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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

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Fairground? With those prices?
They should call it an UNFAIRground!!!!!!!!!!!
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 13:42, 1 reply)
Bloody dodgems
Reading some dodgem stories brought back a long-suppressed memory of pain and humiliation from a place I don't even remember where it was. I, small only child, wanted to go on the dodgems. Didn't have anyone to go on with, and there were, apparently, no other children at the fair that day. (?)

But I pestered, and was duly plonked in the seat of a dodgem. Which wouldn't move. I pressed the pedal, and it rattled a bit, and I turned the wheel, and it moved an inch or two then stopped. The entire time, the bloke who ran the ride, my mum and my nan were shouting advice at me. This seemed to go on for about ten minutes, as I got more and more frustrated and the dodgem seemed to mock me with its unwillingness to move more than an inch at a time.

Eventually the ride guy plucked me from my seat and announced "Time's up".

I was too short to go on any other rides. Worst day at the fair ever. I'd forgotten that until today.
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 13:37, 2 replies)
Close encounter with a Lion
Back when I were a lad of about 6 delicate years, I was taken to a circus for a birthday treat. Now this was back when the world was still black and white and when circuses still had animal acts. Before the show started they were bringing a lion cub around, for the kiddies to hold on their lap while a (no doubt wildly overpriced) photo was taken.

Just as the carny person was telling me to "say cheese", I became aware of a creeping, warm sensation about my lap. Yes, the little bugger was pissing on me.

I've still got the picture somewhere. It's rather a frozen smile, I have to admit. But not many people can say that they've been pissed on by a lion and lived to tell the tale!
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 13:21, Reply)
Fairground? With those rides?
They should call it a FEARground!!!!!!!!
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 13:13, 1 reply)
The town I grew up in, Loughborough, has a yearly street fair. I don't go anymore.
As I got older my perception of the event shifted from 'wonderful annual carnival with super-fun rides!' to 'garish, rusty deathtraps assembled in the dark by pikeys. In November. That cost £4 a go.'
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 12:27, Reply)
Not me but....
My eldest step-sister has absolutely massive tits. She was already in her 30s when our parents married and by then they had become grotesquely enormous. Her husband told of about them visiting the fair in their teens (she must have been in the G-JJ range then). Anyway...

They went on the ROTOR, one of those centrifugal contraptions crossed with the wall of death, so basically an open topped spinning drum with people in.

As the G force increased sis's gigantic jugs of joy spilled forth from her top and continued upward until her nips were being tickled by her earrings.

Her hubby said they offered her twenty quid to stay on but that must have been bullshit cos the slag would still be there now.
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 11:46, 6 replies)
My French teacher was from Ireland, and one day was very impressed with my work.
She said I had "Une flaire, grande."
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 11:23, Reply)
Lovers' Lane
Lovers' Lane near my house when I was a kid, leads to a big abandoned field, ramble ramble scrambled eggs, now used by married executives and their secretaries as Affair Ground.

Quick and dirty, like your mum.
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 11:20, Reply)
Well, it hasn't been the best QOTW we've had, but not the worst either.
It started slowly, picked up some pace then has hit some highs and lows interspersed with bits of not really going anywhere at all before just flattening out as we head towards the end.

If only I could think of some sort of appropriate metaphor.
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 11:16, 11 replies)
I bought a machine for disposing of my dogs shed hair
It was a Fur Grind
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 11:14, Reply)
Reading all these puns
is a fair grind
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 10:53, Reply)
I bought a blond pot.
It was a fair gourd.
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 10:40, 1 reply)
Going to be a long one. Go to the last line for summation.
A while ago there was Alien War (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_War) Scattered around Britain they were basically a haunted house type thing but with Aliens from the movies of the same name. Proper costumed players jumping out at you and marines firing guns and the like. To a fan like me this was possibly the greatest thing ever invented. It was, reportedly, awesome.
GUESS WHAT?! It would seem something like it was opening in my town and.. and.. they wanted staff! So, like a shot from a M56 Smart Gun, i applied. And got the job! I was very excited. VERY. I might get to be a monster, i might get to be a trooper. Either way i was going to have an awesome costume or be firing guns yeah? HOW COOL IS THIS GOING TO BE!
So I turn up, with others who are so inclined and employed, to find a huge, perfect, recreation of a spaceship.. actually no. I didn't.

