! Get back in the boat."
I don't want X to stop. Even with the splash. Even with the "Get back in the boat."
I'm on the edge. La petite mort is seconds away. This may be a world record. He's moving his fingers. I'm moving my hand.
"Get Back In The Fucking Boat."
I'm ready to pop. And as my body tightens, as sparks begin ricochet inside of me," To I stop and yell at them, or do I let this much wanted orgasm, I make a quick decision
I scream out in ecstasy, "Get in. Get in Get in the fucking boat."
I open my eyes as we crash through the tunnel doors to the bright light.
I wipe my hand on my dress. He's smelling his fingers.
"Mom, Nick climbed out of their boat, " Justin yells.
"No, it was Brian," Nick yells.
"Justin pushed me."
"I did not," Justin shoots back.
"All three of you are soaking wet. We're leaving. Now!"
One of those fights is about to erupt.
"You're soaking wet, too," X whispers."Will you visit me here tonight? I get off at eleven."
"What do you mean?"
"I run the Merry-go-round."
And there it was. He was a carnie. No wonder he came on to me.
But he has his teeth. A carnie with teeth? This is a once-in-a-life-time discovery.
"I stop by if I can get away."  I knew I wouldn't.
Some rides are the best if you only ride them once.

Monday, July 25, 2011


I feel bad that I have to take such an well-meaning ride and group it with extreme sports. I know for a fact that the log ride is fun. You climb into an artificial log boat. Depending on its size, it carries as few as four riders and up to twelve. It's a nice, slow ride that weaves between buildings and goes under caves before its final drop. The approach to the plunge is through a tunnel. Once at the top, the log goes out into the open before taking a rapid descent into water.

I've actually ridden this ride and it wasn't bad at all. The log ride hasn't lost its innocence. I like that in a ride. No big-shot lights. No over-inflated ego p-zazz. Nope. You've got your log boat, the track and the slide. It's the implications of the log ride that causes me to worry. The implication the the boat is wood. Orginally, the log ride was used to transport lumber and logs down mountainous terrain to a sawmill by using flowing water, the boats were logs.

Perhaps this ride led to the "Let's use wood for fun" era. Want to play a game, kids? Try hitting a small, hard ball as it flies 60 mph at you. Right, hit it with this piece of wood. Okay, let's say you're not a pro. If some hard object is flying toward me, even at 10 mph, shit, even at 1/2 mph, I going to either run or duck. I can't understand why waiting for the anticipated SMACK of ball on wood is considered fun. Especially, for a Jewish girl like me, who undoubtedly would miss the ball all together. 

Sure, I've tried softball. I've stood, the center of attention, waiting for a ball to hurl toward me. Fun? I think not. First throw, I duck. Another pitch, great! super! I throw the bat and run as far as I can, ending up at the snack building. After a few minutes, I come around the corner with a hot dog and Ding Dongs. I don't eat DIng Dongs, they just make me look cool--even so, I was kicked off the team. 

That was my last soft ball game.

I moved on in life without having to deal with stick sports until college. Even though I studied dental hygiene, I still had to have units in phys ed. to graduate. (Why does a dental hygienist need to take phys. ed? I finally decided  that it was to learn different ways to get your teeth knocked out.) 

I hate physical activity. Now that I think of it, I was never encouraged to get involved in sports. I had Barbie and Ken dolls. I also had the first pink, Barbie convertible car. I suppose Barbie did keep me out of trouble for awhile  On Barbie and Ken's first date, they took Barbie's car and managed to 'do it' in the little sport coup. In those days, premarital sex was frowned upon... bad girls went to special homes for the unwed, had their babies, signed their baby away and came back as if none of it ever happened. It was all smoke and mirrors. I had to send my Barbie to the closet for her pregnancy. I didn't my mom to find out. Of course, she did, and wrung the truth out of me. That's how I became a reader.

In Dental hygiene school, Phys Ed was forced on me. Mandatory. I decided to try the ski class. In theory, it seemed innocent enough--after all, there's no place to ski in Columbus, Ohio.  I figured we'd just talk about what it would be like to ski. My kind of sport. But first class, we were carted to a hill somewhere outside of Columbus. I don't know where, because the shock that overtook me upon learning we would put on skis and a go down a hill, left me in a vacuum. Who knew that they had a big snow maker that blew layers of snow onto a hill?. Who could have guessed we'd at be outdoors? I heard nothing and saw nothing from the moment the announcement, "Let's go ski!" was made.

