course, what carnival would be complete without some kind of inflatable
room for children to bounce around inside. This one was decorated with gay
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?
would want to win these ugly-as-sin bulldogs is beyond me.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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:
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
to ride the little helicopters ride, but was very sad upon discovering
that he was slightly too tall.
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.
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:
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.
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).
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?
dried up wishes never came true in this empty fountain, I wonder?
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.