I found 4 drab, rusting, truck containers on an old carpark. Well, thought I, being as experienced at theatre as i was, it's what's inside that counts. Oh the optimism. Inside they had covered the walls in black cloth. I fought bravely with my disappointment, it will be pitch black i am told, we are not finished yet it is explained, it doesnt matter. AH! Fair enough then! Excitement level starts to build again.
I am then told i shall be a monster, for i am 6 foot tall. The monsters are taken in to see the costumes and HELL IT IS HOT inside those trucks, and its not yet but the beginning of summer. God only knows what it'll be like when the sun is actually beaming on them all day. It'll be dealable with, i get to be a monster after all. Show me the costume that shall transform me into the most fearsome drooling beast you ever suspected lived in the dark recesses of mans mind!
No, Mr Barmpot Owner, you seem to be holding up a sleeping bag with pointy bits of material sown onto it. I want to see my costu... oh. That IS the costume. Your wife made it? oh how lovely. Did she work on the early days of doctor who? is she mentally challenged?
Our costumes were LITERALLY a sleeping bag with legs and pointy bits of material sown in. One minute of wearing them in the sweltering trucks and the sweat was rolling down our backs. Running about all day was possibly fatal. While my comerades stood in shock and nothing like awe i spoke up. I explained they were too hot, i explained they would be hard to move in, i explained quite a lot just to be sure we would not have to wear such ridiculous costumes.
So i took on the job of redesigning and building better ones )i worked as a concept artist occasioanlly and had done such things before so this was not out of my capabilities. If i was not given a budget of £3 a costume... Needless to say they were not briliant but a fellow player got the job of finishing them off and as he was a new dad he didn't mind the extra work. So, although i was shamed by my design and my rough build it did, at least, bring a silver lining to the cloud.

This is going to go on forever so i'll start being brief. Forgive me.

The work: 12 hour days in alternate shifts guiding folk through the tunnels the trucks had been made into. Long days but well paid. Of course once word got out it was utterly utterly shit not many people turned up. Some days we would have no customers at all so it became a job of sitting under the trucks getting stoned. We actually started to hunger to do a tour just to prevent boredom from driving us into madness. I have never worked in a job where people argued over who got to do some work before or since.

The boss: Mad as a hatter and so optimistic as he threw money down the pan it was actually scary. He was of the Masonic persuation and that helped a great deal when health and safety came knocking. There were sharp edges to all the passages between trucks and a toilet that overflowed so badly it ran between your feet. Remember these trucks were hot and by the end of the first week the stench of well-used chemical toilet filled the filthy, rusting ovens we called the work place.

The customers: there wern't any. Well, a few, but word spread fast. Friends of mine only came to see how terrible it was. One actually bought me a bottle of vodka afterwards "Because you need it".

Saving graces: The crew, great folk barely staying sane. The stunt man who was second in command and went through a lot himself. I cannot remember his name but he had a big motorcycle and was stuck in a horrible job. Very sound guy and greatly respected by all. The money, 12 hours a day on a decent wage when you've spent 6 years on the dole is bloody handy. The memories, and the experience of how not to do it.

There is a lot more i could tell but I have work to do. So there.

edit: it was called "The Millenium Doom".

Brief version: Imagine this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_War done by a old Lancastrian with no budget and no idea.
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 10:17, 1 reply)
I went to Alton Towers with my high school.
I sat on a chocolate ice cream wearing ?lilac? tracksuit bottoms at the first stop the bus made at the border.
As if the lilac tracksuit bottoms weren't criminal enough, I had to walk around the rest of the day with a big dod of shitey looking chocolate on my arse.
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 10:08, 7 replies)
I recently went to a car park.
It was a fare ground.
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 9:37, 1 reply)
On holiday in benidorm
With the parents and other siblings we did the usual touristy stuff. However half way through the holiday wondering around (AKA lost) we came across a mini theme park. The parents having walked around enough already probably thought it's a great place to have rest while us kids have some fun on moderately fast and ill maintained contraptions. We did as kids do and scampered off, each in a different direction.

I went looking for the rides that looked scary, knowing that they tended to be the best. And I found it, it looked like an uber scary haunted house. I paid the entrance fee and entered. It was a room with four other people ready for the ride. An introduction about it was put over a very loud sound system, first in Spanish, then English and then something else, German I think.

So after the introduction was done we all then looked at death, who was stood there and waited for something to happen. Eventually he moved and pointed in the direction to enter the ride. But it wasn't a ride with carts to ride but it was a walk through type ride. In one room a skeleton popped out of a coffin, in another a shelf full of pots and pans fell to the ground. All sudden loud noises good at making you jump, and a girl scream several times. Then there was a new sound.