On  top of the hill. I attach my feet to 2 thin, flat pieces of wood. We're in a huddle. As the instructor goes over safety instructions, I feel one of the skis slide. I shift positions, and in that one moment--which is near now in the top of my sheer-terror-moments list, I began sliding down the hill backwards. My recently learned snow plow technique wasn't effective in stopping my descent into what I imagined would be sure death. I saw myself trapped in a snow drift. Trapped and freezing to death. I saw myself eaten alive by a huge avalanche and disappearing, gasping for air, until finally suffocated. Going over a cliff, falling into an ice cave. 

The fact that this was a hill, with a snow machine regulating the amount of snow didn't occur to me during the descent. I'm a Jewish princess and didn't deserve this--that's what I thought about, that and the worry they would dress me in the wrong outfit for my funeral. I'm screaming for help. It seems like I'm halfway down the hill before the instructor reaches out and grabs my hand. We were still at the top of the hill. I had managed extreme skiing for only a foot or two.  

Fortunately, a few days later, I was in my dorm room with a towel over my head, breathing steam into my lungs for the cold I now had. (My people are desert-dwellers. The snow? I've never heard of a Jewish Eskimo, have you?)) I managed to knock over the boiling was: Could I use the burns to get out of ski class and still get credit?

Needless to say, although the log ride is fun, I stay away from sticks no matter the shape, no matter the need, no matter the fun. And because the log ride maybe, was wood in its beginning stage, I didn't want to take a chance and never rode the log ride again.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Is it possible to visit a carnival and not partake in the thrill of eating Carnival Food? Seriously. Have you ever gone and not eaten anything? And yes, cotton candy counts.

If I had to say what my favorite attraction is, I'd have to answer, THE LINE at the snack bar.
Out of all the things to do at a carnival, the snack bar seems to be the safest. Perhaps that's why the snack bar always has the longest lines. 
Myself? I get in line within 8 minutes of arrival. The truth is, I'm not hungry then, but by the time I get up to the window, I will be.
Check out some Carnival Snacks:

**Fried Twinkie**

Someone in front of me in THE LINE once asked me if they sold frozen yogurt or fruit. The entire LINE  broke into hysterical laughter, pointing at the poor woman--obviously a novice. Plan on ingesting 600 grams of fat, minimum... and that's while your in LINE. No worries though, you'll walk it off as you drift from ride to ride...that's what I tell myself. Being a Jewish woman, I view exercise a bit differently than others. To me, a vigorous hike is the walk from the mall parking lot to Nordstroms. When there's a sale, I consider it a marathon and bump up the walk to a trot.

A little known Carnival Sociologist (AKA Carniologist) Flander Ufpenheimer (the f is silent) did a study that determined the following: 

No matter who you are, where you came from or which political party you identify with--once in the snack line, you become part of THE LINE. 

Your identity blends in and you are now considered a LINK in what I fondly call, THE CHAIN OF FAT. I hate to say this, but glance around when you're in THE LINE and consider this: 

1)the clothing your chain is wearing and

2) the size of the other 'links' in your chain.

I'm sorry to say that many judgments are made about a person based strictly on THE LINE you're seen in. Regardless of who you are in life, the bottom line is this: YOU ARE YOUR LINE. When someone sees you in THE LINE, you will automatically appear as a LINK, rather than your individual self. (See pic  below . I did not wear that outfit to the carnival. It was THE LINE, I tells ya. THE LINE.)

Me On Far Right

I recently went for a dental hygienist job interview and the employer and I hit it off ... when it was over, he implied the job was mine 

That evening, to celebrate, I took the kids to the carnival. 

Yes. I got impatient.

Yes, I was cocky.

Risking it all, that night I indiscriminately chose the shortest line. It just made sense. It was a Thursday evening. No one I knew would be at the carnival. No one except my almost employer. Who wants a dental hygienist with a fried twinkie stuffed her mouth and an order of nacho in her hand.

Hey, I'm telling the truth. Go to the carnival, see if I'm wrong. In the parking lot, check the bumper stickers:




and the always popular  MY CHAIN LINKED AN HONOR STUDENT. 

I know for certain,  I'm not the only one who has read the infamous, "Easy Rider. A Manual For The Carnival Novice."

