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This is a question Fairgrounds, theme parks, circuses and carnivals

Tell us about the time the fairground came to town and you were sick in a hedge; or when you went to a theme park or circus and were sick in a hedge

Suggested by mariam67

(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 11:37)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

The best birthday ever.
One year I went to Alton Towers for my birthday. I played crazy golf and won a free game. I rode the roller coasters and the water slides and had hot dogs. I bought key rings and souvenirs with my birthday money and at the end when we had to leave and I didn't want to, to cheer me up I got bought a massive bucket of sweets that I ate so many of in the car on the way home that I had to stick my head out the window in case I threw up. It was the best birthday ever.

Although when I say 'one year', I mean 'last year'.

I'm 37.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 15:13, 6 replies)
“You’ll be fine, just have a can of coke or something”
We shall return to that infamous line towards the end of this endearing parable. But first, let us bend space-time and take ourselves back to the Baiter Park fair in Poole, the summer1994.

Four intrepid young men, armed with many hard-earned (begged off parents) coins. Ready to throw money at any fairground ride we could find.

This turned out to be quite a few, most of them nauseating and a lot of fun. Six or seven rides later, we make our way to the wall of death. Here, the ride spins you around, pining you to the wall, as the floor drops away. Excellent fun. However, one of our ‘posse’, John, for that was/is his name, was feeling a little green.

It turns out, that in his haste to make the fair, John had snoffled quite a lot of BBQ at his parents in rapid time. Now this is when the immortal line comes into play. There was one last ride to go on. The name escapes me, but the memory of the ride never will.

John had his reservations about how long his stomach could hold out, before my other mate pipes up and says: “You’ll be fine, just have a can of coke or something.”

The requisite famous last words have now been set in stone.

The four of us clamber onto the ride, and we are the only four. The ride is made of four legs. At the end of each appendage is an encased box, with open sides. There are four seats in each box, with two on either side, facing each other.

The ride then turns, the arms undulate up and down and the boxes then begin to rotate. So imagine a broken washing machine, spinning around on a roundabout and you start to get the picture.

At first, things went quite well. There was lots of laughter, screaming and shouting. This all changed when John started to retch…

As I said, this whole ride had the effect of being inside a washing machine. If you add copious amounts of vomit into the mix, I think you start to see the picture.

It turns out that I don’t really like the smell of puked-up half digested meat and peppers. In fact, the smell has never left me since. John coated every one of us in this noxious mixture, which prompted dry retching and vomiting from the rest of us. Screams of joy warped into screams for help.

However, this was something the little pikey operating the ride was not akin to. Instead of stopping the ride, he decided to speed it up. I swear I could see his face light up as he could see the terror in our eyes.

The ride eventually ended. All John could repeat, as if in some sort of chunder-induced trance, was: “I’m sorry, so sorry.” The look of utter shame was enough for us though.

I managed to phone my dad in the end, telling him to bring bin bags and towels. Upon arriving, he pissed himself with laughter for five minutes, then bundled us, pants only, into the back of the car (it’s not what you’re thinking!)
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 14:43, 6 replies)
After Belle Vue in Manchester was closed down, for some reason my brother Mark and I got in and went exploring.
We were around 20 at the time and I was heavily pregnant. It was great fun until he locked me in the monkey cage, the little bastard.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 14:33, 1 reply)
I got a bit of a shock last summer when a planned trip to Adventure Island was curtailed becaus of this:

And I swear, I am never riding that thing again without giving it a good rub down first.

Edit: Not really NSFW but I better say it anyway just in case you work somewhere Draconian
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 14:26, 2 replies)
Toys as big as your head.
I went to the annual fair many years ago, when I was approximately knee-high to a grasshopper. After generally running about screaming and scamming as much cash as I could out of my parents for fun & games I came across the obligatory “Shoot golf balls off their tees and win a prize” stall, to which my inner child (and presumably outer child) squealed with delight at. Shooting an air-rifle loaded with corks AND the chance to win a prize? Score.

Cue 9-year old me grabbing an air-rifle that was probably longer than I was, hastily loading it and taking a crack at the target. Surprisingly, the sights being so woefully miscued my shot went absolutely nowhere near where I was shooting. Thankfully. It hit just below the golf-balls and proceeded to knock four out of the five balls off. I was, needless to say, happy about this state of affairs. My next three shots were well placed and aimed at the golf ball, to absolutely no avail. Thankfully, before I fired the fifth, my cousin (two years older and had therefore qualified as an official font of knowledge) told me to aim absolutely near the target. Taking his advice, I shot the fifth golf-ball off and was duly presented with an (ridiculously) over-sized stuffed panda – I think the scale was probably close to 1:1. Magnificent.

