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Mockery Mockery is offline
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Old Apr 10th, 2007, 03:00 PM        NEW FEATURE: "CLOVERLEAF MALL CARNIVAL OUT OF NOWHERE!"
You know, there's really nothing quite like a carnival. Especially when it's an ultra-crappy carnival that takes place in an abandoned mall parking lot where more murders take place than events in which people actually have fun.


NEW FEATURE: "THE CLOVERLEAF MALL CARNIVAL OUT OF NOWHERE!" -by Protoclown
http://www.i-mockery.com/minimocks/cloverleaf-carnival


Enjoy!
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Old Apr 10th, 2007, 05:43 PM       


you brave, brave souls
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Old Apr 10th, 2007, 05:48 PM       
Proto, that was a great article.
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At this point, I concluded that the children must have been eaten by zombies or carnies and decided to continue on my way.
I wish I could've been there.
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Old Apr 10th, 2007, 06:29 PM       
that whole foodcourt thing reminds me of south sound mall in lacey right before they demolished it there was a sears, a mervyns, a comic book shop, AND THAT'S IT.

fucking spooky as hell in there
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Old Apr 10th, 2007, 09:10 PM       
You do know that Judge Doom is the soul stockholder of Cloverleaf right? You did know that right?
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Old Apr 10th, 2007, 09:28 PM       
Wow. Cloverleaf's really gone down hill since I was last there. Of course, last time I was there the place was mostly a Footlocker and a baby-clothes store. It's creepy, really. I wonder if the Chesterfield Towne Centre will head the same way with the build-up on Hull Street these days.
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Old Apr 10th, 2007, 10:14 PM       
nighttrap38 do you know Protoclown
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Old Apr 10th, 2007, 10:37 PM       
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Frankly, I was shocked to see any "My Little Pony" merchandise at all. My guess is that they've actually been on the cart since the 1980s.
Actually, they've started making brand new My Little Pony stuff. I see it all the time at the Rite Aid.

I did enjoy the sexy ride. You would think that the ring of people would rub the head a bit and not just the shaft though.

Good work.
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Old Apr 10th, 2007, 10:43 PM       
nah, executioner; wish I did. I lived in Chesterfield County for more than a decade.
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 10:56 AM       
Coming from the carny circuit, this brings back many many memories. If you guys thought that one pin holding up the ferris wheel cart was bad, I remember once up by Laconia when the guys used wooden dowels to keep a mini coaster together. That kind of fix isn't uncommon.

Just a thing for the cake eaters in the audience to think about.
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 03:11 PM       
I quite enjoyed your article, Proto, both sections.

I'm quite a fan of the nearly abandoned mall. There was one at Rockingham Park in Salem New hampshire where my Dad lives. It's now a huge fancy ass bustling mall eight times as big as the old one, but the whole time I was in high school it just kind of soldiered on with only a handful of shops open. It also had an empty wishing pool, and it was really cold in winter.

Salem Mass, my home town has a small small that does very bad business concidering what a huge tourist town Salem is. It's doing realtively well these days, but when I first moved to town it was mostly empty, and all the plants were dead. Awesome.
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 07:22 PM       
Wow. That carnival reminds me of my cities Annual Carnival (Taking Place in a GIANT parking Lot that has long outlived its usefullness as a parking lot for the Casino, Horse Racing Venue and exhibition for several trade shows [Which also ironically, the name of the Carnival is "The Exhibition"] ) that is first hyped up with some smaller carnivals in mall parking lots.


When I was a child, i feared carnies. Especially the ones that dont talk at all. But one year, my happy vagrant uncle Angus was working at one and came by my city. Where I saw him Pimp Slap a 8 year old when his mom wasnt looking (In my uncles defense, The kid callled him a Drunken fucker, which is unfair as he has been clean of everything except tobacco for 5 years.). Now I no longer fear Carnies as much as the Rides they Operate. Because later that day, a couple of kids got tossed off the Twin Flip, which is a horrid contraption run on Broken Dreams and Crushed Shoulderblades.
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Old Apr 12th, 2007, 01:00 AM       
Thanks for the feedback, guys! Nighttrap, whereabouts in Chesterfield do you live anyway? I work really close to Chesterfield Town Center.
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Old Apr 12th, 2007, 04:33 AM       
Proto's voice is going to haunt my dreams forever.
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Old Apr 12th, 2007, 04:46 PM       
It reminded me of Final Destination mixed with Silent Hill
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Old Apr 12th, 2007, 04:56 PM       
Yeah, I always expected Proto's voice to be higher. In retrospect, I don't know why.
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Old Apr 12th, 2007, 10:57 PM       
I actually rode by it man....I was surprised...I didnt even get close. I just went as far away as I could. Sounds like it was a bad idea, could have met Protoclown. :-p
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Old Apr 12th, 2007, 11:22 PM       
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Proto's voice is going to haunt my dreams forever.
That's what it's there for.
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Old Apr 13th, 2007, 03:56 AM       
Friday 13th today. Could get a hell of a lot higher, depending on which Gods you've angered this month.
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J. Tithonus Pednaud J. Tithonus Pednaud is offline
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Old Apr 14th, 2007, 03:18 AM       
Ah, the memories...I can remember quite a few blow outs like that.