Abe Cohen was so impressed with THE LINE dynamics, he changed his name to ABE LINKIN' During his presidency, (and this is a little known fact) he frequented Carnival Chains to stay in touch with the people. This famous quote was first heard as he advised a fellow link how to deal with a stinkin' linkin' ( LINE slang for someone trying to cut in front of THE LINE):

"Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm."  
                                                                                                          --Famous Abe 'Linkin' Cohen quote

Abe Cohen Linkin' triying to avoid recognition in THE LINE by wearing various disguises.

When my book, 



Days away from being released both on Amazon and Kindle, THE BEAUTIFUL EVIL is an edgy, psychological thriller. Coming attractions: www.robbibryant.com ) 

becomes a best seller, I'm going to need a disguise, as well.

                        No disguise:

 The Once-I'm-Famous disguise for "THE LINE."

So, next time you go to the carnival, see you on the funnest ride of all:                                    


Monday, June 13, 2011

The Hall Of Mirrors

"The Hall of Mirrors is a traditional attraction at carnivals...The basic concept behind a hall of mirrors is to be a maze-like puzzle. In addition to the maze, participants are also given mirrors as obstacles, and glass panes to parts of the maze they cannot yet get to. Sometimes the mirrors may be distorted because of different curves, convex, or concave in the glass to give the participants unusual and confusing reflections of themselves." wikiup

Do women actually want to tour the hall of mirrors, anymore? I remember the days when a size 8 was considered skinny. These days, women starve themselves to become a 2. Young women's smaller sizes now dip into the minus numbers. I don't care how much fun it is to find your way out of a maze or to see yourself hundreds of times from every angle. Unless you're a size 0 or less, ride the merry-go-round instead.

We all have an idea of what we look like before we enter The Hall Of Mirrors. And we know that the curvy mirrors should make us laugh. I don't know about you but when I look into any mirror, I believe that it's telling me the truth. Even if there is a BIG sign with an HUGE arrow pointing at the curvy mirror that says, "NOT REALLY YOU, ROBBI. YOU'RE NOT FAT." I believe otherwise. Signs lie. Mirrors don't. Ask around.

The only things that I could possibly compare my experience in The Hall Of Mirrors with are the Victoria's Secret dressing rooms. The combination of the pounding heat from the too-bright lights juxtaposed with the unmistakably bad mirrors--it's a nightmare. If you didn't hate your body before you went into the VSDR cubicle, you will when you come out. And for Godssake, don't look in the mirror behind you. 
I've said this once and I'll say it again, DO NOT LOOK IN THE BACK MIRROR at Vicky's Secret, no matter how much your best friend offers to pay you. 

If your feeling down, bloated or simply in a mood to look at your backside in a mirror, get yourself to Macy's. These, ladies, are the good mirrors. Why Victoria's Secret has to rub your nose in your cellulite, I don't know. I'm there to buy something to look hot in, instead, I end up feeling like an rhinoceros in a mouse's bikini.

It's not difficult to look good in a Macy's mirror. I've seen women line up to get in. I've seen women drag other's out to make a place for themselves (these are usually the PMS group.) I've seen women sneak lovers in, just to look hot during love-making. Trampling? It's happened. Women don't just shop at Macy's; they recharge.

I think a carnival ride ticket costs about $1.00 a piece. Usually, each ride calls for all your tickets except for one--no matter how many you buy. Six to ten may be the minimum for a ride, I'm not sure. But this I am sure of, I'm not about to pay $10.00 to enter The Hall. Seriously. Hell, I wouldn't go in for free.

I base this decision from the only time I did go into The Hall. I lost my innocence there--hey, hey, hey! I meant, I used to think I looked pretty damn hot, pre-hall.( FYI, I lost the other innocence on spring break in Miami.)

"Mom, look how much fatter you look." Mirror 2. The Hall of Mirrors.

"How much fatter? Are you saying I'm fat?" I squawk.

The carnie at the entrance must have heard Bri because, out of the blue, he calls to me, "You ain't fat, baby."

"Yeah, thanks for that," I call back. Teeth or no teeth, he did compliment me.

I peer at my reflection. Size 8. I looked remarkably huge. "This is fucking unbelievable! I'm as big as a pregnant cow." I yell loud enough for anyone in or near The Hall to hear. Laughter echos throughout the hall, ricocheting from mirror to mirror. Everyone's having a big, fucking laugh. They don't know that a size 8 used to mean you were hot. 