To add to my celebrations, not only did my (older) brother (who incidentally went on to shoot for GB) only win a smaller stuffed toy, but his also got nicked by a pikey dog (clearly trained to retrieve stuffed toys that had been stowed away) whilst we were off gallivanting about later in the day, but couldn’t steal mine because it was simply too big!! Oh how I laughed.

Unfortunately, the day ended on a strangely sour note – being “gunged” by Noel Fucking Edmonds. Cunt.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 14:20, Reply)
Abandoned Amusement Parks
I do a lot of urban exploration in South Korea. So far, I've been to so many abandoned amusement parks and theme parks I've lost count.

Last weekend, I went to the Bible Expo, a failed theme park that was built last year to brainwash Korean kids. It's on Songdo, a ridiculous pork-barrel project often referred to as the Dubai of the Far East. It's built on reclaimed land and has some of the most expensive real estate in the world, but so far no one wants to live there.

We went to the Bible Expo and had a picnic in the Garden of Eden, under a mostly naked Adam and Eve. We found the execution of John the Baptist and the manger where Christ was born, and swapped baby Christ with the severed head of John the Baptist.

Anyway, have a look:

A couple years ago, I lived in Suwon, which also had an abandoned amusement park known as Woncheon Lakeland. You can see pictures of it here:
For my housewarming, I brought some of my friends there. We got inside an abandoned wedding hall that was floating on the lake. My friend Will said "Take whatever you want, boys, this thing's getting demolished!" If you know much about urban exploration, this isn't something we do.

Will decided to steal a neon beer sign from the front window (fully visible from the shore). He went looking for scissors or something sharp to cut it down. Another friend found a tambourine in the karaoke lounge, and put it in his backpack. Every step he took, the tambourine rattled.

A moment later, I happened to look down at the dock, where a Korean guy in a black suit stepped down off the shore and started walking very purposefully toward us. I warned everybody and we all hid, but we couldn't see Will.

It turns out he was downstairs looking for something sharp to cut the wire holding the neon sign in place, and was just walking back with a pair of scissors when the Korean guy caught him. It was obvious that guy knew we were all there, considering there was no other way out--short of stealing a paddleboat and paddling away. To make matters worse, Will was calling out to us.

I called my friend on the phone and told him to just say sorry and walk by the guy, banking on the assumption that he wouldn't be physically stopped. He didn't seem to get it, wanting to lie his way out instead by saying he was a Samsung engineer.

I rounded up the other guys and told them we were going to march out. Only one problem: Mr Tambourine Man. I told him to take it out of his bag quickly and leave it behind, because there was no way we were getting past with that. We went down, walked out past this clearly angry Korean guy, and just kept going without looking back.

I have several more stories about abandoned amusement parks, but I won't bore you anymore right now.

This weekend, I'm going back here:
Maybe I'll have another story before the next QOTW.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 14:10, 9 replies)
Probably the most interesting fairground-related thing I know
... "How man, are ye gannin to the hoppins?" is broad Geordie for "Hi there, are you going to the fair?" (The Hoppings is properly the name for the fair on Newcaste's town moor).

I find it interesting because you could say exactly that phrase to someone who was Anglo-Saxon and they would understand you perfectly. It's an amazing survival, I think.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 14:04, 5 replies)
North Yorkshire Show
It's like the Great Yorkshire Show, but less so. Last year they featured the Rockin' Horse Action Stunt Display Team, who are all raven-haired types in studded leather and whatnot who ride around on horses doing various horse-based stunts.

They were quite good really, what with their compere trying to be Richard O'Brien on stilts (literally), lots of smoke and loud music and some quite clever riding.

And they must be clever because their Chief Rider Guido Louis is dead smouldering and mysterious, and he was trained by Cossacks you know.

However when I overheard him backstage discussing, in broadest Yorkshirese, how "t'queue for t'Burger stand is reet long" I began to wonder if the Cossack he was most familiar with was t' telephone cossack on Northallerton High Street.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 13:58, Reply)
bikers fairground
Several years ago I went with some friends to a bike show / trade fair thing in edinburgh. The best thing there was a show put on by The Purple Helmets Display Team. It was basically a clown / acrobatic show on mopeds with a fairly funny commentator throwing double-entendres in wherever if could and hamming up the "death defying, high speed stunts"

If you ever have the opportunity I would thoroughly recommend. I tried looking them up on t'internet once but gave up after considerable time wading through the inevitable sea of bumbandit pornery.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 13:40, 5 replies)
Nearly a Half Nelson
Flamingoland back in 1995or 1996 I can’t quite remember it was winter so the park was shut with most of the rides taken apart for inspection – the park looks a bit like a spooky, kind of like a haunted scrap yard.