It came from behind us, nobody looked back to see what it was, not even me, I was too scared of what might be up ahead.


It sounded like it was getting closer and I had a thought of what it might be when,

*Brrrr brrrrraaam ber ber braaaam ber ber ber braaaaaaaaaaam*

Bloody hell it was. Someone behind us had started up a chainsaw!

*Braaaaaaam braaaaaaaaam braaaaaaaaaaaam braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam*

It was getting closer and immediately at that moment the survival instinct kicked in and told me to "Fucking leg it". I did, I ran through small corridors turning left and right as fast as my legs could move. The chainsaw was blasting away at top revs and getting closer, I was sure at any moment the blade would find me and chop me to pieces. Finally up ahead an exit sign on a door signalled freedom, which opened as I approached it. The door led to the outside and I breathed in a lungful of the freshest air I've ever breathed, and realised at the same time that everyone else on the tour were also outside.

Scared? I nearly did an evacuation from all orifices.
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 7:10, 7 replies)
I once got a temporary job in a haunted house
It was great. I had an entire room to myself. The whole room was painted with a black and white chequerboard pattern and so was my costume. (A basic cowled robe thing with cloth obscuring my face and a giant plastic axe) All I had to do was stand still and people would walk right past me. (The bad lighting helped) That is, until I leapt out at them and made them shit themselves.

Best part? The way out of the room was camouflaged as well, so they were trapped there foreverrrrr until I showed them where the exit was.

Aaaah, happy days, happy days. I've never had a job I enjoyed more.
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 3:43, 2 replies)
There's a theme park around here called Knotts Berry Farm.
Every October they transform it into Knotts Scary Farm for the whole month culminating in Halloween night.
They have mazes that you walk through, and it's always funny to see grown adults being chased by zombies or 'death doctors' or just staff in freaky costumes.

Last time I went, one of the mazes was a pirate ship, and if I'm walking a distance I have to use canes. One of the 'zombie pirates' followed me through the entire maze calling me pegleg.
Here in the land of 'oh my god you can't offend anybody', a lot of people were saying he was being rude. I laughed my arse off all the way round.
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 3:16, 2 replies)
I went a Carnival with a crazy woman who tried to kill me after an affair
It was a Fatal Attraction.
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 3:06, 6 replies)
'Pleasure'wood Hills
Not one of the more famous theme parks but somewhere to go when you're a young family just outside Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft as Woody Bear would cheerfully say on the advert.

It didn't have (m)any big rides and think the Pirate Ship was a small dinghy they nicked from down the road. It wasn't v good or frightening in an 'extreme' sense, other than it was powered by some wheels and cogs that ran around the underside of the boat that you passed over and looked down into every time you went back and forth. At the topmost point you were sure you'd fall out into a squishy death.

The best bit was it was operated by an old dressed up pirate dude who actually did only have one arm - and so the rumour goes.....he lost it in the ships cogs!

Well it does when you're 5.
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 1:51, Reply)

When i was about 16 the yearly fair got a new ride called the Death cage that was basically a human sized centrifuge that held about 60 people, with a glowing skull on it. It would spin around and the unsecured people would be held in place by centrifugal force as it then lifted up from horizontal to vertical.

First go on it and this girl in our year who we shall cal Shaz, who was diametrically opposite to me on the ride let rip with a belly full of white lightening cider and hot dogs which promptly whipped into the next dozen or so people downspin of her and caused one of them to puke too.

By the time the ride stopped approximately 15-20 people were puke soaked, and it turned out that Shaz had also shat herself. Literally.

her reputation, lets say, was a soiled as her pants. AND the pikey in charge told her to fuck off and never come back again.
(, Wed 15 Jun 2011, 0:05, Reply)
Speaking of goldfish.
My sister had just won one of the little, well, gold bastards and was thrilled. So she promptly dropped it on the floor no more than 3 feet away from the stand she had won him from. The pressure of the air against earth predictably split the bag, thus sending him flapping over the floor and my Dad frantically trying to 'rescue' him in film-cliched fashion.

Only problem being we weren't exactly carrying much spare water round the fair with us, so my Dad put him in his piss weak plastic beaker of beer.

'Tipsy' didn't make it, but he died fucking happy.
(, Tue 14 Jun 2011, 23:40, Reply)
I often went to the King's Lynn 'Mart'
On about 7 occasions out of the 10, I got into a fight.