"Mom! You said fuck," Four year-old Nicky says.

"I made a mistake. Don't you guys use that word."

"But you said it,mom." his identical twin, Bri, adds.

"I'm a grown up," I snap. I broke at mirror 2. I wanted out immediately.  "Merry-Go-Round anybody?" 

"Yeah! Let's go, Mom!"

"Let's make a hand chain and see how fast we can get through the maze. It's a race."  

We grab hands; I stare at the floor as the boys lead me out.

Marilyn Monroe drops to the floor, aghast, upon seeing herself in the curvy mirror.

Later that day, Daddy comes home. 

"Bri and Nicky went on the kiddie roller coaster today, all by themselves." I say, proudly.

"Wow!" Daddy says, enthusiastically. He likes these sorts of macho milestones. "That's so great. You guys are becoming so grown up. Did you have a good time at the carnival?"

For a moment, the room fell silent. Both boys were deep in thought. I had no idea why.

"We had a great time!" Bri says nonchalantly and looks at Nicky.

"Yeah, and The Hall Of Mirrors was fucking unbelievable." 

And out the door, my oh-so-not-grown-up twins ran.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Bumper Cars
I know, I know! Everyone loves the bumper cars. It's almost as if the bumpers were the most sacred of all the rides, simply because you can smash into other people's cars, without consequences.  Which I suppose is fun, if that's your thing. The idea of  no consequences--that, I like. That's why I wrote erotica for all those years. I could slip into a story, be up to no good and escape unscathed. Sweet, huh? Anytime of the day or night. 

Writing erotica isn't as easy as it sounds. The research alone is time consuming and sometimes downright  exhausting. I started writing erotica as an assignment given by my therapist. The reasons why are personal, the payoff priceless. 

One morning, while reading the paper, I saw a small ad for an escort service. What happened was comparable to one of those songs that you can't get out of your mind, say like, any Barry Manilow song. Click the arrow below. I dare you. See how often this song comes into your mind today. (Plus, whoever did the video made it quite enjoyable.)

The escort ad kept looping in my mind all day long until, I couldn't take it anymore. There was only one way out. I called the escort service. Of course, the escorts were for men who were looking for women. Who cared. I asked if there were any women who liked women. No... but the owner's best friend, a beauty of a woman, liked women...

The charge? $300 for 2 hours with her. As a writer, one has to self-invest. I rented a room in a nice hotel in San Francisco and met her in the bar. I'd had a couple of calm-my-nerves shots of tequila (I don't drink often) before she arrived and was very, very relaxed when she showed up.(BTW, she was extraordinary.)

I don't remember how we got up to the room... We were in the bar. I blinked. We were in my in my room, on the bed, kissing...

"Her name was Lola, She was a dancer."

Sorry. I watched that damn Manilow video and am doomed to hear this song loop through my mind the next week or so.

...kissing, kissing. Her soft, moist...

Penthouse liked my story and published it at $1/word. They wanted 1000 words. Sweet. (my investment paid off.)

After, my two hours were up, she called the service and said the 2 hours were up and she was leaving. She hung up...turned to me... and stayed an extra hour, on the house.

The consequences? I got audited that year. Thank god, I'd asked for a receipt.

For A Good Time Visit The Carnival In My Mind

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award

Thank you Rene Nightingale for the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. My first Blog Award! One sentence that describes me: An interesting, out of the box thinker who is not afraid of being true to myself.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


 I only have one question about the Carnival Big Slide:

Don't get me wrong, even I don't mind sliding down a reasonably sized slide. Climb 9 steps, sit and down you go. Yippee. Fun!

It's when we take things that work and try to make them bigger that things can go horribly wrong. Which is exactly what happened when a certain, Mr Howard W. Sellner, decided to take a perfectly good 9 step slide and create the Giant Water Slide. What kind of person would take a child's slide and turn it into an anaconda?   Herbert W. Sellner, That's who.



Here's today's question: One of these men on the left is a serial killer. The other is Herbert. Which man is the serial killer? A. or B.


Herbert W. Sellner is the mastermind behind the Giant Water slide. Stare at his pic for a bit of time and you'll see the likeness to your typical, upstanding community member who's buried 12 bodies in his back yard.  By the way, B is your serial killer.