“oi Ninja, Clean that floor and don’t fuck about” was the request given to me by my boss – as a punishment for speeding down the park above the allowed 10 mph in a big blue electric delivery truck (storey to follow in another post). So I set about the minging floor with a steam cleaner.

Next minute there’s some commotion outside – I nip out to see what’s going on and find myself face to face with Nelson the Chimp who has managed to outwit the zoo keeper (not difficult) and slip out of his cage (which has two gates and two locks on each of them) – he’s been at the park since he was one and was then about 40 years old.

He’s a big silver haired bastard of large proportions and I thought ‘oh bother’. Three of us that were in the immediate area ran into ‘Captain Fortunes Table’ a little café near the pirate ship. As we get in we discover to our horror that we don’t have the key to lock the door. Dave – one of the less bright of us thinks ‘I’ll just hold it closed’ and proceeds to crouch down behind the door holding the handle in the upright position.

Nelsons big, black chimp hand appears on the glass of the door – I look at Dave and back to the hand – there’s no fucking way Dave will hold it. So we leg it to the back of the café when Nelson starts to open the door and I shit my pants!

Luckily at that moment another Dave wanders around the corners with some bananas and Nelson decides not to come in a sample the delights of the Captain Fortunes Table.

They finally got him to go back in the cage on his own when the Zoo Curator came around the corner with a stern look on his face and .22 rifle (what was unloaded) – Nelson thought he was going to bust a cap in his ass! Dumbass – no wonder we’re top of the food chain.

He did have a knock at the window as he ran past us though – with a ‘get ya next time twat face’ look on his face.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 13:37, 2 replies)
My nephew made me go on this a few weeks ago.

I didn't like it.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 13:27, 2 replies)
At Thorpe Park
they have one of those silly 'shoot the pirates with a water gun' games near the entrance. If you are there with a friend, get the gun on the left. It turns more than it should and can be used to satisfying effect to drench your companion while they can do nothing to get you back.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 13:17, 1 reply)
In Hull, about the second week in October,
Fair folk, travellers, people who own massive rides (some of which actually come from theme parks all over Europe as it is out of season), shooting galleries where the sights on the guns are woefully out of alignment, coconut shies that make use of 'No More Nails' and several descendents of the original Gypsy Rosy Lee all descend on Hull to form what is claimed to be the largest travelling fair in Europe, which has been on the go for about 720 years. No, really.

It is based here,


on that large carpark thing just above 'Bonus Arena' and then a load of stalls that run the full length of Walton Street.

I drew up a list of rules to Hull Fair a couple of years ago. Those of you that have lived in Hull long enough to have attended several times will know exactly what I'm talking about here:

Rules of Hull Fair

1. Point out how you wouldn't like to live on Walton Street during fair-week.

2. Dismiss any claims that it would be ace cos you'd just go out your door and you'd be at the fair.

3. Consider that the residents probably get a bonus off the council for the disruption.

4. Insist on having a look round first before doing anything.

5. Mention how they put the prices up as it starts getting busy.

6. Mention how much more expensive it is this year.

7. Say "You can tell it's Hull Fair week, cos it raining"

8. Watch several people get fleeced by pikeys on nigh-on impossible stalls - the hoopla that has a PS3 for a prize for example where the hoop would only just fit over it using laser precision machinery.

9. Get fleeced by pikeys as you attempt to get cheap darts that are as blunt as the wrong end of a biro to stick into sheet steel with a dartboard drawn on it.

10. Point out to wife/girlfriend that the bloke you see walking about with an enormous stuffed toy hasn't won it by standing up a coke-bottle with a small hoop on a string, but is in fact yet another pikey.

11. Speculate how much loose change must be underneath the rides.

12. Get roped into going on overpriced rides that make you feel ill for the rest of the evening.

13. Say "I'd hate to think what might be in those burgers, and did you see the state of the chip-van?"

14. Buy a burger, a hot-dog and some chips.

15. And a big squeaky inflatable hammer

16. Stock up on candy-floss, nougat, brandy snap, coconuts, pomegranates and bags of sweets.

17. Completely forget that coconuts and pomegranates are a third of the price if you went in Asda instead.

18. Be dismayed when you see the same stuff, but cheaper further along the street, even though you knew they would be.

19. Pay over the odds for the 'F' service buses.

20. Resolve never to go again, as you are now £65 lighter.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 13:11, 11 replies)
Cartmel Races
It was a good day out for Lancaster Uni students (and maybe still is). As well as horses running around, there was a fairground and, most importantly, a beer tent. I'd got a round in and had returned to where I'd left my mates, but they'd disappeared.

