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The Cloverleaf Mall Carnival Out Of Nowhere!
by: Protoclown


And of course, what carnival would be complete without some kind of inflatable room for children to bounce around inside. This one was decorated with gay pirates.

This vendor had more of those too-large-to-possibly-carry stuffed animals that nobody really wants to win, because then what the hell are you going to do with the giant thing all day?

Why anyone would want to win these ugly-as-sin bulldogs is beyond me.

They had some strange games you had to play to win the dogs too. First, stick a dog with a dart to win another dog? Is one dog's life worth more than another? And then there was this:

So let me get this straight? I have to shoot a dart up the dog's poop chute? Is that what you're telling me?

Here was some game where you could win goldfish. The only thing worse than winning some giant stuffed animal that you don't know what to do with is winning an animal that's actually alive. Cuz you know, I'm sure these people won't babysit your fish at all once you've actually won the thing.

This one creepy old lady had a bunch of creepier dolls. There was some game involved that you had to play to win the dolls, but I don't recall seeing anything in the booth other than the dolls, so I don't know what the game was. Perhaps it involved facing your own inner demons until you could stare at the dolls for at least a minute without going insane. This is the shit my nightmares are made of. Seriously.

Each one of those dolls contains the trapped soul of an American Indian.

On top of this dog being disturbing enough in and of itself, it just had to be set up in a position where it looked like it was about to start fucking that other dog...

There was a House of Mirrors kind of place that didn't really look more elaborate than a single dark hallway covered in tin foil, but on the outside it featured this ugly artwork and for some reason had the words "Mardi Gras" written across the top.

This here was the other bling vendor's table, set up across the carnival from the other guy. I think they might have been at war with one another.

We then saw some people riding this teacup ride that's actually called something else that I can't remember and I just realized I don't care anyway, but the people riding it appeared to be asleep, which really described the spirit of the carnival rather well.

This is probably my favorite picture of all:

There was a giant transformer box just sitting right square in the middle of the carnival, but don't worry, parents! That rickety fence is sure to keep your children from getting their stupid asses electrocuted into having to wear a diaper for the rest of their life!

And of course, they had one of those vendors that sprays or prints crappy designs or photos on even crappier t-shirts and posters. I'm still kind of at a loss for why we didn't shell out for the "Homies Forever" poster, as it's such a no-brainer that we obviously needed it.

And here I am on the beach:

HA! FOOLED YOU! This was actually a backdrop for the "Homies Forever" vendor, so I could get my picture taken to look like I was on the beach. But the joke was on her, because we snuck a picture for free from just outside her booth!

Scott wanted to ride the little helicopters ride, but was very sad upon discovering that he was slightly too tall.

I'm still trying to figure out what exactly "MEA URE UP" means. The missing "S" in that sign is only going to confuse the children who need to read it until their heads explode.

This was a really bizarre game, in which the only object was feed it quarters, and if you did it at precisely the right time, there was an infinitesimally small chance that it would get bumped by the moving platform and knock another quarter, or perhaps the $10 bill out of the machine where you could grab it. The guy who worked this machine apparently didn't complete their "carnival scam" training program, as he kept giving us quarters to use so we didn't have to spend any of our own money to play the stupid game.

And finally, there was this little "Choo Choo Charlie" train, where Charlie looked just a little too Asian for me to be comfortable with the name painted on the side of the train.

After that we left the carnival and decided to brave the interior of the mall, which, on my last occasion of visiting, was little more than an empty husk with a minimal cluster of stores in its abandoned halls. I found it in much the same condition this time. Here's a shot of the desolate parking lot:

And here's the entrance over by the Food Court. We decided to enter over there so we could see what sad excuses for restaurants were still barely clinging to life inside the mall. Don't you think the garbage bags in the windows give it a nice homey appearance?

When we got up to the door we noticed this sign:

I like how "weapons" was clearly added to the list as an afterthought, no doubt a result of the grisly murders that occurred there years before. Also, what the hell is a handbill? Isn't that just like flyers that people pass out? I can't recall ever seeing that prohibition listed on a building's entrance before. No soliciting perhaps, but never handbills in particular.

The eerily empty food court greeted us as soon as we walked in the door and it really made me feel like I had stepped into a zombie movie. There were several unrecognizable restaurants whose signs and all other identifiable marks had been taken down, and one Subway that was either closed for the day or closed for good, but we didn't get close enough to tell (I knew zombies would pop out from behind the counter and try to eat my head).

This delightful little restaurant was once upon a time called Frankly Delicious, but it seemed they hadn't served anything, delicious or otherwise, in quite some time.

The sign for this long-abandoned hair salon really kind of says it all, doesn't it?

How many dried up wishes never came true in this empty fountain, I wonder?

Out behind the mall is the old movie theater where I saw many a movie back in high school. In fact, if I recall, this is where my friends and I went to see Showgirls, in an effort to assert our newfound ability to see NC-17 movies, but all we ended up asserting was our ability to waste money on a terribly bad choice of films. Shortly after I graduated from high school, the theater was shut down on account of too many drug deals and stabbings that took place out back at night.

So there you have our grand and unexpected carnival adventure. As a bonus, I leave you with two things:

First, an exciting video featuring animals slowly moving up and down on platforms! See, when the guy in the booth realized that Rachael was taking pictures, he got our attention and said "Hold up, I'll give you something to take a picture of!" and then he pressed a magical button that caused the animals to slowly go up and down on their platforms. Not for the faint of heart, I warn you. I find the moment at the end where the music cuts in to be quite amusing, and it captures the spirit of the whole experience quite well.

Click here for the Animal Platforms video!

And finally, a video of the sexiest ride at the carnival, where effectively what serves as a giant hand MADE OF PEOPLE mechanically jerks off the metal shaft in the middle. Enjoy. I know I sure did.

Click here for the Sexiest Ride video!


Questions or comments about this article?
Email Protoclown

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