Tack his portrait on a wall and watch his eyes follow you. I look at his pic as I write this, and think, ah.... no doubt, SERIAL KILLER. If nothing else, how many have died on that slide of his? That would be a mass murderer. Regardless, Herb's not a serial killer (at least not that I know of.) But I'm just saying... he could be one.

I tried this once. Thumb-tacked his picture on a bedroom wall. Sure, he watched me, I understand--I'm an interesting woman. But when I thought I saw him peeping through my kitchen window, I started dating a cop.

Nonetheless,  we go to the carnival as a group. That would be me, my 15 year-old son, Justin and my 8 year old twins, Nick and Brian. After a few rides, we find ourselves directly in front of the Giant Water Slide.  Immediately, my boys stripped to their suits and jump in line. After two rounds, they make their way over to me.

"Mom! Mom! You have to do the slide!"
"I don't do rides," I reply, knowing the conversation usually ends here.
"This isn't a ride! You said you'd do the slide."
Hadn't I mentioned the 10 step rule on the way over? "10 steps. That's as high as I climb."
"You can do this, Mom. It's just a slide."
"Mom, c'mon!"
"Do it, Mom."

There's such a thing as mob mentality and it suddenly ignites. They surround me and their movement toward the slide drives me along with them. Reluctantly, I hand them my t-shirt  and began the long, treacherous climb. The line behind me keeps growing and by the time I reach the top, there's no turning back.

I looked over the the side and see my kids, two blue dots and a yellow, far below. Only one person stands between me and the descent to hell. I turn to the distracted carnie. He absentmindedly takes my ticket. Is this guy high?

"Excuse me, please" I say too loud. The slide dwellers behind me start to mumble.  "Sir?"  I touch his shoulder.
"Well, hello there, young lady."  I'm in my forties. Who does he think he's kidding?
"Many accidents on the slide?" I ask.
"I keep a close eye on everyone," he says, his eyes glued to my cleavage.

Meanwhile, the young girl ahead of me let's go of the rail and starts screaming, "Get me off of this, I don't..." she disappears around the first curve. My estimate? she was doing at least 65. 

"Ah, sir? The girl wants off!"  
He turns to check but she is already gone. I hear faint screaming somewhere below.
It's my turn. The pressure's on. The line burgeons behind me. 
"I can't do the slide. I thought I could until I reached the top," I say to the carnie.
Behind me, a teenage boy says, "You can do it!"
"Sure you can,"  his friend adds.
"Yes, you can!" shouts another.
"Do it!" Another chimes in. "Do it."
"Do it! Do it! Do it!" A chant begins.

I see my kids, far below, moving up and down like jumping beans. Are they chanting, too? I do a quick scan of the carnival. It seems everyone is focused on me, jumping up and down, chanting. I feel dizzy. Is that group to the far left doing 'the wave' as they chant? 
I lean close to the carnie . The smell of engine oil and grease overwhelms me.
"Listen," I whisper. I can't do the slide. I'm a Jew. We climb, but don't like coming back down.. Ever since we roamed in the desert and..."
"Ah, yeah, the Moses thing," he laughs.
"Why yes." I'm impressed he knows. Are there Jewish carnies? 

Moses climbed the mount and upon his descent, he fell, broke a leg and kvetched about it for months. Try wandering in the desert with a Jewish guy who has a broken leg. Of course, this is a little know 'fact' and who knows what's true and what's not ... but as we Jews say, why take a chance? 

"I get of that a lot ...Moses and the fall," he says, showing off his too-bright, upper denture and three lower teeth.

"DO. IT. DO. IT. DO. IT."  The chanting takes on a life of its own.
"Is there another way down?" I'm a dental Hygienist. If I had brought one of my cleaning instruments with me, I'd scrape that tartar off his bottom teeth ... or maybe not. I once cleaned a guy's teeth-- all he had were three, lower front teeth. Once the tartar was removed, the teeth moved like drunk sailors. 

"Hey," he says, as I open the door. Wanna get a beer and a cotton candy? I get off tonight around 11."
"Oh, that sounds like soooooooooooo much fun," I say sweetly. "I've got to work tomorrow and am in bed by 10." 

"What about tomorrow?" I hear him faintly. I'm already at the bottom step.

As flattered as I am that carnies and crack addicts find me attractive, and touched that they are the only men with the chutzpah to  come on to me... 

I have a 20 tooth rule.