Either King's Lynn is strangely fighty (it is..), or I look really annoying trying to throw darts to win goldfish.
(, Tue 14 Jun 2011, 22:28, 3 replies)
Thorpe Park - Speed
Queued for nearly 2 hours for a ride only just longer than Oblivion. That turn is awesome though....
(, Tue 14 Jun 2011, 22:24, Reply)

When I was younger and messier, I worked briefly in a circus. I wasn't terribly good at my job, which was to fill an advertising blimp called an impar with helium and let it rise on a long cable. People would then see the blimp and decide that an evening watching clowns give children phobias would be entertaining.
The impar had an arrangement which meant I could let more helium into it without having to reel it in. I managed to get it up to eighty feet fairly regularly, which was a pretty impressive length.
One week a couple of clowns called Caane and Ecossis decided it would be a good idea to hang onto the ropes under the impar.
So I inflated the rig and up they went. I started with it fairly low, only about thirty feet up and they were going at it like mime artists in a mirror maze with all the glass taken out. Ecossis decided to 'tumble' off the ropes underneath and hang upside down by one foot, then Caane, not to be outdone, did the same thing. So I started inflating the impar a bit more to let it up to fifty feet.
I only realised something had gone wrong when the ringmaster started shouting at me: 'Enough air - ground the impar cos Ecossis and Caane fell!'
(, Tue 14 Jun 2011, 21:58, 11 replies)
The circus was in Liverpool

Not that I was bothered - i was more interested in having a beer with my mate..

T'was Kensington in Liverpool about 1999 and my mate had finshed uni - but stayed in the rented house to see out the lease - so i popped over to enjoy a few jars and not worry about getting a taxi home...

we only stayed local and after a few made our way to the Juke Box for some Nirvana et al.

Thats when we met him.

Picture 'Tom' from Father Ted ("Father - I Killed a man"). he introduced himself (i can't remember his name) he was out with some friends who, it turned out were travelling with the circus that was down the road. He was Scottish and seemed okay - but he did most of the talking. He kind of latched onto us and joined our table...the drinks started to flow and much banter was had...

Our plan had been to go back after the pub for a 'smoke and a movie'. It was at his point that it went wrong.

"you wanna come back for a smoke?

Of course he did...

He skinned up with the skill of a thousand Bob Marleys and the smell of weed filled the air. I wasn't a big smoker then and i'm certainly not now - but i was properly stoned by now. So we started to ask him about his 'Carnie' life.

He then rolled off these stories about how many people he has killed for money he's also a dab hand with a knife if you know anyone who needs stabbing. by this point me and my mate are sobering up and making eye contact type gestures of 'how the fuck do we get rid of him' - all the while he's skinning up and handing out doobies.

You may presume these were just tall tales, but after spending an evening with him -i had very little reason not to believe him.

"I've got a couple of guns back in my caravan if you want see em? I can get you past security, they're cool - i'll just say your coming back for a drink"

By this point, i'm mentally running through various scenarios and planning my escape route - all ending in a violent death. but as long as he was smoking he seemed calm...

Que me and my mate performing exaggerated yawns and looking at our watches as we both agree that the only way we can get this maniac out of the house is by preying on any sense of decency he might have had and make him think he's out-stayed his welcome.

4 hours later and he's leaving. 4 of the most scary/bizarre hours of my life involving a Scottish murdering circus worker.

I was too scared to vomit over his hedge...
(, Tue 14 Jun 2011, 21:33, 1 reply)
I used to work in a theme park
In the summer of 1987 I was a virgin because I would only have sex with someone I loved. I had just graduated with a degree in comparative literature from Oberlin College. I was looking forward to touring Europe for the summer and going to Columbia University for graduate school in journalism when my parents announced they wouldn't be able to help me financially.

I looked for a summer job, but could only find an unappealing one at Adventureland, a local amusement park in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where my immature childhood friend Frigo worked.

I was hired by assistant manager Bobby and assigned to the games area. I met my co-workers: the sarcastic Joel, Bobby's wife and park manager Paulette, Sue O'Malley, Mark, the alluring Lisa P. whom every guy wants, along with the park's technician Mike Connell, a part-time musician who claimed to have once jammed with Lou Reed. Another games worker, Emily "Em" Lewin , met me by saving me from being stabbed by a disgruntled customer.