It's a shame the carnival is going through a death rattle of sorts. It's really only about 100 years old and far to young to be ending. As a Carnie myself, I can attest to the carnival family feeling. Some of my best memories went down on the lot. But the bottom has fallen out of the biz.

I put up a canopy big wheel once, there is more than a 'R' clip at the underside. It is actually secured from the other side of the canopy. Which make a hell of a lot more sense, when you think about it.
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Old Apr 14th, 2007, 11:42 AM       
This is true, that DOES make a hell of a lot more sense...but it's still kind of freaky to look up and not see anything but that rusty pin.
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Old Apr 14th, 2007, 07:57 PM       
Really? I always see people at carnivals, at least the state fair here in maryland ;< Thousands of people and it always seems to be doing very well for itself.

Why would it be failing? Is it THEM DAMN KIDS AND THEIR PLAYSTATIONS :<
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Old Apr 15th, 2007, 12:54 AM       
State fairs are always huge, shoulder to shoulder. But this is a parking lot carnival. I never see anyone at those.
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J. Tithonus Pednaud J. Tithonus Pednaud is offline
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Old Apr 15th, 2007, 08:49 AM       
Certain spots still rake in the rubes, in particular the 'A' routes. Meaning the big state, or in my case, provincial fairs. During my last year with the carnival (2005) the Calgary Stampede did a record number. However, that does not mean that there is money being earned. People are not buying or playing games like they used to and overhead is killing the biz.

Furthermore, I guess what I was saying is that the 'traditional' carnival is on it's last legs.

You see, most carnivals were traditionally mostly made up of 'contracts' or 'indys', meaning persons who owned rides. Those persons, usually a family in the business for a couple of generations would bring out their ride and split the tickets with the carnival itself. The split varies by carnival owner, but it is always in the favor of the carnival owner and not the ride owner. Also, the ride owner gets a better take on tickets and not on 'all day passes', some owners don't pay anything on a patron with a pass. The food joints often have a similar deal, splitting profits, which is one of the reasons for the high costs. FYI, carnies sometimes have to pay those prices to feed themselves unless they have an in with a stand owner. You're not the only one being screwed.

In my last year I saw the purchase of Conklin Shows (which was Canada's largest and pretty much only carnival boss) by Microsoft and Ticketmaster. I saw the company arrange new and completely unfair contracts with ride owners - mid season - who had no choice but to sign after spending all their savings on insurance and transporting their rides across country. They basically squeezed the private ride owners out with a 20/80 split and further cut them out by bringing in their own company owned rides and placing them in choice spots. This resulted in the eventual stranding of some owners as they didn't have enough money to transport their rides or pay their crew. I saw the new company bring in South Africans to run those new rides and I basically saw the death of the carnival family. It was a real shame too. Some of those folks were born on the carnival lot. For me, that was the magic of the whole thing.

My position was unique, as I fronted a Freakshow, the only touring Odditorium in Canada. They couldn't replace us but they damn well made an example out of us. Usually, in a summer season of 7 cities (these are the major Canadian carnivals like The Stampede, Klondike Days and The CNE) we would make a hell of a lot - basically enough to live quite comfortably off of for the year. That year, however, we ended in the red. We made 14% gross of the previous year which was eaten in travel cost. I basically worked my ass off - 13 to 15 hours a day, slept in my joint and did crazy stunts with my body for zero pay.

It's your basic corporate whore horror story really. Expect to see Microsoft billboards or Sponge Bob presents the Carnival.

Now, small time carnivals like the one in the article, those are mostly made up of contracts - but they don't pull a dime. The people who show up usually have no money to spend or are quickly put off by the third rate games/rides/high prices. It's a real physically tough route too. Usually it's only a few days in each spot so you work hard setting up and tearing down your ride or game. Two day carnivals are the worst - sheer exhaustion.

---

One final fun fact about the ferris wheel. On the lot, the ferris wheel is often refered to as 'the clock'. Major carnivals pretty much keep going until people either leave or stop spending so, come midnight, we all have our eye on that thing because, when the lights go off, it our signal to pack up for the night.
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Last edited by J. Tithonus Pednaud : Apr 16th, 2007 at 03:41 PM.
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Old Apr 16th, 2007, 01:23 AM       
Thanks for posting some of your insights from the inside, dude! It's pretty interesting to read about, though it's a damn shame to hear about how the carnival workers are getting totally screwed.
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