Monday, May 16, 2011


 I've always wondered if the riders on the carnival's Zipper Ride are real people. I mean, who would subject themselves to this kind of environment...for a good time. Seems to me, you use this sort of equipment if you want to make a prisoner talk. 

You're put into a small cage--and it's locked from the outside by you know who, the carnie operator. What if he steps behind a tent to smoke a joint and ends up at the cotton candy stand, drunk on sugar?  He could be gone for hours. Or if he snorts meth and returns to the ride cranked could end up flying around in that cage at 75 miles per hour.

I'm thinking that the carnival buys old crash test dummies and they ride the ride. It's all for show. Look what we have. Aren't we a great carnival?

There's a small bench that seats two (The new safety rules now required 2 per cage.) A metal bar--wow, that should really hold you in if there's an emergency. The bar is lowered to your lap and off you go.

I remember a love affair I once had with 29 year-old latino man. Oh la la. I'm walking down the street in Sonoma County, California with my dog Capri. I'm wearing sweats. This car slows down...and a gorgeous, young, stud rolls down the passenger window."Cute dog," he says. I'm expecting him to drive off after complementing the dog, after all, he didn't look like a meth addict AND he had his teeth. 

He invited me to his job site (he's a contractor) to show me his work. I've been told not to take candy from strangers and was relieved when he didn't offer any. "Are you a serial killer?" I ask. Maybe he is one...doesn't mean he's not honest. 

"Nope." He smiles and I'm thinking...this guy is like a fantasy. In the movie, the girl would go to the job site. No question about that. 

"I'll follow you," I say. 

 I'm telling this story because there's a similiarity between going to the job site and getting in The Zipper's cage. I've got to look the carnie in the eye to decide whether  I'm going to trust he'll keep me safe. 

He starts kissing me, the stud, not the carnie, and I feel like the cage has just been locked. 

The way The Zipper works is this: The entire ride spins and each car flips taking you upside down and back. This kiss is making me dizzy. My heart is pounding my stomach prepares for the sudden drop. I'm hot and I reach for his zipper... 

Check out how that thing flies around. Some people like that kind of thrill. Me? I prefer risks that will bring me to my knees--but not kill me. Which, by the way, is what happened at that job site. I think I crawled out of there...all I know is that somehow Capri and  I made it home.

Which brings me back to the ride. This morning, while I was taking a break from writing The Zipper story, I open the paper and this is what I read:

I swear, I found this article after I'd started the Zipper story.

The article indicates that as the kids were getting off The Zipper, it went into motion and dropped them  15 feet. No mechanical problems were found. We all have an idea of what happened...the 'ride operator' wasn't paying attention. 

And the ride I took? Let's just say that ride       operator paid attention. Oh, yes he did.


Frank C. Balara said...

Wow! That's a heck of a coincidence! And I just have to say you journey through this carnival gets more interesting with every post!

Robbi Sommers Bryant said...