But no! There they were, waving at me from the waltzers. Waltzer man said their waltzer was full, and I had to go on the next one along. Apparently the fact that I was clutching four pints of beer was no problem. Soon I was joined by a couple of giggly girls, and everything started moving and spinning.

Three minutes later the ride stopped. I no longer had the pints in my hands, but I was sat next to two screaming, very wet young ladies and was myself drenched with ale. Oddly the girlies didn't call me a fucking moron, and thought that a good soaking only added to the fun.

Happy days, oh to be young again etc.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 13:08, 2 replies)
I was about 13 or 14 when the regular fairground turned up for its annual event....
as luck would have it, they were setting up when me and a friend were passing. We asked if we could help and were stoked when the guy on the Waltzer said yes. For a few hours we carried gear, held ropes in place and made tea.
We were told we'd get free dodgems and waltzer rides for the first evening as 'pay'. Yippee!
Duly turned up and got told by a totally different guy that he didn't know what we were talking about and that we should 'know better than to trust a carny worker.'

Sloped off home as we had no money for anything else. Bastard.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 13:04, Reply)

Had the hots for Eddi Reader when I was a kid.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 12:50, 4 replies)
I also had a colleague
who tried to stop a rollercoaster with his hands. He didn't apply the breaks soon enough so instead of just letting it go round again, he grabbed onto it as it went through the station.

Unsurprisingly, an ambulance turned up.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 12:40, Reply)
Way back in the mists of time,
Manchester Belle Vue had this awesome thing called "Shoot the Rapids".
Basically, you climbed a huge flight of stairs where they locked you in a small steel box that, oddly it seemed, had rollers both on the seat and the floor.
All became clear when the seat suddenly dropped flush with the floor and the box tipped, sending you out of the side and onto a great wobbly conveyor belt that took you roughly back down to ground level.
First time on that, my legs were shaking with pure terror for about ten minutes (well, I was only a nipper).
Oh, then I had a whole bag of home made "quavers" from a vendor and barfed up on the Octopus.
Good days. I miss Belle Vue.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 12:38, 1 reply)
Loads for this week
because I used to work at a certain safari-themed amusement park in the West Midlands, as a ride operator. Best job ever, but here follows the tale of The Day I Nearly Killed A Baby.

I'd been working there a few weeks, and as a relative newbie was stuck on the crap childrens rides. The day in question was the Magic Carpet, a shaky deathtrap that consisted of a platform that went around in circles. Nice and gentle for the little ones. The ride area was tiny, a square with two gates either end for "in" and "out" and a set of steps in the middle that the little horrors climb up to get onto the ride, with the ride controls at the bottom of the steps. On this monstrously hot and busy day the small ones were clearly far too excited to get onto the ride and instead of a nice controlled procession I got a flood of them upon opening the gate. Spotting one too tall to get on I stopped him and had a chat with his pikey mother, the usual "whaddaya meeeeean elf an safetee, ees only a babbeeee", and halfway through the conversation I heard a noise behind me, a scream, and a concerned mum rushing past me to get to the ride...

One of these little shits had pressed the start button. The Magic Carpet had creaked into life and started to go up in the air, with half a dozen un-belted-in kids and a little toddler clinging onto the side, about to fall into the jaws of death below him. Thankfully his mother clearly loved him and had ran in to grab him, and the child that had pressed it was dragged off screaming by his parents being thoroughly told off (no lollipop and a go on the ghost train for HIM). One emergency evacuation later and I (quite incredibly) managed to stop the toddlers mum from going to the management about me. I'm pretty certain I could have got prison time had that not gone as it did.

Also, on another day I smacked a kid round the head with a metal gate while he was careering his way onto the little aeroplanes and didn't get reported. SugarSpunSister - Queen Of Diffusing Angry Parents.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 12:36, Reply)
I heard there is a roller coaster in hell...
Where nobody gets off. EVER! On the plus side it's free to get on and you meet lots of interesting people.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 12:23, Reply)
My granny would do anything for a free ride on the waltzers.

(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 12:15, 19 replies)
So for my mum's 60th birthday a couple of years ago, she insisted on taking the whole family to Alton Towers.
Oh dear Christ what a god-forsaken shithole of a chav's wet dream that place is BUT the kids loved it so that's fine with me.

What was not fine was that the older lads insisted on going on the ... Giant Headfuck ... or whatever the most mentalistly stupid rollercoaster was.