While her father and stepmother were away, Em had a party where she and I got to know each other. After the party, Connell, who has been having an affair with Em, came over. Later that week, I went for a drink with Em and she was surprised to learn I was still a virgin. Connell arrived at the bar with his wife. After leaving, me and Em shared our first kiss.

The following day, I told Connell about my strong feelings for Em, which Connell reported to her. Em later told me that she wanted to take things slow due to problems in her life, leaving me feeling confused and upset.

Joel was rejected by Sue after a drunken night of making out due to religious differences (she is Catholic and he is Jewish). Em, sticking up for Joel, confronted Sue. Lisa P. asked me out on a date, but I had mixed feelings because of my relationship with Em. After Connell talked me into going, presumably to sabotage my relationship with Em, I decided to accept her offer.

After the date, during which Lisa and I kissed, I learned Em had called to tell me that she regreted having rejected my feelings. I gave Em some of my marijuana to bake pot cookies to cheer her up.

Joel later saw me and Em walking together and, disturbed by the whole chain of events, decided to quit. I tried to talk him out of quitting, but Joel had had enough of everything, including what he perceived as the indignity of working at Adventureland. He also told me he was angry at me for dating Lisa P. when he already loved Em.
I wanted to be honest and told Em about going out with Lisa P. After hearing of this, Em went to Connell's to end their affair. Prompted by Frigo, the park's mentally challenged parking official told me he saw Em and Connell doing "push-ups without any pants on" in the back of Connell's car.

I went to Connell's mother's house, which is where Lisa P. told me that Connell takes girls to have sex, with Frigo and saw Em leaving. Shocked to see me, she became tongue-tied and ccouldn't explain. I left angrily, leaving a crying Em by herself. I told Lisa P. about the affair and asked her not to tell anyone, but not long after she told her friend Kelly. Upon noticing all the park employees know, Em quit. I chastised Lisa P. for dismissing Em as a "homewrecker" while she saw Connell as blameless. I, heartbroken, drunkenly crashed my dad's car into a tree and passed out. The next morning, my mother woke me up and told me that I had to pay to fix all the damage.

Because I had to pay for the car, I didn't have enough money to go to graduate school. Despite my setbacks, I headed for New York City with my parents blessing as they finally decided that it's time to let me do what is best for me.

In New York, I waited outside Em's apartment. When she saw me she was reluctant to talk to me, feeling she has ruined everything. I told her that I saw her differently than she saw herself, making it clear that I had fallen in love with her.

Touched, Em brought me up to her apartment. I got out of my wet clothes and found she still had an Adventureland shirt. We kissed and began to take our clothes off. I asked if we "Are really doing this?", and Em said yes. I presumably lost my virginity.
(, Tue 14 Jun 2011, 21:08, 2 replies)
Blagging the bumper cars
A few years back, my mate Dave and I went for a mini camp-out in Stanmer Park, Brighton. Having set up the tent in a tucked-away little hidey hole, we took a stroll around the park as the sun was going down, with our flagons of cider in hand. Seeing a bit of hullaballoo going on down at the manor house in the park grounds, we ambled a little nearer, and ended up sitting with a couple of Czech guys who were smoking a joint and watching proceedings too. They informed us that it was the University of Brighton graduation do, complete with hired bumper cars. The manor house has a wall around it, with security at each gate, and revellers were drifting in and out of the enclosure, presumably to get up to naughtiness in the bushes around the place. Dave and I knew that free bumper cars come few and far between, and we didn't want to let a little thing like having never been to the University of Brighton get in our way of riding them.

I called my friend Alex, and told him to go round my house and grab all the suits and ties he could find, and to get down to the park ASAP. He willingly obliged, and rocked up about 40 minutes later with all the necessary garb to get us in to the party, as well as a little bag of Columbian enthusiasm. 10 minutes later, the three of us sauntered in to the party, and Alex and I spent the rest of the night driving slinky dress-wearing ladies around on the bumper cars, while Dave walked around with his SLR taking photos of groups of pretty ladies for "the website".
(, Tue 14 Jun 2011, 21:03, 1 reply)
The Poor Goldfish!
As a massive animal-lover I always worried about the goldfish and when I won one, took it home, cossetted it and was distraught when they died. My vet gently explained to Wee Res_Mary that my habit of picking the ones with the prettiest 'white markings' was at fault - the white patches were debilitating fungus disease. :((

still I loved the thought of coming home to them, even though I know they won't make it......

(, Tue 14 Jun 2011, 20:50, 3 replies)

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