Now - I don't even do Pirate Ships. I've done bad acid, I've been in car crashes, I've abseiled, bridge swung, and been shot at, and so I'm really quite happy taking the little ones on the poot-poot train around the animal enclosure - I'm really not interested in having my body thrown around repeatedly at 5G by an automated device designed to strike terror into my very soul, so no - I wasn't going on.

While they were queuing, mum and I took the smaller ones on the train, and returned to the rendezvous via the sweet shop to get a big bag of sugar lollies for all the kids.

The lads came back enormously excited, and mum gave each of them a lolly.

One of them was having trouble unwrapping his - they had a plastic wrap sealed tightly with sellotape, so I offered to help.

"Here you are, lad" I said, "Give that here and I'll unwrap it for you."

This bastard thing was clearly designed by a sociopath - the sellotape was absolutely bound, and even using what nails I have I was having distinct trouble with it.

Observing this, my nephew cried frustratedly, "Uncle Vagabond you're rubbish! You're too wuss to go on the rollercoaster, and now you can't even open a lollipop!"
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 12:10, Reply)
I came back from Disneyland yesterday. I wasn't sick in a hedge but I did piss in their lake. And got chucked out of the Disney Village.
Then I saw a middle aged man standing at a urinal with his trousers and pants around his ankles having a wee.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 12:05, 5 replies)
At the Orange County fair
10 years ago, 2 years after leaving England, I hear my name being called. I turned around and it was a girl from senior school who was on vacation.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 12:02, 7 replies)
The shows (Scottish for Fairground)
I fell off a spinny thing and broke my arm.

The only concerned party was a Jakey who asked if I was ok, before asking for 50p
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 11:58, Reply)
Days of Chunder
How many times can you ride the Octopus fairground ride in a row before you are too ill to carry on?

A genuine medical/scientific experiment by our friend Mel as the traveling fairground came to our village. After an evening of candy floss, hot dogs and illicit cider, we pooled our cash and stuck her onto the machine.

Round and round went the bloody great wheel, up and down she went, for a good 45 minutes to the dizzying dance of sirens, loud music and flashing lights.

"Hey Mel! What's the weather like up there?"



The answer is nine. Nine times.

If you're really that interested, there's a 12-inch extended version of this story HERE
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 11:55, 3 replies)
Commandos Percu
if you ever get the chance see them.


Absolutely the greatest thing i have ever seen. Explosions, fire, smoke, METAL!

I am serious about it literally being the greatest thing i have ever seen. I was actually speechless in awe.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 11:55, 2 replies)

s'pose I'd better come up with something good then... balls...

When I was old enough to know better, I used to pick up pound coins wherever I found them (around the house and on the street) all year until the fair came... I'm fairly sure my parents noticed them disappear but to this day have never mentioned it.

Back then the rides were 50p each and all the girls from school were there, stories abound about the time when Katy Harris' top couldn't hold her jubblies on the waltzers and the time you could see up Sarah Raith's skirt if you stood next to 'The Mouse'. It was a young man's dream. The nearest I got to any action was going on the waltzer with 3 girls. As there were 3 teenaged girls in one car we got all the attention of the carnies and spun round like mudderchuffers the whole way round. I also distinctly remember the fact that 'One Night in Heaven' by M People was playing as all the girls were shouting the words and I already hated it. So, the ride came to an end... here was my chance to impress any of the 3... I stood, I held the bar up and I thought I'd got hold of the carriage... they looked honoured by my gentlemanly ways and began stepping off. The 1st one stepped off, holding my hand to steady herself, then the 2nd. The 3rd girl (the one I really fancied) followed but just as she stepped off the ride with one foot, the whole thing moved an inch, enough to overpower my weakling arms and overbalance the car; sending it spinning through 180 degrees, taking her other foot with it. She held on to my hand but as her leg got dragged backwards and round she fell smack on the floor at my feet.

It still haunts me to this day, I never snogged her... and I hate M People even more than I did before.

I think I was sick in a hedge a bit later.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 11:43, 5 replies)
I cannot recommend going to see Cirque De Soleil's O (or "Eau") in Las Vegas highly enough.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 11:41, 3 replies)
Ulverston Carnival (and first by a fluke. DIDN"T EVEN TRY BITCHES!)
Now as a nervous gothy wimp i did not much care for the idea of lots of meat-headed thugs drunk and stumbling and showing off by their skill at winning teddy bears but hey ho the mates are going so lets go. Took about half an hour for me to be dragged to the ground and kicked repeatedly in the head.

Turns out i was mistaken for someone else but the event pretty much taught me all i needed to know about fairgrounds thank you very much.

Edit: I actually have tons of these but i'll just leave this little one here. As FIRST I can do whatever i like. So there.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 11:41, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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